finishing basement -what,where,size of wood?


Old 07-05-07, 12:10 PM
dsw is offline
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Question finishing basement -what,where,size of wood?

I'm preparing to remodel/finish my basement and have been going through all the posts in this forum. They have been incredibly helpful. However, they have also raised some fundamental questions about what type of wood to use that I may need help with.

Background: My basement is currently a concrete floor (with a few cracks, buckles.) The basement has been called an "english basement" as it is about halfway below ground: with a foundation wall coming halfway up, and then framing/plaster + windows on the top half.

We do not have a lot of room to work with. The toal size is about 50x25. The ceiling joists are about 6.5' above the current floor. And the house is about 100 years old. We do not seem to have a problem with moisture.

Walls: We had though about using 2x3s or 2x4s laid flat against the walls as a way of preserving space. It sounds like this is not a good idea (don't want to nail into foundation, don't want wood touching wall, need more space for insulation, etc.) Can anyone offer suggestions about the minimum space/sizing necessary for basement walls? Also, can I just use regular wood or does it need to be pressure treated?

Floor: Do I need to frame the floor? I had assumed I could just lay a carpet pad, then carpet on the floor. Do I need to do something else? Where the floor has buckled slight, I had planned to bust up the surrounding concrete, then fill in in order to create a level surface.

Any help or direction would be appreciated.
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Old 07-05-07, 01:46 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Are the ceiling joists REALLY 6.5' above the floor? That's going to be a really low ceiling. If you are getting permits I think you'll find that most codes call for something in the 7' to 7'6" range to pass code. By the time you finsh the floor and the ceiling you'll be closer to 6'.

You can just pad and carpet the floor, but if you have ANY water issues you can easily run into mold & mildew problems. You can find lower profile ways to raise the floor to avoid that problem, but with your low ceiling, I don't think you'd want to do that.

If you are planning on setting the stud walls directly on the concrete, then you will need pressure treated wood on the bottom. Basically any wood that touches concrete will need to be pressure treated. You need to off-set the walls or cover the concrete to NOT use Pressure Treated studs. Again, I think code calls for minium 2X3 for walls, but 2X4 is standard so you'd probably have an easier time finding outlet boxes, etc to fit the standard size.

Good luck,
Old 07-07-07, 07:08 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
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Use 2x4 framing. You will need the strength in case you want to install shelving or wall cabinets. Good luck with your project.

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