What are the types of walls for houses?

You might think that all walls serve the same purpose—to divide a space into different segments. While you're not wrong, and that does involve one of its primary objectives, there's a whole lot more that goes into the reasoning and creation of different types of walls. In this article, we'll begin by listing the different types of walls for houses as well as the varieties available under each section, and discussing their functionality.

Types of walls for houses

1. Load-Bearing Walls:

A load-bearing wall is an integral part of the "skeleton" of a building. Much like the bones in a skeleton, it holds the weight of the elements which surround it, serving as an anchor to the foundation of a building. The strength and condition of load-bearing walls determine the structural integrity of a building. These walls are specifically constructed to support the above slab or other building elements in a structure

Different types of load-bearing walls:
  • Precast Concrete Wall: This wall is incredibly strong, durable, and pleasing to look at. In addition to being strong and aesthetically pleasing, Precast Concrete Walls are quite easy to install
  • Retaining Wall: Also known as revetment or breast wall, Retaining walls are built to resist the lateral pressure of soil. They are used for supporting soil laterally so that it can be retained at different levels on the two sides. Retaining walls are known to have many environmental benefits like reducing soil erosion
  • Masonry Wall: The strongest part of any structure is the Masonry wall. They have been used in construction for centuries and are made from materials that have traditionally been cemented together with the use of mortar. These durable walls provide excellent stability and help with fire resistance
  • Pre Panelized Load Bearing Metal Stud Walls: As the name suggests, these walls are made from metals like stainless steel, aluminium, and copper. They are built to protect the outsides of buildings, called "exterior wall cladding", which is a type of layering and weather-proofing system to make exteriors more durable
  • Engineering Brick Wall: Engineering bricks are used for their strength and capacity for water absorption. Walls built from this are built using a mold and are known for their superior technical and structural performance
  • Stone Wall: Similar to masonry construction, stone walls have been in use for several centuries. They are known for their strength, structural integrity as well as aesthetic appeal. They can be built by adhering stones as well as boulders together
2. Non Load Bearing Walls

These types of walls do not act as weight-bearing or supporting walls to the structure above them. Non load-bearing walls are also called "interior walls" and are built for the express purpose of dividing an area into segments or rooms. These are the type of walls that can be "knocked down" when wanting to redecorate or redesign a home

Different types of non load-bearing walls
  • Hollow Concrete Block: Hollow Concrete Blocks have become more frequently used in modern times. They are usually used in modern multi-story buildings instead of masonry walls and referred to as lightweight aerated concrete blocks. They are light in weight yet extremely strong if manufactured correctly.  They are mainly used to build filler and boundary walls
  • Façade Bricks: Façade Bricks or "Facing Bricks" are extremely aesthetically pleasing as well as low-maintenance creations. They are mainly attractive architectural stylistic devices used to enhance the appearance of a wall
  • Hollow Bricks: As the name rightly suggests,  Hollow Bricks are those that have several holes in them. Although one might think that this could affect their strength and durability, hollow bricks have actually been proven to be more useful than regular bricks. They are durable, more fire-resistant, and generally concerned a safer option than their counterparts
  • Brick Walls: Depending on the requirement and their purpose, Brick Walls can usually be two or three layers thick. They are extremely useful in home construction as they are reliable, compact, and quite durable. Brick walls are great at absorbing humidity and minimize the chances of mold, dust mites, and mildew.

3. Partition Walls

Partition walls are used to divide the larger space into smaller spaces. They can be made of a variety of materials—from glass to wood and fiber to brick. Their function is to create segmentation of space and are usually designed with aesthetic appeal at the forefront

4. Cavity Walls

Cavity walls are created by fastening an outer wall to an inner wall with an air space or "cavity" between them. This double-layering is mainly done to prevent rain from penetrating into an interior wall

5. Shear Walls

Shear Walls are constructed to protect buildings from strong winds and seismic loads. They are defined as "a vertical element of a seismic force-resisting system that is designed to resist in-plane lateral forces. These walls need to meet the standard of the International Building Code and International Residential Code in order to be deemed safe and effective

6. Panel Walls:

Panel walls are nonbearing walls built between columns or piers that are supported at each storey. They're usually made of wood and used in both interior as well as exterior construction, mainly for aesthetic purposes

7. Veneered Walls

Veneered walls have two facets to them. The front-facing part—or the veneer— is more aesthetically pleasing and is usually made of durable, weather-resistant brick or stone. Behind the veneer lies the "backing". The veneer has an air space behind it and is anchored to the backing, but not bonded to it

8. Faced Wall

A Faced Wall is one that has a different "facing" material and a different "backing material. Unline veneered walls, the two components of Faced Walls are bonded together
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