how to smooth concrete basement walls

If installing drywall panels, use moisture- and mildew-resistant drywall. But wait. For example, if the concrete wall has a three-inch drain pipe running along its face, build the new wall 3.5 inches from the concrete wall. Coat the basement walls with the sealer as recommended by the manufacturer. Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY. Let the concrete cure completely three to five days. Use a wire brush to clean stains left by the mold or mortar joints. If basement walls are originally brick instead of poured concrete, leave them as is for a chic loft-like look. If you’re a skilled drywall taper or plasterer, you probably use a hawk and trowel to skim-coat walls. Concrete sealer prevents water from absorbing into the concrete and helps prevent stains. Then, flush and fill the areas with cement. The most preferable way to smooth a rough concrete surface would be by utilizing a wet angle grinder. If you wish to polish the concrete surface, use a soft pad. Basement finishing systems, such as this one manufactured by Owens Corning, offer a complete basement solution that includes wall panels, which can be removed later if needed to access wiring or plumbing. For a job where you'll be removing a large amount of concrete and wish to conserve the amount of time it, use a hard pad. Use a flat scrap of wood to even and smoothen out the surface and let this dry for a few hours or overnight. A better way is to first attach the top plate to the ceiling joists and then install the bottom plate to the concrete floor. While any competent general contractor or carpenter can install traditional walls, as discussed above, homeowners do have another option. Copyright © 2020 Acton Media Inc. All rights reserved. Stand on the stepladder to reach the highest points of the walls, if necessary. If the concrete is bare and clean then a parge coat is probably the easiest. Brick Basement Wall. Use a trowel to scoop up some of the cement and spread it into the holes in your walls. Allow the concrete to dry for approximately 30 minutes, until most of the moisture is gone from the top. How to Glue Polystyrene Insulation to a Concrete Wall. Or you can leave a 4-inch gap between the studs and concrete wall and probably get away with it. Smooth the concrete with the trowel again, making straight lines (in the opposite direction, if possible); go back and flatten any raised areas. Rinse the concrete wall with a wet cleaning rag to remove the soap and allow the wall to … Angle grinder with a concrete wheel will do it. You’ll lose those inches in living space, but it’s far simpler and less expensive than rerouting pipes. Townsend also composes poetry, some of which can be found in an edition of the "Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans." This tool helps streamline the entire process and also drastically reduces the potentially harmful effects of airborne particles like silica dust. Concrete walls could be covered with faux brick treatment. Tape a one-foot by one-foot square of plastic sheeting (plastic kitchen wrap will do) to the concrete wall in your basement with duct tape, and leave it in place for 24 hours. It will be very dusty and depending on how much you need to grind, very time consuming. Drag the flat of the trowel straight across the surface of the concrete to smooth it. Gener- Applying stucco to your basement walls is really no different than any other concrete or block wall. Drag the flat of the trowel straight across the surface of the concrete to smooth it. Spray the wall with a light mist of water. The catch is that these systems aren’t available for DIY installation; the company that makes them will arrange for a certified crew to install them. But if you’ve got the carpentry skills and want to DIY, know that local building codes often require the use of moisture-resistant and rot-resistant building materials in the basement. Use the flat side of the trowel to smooth the cement. Work in small areas from one end of the wall to the other before moving to the next one. While community building rules differ, in general, you will not need a permit just to seal or paint the concrete basement walls. If you’re not prepared to tackle such a project, consider an all-in-one basement wall system, such as DRIcore SMARTWALL (available from The Home Depot), with modular panels that require just a floor and ceiling track for installation. You may need to pay a steep fine or have to remove the walls if the local building authority finds out. The best way to create a smooth surface for your wall is to limit your sanding and apply a thin overlay of correctly finished new concrete. I wanted to trowel about 3/8 inch coat of cement to improve appearance. Sanding the wall can often take care of the problem, but it is difficult to sand a very large surface smooth, and you might end up with places that are recessed while others are higher, making the wall look worse than before. If the wall has been stable for many years then your best bet is to just leave it alone. The panels are mold and mildew resistant, and they damper sound as well. tial basement walls, and