The Best Ways to Stud Out a Cinder Block Basement

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Studding out a cinder block basement renovates the space into usable, livable and functional rooms. The sturdy construction of a cinder block basement gives this lower level of a house safety and security. And then by dressing up the walls with studs, insulation and Sheetrock, you add warmth to the walls and transform the basement's hard surface presentation into a welcoming extension of the house's living spaces.

Waterproof the Walls

  • Waterproof your exterior cinder block walls prior to installing the studs. Check the exterior of the house for water drainage problems and fix them before installing studs in your basement. You will want to avoid having to break through and rip out your newly installed studs and walls to correct a water drainage problem.

Use Two-by-Fours

  • Use two-by-four wood studs to form the basis of your basement's stud wall. Run two-by-fours horizontally along the base of the wall, where the wall meets the floor, and horizontally along the line of the ceiling, where the wall meets the ceiling. Lay the four-inch sides of the studs flush against the wall.

    Fasten these to the walls using concrete anchors and three- to four-inch concrete screws. Pre-drill the holes through the wood and the wall to fit the anchors along the length of the wood. Remove the wood, tap in the anchors and then fasten the wood to the walls by screwing the concrete screws into the anchor holes. This will give the wood studs a very strong bond against the cinder block walls.

    Cut to size several vertical two-by-four studs to fit in between the ceiling and floor plates, or the already-installed horizontal studs. Since studding out cinder block walls provides them with the reinforced strength of the cinder block concrete, it is not necessary to space these studs less than 16 inches apart, according to concretefasteners.com.

Along the Existing Layout

  • Stud the cinder block walls in line with the basement's existing layout. This is a simple way to transform a basement into a livable, multipurpose space. If you do not have a need for additional rooms, install the stud walls along every interior cinder block wall. Insulate these walls by fitting the insulation strips between the wood studs. Close in the walls with Sheetrock, paper tape and joint compound to complete the finished look of your basement's walls.

Extend to Form New Walls

  • Frame new basement walls with the wall studs. Use tracking to extend out the studding of the cinder block walls--along the floor and the ceiling--into new walls in the basement. Installing new walls gives an open basement space new room definitions.

    These rooms can serve as extra bedrooms, guest quarters, a playroom, a family room, an office or a workshop. If the basement does not have an existing bathroom or a defined laundry area, construct walls to close in these new rooms.

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  • Photo Credit block wall image by Irina Kodentseva from Fotolia.com
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