May 7, 2010, Newsletter Issue #154: Finishing

Tip of the Week

When you finish your concrete basement, use the right kind of lumber for the walls. The sole plate (the bottom 2X4 that sits on the floor) should be CCA treated lumber. That way, it wont be affected by any moisture that could leech up through the concrete floor.
The rest of the wall (the upright 2X4s and the top plate) are standard kiln dried dimension lumber.
The top plate is nailed to the joists above. This is no problem where the new wall is perpendicular to the joists, but what about where the wall is parallel to the joists? Cut a 2X4 block to fit between the joists above the wall. The blocks are nailed between the joists every 24 inches. The top plate is nailed to the blocks. Be sure to plumb the walls before nailing.
To fasten the sole plate to the concrete floor, run a bead of construction adhesive on the bottom before you stand the wall. Once the wall is plumb, you can drive nails into the concrete with a powder actuated nail set - sometimes called a Ramset. You can rent one from your local rental yard for a few dollars a day. Drive a nail at every other stud space and as close as possible to every door stud.

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