You can turn your unfinished basement into a beautiful and functional living space. Framing of basement walls and ceilings is the base of any basement finishing activity. Let’s check in with some detail about framing walls in basement. Here is the step-by-step approach:


First things First, Seal the Wall

Sealing the basement wall


First, you have to seal the wall by rolling any waterproof product. This is for preventing water that normally flows through concrete slabs whenever any opportunity is found. This is not a permanent solution regarding bulk water infiltration, but it can be used to protect your wall from any kind of water leakage. If you find that your walls are damp, then you can dry your wall using a humidifier before starting the work of framing walls in basement.


Installation of Foam Board

Once your waterproof solution has been dried, you can now install XPS foam board insulation. XPS stands for Extruded Polystyrene which is ideal because of its moisture resistance. Other foam boards don’t give that performance like XPS. Use construction-related special adhesive to stick the foam boards on the wall. These adhesives are specially designed for the foam boards, regular construction adhesives will melt the foam anyway.

You must apply the adhesive in vertical strips, not in a horizontal way. And, you should start from the middle of the wall. If some water accidentally comes behind the foam, then this vertical approach will save the wall.  If anyone uses a horizontal approach in applying adhesive, then there might be some chances of water pooling up. As a consequence, it will take more time to dry. You should run continuous adhesive at the top and bottom of the wall to keep the warm air away from your foam. Seal every side for better output.


Installation of Block in between Joists

Adding blocks in basement


Installation of blocks is important for framing walls in a basement. When you have parallel floor joists along with your wall, then you need to use blocking for connecting with the top wall plate. You need to screw up one side and the other side will be connected to the plate. It might be easier to install braces before you plan to install the foam board. Any expert practitioner will place blocks two feet apart so that they can act like drywall backers.


Floor Liners

You can snap a line on your floor around 4 to 5 inches away from the foam. This will give you a gap between the foam and the bottom of the new wall. It will help you in the future if any trouble arises due to this.


Assembling on the Ground

Assembling frame on ground


It is always easy to assemble a big structure on the floor, then erect it along the wall. You can follow the same thing in this situation. If you have enough space, you can assemble the wall on the ground. It is easier and will give you a faster delivery than directly working along with the wall. For your better understanding, you can mark one side with any symbol and once you set that frame, all the symbols should be on the same side; either up or down. If you don’t follow this marking system, you will end up with a haphazard setting of your frame, that will take more time to reassemble. Fix all the elements properly so that once this is set on the wall, nothing remains loosely connected. This is a very important aspect of framing walls in basement.


Set the Frame on the Wall

Hold, lift and place the frame along your wall. Usually, the bottom plate remains grounded for better fixing. You may have to adjust left and right or even up and down to set it properly. If you are the only person to build such a structure, then don’t construct a big one. Make it into small parts and assemble them one after another, gradually, to give it shape.


Adjustment & Tuning

Fine tuning frame in basement before installation


Use a sledgehammer to put the things in order, shape, size, and level. The frame should be well attached to your wall, although don’t forget to keep some distance in between. If you apply force to fix your structure on the wall too tightly, it might affect the structure.


Bottom Plate Fastening

Use construction adhesive and a Powder Actuated Tool (PAT) to fasten the wall to the floor. You can fix the fasteners at a gap of six feet for better solidity. PATs can be loud, so you must wear hearing protection and should wear safety glasses while working. You can also use tapcon screws alternatively.


Securing the Top Plate

All about framing walls in the basement


Next, you need to plumb and secure the top plate. You can plumb the wall every four feet to make it stronger. Also, you have to nail the top plate to every joist present in your structure.


One by One Approach

If your floor level is not even or if you are making a frame around your window, then it is advisable to construct the frame by nailing them one by one, rather than constructing the entire block on the floor. First fasten the bottom plate, then find the top plate by using a stud and level. After snapping the line, you can plumb up again to mark the location of the first stud. Mark the rest of the studs properly on the plates by using those marks.


Working with Inside Corners

All about framing walls in the basement


In the case of framing walls in basement, inside corner management is a big task. You have to turn the last board on the first wall in a sideways pattern to overlap halfway. This is the best way to fasten two walls and  also you will find some space for attaching the drywall.


Use of Drywall Backer

Before you fill the wall cavities and when you have all your framing tools working in the construction, it is easier to add drywall backers. Before finalizing, just check your entire work to make sure that all the walls and ceiling have sufficient nailing surface for the drywall. You might need to add backers in places like perpendicular intersections and on top of outside corners.

This is all about framing walls in basement. If you follow the correct procedure, then your basement will have a much better look than before.



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