View Full Version : Laser tape measure to frame a room?

Michael Paul
07-31-2016, 7:13 PM
I'm about to start framing out a playroom for my kids. When I frame I install the top and bottom plates, then measure and cut each stud to size. It's annoying using a tape measure. I was wondering if anyone's used a laser tape measure to measure stud length. I was looking at a Bosch and it said it's accurate to 1/8th of an inch. 1/8th of an inch isn't a lot but it could be the difference between a stud going in tightly or flopping around. Thanks in advance.

John Lanciani
07-31-2016, 7:54 PM
You need to rethink how you build your walls. Much easier to build a wall 1/4" short and stand it up and shim it at the top than to fiddle around measuring every stud.

Bruce Wrenn
07-31-2016, 8:36 PM
Install both top and bottom plates with stud layout already on them. Number both stud and stud position. Build a two section story pole that is adjustable. Measure and mark each stud height. Transfer to studs and cut to length. You could also cut stud 1" longer than height, set on bottom plate, lean against top plate and mark height, then cut. A device that is accurate 1/8" means either 1/8" plus or 1/8" minus, which is a total of 1/4".

Paul F Franklin
07-31-2016, 10:10 PM
As it happens, I'm in the process of finishing my basement and have been using a Bosch laser measurer for exactly that. I would have preferred to build on the floor and stand them up, but no room for that.

Anyway, I measure with the bosch and then cut to measurement + 1/16. 95% of the time it's a snug, tap lightly into place fit which is exactly what I want. I find it easier to hold it against the top plate and aim down as it's difficult to hold it against the bottom plate and crane your neck to aim it properly at the top plate. You have to take some care to hold it tight against the plate and make sure you aim to the center of the stud location on the bottom plate.

Phillip Mitchell
07-31-2016, 11:32 PM
I don't think 1/8" + or - is very helpful for measuring stud lengths...or rather, it involves at least as much error, if not more, as standing below reading a tape at the edge of your top plate. Once you get a feel for a couple measurements based on what your tape reads, then it's pretty quick to cut studs that are snug if you're paying attention. I only frame walls this way if there is no space to frame on the ground and stand the wall up. It's quicker, easier to square and stronger to frame walls on the ground and stand them up and the shim trick is a handy one for efficiency.

I'm doing some framing in my basement where there is a) no room at all to build on the floor and stand up and b) each stud is a slightly different height due to a rough and bumpy slab up against the wall. I like to use a plumb/level laser (mine's a Bosch) to transfer layout from bottom plate to top plate in these situations as it's quicker than a level (to me) It's also pretty useful for framing walls in sloped ceilings. I'd rather have it than a laser tape measure, but that's just me.

How much does the Bosch laser tape measure go for?

Bill Orbine
08-01-2016, 6:58 AM
You probably have a flimsy tape. Buy yourself a better tape! Something stiffer like the Fat Max where you can get a further standout and a good hook onto stud ends.

Dave Anderson NH
08-01-2016, 11:40 AM
John Lanciani gave you the most useful and simplest answer. All other approaches would take far longer and have the possibility of measurement error or sorting and placement error creeping in unexpectedly.

Dennis Peacock
08-01-2016, 1:58 PM
Around here, I can purchase studs at a length that is made for wall framing. Bottom plate, top plate, and studs in the middle. Stand the wall up and put a plate on the top to tie all my wall sections together. Sometimes, we all have tendencies to over-complicate simple processes....like I've done at least a million times. :)

Neil Gaskin
08-01-2016, 6:21 PM
I wouldn'trecommend using the Bosch laser as you suggested it will slow you down and even in framing an eighth of an inch is too much slack. Put your bottom plates down if it's in the basement make sure they're treated and then build your walls and inch and a half short. The walls flat on the ground and then lift and set on top of the bottom plates. this will be quicker and faster also easier to plumb and get a straight wall in my opinion.

An added benefit if you're using 4 inch or less base is don't have to hunt for Studs.

Jerome Stanek
08-02-2016, 7:36 AM
The way we did it was cut both top and bottom plates and lay out the studs. Put them on the floor take a stud hold it up to the ceiling and mark it at the plate.

Michael Paul
08-06-2016, 12:22 PM
I would build the wall on the floor but there is not enough room in my basement. The last room I built down there when I was framing I cut each stud to length. My father would hold the tape measure on the bottom plate while I stood on a stool to read the measurement at the top plate. The room came out perfect so no complaints there. Going up and down on the stool to read the measurement at the top plate was a little annoying. Not a huge problem by far. I was just wondering if I could use the laser tape measure to make the process more streamlined.

Richard McComas
08-06-2016, 1:51 PM
When ever possible I use metal studs and track for something like this. Metal stud don't have to be all the close in length to fit into the top and bottom plate.