A quick internet search will show you that there are many different names for walls, specifically for modular walls. They are referred to as movable, demountable, glass front, etc, but is there really a difference between them? The answer is yes. While they are all the same thing at heart – walls that can be relocated – there are differences between the three types of walls.
Drywall Construction Equals a Permanent Wall
First, let’s talk a little bit about drywall construction. Usually, a general contractor is brought in with a crew, and they start the process of building the walls. Different areas are framed out with wood to mark where the gypsum board will be attached (it’s important at this point that outlets and anything electrical is where it’s going to be because once the wall is up, there’s no changing it without spending a lot of money). Then, the construction crew adheres and screws the gypsum board to the wood framing. Now, you have a permanent wall. There's a lot more to it, but those are the basics.
The Differences Between Movable Walls, Demountable Walls, and Glass Front Walls
Demountable walls (also called stick-built walls) are similar to drywall in that everything is still constructed on-site, almost like the IKEA furniture of walls. A kit with many different parts and pieces is given to the installation crew to assemble everything together. The main difference is that the wall panels are “clipped” on to the frame. The major benefit of demountable walls is that the panels are very easy to change out when you want a different look. The downside is that there is still on-site construction, which means it takes a lot more effort to relocate the walls. And because there are so many parts and pieces, it is easy to misplace them and extra care is needed. (Find out more about demountable wall options here)
Movable walls (also referred to as unitized walls), on the other hand, are built completely off-site at the manufacturer’s facility. This lends itself to better quality control and a more uniform wall product. There are only 4 main parts that need to be installed on-site: ceiling and floor channels to hold the walls in place; the actual wall panels and doors; trim and finishing; and power and data components. This allows the movable walls to be installed and relocated very quickly - days compared to the weeks it can take for drywall or demountable walls. (Learn more about the advantages of movable walls here)
Glass Front Walls
Glass front walls (also known as storefront walls) are almost exactly like movable walls; however, they are specified without vertical posts. Butt-glazing techniques create one solid glass panel that doesn’t have any visual breaks. The benefit of these walls lies in the amount of daylight that is able to flow into a room. And with less materials being used to make the wall, the glass front walls are a very green-friendly choice. (Get more information on glass front walls here)
Contact Us to Learn More About the Different Wall Types
No matter which wall you choose – demountable, movable, or glass front – you will still have a wall that is more flexible and more sustainable than drywall. If you are interested in learning more about each type of wall, Southwest Solutions Group® has architectural interior experts that can help. Just give us a call at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message and we will put you in touch with a representative.