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Thread: Securing studs to concrete

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Omaha, Nebraska
    Posts
    191

    Securing studs to concrete

    I'm wanting to know the best way to secure studs to concrete basement walls in order to drywall.

    Currently, the builders left a layer of insulation glued to the wall. Obviously we want to finish the basement. I wanted to see if there was a better way of doing this other than loooonnnggg concrete screws.

    Thanks in advance for any ideas.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lafayette, IN
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    3,725
    Powder-actuated fasteners are a possibility.
    Jason

    "Don't get stuck on stupid." --Lt. Gen. Russel Honore


  3. #3
    Several options to do this.
    The first as mentioned is with a Helti Gun.
    Next would be with common cement nails or "cut" nails
    Thrid would be with tap-con screws. If you opt for these I would use liquid nails on each screw.
    ALso a consideration on what option you use is if you are talking going into cement block or poured cement walls?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Carlyle IL
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    2,098
    If you don't have to attach the studs to the wall, don't.

    Use pressure treated lumber on the floor and keep the studs an inch or so away from the walls.

    Good air around those studs will minimize problems. such as moisture getting into the studs and you can probably build a straighter wall by framing the wall out with a footer and a header.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Seattle
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    672
    I used the hammer activated Ramset power nailer- it used Remington 22cal. charges. It was inexpensive and worked well in relatively new concrete. It wasn't as effective in older (20+ years) concrete with 25% not driving thru. A better gun system would likely be better. I have used Tapcons as well and are good but take much more time. Good luck, John.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
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    Hello,
    Use pressure treated lumber on the floor and keep the studs an inch or so away from the walls.
    As Joe said, when wood and concrete meet - use treated. In many cases it's code. In any instance it's a good idea.

    I'm just finishing up the basement where I had to frame in the walls.
    I used pressure treated against the block, secured with Tapcon's every foot acroos the width.

    On the top, I ran a 2x4 around the sill. The top framing is nailed into that top 2x4, and the treated 2x4 which is 4' down the wall.

    I drywalled the top, then attached cleats around the bottom of those 4' sections.
    On the bottoms, I made "modules" of frames with 2x2 framework and 3/8" drywall attached to the face.
    The modules hang from the cleats and "free float" about 3/4" from the floor. I put some treated under the feet and used shims to level them.
    I finished off the ledge with two pieces of pine - one a 1x2, and the other a 1x6 which are screwed down from the top. The screws are countersunk ever so slightly, and then filled in with drywall mud.

    The whole idea here in doing it this way is if there's ever a water leak around the base, the modules can be removed without destroying the wall.

    Here's a picture of one of the walls with the top almost done. You can see the treated 2x4 behind the framing.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    try to remember that the very first step in finishing a project is choosing the material. You want to select wood that has the color and grain pattern than best suits your requirements as "covering up" those things after the fact makes your work much, much harder - Jim Becker

  7. #7
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    Here's a picture of one of the back cleats going into place.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    try to remember that the very first step in finishing a project is choosing the material. You want to select wood that has the color and grain pattern than best suits your requirements as "covering up" those things after the fact makes your work much, much harder - Jim Becker

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Here's a picture of the mating cleats being sized before the modules are built.

    I'll take a couple of pictures tonight of the wall with the bottoms in place if you'd like and post them.

    Overall, I'm very pleased with the way it turned out and how sturdy it is.
    The walls had a slight belly, which I easily adjusted for by shimming the tops and bottoms, using the treated 2x4 as the center "witness"(?).

    Except form one "oh drat!" in the corner, the whole wall is out of bubble by less than 1/4".

    Since it's all "open", air is free to circulate also.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Rich Engelhardt; 07-26-2007 at 8:54 AM.
    try to remember that the very first step in finishing a project is choosing the material. You want to select wood that has the color and grain pattern than best suits your requirements as "covering up" those things after the fact makes your work much, much harder - Jim Becker

  9. #9
    If you use the Hilti gun or similar tool you'll have to install the studs with long side flat against the wall leaving a depth of only 1 1/2" for insulation and electric boxes. I would go with Joe's recommendation and build a regular stud wall with a treated plate. This would give you more flexibility to run electric, insulation, plumbing and hide any other pipes, etc., without having to box around them. When I build my shop, along with all the electric, I installed a utility sink pumped to a hung sewer and put all the pipes in the wall.
    Last edited by Mick Zelaska; 07-26-2007 at 8:47 AM.