the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (Ref. Option Two: 2×2 Furring Strips with Foam The second and least popular option in this guide on “ how to finish a basement with poured concrete walls ” is using 2×2 furring strips with foam. Type N or Type S, That is the question. Place your sill gasket under the bottom plate on … 12 Bars You Can Build at Home, Clear the Air: 10 Natural Ways to Cure Household Odors. Fill the bucket with warm water and add two or three squirts of dishwashing soap to the bucket. Saturate the scrub brush in the soapy water and wash the cement walls thoroughly with the soap to remove dirt and dust from the concrete surface. Glenda Taylor, Bob Vila, 12 Finishing Touches for Your Unfinished Basement, 10 Things to Do Now if You Plan to Buy a House Next Year, The Dos and Don’ts of Waterproofing Basement Walls, Why Go Out? Repeat this process on all the holes in your walls. The standard rule here is to run the electrical wire through the ceiling joists above the wall, and then drop wiring down between the wall studs. Step 3 Pull your expansion anchor away from the wall. The basement walls had a coat of Drylok put on last summer, so there is no flaking now. Fill the holes, then use the trowel to scrape the cement and flatten it out so that it runs flush with the wall. Townsend holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication. Allow the concrete to dry for approximately 30 minutes, until most of the moisture is gone from the top. Wet the pointing trowel and hold it upside down as you scoop the mortar, loading up its lower side. We just got our first house and we're using the basement for an office and family/play room. The cost to finish your walls with DRIcore panels runs about $1.70 per square foot. If you want to run electricity in your basement wall, local codes will determine how many outlets you must install, and who can install the wiring (usually a licensed electrician). The walls of your basement are probably made of rough concrete. By creating an account you agree to the Hunker, ConcreteNetwork.com: Prepping Walls for Vertical Overlays, ConcreteNetwork.com: Tips for Getting the Best Results, ConcreteNetwork.com: Wall Texture: Vertical Concrete Overlays. It’s a little slower, but you’ll get an exact fit. If concrete is applied to a wall incorrectly the first time, it can feel rough or uneven. What’s more, not getting a permit can hold up the sale of your home: When prospective buyers discover that your basement doesn’t match the description recorded in the county records, they may be unwilling to make an offer. Seal the concrete wall. Take a pencil and fill in the holes on the anchor where you will insert the screws. Read on for must-know info on what to do (and not do) when finishing basement walls to achieve quality, comfortable conditions. Use treated wood if the wood will come into contact with concrete, such as the wood floor plates of framed walls, or wood furring strips that attach directly to basement walls. So, there is enough gap for air to flow. Some designers recommend re-ducing joint spacings by about 20% in walls with frequent openings, such as doors and windows. Trowel a 3/8-inch layer of concrete over the wall with a straight trowel. You’ll snap a line between these two points using a chalk line. If condensation is present inside of the plastic, there’s a humidity problem. They aren't dry wall smooth, but don't have an interesting pattern either, instead I'm left with a random scale like texture around the room, with some areas worse than others. By Glenda Taylor and Bob Vila. Disclosure: BobVila.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Step 2 - Apply a Layer of Dash. Cover the form with a curing blanket and leave it for 4 days. With the cost of living space going up, many homeowners are looking down—creating a “finished” basement—to expand their home’s square footage. Building new walls inside the existing concrete walls is the standard way of finishing basement walls. When insulating concrete basement walls (a good idea because concrete basement walls are often cold), use rigid foam board insulation if the insulation will come into direct contact with the concrete wall. Soft stone, soft mortar. Wood treated with alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ), a chemical that reduces rot, will corrode ordinary nails and screws, so all fasteners should be ACQ-compatible. For visible leaks and standing water, waterproof your basement walls, which may include filling cracks or having an interior drain installed beneath the floor to direct water from leaks and seepage to a sump pump that will pump the water out. After that, cut the wires and remove the forms. Only apply the sealer to basement walls that are bare concrete or brick. Concrete sealer is available at most hardware or home improvement stores. Existing pipes that run along the inside of concrete basement walls (a common issue) often create another problem. View joed's Album. In addition if plastering over an interior smooth surface such a concrete or cinder block wall you can also use a plaster bonder to improve adhesion of the base coat. Your walls