Need help constructing cavities in the wall for pictures and books
Mohammed Almansour
October 29, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I live in an area where all people (I know) build traditional houses with plain walls without any cavities. That makes wonder what's the best way to do hollows for (let's say) bookshelves and pictures; is usually done with wood or gypsum boards? If both, what's the advantages and disadvantages of each method?
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Kaplan Architects, AIA
Most regions have their own prevailing construction methods and materials that are common and customary to that region. It may be driven by the available raw materials, local labor and their experience with a certain type of construction, and the cost of labor to build. Other factors that drive the different type of construction can be pressures from the environment and climate conditions. One can create recesses in masonry or stone walls but there may be structural weaknesses that become a factor or just more complicated construction that becomes involved. Building recesses in heavy masonry walls verses light stick framed walls can be equally possible. Reducing the thickness of a wall can also affect the insulation capabilities of that wall as well as the structure.
October 29, 2013 at 3:28pm        Thanked by Mohammed Almansour
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Joanne Jakab Interior Design
Here are my observations regarding this subject.
Today, the depth of outside walls are usually 4-6" deep and are used for R-rated products that save heat and cold energy. Also, inside walls are usually also kept to a 6" depth to maximize the rooms overall square footage. Books and decorative items often need at least 8-10" of depth. On addition, a fixed cavity or niche limits the flexibility of changing the art objects that can be displayed while a large cabinet with moveable shelves is more adaptable to changing needs. Pedestals are also great options for displaying art objects and can easily be repositioned.
October 29, 2013 at 3:31pm      Thanked by Mohammed Almansour
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One of the most frequent design dilemma questions on Houzz is "what am I supposed to do with this niche?" ... and my usual response upon seeing them is "drywall over it".
October 29, 2013 at 3:38pm        Thanked by Mohammed Almansour
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Mohammed Almansour
Thank you all for the helpful responses. In Saudi Arabia, we use 8" bricks for outside and inside walls. However, there are 4" and 6" bricks available in the market. I don't know if it's a good idea to use those to make recesses? In other words will they be firmly fixed in place especially they were not part of the original structure/wall? I like also the idea of drywall.
November 1, 2013 at 4:23pm   
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