A partition* is a skeleton wood framing, used instead of a wall to divide one room from another. It is only suitable for use above the ground-floor, so as to be free from the effects of damp. The principal advantages which partitions possess are, that they save space, and being light in weight, can be raised upon a floor; whereas a brick partition wall must either rest on another wall beneath, or be built on girders, which entail additional expense. Against these advantages must be set off the facts that partitions are inflammable, conductors of sound, and very apt to prove a harbour for vermin.
There are really two kinds of partitions - the ordinary framed or common quartered partition, and the trussed partition. Before proceed ing to explain and illustrate each one separately, it will be advisable to make a few remarks on partitions generally.
The general rule is to build up partitions resting upon the floors, which is in itself bad construction, because as soon as the floor sags or moves the partition goes with it, causing the plaster cornices to crack and come away from the ceiling above, unless that is connected to the partition itself, instead of underneath the joists of the floor above, which should run from wall to wall independently of and parallel to the partition itself; or the continual additional weight of the partition on this floor causes the part immediately underneath the partition to sag more than the other part of the floor, which results in the cracking of the ceiling below.
A better plan is to hang the partition either from the floor above or from the roof. These are made purposely stronger than otherwise needed, in order to carry the additional weight, and render the partition tolerably rigid; but the best and proper way is to build the head and sill of the partition into the main walls wherever practicable, so that if the one goes the other goes with it; and, in addition, to brace them towards the walls or bearings, so that any weight that comes on the head of the partition is thrown, by means of these braces, on the walls.
* Called in the North of England a stoothing.
Partitions may be lathed and plastered on each side; but sometimes they are bricknogged in addition - i.e., the spaces between the quarterings are spaced out to suit the bricks, and being 4 1/2 inches thick, are filled in with brickwork; or otherwise in thinner partitions the bricks are laid on edge.
In other cases the partitions are temporarily boarded up on each side, and the interstices filled up with concrete, generally composed of breeze and cement Sometimes, however, the outsides of the partition are covered with inodorous felt, and the spaces filled with sawdust, before the plastering is done.