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Old 11-14-2008, 04:44 PM   #1
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Basement Remodeling - Soffit Question

I'm in the process of developing my basement and am moving onto the soffit-stage. Now, the problem is I've seen all over the internet and in books that it is standard to build a soffit using 2x2's for the framework.

I went to my local Home Depot and one of the sales guys suggested using 2x4's for the framework as he thinks 2x2's are too flimsy and easy to fall down. I'm planning on using MDF to strengthen whatever I build ...

but should I use 2x2 or 2x4 for the frame? What do you suggest?


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Old 11-14-2008, 07:17 PM   #2
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buy the 2x4's and rip them down to 2x2 they will be fine as long as there fastened together correctly. you could also use 2x3's but only seen them at 8' long. BOB


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Old 11-14-2008, 11:50 PM   #3
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I usually only use a 2x2 at the top were it will be nailed to the ceiling. I then use osb or plywood for the height and frame the bottom with 2x4. Not saying it's right..... not saying wrong.... just the way I do it!
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Old 11-15-2008, 11:47 AM   #4
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I generally use 2"x4"s even if I have to lay them flat to get max clearance. They're stronger than 2"x2"s, give you more to fasten to, and generally straighter. As bob said, either will work if fastened properly.
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Old 11-17-2008, 09:39 AM   #5
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I just built the soffit in my basement last night. If you look at the soffit as a very short wall we used 2x2's for the top and bottom plates, and 2x3's for the studs. Then I used 2x3's for the sections on the bottom as well.

Feels strong enough to me.
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:34 AM   #6
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I built about 40 feet of soffits in my basement. I screwed a 2x3 to the joists and the bottoms were 2x2. I used 1x3 every 16 inches to join the 2x3 to 2x2 and between the 2x2's at the bottom.

One of my soffits is 32 inches wide so I used another 2x2 in the middle to keep all the 1x3's flush with each other.

The whole thing is very strong, it can easily support the weight of 2 of us without budging.

I'm pretty sure using only 2x2 with 1x3 every 16 inches would have been fine.

I recommend using screws, much more forgiving if you make any mistakes.
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:53 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by CrpntrFrk View Post
I then use osb or plywood for the height and frame the bottom with 2x4.
Using 3/4" plywood against the wall for the "height" of the soffit is an excellent idea, and many of the best framers do it. If you want a 10" deep soffit, you rip a 10" piece of plywood and nail it to the studs, tight to the ceiling joists. The 2x2, 2x3, or 2x4 soffit is framed right off of the plywood and the joists above. The greatest benefit to this method is that it takes care of the firestopping requirement that must be met when building soffits. Simply nailing a 2x ledger to the wall does not do that, so you end up adding additional blocking for firestops. Plywood thinner than 3/4" is not permitted for firestopping however.

Personally, I always use 2x4's for the soffits' bottom corner, where the corner bead will go. 2x2's get too squirelly for my liking.

I would advise against MDF for use in a framing application. Its has it place, but this ain't it.
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Old 11-22-2008, 03:02 PM   #8
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This way worked for me.


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