How to Cover Cement Bricks
LESLIE: Alright. Lisa in Wisconsin is on the line with a basement finishing question and she is one of our Facebook friends.
Thanks, Lisa. Welcome.
LISA: Hi. We live in a small ranch house and the base of our house is painted a brown color right now; it’s like the cement brick. And I’d say it’s about 20 inches from the ground up to the first bit of siding. And I was wondering what kind of products are out there. Are there panels of something that can cover that? I had seen something advertised on TV lately, some type of panel. And we’re just wondering if you know of any good products out there that would work for that or if it’s just easier just to go ahead and paint over the brown cement bricks.
TOM: Well, I mean you certainly could panelize it and there are different systems out today. I know, for example, Owens Corning has a basement finishing system where they’re kind of like preassembled sort of padded walls that are almost like office cubicles, I always think when I see them, that they attach to the walls. Or you could paint them.
The thing is, if you’re going to take any steps towards finishing your basement, Lisa, the first thing you want to do is make sure it’s absolutely positively dry down there, by being very careful to check the drainage at the foundation perimeter and making sure everything slopes away.
The second thing is that if you’re going to put any kind of a paneled wall there, what you really need to do is to frame a wood wall in front of the bricks so that takes up some of the depth of the basement, as well. But you’re going to use a pressure-treated bottom plate – that’s what goes along the floor – and then you could frame a normal wall between that and the floor joists above. And then on top of that, you could add drywall.
Now, in terms of the type of drywall, what you might want to consider is one that’s fiberglass-faced and not paper-faced.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And that’s something from a company called Georgia Pacific and that’s known as DensArmor Plus. And that’s a fiberglass-faced drywall and that’s great for applications where you have high moisture content, like a basement or a bathroom or even in a heavy-duty kitchen or something like that.
LISA: Oh, OK.
LESLIE: But it’s great because it’s fiberglass-faced so you’re removing that paper. So because of the moisture, you won’t grow mold. And it finishes the same way and it’s really not that much more expensive, so it’s definitely worth it in this type of application.
LISA: OK. And then for the attachment thing, you said from Owens Corning that that product was? And then Georgia Pacific for the fiberglass drywall?
TOM: Well, Owens Corning makes a basement finishing system. If you Google that, “Owens Corning Basement Finishing System,” …
LESLIE: It’s like panels that sort of stand up on their own and then have a piece that covers them. As Tom said, it’s very cubicle-like but it’s gorgeous and it can be done very well for a basement space.
LISA: Alright. Thank you very much, guys.
TOM: You’re welcome, Lisa. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.