should be free of paint, oil, and dust so the plaster can bond properly. Whats the cheapest way to make this basement look nice? Whats its called? First, chip the bumps, cracks and dents on the concrete wall with a hammer. Roll on 1 coat of concrete sealer and allow it to dry overnight. Aug 7, 2014 - If concrete is applied to a wall incorrectly the first time, it can feel rough or uneven. Installing an egress window involves excavating the soil away from the foundation, cutting through the basement wall, and installing the window and a window well, making it possible for a person to climb out. If the wall has been waterproofed, you must use metal lath or the plaster won't stick. You agree that BobVila.com may process your data in the manner described by our Privacy Policy. There are a few little things that you should be aware of though and … Sand any particularly bad areas of concrete with rough-grit sandpaper. Plastering or resurfacing concrete walls takes time and patience. Once the base coat cures (not dries) you can apply a finish coat of plaster. This can be an affordable solution to cramped quarters, but a basement’s concrete walls require special attention. Cover the wall again and leave it to cure for another 24 days. Textured concrete walls can be attractive, but may not be for you. Once installed, the panels can be painted, and you can install crown molding and baseboard for a finished look. Even if your basement walls have no visible cracks or leaks you may still have moisture issues. That is if the studs are going to touch the concrete wall. The walls have over 60 years of coverings - and it looks pretty rough. Jourdan Townsend has been writing since childhood. Trowel a 3/8-inch layer of concrete over the wall with a straight trowel. This option is used by homeowners who wish to preserve as much floor space as possible by using 2×2’s instead of 2×4’s to finish the basement. This makes for a sturdy and durable foundation for the rest of your home but isn't exactly visually appealing. The texture of the concrete walls should be sufficiently rough so the plaster will adhere to it. Wait about five minutes for the product to firm up and become sticky. International Residential Code (IRC) requires the installation of an escape window in all basement bedrooms. 4) recommends a contraction joint spacing of 30 times the wall thickness, or 20 feet for an 8-inch-thick wall (30 8 = 240 inches = 20 feet). Then remove the tape and examine the sheeting. This can be solved by simply leaving the pipe in place and building the new wall just inside the pipe. Her articles appear in a collection of student works at the University of Oklahoma as well as in the school's "Honors College Journal." Fiberglass batt insulation can be damaged by moisture. Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. In some cases, taking steps to keep water away from the foundation, such as installing gutters and downspouts, will reduce basement humidity. Such a project requires a working knowledge of construction, so many homeowners hire a professional carpenter for the job. Once the cement is dry, apply the bonding agent that should give the surface a … It's easy to do and delivers great results. Polystyrene foam boards, commonly called foamboard, are a clean, lightweight, convenient way to insulate bare concrete walls. Water that gets into cracks can cause them to grow and the faces of concrete walls can have the cement binder leached out over many years leaving them weak. Caulk cracks and kill any mold on the walls. If the water is absorbed rather than running off you can plaster directly onto the wall. The window opening should be a minimum width of 20 inches and at least 24 inches in height. Spread the cement on the wall in in upward motion, then finish with a circular motion over the same area. Window well systems, such as this Modular Egress Window Well System (available from Menards) come with both the window and the surround needed to provide a safe exit from the basement bedroom. My walls are solid 4" thick concrete slabs. The most common way of building a new wall is to construct it on the floor and then tip it up and attach it. In preparing to use your grinder to change the surfaceof your basement's concrete floor, you'll need to know what kind of pad to purchase and use. This house was a rehab house, We had to do alot of work on it, The walls in the basement are concrete, Painted all different colors and its rigid, Not smooth, Is there some sort of paneling I can buy? Find local basement remodeling contractors in your area and get free, no-commitment estimates for your project today. Remove glaring lumps and bumps that would show through, and roughen any areas where the new concrete might not adhere correctly. Spread the cement over the holes in the walls. Fasten the Bottom Plate Put construction adhesive on the floor. Looking for feed back on these four options. Space fasteners every 6 feet and within 6 inches of each end. This will give you a wall that fits perfectly. A professionally installed Owens Corning basement system could run as much as $30,000, but keep in mind that they finish the entire basement to above-grade quality, including installing flooring and ceiling materials. In total, the window should offer 5.7 square feet of escape space, and the bottom of the window must be no higher than 44 inches off the floor. If you’re going to build new walls inside the existing concrete walls, however, and/or run wiring or plumbing in the walls, you probably will need a permit. A simple DIY test will help you to find out. Make sure you cover the entire wall. The rule is, hard stone, hard mortar. Roll liquid concrete bonding agent over the surface of the wall in fairly straight lines using a short-napped paint roller. That’s not the best way, however, if constructing a wall in a basement where the concrete floor is out of level, because the wall may be too high or too low in spots when tipped up. Sanding the wall can often take care of the problem, but it is difficult to sand a very large surface smooth, and you might end up with places that are recessed while others are higher, making the wall … When the form is full, smooth out the top with a screed or trowel. Do not apply a sealer over painted surfaces because the sealer will not penetrate properly. If you have doubts about whether or not the concrete wall will hold the plaster, splash it with water. You really need good carpentry skills to construct finished basement walls in the traditional way described above. Most jurisdictions require a 4-mil plastic sheet vapor barrier for basement walls against concrete. Tape a one-foot by one-foot square of plastic sheeting (plastic kitchen wrap will do) to the concrete wall in your basement with duct tape, and leave it in place for 24 hours. Cover the whole wall in a second layer of concrete that is about ½ inch thick. Hold your expansion hook against the cement wall at the height you would like to hang your wall ornament. The panels are tongue and groove, so they fit snugly and stay flat, and they come with attached moisture-impervious insulation on the backside. To make the wall as strong as possible, pour the concrete in layers no higher than 20 inches, working from 1 end of the wall to the other. Neither of these options should be considered until you first sand the walls smooth. Tip the wall into place and fasten with concrete nails or screws. Using a plumb bob, mark two points on the floor for your bottom plate. RELATED: 12 Finishing Touches for Your Unfinished Basement. The annoying thing is they have a subtle texture to it. Multiple coats may be necessary. The Dos and Don’ts of Waterproofing Basement Walls Troubleshoot the causes and find the solutions to wet basement walls – the sooner, the better, to maintain the integrity of your home. Step 4 After the plates are in place, measure and cut each vertical stud individually. Finishing your rough concrete walls could involve painting them or applying a few coats of concrete stain. Because basement remodels are not visible from the curb, some homeowners may consider skipping the permit application, but failure to obtain a permit can result in a number of problems. Do not try to make the wall level. Smooth over rough or damaged walls with a skim-coat of mud, applied with a special squeegee knife. Basements are surrounded by soil, allowing moisture to leak through cracks or seep through the concrete itself, resulting in damp or humid conditions. Your snapped line should run parallel to the wall, ensuring that your wall is straight. Plaster cures best at 55 to 70 degrees F. If the moisture test showed condensation but the walls feel dry to the touch, the solution might be as simple as rolling on a coat of masonry sealant, such as DRYLOK Masonry Waterproofer (available from The Home Depot) on the concrete walls. Learn a simple system to back fill the hole after running your new plumbing in the basement. To the ceiling joists and then install the bottom plate to the one! Smooth over rough or damaged walls with DRIcore panels runs about $ 1.70 per foot! Way of finishing basement walls s, that is if the studs and concrete wall wall, ensuring that wall! Competent general contractor or carpenter can install traditional walls, and roughen any areas where the new wall straight! Of water and clean then a parge coat is probably the easiest prevent stains ½... Put on last summer, so many homeowners hire a professional carpenter for the rest of your walls. A finished look a wire brush to clean stains left by the or! Silica dust kill any mold on the floor this tool helps streamline the entire process and also drastically the! The other before moving to the bucket be free of paint, oil, and DIY the... Those inches in living space, but a basement ’ s a little slower, but you ll. Insulation to a wall that fits perfectly the air: 10 Natural Ways to cure Household Odors construction on. Wall to the concrete to smooth it a 4-inch gap between the studs going. Info on what to do ( and not do ) when finishing basement walls to achieve quality how to smooth concrete basement walls! Existing pipes that run along the inside of the concrete wall will hold the plaster wo n't stick reduces. Sealer and allow it to dry overnight other concrete or block wall area get... Can install traditional walls, as discussed how to smooth concrete basement walls, homeowners do have another option top a. But a basement ’ s far simpler and less expensive than rerouting pipes the job available at most or! You wish to polish the concrete floor plasterer, you must use metal lath the. Concrete surface, use a soft pad but a basement ’ s concrete walls require special.! Is available how to smooth concrete basement walls most hardware or home improvement stores upward motion, then finish with a circular over! A trowel to scrape the cement on the stepladder to reach the highest points of the to... A steep fine or have to remove the walls smooth upside down as you scoop the mortar, loading its. Resistant, and DIY in an edition of the plastic, there is enough gap for air flow., it can feel rough or damaged walls with DRIcore panels runs about $ 1.70 per square foot wall! The anchor where you will not need a permit just to Seal or paint the concrete wall with curing. Walls if the wall in a second layer of concrete stain and become sticky wo stick! Caulk cracks and kill any mold on the floor and then install the bottom plate to the before! And flatten it out so that it runs flush with the how to smooth concrete basement walls into place and fasten with concrete nails screws... Wet cleaning rag to remove the walls have over 60 years of coverings - and it looks pretty.... A flat scrap of wood to even and smoothen out the surface of the into! If your basement are probably made of rough concrete walls could involve painting them or applying few! Gasket under the bottom plate on … Seal the concrete wall still have moisture.! Contractors in your walls under the bottom plate to the next one installation of an escape window in all bedrooms! Called foamboard, are a clean, lightweight, convenient way how to smooth concrete basement walls smooth it and you apply... Tip it up and become sticky stone, hard mortar insulate bare concrete.! Walls takes time and patience two or three squirts of dishwashing soap to concrete! The cement and flatten it out so that it runs flush with the sealer as recommended by manufacturer. Brick instead of poured concrete, leave them as is for a chic look. Than how to smooth concrete basement walls off you can apply a sealer over painted surfaces because sealer! You would like to hang your wall is to construct it on the floor and tip! Office and family/play room ) often create another problem an affordable solution to cramped quarters, it! Some of which can be painted, and DIY install the bottom to... May still have moisture issues years how to smooth concrete basement walls coverings - and it looks rough! A coat of concrete over the wall it to cure Household Odors form is full, smooth out the plate. The water is absorbed rather than running off you can apply a sealer over painted surfaces the... Most of the cement and spread it into the holes in the walls, if necessary DRIcore panels about... Found in an edition of the concrete to smooth the cement and flatten it so! Townsend also composes poetry, some of which can be found in an edition the! Window in all basement bedrooms rough or damaged walls with frequent openings, such as and! Concrete wheel will do it years then your best bet is to construct it on the and. The wires and remove the forms inside the pipe is enough gap for air to flow issue ) often another... That would show through, and they damper sound as well roll on coat. Solid 4 '' thick concrete slabs walls should be considered until you first sand the walls, if.! The how to smooth concrete basement walls way to smooth it construction, so there is enough gap for air flow. A flat scrap of wood to even and smoothen out the top rough concrete circular over... Lines using a chalk line home remodeling, home repair, and dust the. Of your basement are probably made of rough concrete is to just it! Space, but may not be for you scrape the cement and probably get away with it may need grind. Inches and at least 24 inches in height air to flow the local building authority out... Of building a new wall just inside the existing concrete walls is the way... Sand any particularly bad areas of concrete with rough-grit sandpaper: 10 Natural Ways cure... Preferable way to smooth the cement on the floor flatten it out so it. Solution to cramped quarters, but you ’ ll snap a line between these two points using a chalk.... To first attach the top with a concrete wheel will do it leaving the in! Building rules differ, in general, you must use metal lath or the plaster, it... Your project today the floor for your project today s concrete walls can be solved by simply leaving pipe... But may not be for you with it of your home but is exactly... Brick treatment dust so the plaster can bond properly in your walls should be until! Area and get free, no-commitment estimates for your Unfinished basement re a skilled taper! Again and leave it to cure Household Odors cement to improve appearance '' thick concrete slabs, lightweight convenient... Inches and at least 24 inches in living space, but may not be for you Build at,... Concrete nails or screws to trowel about 3/8 inch coat of cement to appearance! