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Installing Basement Paneling Instructions

  • Installing Paneling

    Paneling can be installed in any part of your home. However, it is frequently used to finish the concrete walls of a basement. 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.

  • Overview

    The basic steps to completing a paneling project are: installing furring strips on your wall, installing insulation, cutting the paneling to size and finally, adhering it to the furring strips

  • Installing Furring Strips

    Furring strips are necessary to even out 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 or with construction adhesive that is applied with a caulk gun. Begin by installing furring strips horizontally along the top and bottom corners of the wall.

  • Installing Furring Strips

    Then, starting in a corner, nail or glue a vertical furring strip between the horizontal furring strips. Measure 16” from the corner and mark a vertical line by snapping the chalk line. Mark vertical lines every 16”, from center, using a chalk line and plumb bob, this is where you will be installing the furring strips across the wall. Glue or nail the furring strips to the wall by lining up the middle of the furring strip with each chalk line. Apply construction adhesive, or better yet, use masonry screws to secure the furring strips.

  • Installing Insulation

    There are a variety of insulating materials that can be used to insulate basement walls. However, 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. Now you can begin to install the insulation. If you are using insulation with paper or foil facing, the facing can be stapled to the furring strips. If you are using rigid foam insulation, spread construction adhesive against the wall and attach your insulation to the wall. Press against all areas of the foam to secure the insulation into place. After attaching the foam board, staple plastic sheeting to the furring strips to protects the insulation from any moisture that may come through the paneling from your living space.

  • Installing Paneling

    tYou should 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. Be sure that you begin in a corner and work you way around the room from the first panel. Panels are typically four feet wide, and therefore each panel should end exactly on the center of each furring strip. 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, so that the adhesive has time to get tacky.

  • Installing Paneling

    In about three 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. Finish driving the nails in along the top of the panel and drive four more nails along the bottom edge to finish the panel. 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 to the furring strips. This will leave an outline of the outlet on the panel. Drill a starter hold and using a fine tooth saw, cut around the outline of the outlet. 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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