What is a Wall Tie?
A wall tie is a form of horizontal support for wall structures that are veneered with masonry work rather than actually built from the brick and mortar structurally. The wall is usually constructed from typical wood frame or steel frame construction methods. After the exterior sheeting has been applied to the studwork, the brick and mortar veneer can be applied. Every so often, however, the wall tie has to be used as a stabilizing fastening method applied from the wall structure to the brick and mortar in order to hold the brick “wall” tightly against the structural form.
The most common stabilizing method for veneered masonry work is the use of wall ties. These are fastened to the wall form with screws horizontally and then fastened to the brick with a masonry screw vertically. Then the wall tie is simply covered with mortar, and the next layer can be applied.
Wall ties can also be used for interior applications as well. Here, they are used in between interior walls to work as stabilizers and spacers so that the wall panels, which are often drywall, aren’t allowed to bow or bubble. These types of ties are similar to the ones used in exterior veneering, however, they are shaped a little differently in order to be applied to both the wall panel and the studwork horizontally.
In different construction methods, there are a number of different types of wall ties, as determined by the company that manufactures them. In most cases, the wall tie itself is made out of galvanized steel or tubular aluminum. These two materials have their advantages and disadvantages, and are to be used in different applications as well.
For instance, the galvanized steel wall ties are usually flat stock steel. The steel used here is been either forged or cut from a press. These flat wall ties are mainly used for exterior veneering, while the tubular form are mainly used inside interior wall cavities.
One of the most important factors in purchasing wall ties is the state and local building and construction codes. The codes determine the frequency and weight rating in which a wall tie must be used. In many cases, not only are specific types of wall ties required, but the screws and fasteners that hold them in place also have requirements as to how long they must be and of what materials they are manufactured from.
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