Partition wall for temporary room dividing

Dividing a room with a temporary wall is an effective way to repurpose existing spaces within a home or apartment.

Catering to various needs like accommodating a growing family, creating a home office, or simply adding privacy within an open layout.

These walls are easily customizable to suit individual needs and can be a great DIY project for any homeowner or renter seeking to optimize their living areas.

Numerous creative solutions and materials are available for constructing temporary walls, such as modular wall systems, sliding doors, and even tension-based installations.

These options provide flexibility and versatility in design, allowing for seamless integration into any décor style.

As non-load-bearing structures, these walls can be installed and removed without causing damage to the original architecture, making them ideal for renters seeking temporary solutions.

In this article, we’ll discuss various methods and techniques to successfully build a temporary wall that meets your specific needs.

From selecting the appropriate materials to maneuvering through challenges associated with DIY installation, this guide offers insights and advice for those embarking on this home improvement project.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my disclosure here.

Understanding Temporary Walls

Temporary walls are a practical solution for dividing a room into separate, more private spaces, without making permanent structural changes.

They are often used in apartments, offices, and medical facilities.

Partition Types

There are several partition types when it comes to temporary walls. Some popular options include:

  • Freestanding walls: These walls are not attached to the floor, ceiling, or existing walls, making them easy to move and adjust.
  • Modular walls: These walls consist of interlocking, lightweight panels that can be arranged in various configurations, offering greater flexibility and easy assembly.
  • Sliding or folding walls: These walls consist of panels that slide or fold on a track, providing a convenient way to open and close off spaces as needed.
  • Curtain or rope partitions: For a softer, flexible partition, curtains, macrame, or rope can be suspended from the ceiling or walls to create a visual division between spaces.

Materials and Tools

Temporary walls can be made from a variety of materials depending on the desired appearance, durability, and budget. Some common materials include:

  • Wood: A sturdy option, often used for freestanding walls, that can be easily painted or stained to match the room’s decor.
  • Plywood: An affordable and lightweight option, suitable for modular wall systems or DIY temporary wall projects.
  • Drywall: A popular choice for interior walls, providing a smooth finish that can be easily painted in various colors.
  • Metal: Used for creating strong, slim-profile walls, often found in sliding or folding wall systems.

To build a temporary wall, you will need the following tools:

  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Screws
  • Sill seal for sealing off any gaps between the temporary wall and existing surfaces
  • Wooden shims to ensure proper alignment and stability
  • Measuring tape

Building Tips

When constructing a temporary wall, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Measure and plan the space carefully, ensuring the wall will fit properly and meet your desired functionality.
  2. Use appropriate hardware, such as screws, to secure the wall components together and to the existing surfaces, if necessary.
  3. Apply sill seal to any surfaces that the wall will touch, providing added insulation and protection for both the temporary wall and the existing surfaces.
  4. Paint or stain the wall, if desired, to match or complement the room’s color scheme.
  5. Position and level the wall correctly using furniture levelers, ensuring a stable and secure installation.

By considering these factors, you can successfully create a temporary wall system that suits your needs and enhances the flexibility of your living or working space.

Temporary wall framing plans graphic

How to Build a Temporary Wall

Step 1: Measure and Design

First, measure the space where the temporary wall, also known as a room divider or partition, will be installed.

Be sure to account for the height and width of the room. Create a design for the temporary wall.

Include the location of vertical studs and any openings for doors or windows. Sketch out your design to help guide the assembly process.

Step 2: Apply Sill Seal

Many DIY enthusiasts are not familiar with sill seal, even if they have completed numerous projects before.

This foam, which is ¼-inch thick, serves two purposes. Firstly, it safeguards the current floor, walls, and ceiling from any harm.

Secondly, and more crucially, it supplies the necessary pressure to firmly place the temporary wall in any desired location.

Step 3: Cut a pair of 2x4s for the length of wall

Using the measurements you took for your temporary wall cut each 2x4s for the length your it will be.

These two pieces you have now are called the “plates” and will be the top and bottom of your wall.

Step 4: Cut two more 2x4s to create end studs

Taking your measurements for the distance between the floor and the ceiling, deduct 3 inches.

Use this new measurement to cut two 2x4s that will serve as your end studs.

It’s likely that this measurement will differ for each side due to slants in floors and ceilings.

You’ll want to measure twice, once for the left side of the temporary wall, and then again for the right side.

Step 5: Cut additional studs

Your end studs will go at the ends of your wall but you will need additional supporting studs placed every 16 to 24 inches

Step 6: Insert vertical studs between the plates

Place the bottom plate on top of the previously installed sill seal on the floor.

Then you’ll need help from someone to hold the top plate, which should have sill seal placed between the board and ceiling, while you position the end studs in place.

Keep in mind that the sill seal should also be installed along the existing walls where the vertical members will be placed.

If you have trouble getting your end studs to fit you can try tapping them in place with a hammer.

If your board is too big you may need to use a circular saw to cut a little more off your board to get it to fit.

Likewise, if your board is too small you can use the wooden shims to fill in the gap in length as opposed to cutting a new 2×4.

Step 7: Secure outside studs to plates with screws

With your perimeter established, you now want to screw your end studs to your plates to secure them together.

