If you’re like most homeowners, you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the walls in your basement. In fact, they may not even cross your mind until your basement needs to be remodeled. Then, all of a sudden, you find yourself wondering: What kind of materials should I use for my new walls? Should I use wooden studs or metal studs for my new walls? How do I install them? How much work will it be to install them? Don’t worry; we’re here to help. We put together this step-by-step guide to installing a basement wall so that you can get the job done quickly and easily – and with as little stress as possible.
Step 1. Prepare The Site. When your basement is free of existing walls, moisture can be a problem.
The first step in wall construction of your basement is to prepare the site. When your basement is free of existing walls, moisture can be a problem. You’ll need to remove all material from the floor and walls that may have been left over from previous installations.
- Existing wall material
- Existing flooring (if any)
- Existing floor joists (which are usually 2X4s)
- Floor joist hangers (nails or screws)
- Flooring nails or screws (nails for wood floors, screws for carpeted floors)
If you don’t remove these items from your site before installing a new wall system, they will get in the way of installation and make it difficult for contractors to do their job properly. Removing these items also makes it easier for them to clean up after themselves as well as keep their tools out of harms way by not having them rolling around on top of stuff we’ve already removed!
Step 2. Install The Bottom Plate
Now that you’ve decided where your wall will go, it’s time to install the bottom plate. The bottom plate is the horizontal piece of wood that will support your drywall, so it needs to be level and straight for your walls to be straight. Make sure you use a laser level or a 4′ level when installing them.
For this step, we’ll be using an 8-footer as our example. You can also use shorter versions like 6′ or 10′, depending on how deep into your basement walls you need them to go. If there are any obstructions near where you’re installing them (like plumbing pipes), make sure they’re cut out accordingly first before continuing with this step!
Step 3. Add The Top Plate.
After you’ve added your top plate, you need to check that it’s level and plumb. To do this, use a 4-foot level and a tape measure to check the wall from either side of the wall studs. If one side is higher than the other, use shims or wedges to bring it down until both sides are even and parallel with each other.
Once your walls have been placed up and plumbed properly, place your 2×4 studs in place along both sides of the wall (centerline). Then use 1×4 furring strips to hold them at least 1/2 inch away from each other as well as from any corners or intersections with other walls or support structures such as joists or beams so that they’re not touching anything except air space; this allows for insulation between these boards and helps keep heat loss down when compared with having no insulation at all.
Step 4. Finish The Walls With Drywall.
The final step to finishing your basement walls is to install drywall. Drywall, sometimes called sheetrock, is a good option for basement walls because it’s easy to install and requires minimal maintenance. It can be painted over without having to worry about it cracking or chipping like plaster would, and it’s also easy to remove if you decide that you want something different in the future. You can find drywall at most hardware stores or home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s.
Optional Basement Wall Installation Tips
- Use a stud finder to locate studs. With more than just one wall, it’s important to make sure you’re nailing into a stud. Studs are vertical wooden boards that are placed every 16-inches in your basement walls and their function is to provide support for the drywall that hangs on top of them. If you try to hammer nails into drywall without finding out where an existing stud is located first, there’s a good chance those nails will come out of nowhere and whack your head open!
- Use a level to make sure the wall is straight. Walls can’t be perfectly level all the time so don’t worry if yours isn’t perfect—just do your best! To get things as close as possible though, use a carpenter’s level (you can find these online or at Home Depot) or even just hold up two pieces of wood at different heights against each other and see if they line up (if they don’t then something needs adjusting).
- Use tape measurer s t o m s h o w y o u ‘ r e p u t i n g t h e w all s i n t h e r i g ht p l ac es . You may need more than one person for this step since accuracy matters when putting up walls—a little off here could mean big problems later on! Measure twice before cutting any boards down so you don’t end up wasting materials or going back and forth between locations trying to fix mistakes (again).
Installing a basement wall is easier than you think!
Installing a basement wall is easier than you think.
It really is. It’s also cheaper than you think, more fun than you think, and more rewarding than you think. Not to mention less stressful and more satisfying.
Installing basement walls may seem like an intimidating task, but with these instructions and some patience you will be able to do it yourself. The result is a finished space that can be used for storage or converted into bedrooms, family rooms, bathrooms or whatever else your needs require. We hope we’ve helped make this process as painless as possible by providing detailed instructions and helpful tips along the way – good luck.