Basement walls finishing ideas

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Old 02-05-15, 05:57 PM
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Basement walls finishing ideas

The basement construction is poured concrete.
Moisture is not an issue as far as I can tell..... been monitoring RH and it always stays low...
The floor and the walls are currently just painted with the Water Lock or whatever that special paint is called that blocks water.

the important things to me in order are:
1. Looks
2. Maintain the current dimensions (minimum loss when building up the walls)
3. Some improvement in insulation efficiency (just need it to be better than now but doesn't need to be a great improvement)

My idea:
Use only R4 (3/4 inch thick) rigid foam + 1/4 light sheetrock.

Do you think I should even bother with the rigid foam?
Can i use it right against the walls and then drywall or do I need to put some sort of vapor barrier somewhere in between?
Also, How would you install / attach it all if I don't want to install any vertical 2x4s - do they sell some sort of aluminium tracks that I can just fasten to the top joist and to the cement floor ?

Thanks!
 
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Old 02-05-15, 06:43 PM
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There are various steel channel or stud assemblies. The shallow version of a steel stud is 1-5/8", 25gauge or 20gauge with a top and bottom track. Tracks go in and studs get screwed in with a framing screw. Nothing gets attached to the foundation. Really easy to work with but you will put your wall surface the 1-5/8" from the foam.

The other systems that are incorporated into the thickness of the foam require attaching to the wall with a fastener. One is "z" furring and another is insul stud.

Another option is "InSoFast" which is a panelized system incorporating foam and a polypropylene stud for drywall attachment. The panels incorporate some other features which you may find desirable.

Even though you have checked RH (and hopefully with a quality instrument), you may still want to perform the dampness test by placing a 1 sq.ft. piece of poly or foil on the wall and floor and seal the edges. Check after a few days for water droplets or dampness on the masonry.

You will want to be using a mold resistant wall finish and I don't believe the 1/4" comes with that attribute.

As others will advise, make sure you really have a situation that does not create the potential for issues as many basements in older construction were not designed to become living area.
 
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Old 02-06-15, 07:09 AM
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I don't see any value from 3/4" foam. If you're that concerned about space, I would be looking to put a texture paint on the concrete.
 
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Old 02-06-15, 03:04 PM
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thank you so much for the input...really helps me.
Few point of clarification:
I am NOT converting this into a living space so to speak....more of an entertainment room.
I want to change the wall material for acoustics and aesthetics (decorate / hang small framed pictures)...so drywall would be the best option.
I can install thicker sheetrock but thought that rigid foam and then thinner sheetrock would be better than just thick sheetrock
 
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Old 02-06-15, 03:52 PM
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NOT converting this into a living space so to speak....more of an entertainment room.
That is living space. How will you run electric wiring and mount boxes if no space for boxes are cables. Are you okay with surface mounted conduit or raceway? Your going to need to install electric in an entertainment room and to meet code for a finished basement area.
 
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Old 02-06-15, 06:27 PM
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Ray - you are right as far as codes etc....I just made that distinction to indicate that nobody will really sleep there....so things like heat / cold are not that important.
The basement gets a bit cool in the winter with the temps below 30F outside....but otherwise it is pretty comfortable....
My current main dilemma, so to speak, is how to make the walls "pretty" and so that's why the original post
 
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Old 02-09-15, 06:22 PM
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come to think of it....any recommendations for a different material rather than drywall?
I am NOT going for wood look so please no laminate or anything that looks like wood.....but maybe there is an alternative to drywalling ?
 
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Old 02-10-15, 03:36 AM
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There are panels made similar to wood paneling but have a different finish [not wood]. Many thin panels require a drywall [or whatever] backer behind them to make them stable. IMO the 2 options are to either just paint the foundation wall as is or frame up a wall in front of it and cover with drywall.
 
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Old 02-13-15, 04:31 PM
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talk to the guys who build out bsmt rooms - they're in nj - no $ interest but i do know the owner & he's a straight shooter
 
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