Should I Furr Over 6' Of Block ??

wrldrulerOctober 21, 2008

See picture links below. Converting garage into family room.

On the one inside wall, framer had to leave 6 inches of concrete block at the bottom of the wall. The block sticks out ~1/4 inch past the 2x4.

Framer doesn't think furring strips are needed. He says drywall can be attached over top this 6 inches of block.

I need to know your opinion. Should I install furring strips from floor to ceiling, or can I attach the drywall over the block? Is the extra 1/4 inch of block going to be a problem?


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Check the code in your area. Here in MASS, 5/8 drywall is required in garages. If that's the case where you life, the 5/8 would extend past the block, then you could use 3/8 around the bottom to fill the space. Only negative would be installing baseboard molding over block. If you use the FERRING strips, you'll have to notch the bottoms of each to keep the walls plumb. The strips would allow you to correct any out of plumb or out of square walls. More labor involved but I think the strips would make a better job

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 9:25AM
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When this room was a garage, I had some ugly, beat-up 5/8 board up there, which I have since tore down. This room is no longer considered a garge, so the 5/8 is no longer required. But your idea of using 5/8 and 3/8 is an interesting one.

I am still leaning towards furring the wall out. I would try to use my jigsaw to cut a 6" x 1/4" notch out of each. It will only be 20 boards, so not that big of a deal.

But I am worried about the thickness. If I use a 1x3, it will only be 3/4" thick. I will notch out 1/4", leaving only 1/2" of strip on the block. Is 1/2" enough to screw drywall into without splitting?


    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 10:30AM
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The 1/2 is plenty. You'll only need one screw in the block area..and I would put it close to the bottom. If you're concerned about the splitting, drill a small pilot hole first after the drywall is in place and secure with shorter screws. And short nails for your baseboard molding, so they don't hit the block and bend.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 1:06PM
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Looks more like you have 3/8ths inch or more of block protruding past the framing and yes it is going to be a problem for several reasons.

The first is that if you place furring strips over the block or install drywall directly over the studs and block, you will have a noticeable 'bend' in the drywall at the bottom of the wall.

The second is there is no way to fasten the bottom of the drywall to the block without pre-drilling and using concrete fasteners (such as Tapcon screws).

The third problem is that if you do not install furring strips, you will have nothing to which you can fasten any baseboard molding. In other words, how do you fasten wooden base molding directly to solid concrete block? Answer: You can't.

Seems to me the proper approach here is to first fur out the walls studs from the top of the block to the ceiling rafters to create an even surface. This can be done using 1/4 or 3/8" drywall, plywood or OSB.

Once that is done, you could then fur over the now flush stud/block surface to create both a solid and plumb fastening material for both your drywall and any base molding you wish to install.

Alternately, you could simply install furring strips vertically from floor to ceiling that are notched by 1/4-3/8" to account for the block that extends past the studs by that ammount.

Whatever you do and whatever method you come up with to resolve the dilemma, it will need to provide both a fastening surface for the drwyall and base molding as well as provide a plumb surface upon which to install these materials.

Your framer's advice is all wet, in my opinion and you need a better solution that the one he has offered.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 10:08PM
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I talked with my drywall guy. He said said I would be fine as-is, without the furring, but he couldn't answer how to install the baseboard trim on concrete.

I think I would regret not doing it in the future. So for $50 and 2 hours, I decided it is best just to furr out from floor to ceiling.

I bought some 1x3, but I think they're crap. My wife likes to hang a lot of stuff on the walls, and I am worried about splitting. Not to mention the concern of notching 1/4 - 3/8 at the bottom, and then putting drywall and trim through it.

So I talked my wife into giving up another inch, and I will go with 2x3. That will leave plenty of thickness to notch, and hang drywall, trim, and her knick-knacks.

Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 8:34AM
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Here's an easier way. Use the 1x3 and predrill just the ends if you're concerned about splitting. To make up the difference over the blocks, cut strips of plywood 6" x 1/2" and needed length and secure with concrete nails. This will give you full nailing surface for drywall and baseboard. Much easier to do. Also, ferring strips differ greatly in quality from place to place, check a few different sources.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 9:00AM
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I think you have it backwards. The block sticks out further than the 2x4s. So it is the 8' of 2x4 that needs to come out another 1/4 or so to match the block.

I could add plywood up top, but then I would still need to mount something on the block for drywall and trim. Hence the thought of doing floor to ceiling furring.


    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 10:27AM
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Next question is whether I should get 8' or 12' furring strips. I have 9' ceilings, and a small car. :)

Would it be a big problem to buy 8' pieces, which will fit in my car, and then add a 1' piece near the ceiling? Would this 1' piece be weaker because it is so short?

Or is it important that the furring strip be one continuous piece of wood, thus requiring me to borrow a truck, buy 12' pieces, and cut down to 9'?


    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 10:33AM
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I understand that by the pics. I was saying, use the strips but don't extend them onto the blocks, stop them on the bottom plate. You should now have 3/8 - 1/2" on the blocks you need to fill. Use the plywood on the block only, this is much easier than cutting the strips. If you wish to add at the top, run the strip horizontally, which gives you a nailer between the studs as well. My name is Pete, you can email me at if I can be of any additional help

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 11:11AM
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I understand you now.

How do you recommend attaching the plywood to the block?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 11:57AM
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1" concrete nails or Tapcon screws available at Home Depot, Lowes and lumber yards. You might find the screws easier to use, more expensive, but you have more control and they will come out if you need to make any changes.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 12:27PM
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