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Old 03-08-2007, 09:25 PM   #1
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finishing a basement- metal tracks & wood studs


I can see how using metal plates with wood studs would be a quicker install when framing a basement, but how well do they hold up? A friend insists this method is perfectly fine. What are the main reasons for not doing it this way?

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Old 03-09-2007, 05:29 AM   #2
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finishing a basement- metal tracks & wood studs


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I can see how using metal plates with wood studs would be a quicker install when framing a basement, but how well do they hold up? A friend insists this method is perfectly fine. What are the main reasons for not doing it this way?
It will work, and yes, it can be easier in some ways, but not necessarily 'quicker'.

FWIW - It is actually called metal 'track' (The segments used to form the top and bottom plates)

Some people use these, since they feel it is 'easier' than installing wood studs to wood plates by hand-nailing or having to rent a nail gun and compressor.
They like the idea of installing using just screws and a drill, and also find that installing to the concrete only requires going thru 25 gauge steel, rather than a 1 1/2" width of PT lumber.

You would need to make sure that the walls are straight, and stay straight, since metal track can twist and 'rack'.

Those are some of my thoughts, off the top of my head..


Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 03-09-2007 at 06:06 AM.
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Old 03-09-2007, 10:09 AM   #3
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finishing a basement- metal tracks & wood studs


thanks for the response, I appreciate it.
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:27 AM   #4
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finishing a basement- metal tracks & wood studs


I like it on every aspects, besides what AtlanticWBConst said above, it also allow you to disassemble easily if you want to change your mind such as I don't want that wall anymore....

the only concern I have is, which I haven't done yet, installing footer trims, I definitely don't want to use screws to screw in the footer trims (because it shows easier although they said there is special screws which don't show but I don't trust that), I saw somewhere said even finishing nails can nail onto the metal tracks with a nailer...I am going to try that... with wood plates, this is not a concern at all... try to nail to the wood studs may be an issue because there is metal screws between the steel plate and the wood stud, the nail may hit the screw...

may be AtlanticWBconst can comment on this how to attach the trim... to metal plate....
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Old 03-09-2007, 03:05 PM   #5
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finishing a basement- metal tracks & wood studs


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I like it on every aspects, besides what AtlanticWBConst said above, it also allow you to disassemble easily if you want to change your mind such as I don't want that wall anymore....

the only concern I have is, which I haven't done yet, installing footer trims, I definitely don't want to use screws to screw in the footer trims (because it shows easier although they said there is special screws which don't show but I don't trust that), I saw somewhere said even finishing nails can nail onto the metal tracks with a nailer...I am going to try that... with wood plates, this is not a concern at all... try to nail to the wood studs may be an issue because there is metal screws between the steel plate and the wood stud, the nail may hit the screw...

may be AtlanticWBconst can comment on this how to attach the trim... to metal plate....
First off - Prior to sheetrocking we always go around and mark the studs on the floor with either orange paint marker or simply a black magic marker (Assuming the floor will be covered with a 'finished' flooring material) This not only aids in finding the studs while installing the sheetrock, but will help you when installing the baseboard trim.

Hopefully the studs were cut to their full length and are sitting at the bottom of the track (close to the floor and not shortened)...Then you can use a normal pneumatic nailer for the baseboard trim.
A pnuematic nailer will shoot the nail thru the light gauge metal and into the wood studs.
(Hand nailing it = ? ....Never tried it on metal track to hit the wood) We like to use 16 and 15 gauge 2" to 2 1/2" Nails for baseboard (in our nail guns)
If you hit a screw head, you will know it. It the nail does not go in, then pull it out with a set of 'nail-pulling' pliers (A must in every tool belt).

Using Screws:
Additionally, you can have some 2 1/2" trim head screws on hand in case you have a section of the baseboard that is not cooperating. These trim head screws will go into the metal and hold, at any point of the bottom plate.
If you decide to use trim head screws for the entire installation of baseboard, this is what you should look for:

http://www.rockler.com/go.cfm?gcid=S...s&cookietest=1

...Only, you don't need to get the stainless.....But , that is what the screw looks like.

Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 03-09-2007 at 06:01 PM.
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