Walls is the basis of any building, room or its part. Vertical wall structures provide protection, delimiting or decoration. According to positioning and load accommodation, a wall can be made of various materials.
There are following wall types by load-carrying capacity:
- Load-bearing walls are those which constitute the frame of a building, bear their own weight and take the most load by flooring and/or ceiling. These are the supports the other elements rest upon. Generally, load-bearing walls are thick (up to 500 mm) and made of strong materials (steel, concrete). Failure of such walls threatens the integrity of the whole building, therefore redesigning is strongly advised against unless supervised by an expert.
- Self-supporting walls are those capable only of supporting their own weight and resting on the foundation. These can be thinner than load-bearing walls.
- Non-bearing walls are those that rest upon floor framing, intended to provide protection against ambient factors or divide the interior space of a building. These can be made of lightweight materials (gypsum plasterboard, plywood).
Wall types according to position and respective application:
- Exterior/external walls intended to protect the interior against ambient.
- Interior walls intended to divide the inner space into functional areas.
- Decorative walls or partitions intended to improve the appearance of the interior.
Wall types by erection method:
- Monolithic walls that are prefabricated vertical structures installed on site.
- Panel walls consisting of large panels assembled together.
- Frame walls covered with sheets of mouldings.
- Masonry of individual generally small pieces (blocks, bricks, stones) bound with mortar.
Wall types by material:
- Stone walls made of brick, cobblestones, limestone, sandstone, etc.
- Concrete walls made of concrete or reinforced concrete.
- Lightweight concrete walls made of gas silicate, expanded clay concrete, cinder concrete, fibreboards, sawdust concrete, etc.
- Wooden walls made of beams, wooden frames, plywood, fibreboard sheets.
- Dirt walls made of compacted soil.
- Combined walls made of metals, glass, polymers, plasterboard.