per Cambridge, plate means

a flat piece of something that is hard and does not bend

so, when talking about brick wall, plate layout means a flat piece of bricks, shown like the following image (img_1), is my understanding right?

enter image description here

similarly, when talking about stud wall, plate layout means a flat piece of studs, the whole thing pointed out by red circle (img_2), is my understanding right?

enter image description here

However, in img_2, it seems that head plate and sole plate refer to something like a beam.

this post says

Start by aligning your top and bottom plate ends flush together and measure 15 1/4 inches to side of first stud placement. Each corresponding measurement should be 3/4 of an inch shy of stud marks on your tape measure. This will give you studs that are on 16 inch center layouts. Check out the video above to see this process in action.

Is the bottom plate end refer to the sole plate in img_2?

  • Plates are typically horizontal in framing layouts. Plates run below the vertical studs and across the top of them.
    – TimR
    Commented Jun 10 at 9:34
  • This seems like it would belong on diy.stackexchange.com
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jun 10 at 13:00

1 Answer 1


The diagram is correct. The Cambridge lexicographers had obviously never had or paid attention to building work done on their houses. A beam attached to a wall to support a structure is known in the (UK) building trade as a 'plate'. Don't ask me why. Builders don't get to write about it much, so it doesn't get into dictionaries.

  • 1
    The Cambridge dictionary provides a general definition of "plate"; nobody expects a dictionary to give detailed terminology in every craft or activity.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jun 10 at 13:01

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