attaching drywall to concrete block

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Forum topic by wooleywoodsmith posted 04-05-2009 03:34 PM 13741 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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152 posts in 3382 days

04-05-2009 03:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource tip question

hello everyone I am hoping that a few of you can give me some ideas on how to go about my next project. I have a basement that I want to hang drywall on the concrete walls to give it a more finished look. We have kilzed the walls and thats all fine and dandy but we can’t really hang anything on it.
My question
if I glue 3/4 in strips vertically every 24 inches and then attach the dry wall to that will it be sufficient? Do I need to put in a vapor barrier? if so what would be the best for that plastic? wood it behoove me to put in between my vertical strips a 3/4 in sheet of foam for warmth and sound?
I want to put up crown molding and baseboards but I just don’t know if I should rock it first. Thank you Wooley (michael)

-- wooley

11 replies so far

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3695 days

#1 posted 04-05-2009 03:58 PM

Easiest way would be to build up the “walls” then put them in place and shim tight if you have the room. Otherwise furring strips are built for this application, you don’t want anything to thin as the drywall is quite heavy and can pull itself down.

Then foam insulation, and vapor barrier over the whole thing. Then put up the sheet rock and mud it. Once that’s done paint the walls THEN put up the (prepainted) trim.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10521 posts in 3451 days

#2 posted 04-05-2009 04:24 PM

Hi Michael,

Just a few thoughts from a novice. If you noticed no moisture before you painted the walls, a barrier might not be necessary. How moist does it get down there in the basement during the rainy season? Have you installed any drainage systems around the perimeter of the house? Have the outside basement walls been coated? At any rate, a barrier over the 3/4 strips wouldn’t be a lot of trouble. I’d think that the glue (Liquid Nails?) would offer some protection to the wood strips. BTW, have you considered shooting nails through the wood to hold it till the glue sets? Have you considered 2X2s? Have you considered running a horizontal strip at the top and bottom? Makes nailing molding sooo much easier.
Others might have more ideas about the barrier material. I’d probably use a heavy black plastic and staple it with grommeted staples. Lotta hand work there but the grommets would protect the sheets from tearing off the staples.
Foam is probably a good idea, too. If you used 2X2s, you could use the 1 1/2 insulating foam. Cost differences are negligible.
As I said, just some thoughts from a woodworker….not a contractor.

Good luck.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 3776 days

#3 posted 04-05-2009 04:48 PM

My dad did this when I was a kid. They make an aluminum track that you attach with 1” concrete nails to the wall, on centers, and then attach the sheet rock to the aluminum track. Tough work but possible.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View lew's profile


12100 posts in 3777 days

#4 posted 04-05-2009 05:31 PM

Gene is right about the moisture problem.

Recently talked to a guy who does basement remodels and he said the current thinking is to have no space between the finish wall and the basement wall. Any voids are areas where mold will grow.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View oldskoolmodder's profile


801 posts in 3702 days

#5 posted 04-05-2009 05:49 PM

Gene, you’re thinking similar to a contractor. Good thoughts.

3/4” strips aren’t going to hold much up at all. 2×2’s are a minimum, if not 2×4’s. What will you attach the trim with if you only put in 3/4” strips? Do you have any experience attaching stud walls to concrete? You should look into a stud gun that uses special .22 (or like) cartridges. You can rent them at some hardware stores, if not the big box stores. Don’t forget to get some ear protection. I wish I’d have had mine when I was doing a basement this last week.

Even if you don’t see moisture, it’s not a bad idea to put plastic up as a barrier, just in case. It won’t help if your basement floods or sewer back up, but it could help a bit if moisture seeps in the walls a little. And no, it’s not a good idea to put trim before drywall. Not sure where the thought even came from that it might be possible.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 3406 days

#6 posted 04-05-2009 06:17 PM

Wooley, another way to avoid mold is to use drywall without the paper on one side. I don’t know if you looked into it or have it easily available near you but without the paper on the back, you have less chance of mold growing even with dampness. Also, you may want to run a tightened chalkline from side to side and top to bottom to see how straight the surface is because if it is not straight, you will probably want to frame it to give yourself the best chance of getting a flat surface with the drywall.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View Catspaw's profile


236 posts in 3837 days

#7 posted 04-05-2009 06:39 PM

Actually they make foam board with rabbets on each side for this very purpose. You put up two boards of foam then tap-con a 1×2 in the rabbet. Next foam board, another 1×2.

Makes a solid foundation for the drywall and adds the insulation value.

Before using this stuff we just ripped 2×4’s and tap-con’d them to the wall. If you’re going to put in foam board, do it as you tap-con so there’s no “fitting” required if the 2x is off alittle.

-- arborial reconfiguration specialist

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4422 days

#8 posted 04-05-2009 07:58 PM

On my basement I put up 2/4 studs and then used full insulation. You can then put on top plywood for the workshop or drywall for other use.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View BethMartin's profile


111 posts in 3400 days

#9 posted 04-06-2009 09:02 AM

I’m with Karson – I’d put up real walls with studs and insulation, then you can run wiring in the wall, etc.

-- Beth

View woodward's profile


5 posts in 3727 days

#10 posted 04-07-2009 09:13 PM

The best way IMO would be to drape plastic over the concrete walls than put 2×4 walls up in front. This way you can easly run any wiring(phone,cable,power,internet)and get more insulation. Best of all you can get the walls level and plumb because you only need to nail the top and botom of the wall, thou you will most likely need blocking at the top along the walls that run with your joists.

-- Brian, Racine Wi.

View wooleywoodsmith's profile


152 posts in 3382 days

#11 posted 04-08-2009 01:29 AM

Thanks everyone for all the tips. I will be thinking about it alot until me son is off to college (he’s sleeping in the family room till then) Ahh just a few more months and we are childless

-- wooley

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