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Old 07-30-2016, 07:24 AM   #1
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Soffit framing in basement


I have to install a soffit around ductwork in my basement. The soffit will be about 4 feet wide and run right down the center of my basement (about 28 feet long). The soffit will not attach to any walls, except at the two ends.

I've seen two ways to do this. One way, I'm guessing the traditional way, would be to basically frame out the sides with 2x4s just like a mini wall and then turn other 2x4s on their side to connect the two sides.

I've also seen websites suggest using 2x2s and 1/2" plywood to frame the sides before using 2x4s that run between the two.

Is one of these methods better than the other? I already went out and bought the plywood and 2x2s, but now I'm a little concerned that there may not be enough lateral support.
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Old 07-30-2016, 09:37 AM   #2
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Re: Soffit framing in basement


Either way is fine. The 2x2 plywood method can be a plus in tight spaces but now you're buying plywood.
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Old 07-30-2016, 07:11 PM   #3
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Re: Soffit framing in basement


The ply wood is stronger but i would suggest using 2x4 with the ply wood instead of 2x2.
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Old 07-30-2016, 07:21 PM   #4
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Re: Soffit framing in basement


With it only being 4' wide, you could run the 2x4's on the flat and pick up 2" of height. Any longer than that and it gets a bit sketchy.
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Old 07-31-2016, 10:22 AM   #5
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Re: Soffit framing in basement


Or for something a little lighter in weight, I typically use 2 1/2" metal studs, wall track and 7/8" hat track. 10' ladder sections are assembled pretty quickly on a work table and they're easy to install by oneself.
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Old 07-31-2016, 08:34 PM   #6
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Re: Soffit framing in basement


the steel stud method is much better.. its lighter weight and wont warp like wood does when it dries out
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Old 07-31-2016, 09:12 PM   #7
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Re: Soffit framing in basement


Might also consider using MDF for the drops on the soffit.
It paints up really well.
2 by 2`s, properly nailed, would be not problem if they are purchased and nailed up right away. Select straight ones at the Lumber yard, not the gnarly ones. They warp badly if you leave them loose in the house for a period of time.
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:57 PM   #8
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Re: Soffit framing in basement


I build a 2 X 4 wall on each side of the duct span, then I use 1 X 6 tongue and groove knotty pine to span it and also for the sides. Works very well plus it look nice when stained or painted. Adds a little texture to the room.
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:56 PM   #9
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Re: Soffit framing in basement


mdf will work however its heavy.. you have to use construction adhesive with the nailers as well to ensure extra hold.. 2x2s wont just move if left laying around.. they will move even when installed as they dry out
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