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OVERVIEW

 

Paneling is so common among many American basements that we often forget that it can be installed in any part of a home. However, it is frequently used to finish the concrete walls of a basement because of its affordability, durability, and ability to make the downstairs livable.

There are some things to bear in mind, however, before, embarking on a paneling project: if you are planning on paneling your basement it is first necessary to waterproof the basement to prevent mildew and damage to your foundation. Walls that appear dry may actually become damp when enclosed by paneling. Additionally, it is important to contact your local government to make sure that you are complying with building codes.


 

 

Skill Level & Time to Complete

 
  • Beginner - 2 to 3 days 
  • Intermediate - 1 to 2 days
  • Advanced - about 1 day
  - Furring strips are necessary to even out the supporting walls as well as provide space in which to install insulation between the paneling and the concrete wall. You can attach furring strips by securing them with masonry screws to poured concrete or the mortar between concrete blocks. Alternately, furring strips can be attached using construction adhesive that is applied with a caulk gun.
  - If your walls are severely uneven you will need to install furring strips horizontally in addition to the vertical furring strips described here.



SHOPPING LIST


Materials List
   Chalk
   1" x 3" furring strips
   Insulation
   Paneling
   Paneling nails
   Masonry nails
   Construction adhesive
 
Tools List
   Tape measure
   Chalk line
   Claw Hammer
   Drill
   Drill bits
   Jig saw
   Caulk gun
   Screwdriver

 

1. Begin by installing furring strips horizontally along the top and bottom corners of the wall.
2. Then, starting in a corner, nail or glue a vertical furring strip between the horizontal furring strips with the widest part of the strip against the wall.
3. Measure 16” from the corner and mark a vertical line by snapping the chalk line.
4. Mark vertical lines every 16” using a chalk line and plumb bob, this is where you will be installing the furring strips.
5. Glue or nail furring strips to the wall by lining up the middle of the furring strip with each chalk line.

 

6.

Installing Insulation.

There are a variety of insulating materials that can be used to insulate basement walls. Your best bet will be to use foam board insulation. Measure the exact distance between the furring strips and cut the insulation to fit between the furring strips.

7. If you are using insulation with paper or foil facing, the facing can be stapled to the furring strips.
8. If you are using rigid foam insulation, you should glue it in place with adhesive. Then staple plastic sheeting to the furring strips being sure to pull it taught between each furring strip. The facing or plastic sheeting protects the insulation from any moisture that may come through the paneling from your living space.
9.

Installing your Paneling

Paneling should be cut with a fine-tooth hand or power saw to keep it from splintering. Be sure to measure for each piece of paneling to avoid mistakes. It is recommended that you allow 1/2” clearance between the bottom of the paneling and the floor. Put adhesive on the furring strips that each panel will cover. Do not apply adhesive before you are ready to put up the panel as it may dry prematurely. You have about 10 minutes after applying adhesive to work with it, so work carefully, yet quickly.

Warning: Please see Step 14 if you have electrical outlets or windows to account for.

10. Be sure that you begin in a corner and work your way around the room from the first panel. Panels are typically 4 feet wide, and therefore each panel should end in the center of a furring strip.

 

11. Partially nail your panel in to the top furring strip and place a wedge between the bottom of the panel and your bottom stud so that it hangs away from the furring strips. This allows time for the adhesive to get tacky.
12. In about 3 minutes, the adhesive is sufficiently tacky to support the paneling. Remove the wedge and press the panel against the furring strips. Use a block of wood padded with a cloth and tap it with a hammer to secure the panel to the furring strips.
13. Finish driving the nails in along the top of the panel and drive four more nails along the bottom edge to finish the panel.
14. To accommodate for an electrical outlet or light switch, rub the edges of the outlet or switch with chalk and press the back of the panel against it BEFORE you apply the adhesive. This will leave the outline of the outlet on the panel. Using a fine tooth saw, cut around the outline of the outlet.
15. To accommodate for a larger opening such as a window, measure the dimensions of the window. Using two panels cut an opening in each panel such that when the panels are placed side by side they form the desired opening.

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