How To Hide A Wall (5+ Ways)

Knowing how to hide a wall in your home can open up space and create an airy, open concept. However, hiding a wall is a major project that requires planning and skill. This comprehensive guide will teach you how to hide a wall from start to finish.

Hiding a wall in your home can make rooms appear larger and more modern. It’s an increasingly popular renovation project that creates open concept living.

However, hiding a wall is complex. Mistakes can be costly and difficult to fix. Careful planning is essential before demolishing any load-bearing structures.

This step-by-step guide will teach you how to hide a wall safely and legally. You’ll learn about:

  • Evaluating if a wall is load-bearing
  • Obtaining necessary permits
  • Preparing the work area
  • Removing wall surfaces
  • Providing structural support
  • Finishing hidden wall edges

Follow these tips correctly, and you’ll open up space to enjoy for years. Let’s get started.

How To Hide A Wall (5+ Ways)

Determine If The Wall Is Load-Bearing

Not all walls are created equal. Load-bearing walls support the weight of ceilings and upper floors. Hiding one requires extra caution to prevent catastrophic collapse.

Before touching a wall, you must determine if it carries critical structural loads. There are a few ways to evaluate:

Examine The Wall’s Location And Direction

Load-bearing walls typically run the length of the house parallel to floor joists. They also often form borders between larger and smaller rooms.

For example, walls separating a large living room from a smaller kitchen may be load-bearing.

Of course, homes have unique layouts and reinforcement systems. Don’t assume all dividing walls bear weight. Further checks are needed.

Look For Columns Or Posts

Load-bearing walls transfer weight through large wooden posts typically visible in basements.

Check your basement ceiling for wood posts aligned with the wall above. Posts indicate it holds up the upper floor.

Check The Attic

The attic offers clues too. Go up and examine roof framing around the wall below.

Thick ceiling joists may sit directly on the wall, showing it bears roof weight. Trusses connected to the wall also indicate load-bearing function.

Hire An Expert

When in doubt, call a structural engineer. For a few hundred dollars, an expert can definitively determine if a wall is load-bearing by examining framing connections.

This professional insight brings peace of mind and keeps your safety the top priority.

Obtain Necessary Permits

Altering home structures requires permits from your local building department. Failing to get proper permissions can risk fines or project delays.

Provide your address and renovation details when applying for permits. An inspector will visit and check you satisfy codes before starting.

Common permits needed include:

  • Building permit: Covers structural demolition.
  • Electrical permit: Needed if moving wiring.
  • Plumbing permit: Required if adjusting pipes.
  • Mechanical permit: Necessary if ductwork changes.

Factor permit application costs into your budget. Fees vary but may total a few hundred dollars or more.

Prepare The Work Area

Tearing down a wall makes dust, debris, and noise. Protecting your furnishings and belongings prevents damage as you work.

Follow these tips to prep for demolition day:

Create A Temporary Wall

Erect plastic sheeting around the work zone to stop dust spreading through open doorways.

A temporary wall also helps contain noise if you’ll be using power tools like reciprocating saws or sledgehammers.

Cover Nearby Surfaces

Lay drop cloths over floors and furniture in the area. Use waterproof tarps outdoors to control debris.

For delicate items like drapes or electronics, add extra layers of thick plastic for protection.

Protect Existing Structure

Avoid accidentally harming elements you want to preserve like ceilings or adjacent walls.

Apply metal shields over corners and wood strips along wall edges surrounding the demolition.

Gather Safety Gear

Wear eye protection, dust masks, ear plugs, gloves, and steel-toe boots during the tear down.

Keep a first aid kit and fire extinguisher on hand too.

Carefully Remove The Wall Surface

With prep work done and safety gear on, it’s time to open up the wall itself. Work methodically to avoid infrastructure damage.

Confirm It’s Non-Load-Bearing

Double check by examining the exposed framing that the wall does not bear any weight.

If you find thick ceiling joists resting on it, support posts, or connection to roof trusses, stop work immediately. Consult an engineer to determine safe removal techniques.

Outline The Demolition Area

Use a straight edge and utility knife to score finish material around the edges where you will tear down the wall. This helps control cracking.

Take Off Drywall

Carefully cut drywall sheets to the middle of wall studs so you can discard easily. Use a keyhole saw to neatly cut around outlets.

Pry off material with a crowbar and dispose of properly. Wear a mask to control dust.

Remove Insulation

Use thick gloves when handling fiberglass batts or rigid foam boards. Place carefully into garbage bags.

Detach Wall Studs & Plates

With the wall stripped, knock out remaining studs using a sledgehammer or reciprocating saw.

Preserve top and bottom wall plates bordering the opening to maintain stability.

Provide Structural Support

For safety, non-load-bearing walls still require replacement support beams. Consult an engineer to calculate sizing.

Here are common options:

Steel I-Beams

Sturdy steel I-beams work well to bridge wall gaps up to 24 feet wide. They allow flexible room layouts since they don’t require posts.

Wood Headers

For shorter spans in small rooms, a built-up wood header offers an affordable alternative.

Sandwich vertical studs between double top plates using sturdy plywood and dimensional lumber.

Posts & Lintels

Masonry and concrete lintels placed over wood posts offer another cost-effective support system.

This older technique suits homes with a traditional style.

Finish Hidden Wall Edges

Completing the tear down project requires enclosing the new opening with trim and refinishing surrounding surfaces.

Follow these final steps:

Install Corner Bead

Use perforated metal corner bead strips attached with drywall screws to reinforce the exposed drywall edges.

Apply joint compound over beads with tape for smooth finish.

Add Trim

Modern homes often skip additional trim and just paint for clean lines.

For traditional styles, frame out with wood baseboard, crown molding, or door casings matching existing.

Blend Textures

Hide seams between old and new using drywall mud and primer paint. Match surrounding wall and ceiling textures.


Rolling on a fresh coat of paint completes your hidden wall project. Choose a neutral color to keep the focus on your beautiful new open space!

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions? Here are answers to some common inquiries about hiding walls:

How much does it cost to remove a wall?

Expect to spend $800-$2500 depending on wall size, material, and any repairs needed to surrounding surfaces. Hiring an engineer and securing permits also adds to costs.

Can I hide a load-bearing wall?

Yes, but extra support beams must replace the structural function. An engineer designs safe demolition and reinforcement plans tailored to your specific home.

What walls typically are not load-bearing?

Bathroom, closet, and hallway walls often simply divide space rather than support weight. However, confirm by examining framing before assuming.

How long does removing a wall take?

A small, simple drywall partition can be dismantled in 1-2 days. Larger or exterior projects with insulation, wiring, and finishes may take up to 1-2 weeks from start to finish.

Will hiding a wall increase home value?

Yes, opening up floor plans to create larger, brighter gathering areas positively impacts resale value. But balance improved livability with potential buyer preferences in your market.


Hiding a wall instantly modernizes your home and feels like a luxurious upgrade. But poor planning can lead to safety issues or wasted time and money.

Follow this guide to carefully evaluate if a wall bears weight, obtain permits, demo safely, add supports, and blend finishes.

While the project requires effort, the payoff transforms cramped rooms into open, enjoyable spaces your family will appreciate for years to come.

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