How to Install Drywall in a Basement
LESLIE: Steven in Washington needs some help creating a basement apartment. How can we help you with this project?
STEVEN: I’m converting the basement into an apartment and about half of the wall up is concrete. And I was wondering how to attach the sheetrock to the concrete.
TOM: So you want it to be completely flush when you’re done? In other words, we don’t want to see the concrete when we’re all finished, correct?
TOM: OK. So first of all, we don’t recommend that you use sheetrock or drywall, because it’s paper-faced. And whenever you do this in a basement situation, you really want to minimize the amount of paper-faced drywall. There’s another product called DensArmor, which is a fiberglass-faced drywall product. And because it’s fiberglass-faced, it can’t grow mold.
You can get that at home centers or lumberyards. You may have to order it but it’s a little more expensive than drywall but definitely, definitely worth using that.
LESLIE: Yeah and it’s made by Georgia Pacific, so if you have any questions about it, head on over to their website. It’s DensArmor and it’s a great product. It’s definitely worth it for a basement space.
TOM: As far as attaching it is concerned, what we would recommend you do is frame the interior of the wall in front of that concrete. You could use metal studs for this and you would attach the drywall right to that surface and not attach it to the concrete itself. This helps minimize the amount of moisture transfer from – through the concrete and into the wall surface.
Many folks will attach wood strips to the wall and then attach the concrete to the wood strips but now you have a direct moisture connection with the outside. We’d much rather see you put up a frame wall – metal studs or wood studs – and then attach the DensArmor product to that wall structure. You are going to give up just a few inches of floor space but I think it makes for a much neater, better job and one that really is going to have no chance of turning into a mold problem.
STEVEN: Oh, thank you very much.