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milwaukeemike 04-02-2011 02:28 PM

Can I Have a Top Plate Under/Along a Metal Basement Beam
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Hello everyone. First post from me. A big thanks to all the great information I've gleaned from all of you so far.

I've insulated my basement (rigid foam glued to walls) and am about to start framing. I'm adding two interior walls, one of which runs along a metal support beam for about 6 feet. I need to run along that line because there are obstacles on either side that make attaching the top plate difficult (see picture). I know there are options to construct around obstacles but I'm hoping there is a good way to attach the top plate along that metal beam and simply stick frame it from there.

The wall will be dry-walled up to the beam, but the beam itself will remain exposed and painted.

Any ideas?

gregzoll 04-02-2011 03:05 PM

Carpenter's nail would work. Personally, I would place framing supports down from the joists, then attach the framing for the wall to that.

Willie T 04-02-2011 03:15 PM

Most of the time in those installations the top plate is simply "shot" into the metal beam with a high power cartridge nailer. A little intimidating if you've never dealt with those guns, so I don't recommend it for DIY.

There are so many great adhesives on the market today that it makes better sense to make your wall height pretty tight fitting, and just use a good adhesive to glue the wall into place.

Wildie 04-02-2011 07:43 PM

My suggestion would be to drill holes in the web of the beam on 24" centers and bolt the top plate to the bottom with carriage bolts.

concretemasonry 04-02-2011 09:33 PM

Wilde -

Do you mean the beam flange or the beam web?


Wildie 04-02-2011 10:53 PM


Originally Posted by concretemasonry (Post 622087)
Wilde -

Do you mean the beam flange or the beam web?


The flange! Its my take that he wants to fasten the top plate of the wall to the underside of the beam.

milwaukeemike 04-03-2011 09:04 AM

Thanks for the help, everyone. I had dinner last night with my friend, a construction architect, and ran this by him to get his opinion. He felt that given the short length of the wall, using a strong adhesive along the top and building it with a tight-fit would be sufficient. His suggestion for a longer wall in this situation was exactly what 'Wildie' suggested -- drill a couple holes in the beam's bottom and bolt the top plate to it.

Thanks again!

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