Home & Garden

Finishing Basement - How to Secure 2x4's to Concrete?

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 22nd, 2010 9:05 pm
Tags:
None
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 19, 2003
1420 posts
65 upvotes

Finishing Basement - How to Secure 2x4's to Concrete?

I'm planning on finishing the basement in my current house as a winter project.

my last house, I used Tap-cons to secure 2x4's to the floor - I was wondering if there's a better solution - as tap-cons are darn expensive.

I've seen in some houses, builders using nails - I imagine you'd need a pretty good air compressor to drive a nail through the 2x4 and the concrete floor - or am I missing something?

any ideas out there?

Also, should I be worried about the nail or screw going through the plastic between the 2x4 and the concrete floor with respect to moisture?
30 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 19, 2004
6400 posts
561 upvotes
Cambridge, ON
Last time I used glue that is meant for attaching wood to concrete. It was a lot easier than using nails or tapcons. The glue held the wood solid and wouldn't budge once dry.

I forget the cost but a tube was roughly $5 and went quite far.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
May 1, 2003
6375 posts
144 upvotes
use a hilti gun and shoot the fasteners into the concrete (it uses gunpowder charges). This is what many professionals use.

You should be able to rent one from a rental place or homedepot

Construction adhesive is good but its better to use it in conjuction with the fasteners.
Deal Addict
Nov 18, 2005
4055 posts
607 upvotes
Kitchener
I drill a small hole (a little smaller than the diameter of the concrete nail, usually a 3/16" bit) through the 2 X 4 and into the concrete, then pound a 3-1/2" concrete nail in with a hammer, concrete nails are cheaper than Tapcons and you don't need to rent a Hilti. Put in the top and bottom plate first then cut studs to length after so they are nice and tight
Deal Addict
Mar 21, 2006
4156 posts
268 upvotes
Burlington, Ontario
Yes, I see the Hilti guns all the time. There is usually a pile of .22 casings in the basements when I get there.

Their advantage is they are quick. So if you need to get it done fast, go this route. Otherwise, concrete nails.

Don't forget to put a piece of plastic between the concrete and the wood.
Audio - Video - Data - Security - This is what I do
Sr. Member
Nov 24, 2004
948 posts
42 upvotes
As far as the Hilti guns go, they are petty cheap. Less than $40 if I recall. Well worth it to be able to get the framing attached to the concrete quickly.

CM
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 19, 2003
1420 posts
65 upvotes
BuildingHomes wrote:
Sep 11th, 2007 12:58 pm
Yes, I see the Hilti guns all the time. There is usually a pile of .22 casings in the basements when I get there.

Their advantage is they are quick. So if you need to get it done fast, go this route. Otherwise, concrete nails.

Don't forget to put a piece of plastic between the concrete and the wood.
the only thing I was wondering about the adhesive is the plastic / vapour barrier to put between the concrete and the 2x4.

I guess by putting a nail or whatever, I don't really need to worry about the hole the nail would put into the plastic then eh?

Also, in my last house, I put the foot and ceiling 2x4's first, then the vertical studs - this time I was thinking of building the floor, ceiling and the studs then lifting it up and holding it in place snug with shims ... is one method significantly better than the other?
Deal Addict
Nov 18, 2005
4055 posts
607 upvotes
Kitchener
the plastic is only used to keep the wood from touching the concrete, the wood will absorb moisture from the concrete and eventually rot... so a few nail holes in it won't matter.
personally, I like to install the top and bottom plates first, then the studs... that way I don't have to worry if there's a sagging floor joist or hump in the concrete.
Moderator
User avatar
Aug 22, 2003
15532 posts
957 upvotes
Niagara Falls
Hubby always does top and bottom plates first and then measures and cuts each stud individually. You really don't want to be having to hammer a stud into place if it's too long, especially if you have ceramic ot stone floors. We actually cracked a tile and grout in our mainfloor bath with 1 stud that was a hair too long. It's no biggie for us as that ceramic floor was never meant to stay for long anyway. But it it was a new(er) home and I already the floors installed that I ultimately wanted and loved...
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 19, 2003
1420 posts
65 upvotes
Drthorne wrote:
Sep 11th, 2007 3:04 pm
the plastic is only used to keep the wood from touching the concrete, the wood will absorb moisture from the concrete and eventually rot... so a few nail holes in it won't matter.
personally, I like to install the top and bottom plates first, then the studs... that way I don't have to worry if there's a sagging floor joist or hump in the concrete.
thanks for the advice ...

seems this is the way to go - it does take a bit longer eh? ... guess that's to be expected though ... if you want it done right ....

does anyone have any advice on boxing out hvac / duct work? ... with respect to what to use? - 1x1s? what about metal studs?
Deal Addict
Nov 18, 2005
4055 posts
607 upvotes
Kitchener
metal studs, 2 X 2's or 2 X 4's... whatever you like. with metal studs you'll need a drywall screwgun to make the job easier
Deal Addict
Mar 21, 2006
4156 posts
268 upvotes
Burlington, Ontario
I remember watching a crew frame a basement. They nailed 8x10' frames together on the floor and then lifted the frames up.. Realized that triginomitry was against them and ended up gouging the top plate so they could fit it in. These guys were complete hacks. Some of the worst framing I have ever seen done in a house (they did the whole house as well as a few others I was in)
Audio - Video - Data - Security - This is what I do
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 17, 2006
3421 posts
86 upvotes
Halton
concrete nails is what I use at work. If you have a paslode air gun for framing nails there are special concrete nail clipps you can buy.
Sr. Member
Jan 25, 2004
972 posts
If you have time you can use nail/wire. Drill a 3/16 hole and stick 2 peices of rebar tie wire in the hole. Then drive a 3-1/4" Hot dipped galvanized common nail into the hole. It will hold as well as a tapcon and cost you almost nothing. This is what I do when forming concrete stairs since it can be removed but holds extremely well.
That being said, I use a HILTI powder actuated gun when framing on concrete. It costs about 75c/shot though between the nail and shot but its just too fast to bother messing around.
My eBay Feedback
Heatware ID SledBC
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jan 23, 2007
730 posts
31 upvotes
Drthorne wrote:
Sep 11th, 2007 5:50 pm
metal studs, 2 X 2's or 2 X 4's... whatever you like. with metal studs you'll need a drywall screwgun to make the job easier
We were told no metal studs in the basement - especially if there's any chance of moisture getting. I checked on a canadian building forum (make it right!) and was told this. Not saying you (Dr thorne) suggested doing that, I just wanted to mention it in case anyone was thinking of it.
× < >

Top