How to Hide Structural-Support Beams When Finishing a Basement

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Basement support beams, pillars or poles run vertically from the floor to the ceiling and provide the essential support for your home. However, they stand out in the space and interrupt the flow of a finished basement. Depending on personal preference, you can make a wooden box cover to go around the post and paint it your desired shade, or cover it with a wooden or vinyl wrap cover.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • 1-inch thick wood planks
  • Saw
  • Wood adhesive
  • Hammer
  • Finishing nails
  • Wood shim
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Paint supplies
  • Pole cover
  • Chalk
  • Utility knife
  • Caulking gun
  • Construction adhesive
  • Masking tape
  • Floor and ceiling caps

Box Cover

  • Extend the measuring tape from the floor to the ceiling to determine the height of the basement. Subtract 1/2 inch for the height before recording the measurement. Measure the width of the structural support beam, and add 2 inches before recording it.

  • Cut four wooden planks to these measurements using a saw, so they fit to form a box around the beam.

  • Apply a thin bead of wood adhesive over the long edge of a wood plank, and join the long edge of the second plank to it. Drive a row of finishing nails through the edge of the first plank and into the second plank every 6 to 8 inches.

  • Apply adhesive over the other long edge of the second plank and repeat the process to join the long edge of the third plank to it, so you have a three-sided frame.

  • Stand this three-sided frame around the basement beam, with its lower edge on the floor. Apply a thin bead of wood glue over the two long edges of the first and third planks. Fit the fourth plank against the glued sides to form a box. Drive a row of finishing nails every 6 inches along the two edges.

  • Apply a thin coat of adhesive to a wood shim and insert it in the gap between the ceiling and the top of the box cover to secure it around the beam. Allow the wood adhesive to cure for the time specified on its label.

  • Sand the four-sided box cover with 220-grit sandpaper. Apply an even coat of primer over the box cover and allow it to dry before painting it your desired shade of paint.

Pole Cover

  • Measure and record the height and width of the basement structural support beam. Mark these measurements on the pole wrap with chalk. Carefully cut along the chalk marks using a utility knife.

  • Wrap the pole cover over the basement beam to ensure it forms a tight fit, cutting off excess that overlaps along the width using a utility knife.

  • Apply small dots of construction adhesive over the basement beam using a caulking gun. Space the dots evenly apart over the surface.

  • Wrap the pole cover over the glued beam and immediately press it in place. Wrap lengths of masking tape around the beam to hold the cover in place.

  • Apply a thin bead of construction adhesive to the base of the beam where it meets the floor. Wrap the decorative floor cap around the bottom of the beam and press it onto the floor. Wrap several lengths of masking tape to hold the cap in place. Repeat the process for installing the ceiling cap.

  • Allow the adhesive to cure according to the time specified in its directions before removing the masking tape.

Tips & Warnings

  • Instead of using four wood planks identical in width, you can use two slightly wider than the other two, so the narrower planks sit between the wider ones when installed around the basement beam.
  • Pole covers are available in plain or decorative finishes, including finished plastics and wood.
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