How to finish a basement?

I want to finish my basement but I'm not sure if I should use firring strips on the concrete walls or actually build walls in front of the concrete. If I do the firring strips, what is the best way to adhere them to the concrete wall.

4 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    the best and strongest way is to stud it out then put either paneling or sheet rock which ever is a better fit to your family and style. i have paneling which i didn't put up it was here when we moved in however we have painted it and it looks way better than what it did when we moved in. i personally would have liked to have sheet rock instead cause it is stronger and keeps more warmth in the winter. just frame out the walls, cut your sheet rock and tape the seems. sounds hard but i think in the end it is wayyy worth it. good luck on your project and i hope it looks great when your done.

  • 1 decade ago

    Firring strips will not allow you to intall insulation. Depending on where you live, insulation and vapour barrier will greatly reduce your heating or cooling energy bills. Plus its actually fun to install and will give you greater satisfaction of a job done correctly.

    If you choose to install a pony wall for the purpose of insulating make sure you use 2x4 studs with the crowns to the outside. If you stager the crowns, your wall finish will look wavy. If you use lesser than 2x4 studs, your wall will be too flimsy and your wall finish will most likely crack with the slightest pressure.

    It is also important to provide a barrier between the concrete and the studs since conctrete is always moist and ideal for mold growth on wood. Use either a vapour barrier or simply space the studs out 1/2" from the conctrete.

    If you do go with firring strips, your local building supply store will sell masonry screws. You will need a drill and the right size masonry drill bit. Again it is a good idea to seperate the wood from the concrete with a roll roofing material or vapour barrier.

    Good luck.

  • 1 decade ago

    You can use liquid nails to adhere 2x2 furring strips. There is also foam sheet insulation available that can be cut and placed between the furring strips. You can then place your paneling or drywall over them (Paneling allows more access to the walls beneath, and is easier to install. There are also some nicer styles of paneling out there now).

    Depends on your budget, time available, and the quality you desire for your basement.

  • 1 decade ago

    I recommend building a full depth 2 x 4 wall in front of the existing concrete foundation wall, in lieu of just applying furring strips to the cast in place concrete walls for a few different reasons, as outlined below:

    1. Many homes being erected today are going up in record time, and sometimes accuracy is sacrificed for speed. By first laying out my own interior walls, (snapping chaulk lines), along the existing basement walls as tight as possible, (and checking for plumb at the "tight" spots; I can be sure that the "new" intrerior walls that I am erecting for my own basement build-out are not only straight and square, but plumb as well.

    2. Going with "standard" 2 x 4 utility studs already pre-cut to length , - for a 13 or 15 course basement - I'm not wasting any lumber, (make sure your base plate is "Treated" lumber" that is approved for contact with masonry/concrete. When I fasten the base plate down I use a hammer drill and put 1/4" expansion anchors in at about 6'-0" on center - (at least 2 anchors per wall section for short walls). Also as I set the walls into place I set the wall base plate in a bed of silicone sealant.

    3. The wider 2" x 4" (nominal) cavity allows for more insulation, (yes I insulated this wall with unfaced batt FG insulation) - it's cheap and the insulating you are doing is to keep the 50 degree ground temp out of the basement.

    4. The wider cavity also allows you to use standard wall boxes for electrical and low voltage outlets, boxes, gang switches, step lights, and other standard recessed devices, that that require a 2" x 4" cavity and mud ring for installation.

    5. I like how this framing - especially at exterior walls, gives me a "better" depth for jamb returns, and sills at windows and patio or french doors. The 2' x 2" furring strips, leave "funny" looking returns at these locations, (my opinion).

    6. The increased depth at jamb returns also allows me an option on installing window treatments, (Inside jamb / from jamb to jamb) that I can not do with the furing only installation.

    7. I have room for waste and vent piping in the 2" x 4" walls that I do not in the fur strip walls.

    8. The last thing I have gotten benefit from using the 2 x 4 framing over the fuurring strips applied directly to the concrete foundation walls, i.s on a rather unique earthen banked home I did in the mid 70's. This passive solar & warm-water heated and cooled tri-level 9000 sq ft home is located in Moody County Colorado. THe south face of the home was all glass, and each level was open to the south facing vista. In the rooms which did not have windows, they installed faux windows or soffit lighting using natural light bulbs with translucent diffusers on rheostats, set on suntracker light sensor meters. Basically what this assembly did was to mimic the light conditions outside - on the inside via special lighting ballasts & rheostats and naturalite bulbs.

    After the framing is all up install all of your power, TV, Phone, and computer outlets. Then determine if you will have any wall switches or speaker rheostats to install - and install them. What about wall sconces, or accent foot lights, or step lights? Do you want to install any back boxes for built in speakers? Do you need and provisions for wall mounted TV on a swing arm bracket? Usually these outlets go in at 84" AFF - both TV and power outlets.

    Do you ever plan on having a security system installed? If so you will probably want to rough in for secuity camera locations, IR motion detectors, and possibly emergency battery pak lights.

    Do no forget about backing and blocking. If you are planning on a fireplace on the exterior wall you will need to get Natural gas over to the wall, and then you will need back ig and blocking for the mantel and the surround. you will also want some misc blocking for intersecting walls, and other places where you may want to install a chair rail, or a wainscoat, or backing for wall treatment of a plasma or LED flat screen TV, or may be a home entertainment center screen.

    Planning is the key, think ahead, Got to a Local Parade of homes in your town if you can. Try to find a website on the net - that can give you some ideas to think about with regard to rough- ins. I'm not saying that you need to put in every thing that you see, or that I've mentioned; however,having the rough-ins in place - piped & pull stings in place back to the panel, is something you will be very thankfull for later, - should you ever decide to move ahead on at a later date. Good Luck.

    I'm pulling for you.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.