Do Steel Studs Have High Thermal Conductivity?

Do Steel Studs Have High Thermal Conductivity?

Steel studs are effective, reliable, and affordable, making them an ideal building solution for multiple commercial and residential applications.

However, one area where steel studs do not compare favorably to other materials is thermal conductivity. Depending on the type of steel used, the thermal conductivity can range between 45 W/(mK) - 55 W/(mK). For comparison’s sake, wood has a thermal conductivity ranging from 0.12 W/(mK) - to 0.4 W/(mK).

With its much higher thermal conductivity, buildings made from steel frames may struggle to retain heat during the winter and incur higher cooling costs in the summer months. Furthermore, without correct safety precautions, steel studs can cause thermal bridging to occur in the structure of the home, resulting in further reduced energy efficiency.

Should Homeowners Be Concerned About the High Conductivity of Steel Studs?

While the thermal conductivity of steel studs may seem high compared to wood framing, it should not be an issue for most homeowners. However, poorly installed steel framing can negatively affect energy consumption.

The reason steel studs have higher thermal conductivity than wood is due to multiple reasons. First and foremost, components of steel stud framing often go through insulation, creating pockets for air to enter and exit. Additionally, thermal bridging is more likely to occur with metal than wood. Both of these will impact the building's energy use.

How Can Steel Studs Be Insulated to Achieve a High Degree of Thermal Resistance?

Insulating steel panels effectively is a job that requires professional assistance. At Turner Bros, we offer a range of steel stud framing services to help minimize thermal conductivity. We use premium materials, work with skilled laborers, and never skip corners.

Turner Bros Contractors Ltd. has been providing steel-stud framing, drywall, and acoustic ceiling services for residential and commercial applications in the Vancouver area since 1932. The company is family-run with four generations of the family represented in the business.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about your residential or commercial project, please call us at (604) 532-1991 or email us at

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