Additionally, for added stability you may want to screw your top plate to the ceiling and end stud to the wall.

Step 8: Install additional studs

Now it’s time to install your additional studs by screwing them to your top and bottom plates. These should be placed every 16 to 24 inches.

If your measurements are off, again you may need to cut your boards shorter. If they’re too short you can again use wood shims.

Step 9: Attach drywall panels to temporary wall

You now have the structure of your wall built and can screw on your drywall panels.

At this step you may choose to add fiberglass insulation to reduce noise transmission between the separate rooms.

Step 10: Finishing touches

It is perfectly okay to leave the drywall on your temporary wall unfinished if you want.

Alternatively, to make your wall aesthetically pleasing, you can finish the drywall and then prime and paint it.

Throughout the process, make sure to follow proper safety precautions, including wearing safety goggles and using appropriate carpentry techniques.

For visual learners, please watch the video below on how to build a temporary wall.

Creative Room Divider Ideas

Curtain Room Dividers

One simple and versatile way to divide a room temporarily is by using curtain room dividers.

These can be made from various materials like fabric, macrame, or even beaded strings.

They can help create private spaces in an open floor plan while adding a touch of design and style.

Curtain room dividers are easy to install and can be changed whenever you want to update the look of the space.

They can be hung from the ceiling or attached to a rod using hooks.

Bookcase Partitions

A bookcase partition is another effective way to divide a room temporarily. It can serve as a functional and decorative element in your space.

Choose an open shelving design that allows light to pass through and creates a sense of openness.

You can opt for a freestanding unit or one that is mounted on casters for easy mobility.

Fill the shelves with books, plants, and other decorative items to create visual interest and maintain a stylish and cozy atmosphere.

Folding Screens

Folding screens, also known as Shoji screens, are a classic choice for creating temporary partitions in a room.

Typically made from wood or metal frames with fabric or paper panels, they offer an elegant and adaptable option for dividing a room.

These screens come in a variety of designs, materials, and sizes to suit any decor style. They can also be painted or decorated to match the theme of the room.

Folding screens can easily be moved and stored when not in use.

Sliding Door Blinds

Sliding door blinds are another great options for a dividing wall. These use blackout fabric to filter light and create privacy.

With the lightweight track panel, you can install the track with wall-mounted or ceiling mount kits.

Multi-Purpose Dividers

Opt for multi-functional room dividers that provide more than just partitioning. For instance, a pallet room divider can also serve as a headboard or even a plant holder, depending on its design.

Wooden slats or panels can be arranged in creative ways to form a partition, adding visual interest while serving as a decorative element. These dividers can be made from repurposed materials or crafted using new pieces.

When selecting a multi-purpose divider, consider your specific needs and design preferences for the best results.

Considerations When Dividing a Room

Homeowners VS Renters

When dividing a room with a temporary wall, it’s important to consider the differences between homeowners and renters.

Homeowners typically have more freedom to make permanent changes to their space, but even so, a temporary wall might be a preferable option if they don’t want to commit to a permanent alteration.

On the other hand, renters often face restrictions from landlords, and will benefit from using lightweight, non-damaging temporary walls that don’t require nailing or screwing into existing structures.

Privacy and Natural Light

Maintaining privacy and natural light is essential when dividing a room.

Temporary walls often have the drawback of not providing substantial soundproofing, but it’s still possible to enhance privacy levels by using thicker or denser materials for the wall.

Nevertheless, be aware that increasing the wall’s thickness might sacrifice natural light.

To avoid this, consider implementing translucent materials like frosted glass or using slim, tall furniture to partition the space without blocking light.

Room Layout and Functionality

The layout and functionality of the room should be taken into account when introducing a temporary wall.

In a home office setting, ensure that the division creates enough space for a proper work area and storage solutions.

Conversely, dividing a living area might require thoughtful furniture arrangement to maintain comfort and functionality.

Evaluate the best way to separate the room while considering mobility and the ease of accessing various areas.

Key factors to consider while dividing a room:

  • Homeowners and renters have different constraints and preferences
  • Striking a balance between privacy and natural light
  • Adapting the temporary wall to the room layout and functionality


In conclusion, dividing a room with a temporary wall can be a practical and efficient solution for creating private spaces and organizing living areas.

It is essential to consider factors like material, design, and installation method in order to achieve the desired results.

The use of temporary walls is applicable in various settings, from households to offices and even military warehouses.

The installation of a temporary wall typically does not require any nails or holes drilled into the floor or ceiling.

This is because these walls are mostly held in place through pressure, making them a flexible and reversible option for renters and homeowners alike.

In addition, temporary walls can help reduce noise levels and increase privacy in shared living spaces or open floor plans, making them ideal for various types of accommodations.

By following the proper steps and considering individual preferences and requirements, it is possible to divide a room effectively with a temporary wall.

Furthermore, there are many design choices available, including different materials, allowing customization and personalization to cater to one’s individual needs.

As a result, temporary walls offer an adaptable and convenient method of separating and organizing spaces, affording users greater control over their living arrangements.

Need to divide a room with a temporary wall? Create a partition wall with this diy guide for room dividing.

Similar Posts