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D270 01-18-2013 01:05 PM

Steel studs for basement, size?
I have looked at all the information and I have decided to go with steel studs for my basement. (For my reasons, I can't do wood...sorry).

I have done research on this, blocking for hanging stuff, fireblocking, and wood framing for doors, etc. I will be doing this project in little snippets here and there.

I am planning on the 2" XPS on the walls which seems the route that is most advocated. I will use the PT base plate, with plastic between the metal track and PT for chemical reactions from the PT copper.
No vapor barrier, and not sure if I will insulate between the studs or not yet.

My poured concrete walls are wavy, so I will leave a bit of an air gap, so there wont be any support from behind for the perimeter walls.

I have not had been able to source a drywall supply house in the NW suburbs of Chicago, but the big box has Ultrasteel studs at 20g and 25g.

With this in mind.....

What would be the best gauge and thickness of the studs? 20 or 25g...
1 5/8", 2 1/2", 3 5/8" ?

Stud spacing? Standard 16" or less than standard (more $$ but stronger...right?)

I appreciate all the input I can get.

efficiencyhomes 01-18-2013 01:39 PM

I would go with the standard 16" spacing but use the bigger studs. especially if you are leaving a gap between the foundation wall. By using the bigger studs it will add to the structural integrity of your wall. Something to consider as well id to make braces anchored in your foundation wall and to your studs(about halfway up) should be more cost effective that shortening the span between your studs.

hope this helps

D270 01-26-2013 06:01 PM

the thicker guage as well

md2lgyk 01-26-2013 06:59 PM

Metal studs in a basement aren't a good idea, no matter what your reasons are. News flash: they rust.

deverson 01-26-2013 07:41 PM

They are great. If there is enough moisture to rust steel studs then there's going to be mold on wood studs. I use 3 5/8" studs so wiring isn't a problem and I can put 16" fiberglass batts in.

jaydevries 01-26-2013 09:58 PM

umm i have not seen a metal stud that has not been galvinized or some other rust preventer on them in years. no need to use treated plate just nail the track to the floor or if really concerned about it lay sill seal down first then track. i prefer 20 gauge over 25 a lot stiffer and a lot less deflection since drywall will be hung on only one side.also may want to add stud stiffeners or spazzer bars since board is on one side only. lay out is 16 on center since common metal studs are only 1 1/4 thick not like standard 2 x wood material at 1 1/2. width i would use at least 2 1/2 but prefer 3 5/8 so at door ways you can frame opening 3 inches wider and 1 1/2 taller and wrap with wood to hang door and trim if using standard wood door frame and wood trim. add wood blocking (or something called danback) at bottom of studs if using wood base trim so it can be nailed on tight. and add blocking to other studs as needed to hang cabinets and other items. insulation at box store will not work since it is made to fit between wood studs and metal studs are hollow so insulation is made wider to fit in hollow of stud and stay in without falling out.
to find products (studs,screws,insulation, and drywall) in your area just google drywall suppliers in chicago or metal stud supplier in chicago and find one near you
here is a manufactures web site

oh'mike 01-27-2013 07:52 AM

Roselle supply----

Gary in WA 01-27-2013 12:26 PM

As your concrete walls are "wavy", use two layers of 1"XPS rather than one layer. Use a square pattern glue bead to lessen the possibility of basement air to the concrete;

You will get moisture traveling through the cavity as the foamboard is a vapor retarder, not barrier. Wood framing can act as a hygric buffer absorbing water lessening moisture shock, staying wet and warm until dry (unlike steel- rusts even when warm, if wet). The fastener attachment/hole of stud/track looses the galvanic coating at application, and will rust there. You might try spraying each with a rust preventive or similar. The f.g. insulation batts leave full length chases (inherent to design) for air movement and possibly convective loops around the insulation (depending on temperature differences), be sure to close-off all gaps- no matter how small;pp.4, Fig. 4, convection- pp.5;

Be sure the stud wall is not touching the foamboard for conduction and R-value loss or moisture present there;

The 2" XPS will have a temperature of 40*F (cavity side) for a dew point of 32% RH at 70*F room temp. This using your J, F, and Dec. low temps average;
Below grade to the "frost line" and above grade.

Use a sill sealer under the plate- wood, metal or composite (60% wood fiber/dough that will mold). It stops air, thermal and acts as a capillary break; The steel transmit your room heat very well to the colder foamboard and earth under the concrete slab (55*F) much better than wood (even at R-1.25 per inch) ever could. Thermal bridging, pp. 7, insulation charts- pp. 9, 10; The thinner galvanized coated studs could react with the newer pressure treated wood of today, research that.


D270 01-28-2013 09:31 AM

I was planning on putting sill sealer under and over the PT plate, and I agree it's a good idea. Good thoughts about two layers of 1" which may be easier to glue into place, i.e. less stiff.

Thanks. :-)

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