ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Frame a Basement Wall That Floats

Updated on March 25, 2017
Grant's World profile image

A fellow human who loves his planet and beyond, with interests that match and never end. One life. One love. Appreciate everything.

Framed Floating Basement Wall Example

How to Frame a Basement by Yourself

I have framed many basements in my day and I always frame them myself. I am going to tell you how to frame your basement walls in a way that you will be able to float the walls by yourself.

Now some sections of walls that are really long you might need help just lifting the wall after framing it on the floor but mostly you should be able to frame lift and float the walls all by yourself.

Since you are framing your walls yourself I will assume you have general knowledge and knowhow for framing walls. If you are nailing your plates and studs or using an air-nailer it doesn’t matter you can use my method with both nailing methods.

Floating basement walls is always a good idea in case your floor heaves and shifts. When you float the wall and your basement floor shifts chances are you won’t get cracks in your walls.

Framing and Floating Basment Walls

Floating your walls means either the top or bottom plate will be floating only using spikes to connect your wall to a 2nd wall plate. I float my walls at the floor. Let’s get started. So you have all your lumber on site right? Ok good.


  • A couple of things to consider before you start framing. If you are going to have a plumbing stack in the basement make sure you frame that wall with 2” by 6” lumber, the rest should be 2” by 4”.
  • Make sure you know what size doors you will be installing so you can frame the rough openings accordingly.
  • When framing outer walls around windows make sure to allow enough around the window to allow for the finished product for instance I build 5/8” boxes that butt up to the window and are flush with the face of the drywall, so I have to allow for that 5/8” all the way around.

Example of a Floating Wall

Notice the bottom of the wall. It is floating. There is a plate secured to the concrete and then a plate floating an 1 1/2 above it.
Notice the bottom of the wall. It is floating. There is a plate secured to the concrete and then a plate floating an 1 1/2 above it.

The Tip Regarding Floating Walls Easily

In my neck of the woods the outer wall studs are spaced 24” on center and the inner walls are 16” on center meaning the center of each stud is approximately either 24” or 16”.


  • To float your walls at the floor you will have to put down a 2 * 4 plate on the floor securing it, I still use cement nails because I like pounding them into the concrete myself. UPDATE I now prefer using a Ramset for securing the bottom plate to the floor however using concrete nails is still okay.
  • The trick to floating walls by yourself is to measure from the top of the plate you just laid on the floor to the underside of the joist and deduct 1 1/2”.
  • The 1 1/2” will be the space between the bottom plate on the floor already and the underside of the plate on the bottom of the wall you frame.
  • The easy way to hang the wall yourself is to put a couple of small pieces of 2” by 4” on top of the plate already secured to the floor and lift your framed wall and set it on top of those pieces.

Now That You Have Framed & Floated the Wall

It might be a bit tight and you might have to hammer the wall around a bit to get it where you want it but that is all there is too it.


  • Now get your wall squared up at the top and bottom and nail the top of the wall to your joists and drill some holes in the bottom plate of your wall just snug enough so the spikes fit through with just tapping them lightly through the bottom wall plate into the plate that was secured right to the floor.
  • Make sure your spikes are long enough that they are still sticking out from your top plate. I use 5” or 6” spikes.
  • Now you can take out the two small pieces of lumber and you know have a wall floating from the floor and you did it by yourself. It’s that easy.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Grant's World profile imageAUTHOR

    Grant Handford 

    6 years ago from Canada

    Where I live it is code to have the gap on the bottom of the wall.

    Thanks for commenting toronto kitchens.

  • profile image

    toronto kitchen renovations 

    6 years ago

    I actually like the idea of the gap being at the top, because then the weight of the wall won't be hanging from the ceiling. Seems to make sense to have it rest on the floor; I think this is the way I'll do it, assuming I'm allowed to.

    http://www.etpainting.com/kitchen_renovations.html

  • Grant's World profile imageAUTHOR

    Grant Handford 

    7 years ago from Canada

    Builder thanks for your comments. You obviously know your codes.

    Cheers,

    G

  • profile image

    Builder 

    7 years ago

    I strongly agree with Grant's world. It is a code requirement to frame floating floors in basements with these conditions. I strongly urge energyguild to take an ICC building test to freshen up basic carpentry skills. Good job explaining Grant's world.

  • Grant's World profile imageAUTHOR

    Grant Handford 

    7 years ago from Canada

    energyguild in your part of the world that way of framing might be valid if you have no ground shifting and heaving.

    When the ground you build on is mostly clay and tends to heave quit often framing the way you are suggesting would only cause cracking in the walls.

    Thanks for your comment though.

  • profile image

    energyguild 

    7 years ago

    While some of the information that you provide is valid, framing a wall in a basement should not be performed this way. Securing the top and bottom plates to the floor and ceiling and adding the wall studs afterwards is the tried and true method to basement wall framing or framing anything in an existing structure for that matter. I would strongly urge you not not frame walls in the matter described in your article anymore.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)