Hang Sheetrock in a Concrete Basement
LESLIE: Larry in Utah, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you?
LARRY: Hi, I’ve got a house that was made in 1927 and I want to finish the basement with some sheetrock and that and maybe put a couple walls up. But I don’t want to drill any holes into it and damage the structure of the wall or the floors. Is there something I can do to attach things securely without drilling holes in it?
TOM: Well, I wouldn’t be too concerned about drilling a few holes in the concrete walls. I mean it’s not going to hurt.
LESLIE: Because you’re going to have to build some framework in front of the existing walls because if your walls are concrete as well you don’t want to put your new wallboards right in front of it because then you’ll have a moisture problem because the moisture will be wicking through the concrete. So you want, what, like six inches?
TOM: Yeah and you want to build like a fake wall in front of the exterior foundation wall. So you would stud out a wall. Start with a pressure-treated sill at the bottom; stud it up in wood. You can attach the top sill to the floor joist above – no reason you can’t do that – and then you’re going to want to drywall that area.
LESLIE: OK, but to anchor it to the floor or the walls, I have no cracks, no leaks on anything. I don’t want to …
TOM: You’re not going to cause a crack or a leak.
LESLIE: No, just drilling and screwing into that concrete slab is not going to.
LARRY: Oh, OK. So would I use some kind of like a hardened screw to attach the stuff in there?
TOM: Yeah, it’s called a Tapcon.
LESLIE: And you need the Tapcon attachment. It looks like a – it’s got a long drill bit and then this piece slides over it and has the driver bit for the Tapcon head. And that will do a really great job of conquering through the concrete and getting you a secure fastener. You might want to also, if you don’t have, rent a hammer drill for the day.
TOM: You know, Larry, my house was built in 1886 and I recently had to build a very secure bench in the basement to hold some storage; had to be really solid. And I, you know, Tapconed my way right into 125, 135-year-old brick and no problem. Did a great job; clean connections; real strong and, you know, really no structural damage whatsoever. So I would have no fear about using something like that to tap this sill plate into the floor.
LARRY: Alright. Well, thank you very much. I’ll check that out then.
TOM: You’re welcome, Larry. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: This is The Money Pit.