What is the best way to finish basement walls?


What is the best way to finish basement walls?

Aram Scaram Jan. 21, 2021Last updated: Jan. 25, 2021

I'm putting in a 2 piece washroom in a finished basement. I've removed everything back to the foundation wall in that one area where I will be building. The basement was finished with tar paper on foundation wall, 2 by 2 framing with fiberglass insulation, vapour barrier and drywall. Everything I've researched including articles on this site suggest this is the wrong approach. I plan to glue 2" rigid to foundation wall, 2 by 4 framing with roxul and drywall. Is this best approach given the rest of basement is done the old school way (incorrectly)? Thanks in advance your site is new to me and is a great resource.

Responses (3)

Castor River Farm
Castor River Farm Jan. 31, 2021, 12:48 p.m.

I used to really like using the pink sytrofoam with the grooves in it for the metal channel for basement walls. It ended up fitting flush with the foam. I used to fasten it with tapcons. I have been unable to find it lately, anyone know where it went and why? thanks george

John Maloney
John Maloney Feb. 2, 2021, 7:15 p.m.

The first thing I do is confirm there are no cracks in the foundation. If so get them repaired first. Look for any signs of water infiltration. Ensure the basement floor drains to either a floor drain or sump pit. After that is all completed, then I move onto finishing the interior.

The basements I have completed I have used the insulated drycore for the floor. Then 2" rigid against the foundation wall. Tape all joints. Then I use steel studs and Roxul within the stud spacing. The main reason I use the steel studs is for convenience, low noise ( no cutting of wood studs), and no dust. Do not apply a vapour barrier on the inside. The headers above the sill plate I use 4" of rigid and I make these about an inch smaller in both directions and fill the voids with expansion foam. This creates an airtight seal. Then build out the space above the metal framing with Roxul.

This provides a nice cosy basement.