  10. #10
    I have used h powder nailers of all sorts as well as expanding lags of various types - all with success. On block walls I prefer a toggle. less stress on the block.

    I have not had the opportunity to try those screws that self drill and self tap.

  11. #11
    Old concrete is tough. I bought a mid-level powder nailer and it didn't work at all.

    Although I don't like buying cheap tools, one of these inexpensive Harbor Freight rotohammers is a good alternative: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...=113&pricetype=. I bought one to attach ledger boards to a concrete foundation wall. In a quick test, I got farther in about 10 seconds than I ever did with a powder nailer.

    So, I'd suggest a rotohammer plus tapcons for the fastest and easiest installation.

    Regards,

    Dan.
    It's amazing what you can accomplish in the 11th hour, 59 minute of any project. Ya just have to keep your eye on the goal.

  12. #12
    I used Tapcons on my last basement wall project and they worked really well.
    http://www.confast.com/products/tapc...FRlmWAod-GbvLQ


    I also second the using of the pressure treated sill plate as my walls were not close to being in line.
    Grant
    GO Buckeyes!

  13. #13
    I used a Ramset to attach a pressure treated sill to the floor. I used a Sill plate gasket between the concrete floor and the sill. The concrete floor had some pitch, and the ceiling was I-beam/concrete, so I had to attach a top plate between I-beams. Again I used the ramset, but with different fastners. It would be far easier if there were wooden joists for attachment. I then toe-nailed the studs. Therefore, it didn't matter if any of the fasteners didn't sink fully. I also built the wall 2" in front of the existing concrete walls for insulation. There was probably an easier way, but postitioning a pre-built frame wall between concrete and steel by myself didn't seem feasible.
    Last edited by Steve Milito; 07-26-2007 at 2:26 PM.

  14. #14

    Moisture

    I see you live in Georgia. Moisture and humidity will always be a problem there. Suggest you do NOT block air circulation space behind the wall you plan to put up. Where does the moisture you have there go now? Do you have drain tile or a weeping tile system in place around the base of your concrete walls in your basement? Is the wall covered ON THE OUTSIDE with coats of sealant and tar board fastened to your walls? Do you have some kind of vapor sealant on the inside bottom of your walls which diverts trapped moisture to your drain/weeping system? Are you planning to insulate between the studs with a plastic vapor barrier on the warm side? What have you planned to do to prevent the formation of mold? Have you planned all your electrical work so that you have access to your junction boxes? I suggest you get some professional advice. And good luck.
    Al Clem
    Sedona, AZ

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hammond, IN
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    94

    build away from the wall

    i second the idea of stick building the wall between the floor and the ceiling.

    concrete is never flat/straight/true (i dont care how "good" the guys that did it are) and youre asking for a wavy/curvy/unplumb wall if you just shoot studs flatwise to a foundation wall.

    when you layout the wall, snap a reference line about 5" or so from the sill plate on top of the basement wall, measure along the length of the run, find the shortest distance between the sill plate and your reference line and adjust the reference from there to get your air gap.

    plumb down from your adjusted line and snap a line on the floor to match it- check your gap and adjust as necessary- do this for as many walls as you want in your basement(except work off the floor now) checking for square corners(3,4,5), check your gaps, and when youve got everything laid out - cut all your plates (green down, white up) use construction adhesive and either cutnails or ramset e'ery few feet to secure your bottom plates, and just nail your tops to the joists-or use 14-7/16" (assuming 16" OC) cross blocks every 2' or so in the case of a wall being parallel to the joists.

    now that youve got the plates laid out, lay out your studs and measure all of em- writing the number on the wall or the top plate ( i try to keep all the studs within 1/8" - 3/16" of the measurement but ive seen gaps of up to 5/16")..

    cut and mark the crown on all your studs and put them where theyre supposed to go and then fire up the compressor and go to town. toenail to the bottom plate of all of em and come back with a scaffold (or not if youre tall) and toe up all the tops..

    skin with drywall and youre all done..

    simple.

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