Friday, August 31, 2007

How To Install Furring Strips to Concrete Walls

If you are planning to finish a basement you will most likely need to install furring strips to the concrete walls so that the walls can be sheetrocked.

Attaching furring strips to concrete walls can be easily done using 2”x2”s or 2”x3” kiln dried wood studs, liquid nail glue, and some fluted concrete nails.

Due to moisture in the basement, I prefer to use a 2”x4” pressure treated stud laid flat along the bottom of the wall. Lay the stud on its flat side up against the wall. The furring strips will sit on top of the pressure treated stud, such that there is effectively a moisture barrier between the basement floor and the kiln dried studs.

The kiln dried studs should be placed on 16 inch centers along the wall, again resting on the pressure treated 2”x4”. The kiln dried studs should run the entire height of the concrete wall.

To secure the bottom plate and studs to the wall, I first run a bead of Liquid Nails (designed to adhere to concrete and wood), along the entire length of the bottom plate/stud. If you are using 2”x3”s for the furring strips, the glue should be applied to the wider side, such that when the stud is installed, you effectively have the flat side of the stud attached to the wall.

Start with the application of glue on the pressure treated bottom plate.

Next, using a drill and a masonry bit, drill pilot holes into the bottom plate. The holes should be placed every 16 inches along the length of the plate and should penetrate the concrete walls approximately 1.5”. Then using 3” fluted nails and a 3-5 lb sledge hammer, pound the nails into the holes. Note: I prefer to drill and pound a nail, one hole at a time to eliminate alignment problems.

Once the bottom plate has been installed, repeat the process on the vertical kiln dried studs. Install one stud at a time, again on 16 inch centers. Make sure they stand straight and level.

To help hold the vertical stud in place while you are drilling holes and pounding in concrete nails, I like to toe nail the bottom of the stud into the bottom pressure treated plate first.

Once the glue has set up, the furring strips will be strongly fastened to the wall and ready for drywall.

Note, however, you may want to apply pink board insulation in between the studs to provide some level of insulation between the concrete walls and the finished sheetrocked wall. Simply cut the insulation to the proper width, apply some Liquid Nails to the back side of the insulation board, and then press the insulation in-between the studs.

About The Author
Mark J. Donovan
Over the past 20+ years Mark Donovan has been involved with building homes and additions to homes. His projects have included: building a vacation home, building additions and garages on to existing homes, and finishing unfinished homes. For more home improvement information visit and

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