Latest Discussions : Basement & Foundation


12:44PM | 12/29/02
Member Since: 12/28/02
1 lifetime posts
I am currently helping my uncle finish his basement. The ceiling is 8 feet high and is uncovered wooden joists.. the floor is solid concrete. I was wondering what is the best way to ancor a pine stud wall to the floor. If two walls are meeting after coming out of perpendicular walls, should that be enough support to hold them steady? they are not load-bearing walls and most likely will not do much of anything except partition space.

mini me

12:20PM | 12/30/02
Member Since: 12/09/02
66 lifetime posts
you have a few options you can either predrill holes and use tapcon screws or anchor bolts to fasten the plate to the floor of you can use a powder actuated gun and shoot nails into the concrete...depending on how much you would use the gun they start at around $20-25


03:17AM | 01/09/03
Member Since: 01/08/03
2 lifetime posts
You could also use plain old-fashioned masonry nails and pound them in with a hammer. I am in the process of finishing off our basement and used this method. I had no problem driving these into 4 year old concrete.


03:02PM | 01/09/03
Member Since: 01/07/03
5 lifetime posts
You also want to make sure to use pressure treated wood for the concrete contact!


04:13PM | 01/09/03
Member Since: 11/06/02
1278 lifetime posts
Both common sense and building codes require the use of PT lumber for the sole plate. It can be anchored to the concrete floor with PL Premium construction adhesive.


06:33AM | 01/10/03
Member Since: 01/01/03
35 lifetime posts
I'm doing the same thing, and I am a little concerned about using PT wood as the soleplate. In general, it's not a good idea to use PT indoors, as it outgasses over time and a minor amount of the PT chemicals leak into the indoor air.

The clear intention is to use something as a soleplate that is rot resistant, but I wonder if there's other, safer alternatives such as using PVC or sealing the untreated pine with an exterior paint, or even wrapping the sole plate in 6 mil poly.

Anyone used an alternative where moisture was not seen as a major problem?


robert Fieder

02:19AM | 01/11/03
Member Since: 12/28/02
8 lifetime posts
Greg the most common is 6mill poly strips right under the wood plate. this is common building practise and a code requirement in Ontario, Canada If I can be of other service please contact me


05:55PM | 01/12/03
Member Since: 01/01/03
35 lifetime posts
Thanks, Robert. I'm taking your advice.

FWIW, the "dude" at ***** suggested using Thompson's Water Seal for the sole plate. My, how I miss old time hardware stores where the employees knew a doorknob from a dictionary! Not a totally stupid concept, but it sorta misses the issue of constant dampness vs. occasional wetness.



07:48AM | 01/18/03
Member Since: 11/06/02
1278 lifetime posts
The bit about PT outgassing was just so much BS gas.

The arsenic in PT lumber is as inert as it can be. You would have to chew on it or smoke it for it to hurt you. Since the sole plate will be surronded by finish materials, there is liottle chance of that happening, no matter how hungry you are.
Likewise, using Thompsins would be a waste of money. It is just a wax seal. It would off gas soon with heat drying the volatiles that make it good.
Doing away with PT in a contact situation like this where moisture can get to the wood is likely to encourage the growth of mold which is far more dangerous, as it allows the spread of airborne spores to cause allergic reactions.

There is valid concern about PT in playground equipment where children can chew it or in gardens where acid soils can release compounds, or when it is burned to release them in the air and ash. But when it just sits, chemically bound in the wood in an inert form, it is silly to fear it. It won't reach out a grab your ankles in the dark.

But if you do still fear it, and you have a concrete contact situation that is primarily dry 99% of the time, use doug fir for the lumber and place a strip of thirty pound roofing felt between the lumber plate and the concrete to prevent moisture from wicking from one to the other.


05:37PM | 01/22/03
Member Since: 01/21/03
3 lifetime posts
My question would be whether pressure treated is needed for the vertical studs if they touch the concete walls. If so, if I left an air gap of say, 1/2 inch would that eliminate the need? Also are blocks required? Thanks


05:48PM | 01/24/03
Member Since: 11/06/02
1278 lifetime posts
It is if the wood is in contact with concrete, you have to use PT. Reason is that concrete sweats or attracts condensate or allows moisture to migrate through it from the outside. Some few inspectors allow untreated wood if separated by a barrier of meetal or 30# tarpaper. The air space would suffice for studding. Untreated in direct cantact will rot faster.

DK Daniels

10:14AM | 03/03/03
Member Since: 03/02/03
15 lifetime posts
I am also doing a basement bathroom and familyroom. I had a brother-in-law who is a carpenter drive in for a weekend and helped me frame the bathroom. I also used PT as a soleplate thanks to him telling me it was code. Now he just drilled a 3/16" hole down through the 2x4 and takes about 3" of wire called I belive tin wire and it's sold by the concrete stuff at the store wound up about the size of yore fist. Anyway he puts a pice in the hole along with a #16 nail and it snugs it down really tight. One note I'm going to use the aluminum studs for the rest of the basement. Trying to find a straight piece of wood is almost impossible these days.

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