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mjkpainting 11-19-2008 08:44 AM

Attaching Studs to Concrete/Which way
I want to get as much space in the basement I am finishing as possible(a whopping 150 square feet) so on two of my walls I wanted to attach the 2X4's studs directly to the concrete walls. Here are my questions:

Quesiton # 1:
Which side of the stud should butt up and be attached to the concrete? Is it the 2 inch side or the 4 inch side???????
My two thoughts were. It would seem tough to drive a concrete screw or nail through the four inches and then into the concrete. On the other hand, I am not sure if there be enough room to install outlets with only 2 inches between the concrete and stud????????

Question # 2
What would you recommend for attaching the studs to the masonry? I have hammer drill/bit and blue masonary screws and I also have the ramset powder gun????
Extra thoughts I have had trouble in the past with using the hammerdrill and predrilling. In certain areas has been difficult to drill a hole in the concrete.

Question # 3
When attaching the studs directly to the concrete walls, would the concrete nail or screw stick out a little causing a problem with the drywall lying flush on the studs?????

I thank you guys once again in advance. You guys are the best and I'm learning a ton

Marvin Gardens 11-19-2008 09:38 AM

Don't attach the studs to the walls. Build the wall next to it but keep an air space (doesn't have to be a big one) between the wall and the concrete.

If you put studs mounted to the concrete you would have to use pressure treated or they would start to rot in a short time.

Insulation would get wet and lose it's effectiveness plus make a great place for mold to grow.

Plus most basement walls are not that straight to begin with and your wall could be out of line.

All kinds of reasons not to mount the wall to the concrete.

ponch37300 11-19-2008 11:17 AM

marvin gardens is right. You will have some major problems if you attach the studs to the wall. You would only be losing an inch or so per wall, high risk to take for a small gain.

stantheman 11-19-2008 11:57 AM

connecting the 4" side directly would not allow the proper amount of space for insualtion
connecting the 2" side could cause cracking of the wood, and like stated above, could cause an un-even wall. Let along would bring moisture and mold. So we can throw those two out

best bet would be to build your wall first, then prop it up
attach the bottom board to the concrete floor using a Powder-actuated fastener. Then use screws to mount your top plate(s) through the ceiling stud.

DIYJIMBONL 11-19-2008 09:43 PM

Marvin hit the nail on the head. Nuff said!:thumbsup:

buletbob 11-19-2008 09:51 PM


Originally Posted by DIYJIMBONL (Post 187508)
Marvin hit the nail on the head. Nuff said!:thumbsup:

I Agree! BOB

Jeeper1970 11-20-2008 06:03 PM

I, too, agree with Marvin. General rule of thumb I've always heard and used is 1/2" to 1" off the concrete.

Even if you were able to pick up an additional 6" in width across the room, that's not enough, in my opinion, for the potential problems you could end up with as a result of doing it wrong.

DangerMouse 11-20-2008 06:14 PM


Originally Posted by stantheman (Post 187271)
attach the bottom board to the concrete floor using a Powder-actuated fastener.

be sure the bottom plate is foundation grade PT or you're back at square one.


mjkpainting 11-21-2008 06:24 AM

Thanks guys

I'm a complete novice at this so the advise is much appreciated. I'm gonna be a DIY carpenter in no time.:)

drewhart 11-22-2008 11:59 AM

you may want to consider using a light gauge steel stud. like 25. they used to be cheaper (i think) than wood, but not anymore. but i think the benefits outweigh the costs. they will never rot, and are perfectly straight, and will stay that way.

DIYJIMBONL 11-23-2008 09:17 PM

Steel studs are a no no for basements, especially in direct contact with concrete. The moisture will rust the steel stud faster than in would rot a wooden stud.

Tracymc 11-23-2008 10:47 PM

When exactly did it become a no no using steel studs in a basement environment. In my locale the inspectors actually endorse there use for several reasons which I will leave alone for now. You can use them the same way as framing w/ acq plate material, use a sill seal gasket between track and concrete and fasten with Hilti pins or lead nail-in which ever u feel more comfortable with. The standard coating on a steel stud is G-40 a least, it will hold up for ever in a basement. I have bunks of studs left over from my commercial stuff, some directly contacting the ground, some on racking, all hold up the same, unless they have been cut and then any cut residue rusts but not the stud itself. Basements are a perfect place for thier use, especially for a novice, as they will help you get a straighter wall, and by nature of construction it takes out the irregularity in the floor. PS no bowed stud, twisting, poppin screws, blarring butt joints in your sheetrock, just dead flat surface, a Drywall finishers heaven.

DIYJIMBONL 11-24-2008 04:14 PM

Your obviously in a dryer climate. Where i'm from steel studs are only used in the basement for bulkheads. Thats it. To much moisture in a basement for any other application. I've run into several situations with steel studs rusting in the basement. But again, different regions must have different techniques and/or codes for a reason. Weather decides a lot when it comes to any structure, in any area. :thumbsup:

Tracymc 11-25-2008 12:39 AM

Metal Studs
There is a major difference in studs from what u get at the Box Store to what u get at a reputable manufacturer and stud yard. Coatings are much different. As far as climate differences true but the manufacturers all make these adjustments accordingly. The advances in the products have gone leaps and bounds from what they used to be. Panelization companies building in flood prone and masty weather areas have made the switch to panelizing single and multi tenant stucture w/ LGMF instead of wood exactly for this reason, no rust no rot, less mold, ect. ect. The key to it is the break between the concrete floor and the track with a sill seal to prevent galvanic reaction with calcium and lime in the concrete and the track. The other thing you dont have to worry about is the fasteners degrading and being destroyed by the new ACQ treatment in PT plate lumber. You would be hard pressed as a DIY'er to find nail-in or PA fasteners designed with the coating for the new chemicals in PT lumber. If you asked the average sales person for them they would say sure they will work just fine, no problem, turn around shake their heads and have no idea what your talking about. Then in a year or less the fasteners are rotted off and you have no mechanical fastener just good old gravity. We did a demo with the old fasteners and hangers on the new lumber for a commercial client and No SHAT the coating on the hangers was rusting from the back to front and the nails when pulled were rusting within a couple of weeks. Hilti is the only manufacturer I know of with a ACQ rated PA fastener. So why STEEL, with the right building practices it is superior construction over wood for this application in any climate. They upcoat studs to a G-60 G-90 or even a G-120 coating based upon they climate issue. Dont get me wrong I still like to pound nails with the best of them, but people are leary of changing methods, because they have seen it not work properly,9 out of 10 times as with anything it is usually an install error and no fault of the product. Not to mention gve me a novice and I can have them working with steel in 1/2 the time, as teaching the ins and outs of wood framing when your floor joists are sagging above you, and your floor is up and down a 1". I wuld also venture to guess that the building inspectors in your area would have no problem with the use of LGMF.:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbup:


LGMF- Light guage metal framing
PA- Powder actuated

DIYJIMBONL 11-25-2008 07:27 PM


Originally Posted by Tracymc (Post 189838)
There is a major difference in studs from what u get at the Box Store to what u get at a reputable manufacturer and stud yard.

You may need to take another look at drewharts posting. He was refering to the cheap studs that you refer to in the quote above. Keep in mind most people in here are DIYer's and aren't going to use top dollar or engineered products. Its easy to get carried away with knowledge of a product, but for most DIYer's projects the type of steel stud carried by your average local hardware store are the "cheap" ones. We need to keep info straight forward and simple. So again, I wouldn't recommend installation of the "cheap" studs in a basement, especially in damp, humid climates. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

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