I'm thinking of putting up a half-height wall in my basement to seperate
the laundry/workbench area from the kids play area. It will have to half
doors in it. One for the furnace and the other for access to the laundry
Between the doors will be a section of wall about 4 feet long with no side
support (it will be attached to the floor only). Any recommendations on
attachment method? The concrete floor is 80 years old, so I'm a little
leary of using just nails or screws to hold the bottom plate down. I was
thinking of drilling a hole and filling it with anchor cement. Then I
would use lumber ties to make sure that the studs were well attached to the
Google is so cool but you have to search their help section for some
of their cooler features- For instance- type in;
and you get a definition-- followed by a link to "more definitions" .
way down on that page-
A small projection of masonry from the face of a wall.
[The page with Googles coolness is-
http://www.google.com/help/ well worth spending an hour browsing ]
Agreed. A floating half-height wall only 4 feet long wouldn't last a month
with kids climbing on it. Add little stub walls at the gates.
Another observation about kids- a wall like this will become a toy for the
kids, and increase the odds of them straying into forbidden areas. Climbing
it, walking along the top, toy car highway, throwing things at each other
over the top, etc. If you want an open wall for air and light reasons, I'd
top the stub wall with sliding screens, perforated panels, shutters, or
something, and use full-height doors. That way you can open them up when you
are using the shop or laundry, but kids have a visible boundry to 'their'
area. A cheap alternative might be a whole bunch of sliding or z-fold closet
doors hung from a track in ceiling, or set between posts every X feet along
the perimeter. Or if you just want the area kid-safe and don't care about
looks, put up a chain-link fence wall, with lockable gates, warehouse style.
Hard to make good recommendations without seeing your space.
The half wall idea will still work, don't despair. It's just that the
catilever support off the basement slab is prone to failure. One suggestion
I'd offer is to carry just an occasional column full height to anchor to the
ceiling. That will give you the support you need but still leave you with
an eseentially open space.
It's about 12 feet end to end and needs two doors in it. One of the
reasons for only going half height is that the expansion tank for the
boiler is right where I'd want the wall to go. That and I'd have to cut
down the doors anyway (floor to joist is only 6ft 5in). Oh well, time to
tell the wife NO!
Come to think of it, you could just post up to the ceiling on either side
of each doorway.. and use bar-style batwing doors, so you don't
have to cut regular doors down. Or just do a normal wall with a
window-like cutout where the tank intrudes.
I have several half walls like this and anchored them by keeping the
framing in constant compression. In my opinion no other way will work
without wing walls. The reason is that the lumber you frame with will
shrink seasonally and once it becomes loose the wall will move.
If you have a good concrete floor and can anchor securely to it, perhaps
even with a toggle below the slab, pass several threaded rods through
the wall vertically and with a nut and washer tighten down on the
structure. The wall should now be quite stable. Leave some provision
for re-tightening the wall when it shrinks though, perhaps a removable
trim cap on the top. In my case all rods pass into the basement below so
access is available.
My architect designed several complicated weldments to hold these walls
but failed to realize that wood is not dimensionally stable. So in time
the walls loosened and there was no way to re-tighten them. The
threaded rod approach solves this. After 12 years all is still tight.
Brad Bruce wrote:
Either way. I used a lot of Tapcons in my remodel: worked great. Don't
understand your fear of using screws...
By the way, why would there not be any side support for your half wall?
Seems to me that you could tie it in to the door framing, no?, or am I
The idea was that there would be nothing (not even door frames) going to
the ceiling. There is a span of wall between two openings that would
only have an anchor to the floor.
| open |
|-------| |---------------| |-----|
| | 1/2 | | 1/2 | |
| | door | Problem | door | |
| | | wall | | |
| | | | | |
Ohhhhh. Don't know if I like that. That half wall will be susceptible to a
lot of damage without lateral support. A 4' x 4' wall built of 2x4 framing
isn't going to hold up. You might get away with it if you go to a 2x6 wall,
with anchoring as you mentioned. I like the wall sitting on a 5 1/2" base
rather than a 3 1/2" base.
If I could offer another option, why not build an "open wall" as opposed to
a half wall? What I mean is bring outside studs of the 4' wall to the
ceiling with a plate at the top to join the two. Put a small header in to
accommodate drywall and your good to go. Let me know what you think.
Do you mean on each side of the openings so that you would end up with
(wall, post, opening, post, 1/2 wall, post, opening, post, wall)? If so,
that might look sharp! My concern would be with how you would tack the
posts into your joists and the floor. You will have the same problem as
with the wall on its own because the posts won't offer you the support you
are looking for.
A simpler solution to all of this is to rough frame the openings as if you
were putting in doors. The other poster on this thread seems to know a
better solution where you wouldn't have to worry about posts.
I find the need to develop sturdy partial walls in commercial work
occasionally. I have had excellent results by drilling through
the concrete to install a piece of black iron pipe. With metal
studs I have surrounded the pipe with 2 studs and 2 pieces of
track (create a box) and fill with concrete. With wood I have
fastened a stud to the pipe with electrical EMT straps. I have
used 1/2", 3/4", and 1 1/2" pipe depending on height of wall,
amount of jeopardy, etc.
Keep the whole world singing. . . .
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