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What is a Modular Wall? The Complete Guide to Adding Space

A tall walled modular enclosure within an existing warehouse.

A modular wall is a flexible solution for dividing spaces. These partitions come without the permanence or expense of traditional, “stick-built” construction. In the United States, interest in modular applications is increasing rapidly because they are both practical and low cost. In this article, we’ll go over the types and applications of modular walls, common materials used in them, and some of their main benefits.

Types of Modular Walls

1. Office Partition Walls

In office spaces, modular walls can serve as both temporary and semi-permanent dividers. These walls expand workspace and can fit inside existing structures, such as warehouses, factories, and more.

A desk and chair sits inside modular office partitions.

2. Exterior Modular Walls

Modular walls may also be used outside of homes and offices. They can define property lines, enclose patios, or create private spaces in gardens. Even though these wall systems are flexible, they are able to withstand harsh weather.

A beige-colored guard house on the edge of a gated area.

3. Specialized Applications

Whether you need a guard shack, cleanroom, or sound booth, modular walls offer solutions for virtually any application. The possibilities are limitless, making it impossible to list them all here.

A sterile room with a person in gowning, medical supplies on shelving, and various equipment on mobile tables.

Materials Used in Modular Walls

Manufacturers use a variety of materials to make modular walls, selecting each for its use, strength, or look. The wide range of choices allows these walls to be adapted for different purposes. This list is not exhaustive, but here are a few materials that we use at Allied Modular:

Wall Finishes

  • Gypsum Vinyl: Vinyl-covered gypsum is smooth, strong, and easy to clean and maintain.
  • Composite: Wall finishes may be made from a variety of materials such as wood, plastic, and metal.
  • Steel Coated: Steel coating is durable and may also improve fire safety, as it is non-combustible.
  • Hardboard Vinyl: This finish mixes the strength of hardboard with the flexibility of a vinyl coating.
  • Plastics/FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic): These finishes are best suited for moisture-prone areas. They are known for their corrosion resistance and low maintenance.
  • Aluminum: Lightweight and sturdy, these finishes are chosen for their rust resistance and modern look.

Framing

  • Aluminum Framing: Aluminum is often used for the frames of modular walls due to its strength and lightweight.

Panel Cores

  • Polystyrene (Standard): A commonly used core material. Polystyrene is lightweight and has insulation properties.
  • Polyisocyanurate: This material is known for its insulation ability and fire resistance.
  • Honeycomb: These cores have exceptional strength, yet remain lightweight.

Modular walls can be customized to meet a variety of needs, whether it’s for maximizing fire resistance, sound resistance, or simply fitting into a design aesthetic. For more on materials, click here.

Benefits of Modular Walls

1. Flexibility

Modular walls can be reconfigured, which allows you to easily change them to fit your needs. You can expand, downsize, or modify them without long and costly construction. Plus, they’re portable, so you can even move them to a separate location.

A forklift moving a modular guard house.

2. Low Cost

Choosing modular walls over traditional construction can lower costs significantly. They require less labor and materials, and the reduction in waste contributes to a greener building process.

3. Quick and Easy Installation

Installing modular walls is a quick process. Unlike traditional construction, which can take months, setting up a modular wall can be set up in a matter of days. There’s no need for the usual construction noises and disruptions.

A man in a yellow hard hat stands next to orange scissor lift next to a modular office enclosure.

The Bottom Line

Modular walls have changed the way we use space. They are an affordable and flexible alternative to traditional construction, and they can create new areas in both personal and professional environments. Considering their quick setup and low cost, modular walls are perfect for anyone who needs to add space quickly. Interested in going modular? Get a free quote from Allied Modular today.

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