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JeffreyMCooper 07-10-2011 04:28 PM

Basement Finishing - 'knee wall' ledge
Hey Folks,
Long time reader - first time poster. Deep into a basement finishing project, COULD REALLY USE SOME GUIDANCE. Picture this.... I have approximately 100 feet of knee wall. The bottom half has been framed with 2 x 4s 16 oc to house all electrical, etc., then there is an approximately 3 1/2 to 4 inch concrete ledge (foundation of course). Behind that going all the way to ceiling are 2 x 6s. Framing easy enough to sheetrock... Tieing in the bottom wall and leveling a 'ledge' not so much. Please note: I have a waterproofing system along the outer edge of the walls, so I couldn't plumb directly to concrete wall. What I've realized is that due to dips in floor, etc., I have portions of the 2x4 framing (knee walls) that is slightly higher than concrete ledge and vice versa. The concrete ledge that is higher is not a problem, I can shoot nails into the 2x 10 (ledge) in the back, plumb the wall, shim the front and cover with Sheetrock. But how do I deal with my other problem? Shims are too flimsy... I'm not cutting the studs down either. Does anyone have a suggestion, know better than me?

In summary, I want to know how to build up the concrete 4 inch ledge so I can pneumatic nail a 2x10 as both the top plate and ledge? In retrospect, I wish I had nailed the 2x10 to the ledge first, and built my knee walls directly to that as top plate. Hind sight is 20/20.


Ron6519 07-11-2011 09:51 AM

Post a few photos.

AGWhitehouse 07-11-2011 11:57 AM

Sounds like you answered your own question. Use the 2x10 as the plate and fasten studs to it. If you want to leave the wall in place, still use the 2x10. Fasten to concrete where it's high and fasten to wall where it's high. Where the concrete is low, fill in with grout to keep 2x10 from sagging. Where wood wall is low, put in wood shims.

JeffreyMCooper 07-11-2011 03:13 PM

Thank you
I will indeed post some pictures. I am sure my description was somehwat inaccurate and I know that images speak a thousand words.

I kind of answered my own question but because I do not want to have to cut the studs down or replace the wall, etc., I am looking for some alternatives.

I like the suggestion about adding grout BUT...

The 'knee' walls already have a purported top plate which is actually the culprit (i.e., the 2x4 top plate that sits above the concrete in some sections and below the concrete in others). I can fasten the 2x10 to the concrete where the concrete is a little higher and shim the knee wall up to that.

As far as trying to build up the concerete in places (there was a suggestion to use grout), unfortunately or fortunately, however you want to look at it, the concrete is completely covered up with 6 mil plastic that I utilized as a vapor barrier. Will the grout stick to the plastic? Might I be better off building up concerete ledge with 1 x4 all around and then shim stud walls up to that point?

AGWhitehouse 07-11-2011 03:26 PM

Yep, in light of the poly on the concrete, add the 1x or 2x Pressure treat plate on the concrete and then shim up t the 2x10 on the top plate of the wall. grout won't hold on the plastic.

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