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resilient channel vs. furring strips?


printme's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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10-06-05, 03:11 PM   #1  
resilient channel vs. furring strips?

In trying to solve my lumpy basement ceiling issue (don't want drop ceiling, but small pipes are aggravating me), I came across a concept I haven't heard of: resilient channel. Is this something that can be attached to the existing joists, and serve as furring strips? Does drywall get connected directly to it? I'm having a hard time learning about this -- searching "resilient channel" doesn't return any results here, e.g. Maybe I'm using the wrong phrase? Any ideas?

 
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XSleeper's Avatar
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10-06-05, 07:28 PM   #2  
Try using Google, and type: +"resilient channel" +ceiling

I get plenty of results. Resilient channel is usually used for its sound deadening properties. It gets installed perpendicular to the joists, and could act as a sort of furring strip. The drywall then gets screwed to the metal BETWEEN joists... not into the wood. But in your case, it would probably be just as easy to use furring strips, such as 1x2's, and just shim them down where need be.

 
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10-06-05, 08:01 PM   #3  
Thanks for the response -- I'm curious by something you suggested: Shimming furring strips?

Obviously I'm new to this, but I want the ceiling to be ready to go for the drywallers and from what I've read can tell it's not even close. I have some pipes that drop less than 1/2 inch below the joist, and one that's parallel and drops about 1.5 inches. How does shimming the furring strips work? Maybe you could suggest another google? I'm having a heck of time trying to find information about this, and am almost ready to throw in the towel and hire a carpenter, yet...seems like it's something I could do.

But finding info about this has been tough. Either I'm missing some important language or there's a GIANT conspiracy that's keeping me from learning how to correctly attach furring strips to the ceiling so that drywall goes up nicely...

Mostly what I've found with "furring ceiling drywall basement" goes something like this: "attach furring strips to joists." Instructional, but not very informative. I haven't seen anything about shimming furring and I'm curious.

 
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10-06-05, 09:10 PM   #4  
OK, let's start with the basics. First of all, you need to figure out one main thing: how far you need to shim the ceiling down. From the sounds of it, it might be 1 1/2", because that's the largest pipe you need to cover. The thing is, if you just put 1 1/2" furring strips everywhere, your new ceiling will be just as lumpy as your old one, only lower!

The 2nd thing you need to figure out is whether you want your new ceiling to be level or straight. Believe it or not, they aren't the same, and sometimes straight is preferable to level if it's labor saving.

One can usually assume that the perimeter of the ceiling (supported by walls)is level, and so the perimeter of the ceiling could use furring that is uniform in thickness. (Since your pipe is 1 1/2", let's say it's 1 1/2" furring for now.) So imagine you've put a 2x2 all the way around the perimeter of the ceiling. The problem you will run into is that if you could put a straightedge from wall to wall, with each end of the straightedge (a straight board) resting on the bottom of the 2x2, you will find that your ceiling "bags down" in some areas more than others. It is best to have one person hold the straightedge, and another person can measure up from the straightedge to the ceiling, and write the measurement on the ceiling. (obviously, you have to check the ceiling and write measurements every 16", where your furring will be going. And it helps to check the ceiling in both directions, if possible, to double check your measurements.) Let's say that it goes from 1 1/2 to 1 1/8 to 3/4" to 1 1/8 to 1 3/8 to 1 1/2 as you go across the room. What I would do then, is cut small shims that are 1/8" x 1 1/2" x 4", 1/4" x 1 1/2" x 4"... all the way up to 3/4" x 1 1/2" x 4". Then I would install 1x2 (3/4 thick), and screw it right to the ceiling where I recorded the depth to be 3/4. Where it is 1 1/8", I'd stick a 3/8" shim under there and screw it to the ceiling. Where it was 1 3/8", I'd put a 5/8" shim under the 1x2, and where it meets the 2x2 at the wall, I'd use the 3/4" shim.

If the ceiling isn't that drastic, tapered cedar shims might work better. You slip them underneath your furring and you can just slide them around, toward the thicker or thinner end until you have the furring the right distance away from the ceiling, then put a screw through the furring and near the shim. (near, so that you can loosen the screw and adjust the shim later, if needed)

The problem with this is.... if the low spot in your ceiling is ALSO where your 1 1/2" pipe is, then you need wider furring. Instead of a 1x2, you'd use a 2x2. And at the perimeter of the room, you'd need a 1x2 shim underneath your 2x2. Make sense?

And the direction you screw the furring is up to you. You can either screw the furring with the joists or perpendicular to the joists. Personally, I think it's easier to screw it perpendicular to the joists. But your room layout and where the pipes are might help you decide which way is best. If you install the furring perpendicular, remember that you need to ensure that everything is on 16" centers, so that your drywall will break in the right spot, and be square with the furring. (some carpenters prefer to use 1x4's and 2x4's for this reason- a wider margin for error, easier surface to hit with a drywall screw later.... and they can put 2 screws through the furring and into the joist instead of just one, if you were using 1x2 or 2x2.)

Be SURE you use long enough screws when adding furring, and be SURE you hit the joists with your screws... you don't want the whole thing coming down on your head when the drywall is installed. I use #9x3" torx screws when doing such things.

Use the smallest furring needed to do the job. If you only need it to be 1 1/4"... you could purchase 2x6's and rip them on a table saw to the correct size, and get 4 pc of furring out of each 2x6. You get the idea.

Hope this helps... I'm leaving for the weekend for a volunteer construction project, so I might not be able to reply to follow up questions right away. Good luck!


Last edited by XSleeper; 10-06-05 at 09:25 PM.
 
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10-07-05, 06:53 AM   #5  
I'm pretty sure I understand everything -- tremendously helpful -- and am sold on the furring strips. I'm going to use 2 x 4 for the extra width (and drop), settling for "straight." I think. You've given me a lot of information to consider, and I really really appreciate it!

 
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