Covering Foundation Walls

There are two common methods for covering foundation walls Because it saves space, the more popular method is to attach 2x2 furring strips to the masonry wall These strips provide a 1 //-deep cavity between strips for insulation and service lines, as well as a framework for attaching wallboard The other method is to build a complete 2x4 stud wall and nstall it just in front of the foundation wall. This method offers a full 3/# for insulation and lines, and it provides a flat, plumb wall surface, regardless of the foundation wall s condition

To determine the best method for your project, examine the foundation walls. If they're fairly plumb and flat, you can consider furring them. If the walls are wavy or out of plumb, however, it may be easier to use the stud-wall method. Also check with the local building department before you decide on a framing method There may be codes regarding insulation min;mums and methods of running service lines along foundation waHs.

A local building official can also tell you what's recommended—or required—in your area for foundation walls against moisture Commonly used moisture barriers include a masonry waterproofer that's applied like paint and plastic sheeting installed between the masonry wall and the wood framing. The local building code will also specify whether you need a vapor barrier between the framing and the wallboard

Before you shop for materials, decide how you'll fasten the wood framing to your foundation walls and floor The three most common methods are shown on pages 123 and 124 If you're covering a large wall area it will be worth it to buy or rent a powder-actuated nailer for the |Ob

How to Seal & Prepare Masonry Walls

Caulk Between Sill Plate And Concrete

Insulate the rim-joist cavities (above the foundation walls) with solid pieces of paper-faced fiberglass insulation. Make sure the paper, which serves as a vapor barrier, faces the room. Also apply silicone caulk to the joints between the sill plates and the foundation walls (mset)

Fill small cracks with hydraulic cement or masonry caulk, and smooth the excess with a trowel. Ask the building department whether masonry waterproofer or a plastc moisture barrier is required in your area. Apply waterproofer as directed by the manufacturer or install plastic sheeting to code specifications

Options for Attaching Wood to Masonry

Paint Concrete Wall

Masonry nails are the cheapest way to attach wood to concrete block walls. Drive the nails into the mortar joints for maximum holding power and to avoid cracking the blocks. Drill pilot hotes through the strips if the nails cause splitting Masonry nails are difficult to drive into poured concrete

Attaching Wood Wall Concrete Block

Self-tapping masonry screws ""»old well m block or poured concrete, but they must be driven into pre-drilled holes. Use a hammer drill to drill holes of the same size in both the wood and the concrete after the wood is positioned Drive the screws into the web portion of the blocks (see page 124)

Options for Attaching Wood to Masonry (continued)

Powder-actuated nailers offer the quickest and easiest method for fastening framing to btock poured concrete, and steel They use individual caps of gunpowder—called loads— to propel a piston that drives a hardened-steel nail (p>n) through the wood and into the masonry The foads are color-coded for the charge they produce, and the ptns come in various iengths. Note: Always drive pins :nto the solid web portions of concrete bfocks. rx>: into the voids

Trigger-type nailers. Gke the one shown here, are easiest to use. but hammer-activated types are also available You can buy nailers at home centers and hardware stores or rent them from rental centers (Ask for a demonstration at the rental center.) Always wear hearing ar.d eye protection when using these extremely loud tools.

How to Install Furring Strips on Masonry Walls


1 Cut a 2 x 2 top plate to span the length of the wall Mark the furring-stnp layout onto the bottom edge of the plate every 16' (so the center of the furring strips will Ime up with the marks). Attach the plate to the bottom of the joists with 2/?' wallboard screws The back edge of the plate should line up with the front of the blocks.

Note: If the joists run parallel to the wall, you'll need to install backers between the oute* joist and the sill plate to provide support for ceiling wal-board Make T-shape backers from short 2 x 4s and 2 x 2s Install each so the bottom face of the 2 x 4 is flush with the bottom edges of the *xsts Attach the top plate to the foundation wall with its top edge flush with the top of the blocks

Foundation Wall Blanket


2 Install a bottom plate cut from pressure-treated 2x2 lumber so the plate spans the length of the wall. Appty construction adhesive to the back and bottom of the plate, then attach it to the flocx with a nailer. Use a plumb bob to transfer the furrmg-strip layout marks from the top plate to the bottom plate.

3 Cut 2 x 2 furring strips to fit between the top and bottom plates Appty construction adhesive to the back of each furring strip, and position it on the layout marks on the plates. Nail along the length of each strip at 16# intervals.

Furring Strips Along Cinder Blocks

Option: Leave a chase for the installation of wires or supply pipes by installing pairs of vertical^ aligned furrmg strips with a 2' gap between each pair. Note: Consult local codes to ensure proper installation of electrical or plumbing materials.

Electrical Ferring Strips

4 Fill the cavities between furring strips with rigid insulation board. Cut the pieces so they fit snugly within the framing If necessary, make cutouts in the insulation to fit around mechanical elements, and cover any chases with metal protective plates before attaching the wall surface Add a vapor barrier, as required by local building codo

Covering Foundation Walls with Stud Walls i_i

Stud wall



V Gap


Build a standard 2x4 partition wall following the basic steps on pages 110 to 115- Use pressure-treated lumber for any bottom plates that rest on concrete To minimize moisture problems and avo*d unevenness in foundation walls, leave a W air space between the stud walls and the masonry walls (inset). Install all fireblocking required by local code. Insulate the stud walls with fiberglass blankets, and •nstall a vapor barrier, as required by local code.

Expanding Foam Studwalls

Framing around a window should be flush with the edges of the masonry on an sides Install a sill at the base of the window, and add a header, if necessary. Fill the space between the framing members and the concrete with fiberglass insulation or non-expanding foam insulation. Install wailboard so it butts against the window frame

Build a short stud wall to cover a low foundation wall in a walkout or * daylight' basement. Install the top plate flush with the top of the foundation wall. Finish the wall surface with waliboard or other finish, then cap the walls with finish-grade lumber or plywood to create a decorative shelf.

Framing Wall Under Duct Basement

Soffit frame

Hid© immovable obstructions in a soffit built from dimension lumber and covered with wallboard or other surface material. An extra-wide soffit is also a great place to install recessed lighting fixtures

Soffit frame

Hid© immovable obstructions in a soffit built from dimension lumber and covered with wallboard or other surface material. An extra-wide soffit is also a great place to install recessed lighting fixtures

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Wood Working 101

Wood Working 101

Have you ever wanted to begin woodworking at home? Woodworking can be a fun, yet dangerous experience if not performed properly. In The Art of Woodworking Beginners Guide, we will show you how to choose everything from saws to hand tools and how to use them properly to avoid ending up in the ER.

Get My Free Ebook


  • raymond
    What are the two methods of covering a foundation wall?
    3 years ago
  • makda
    Can i attach 2x2 to cement with adhesive in the basement?
    3 years ago

Post a comment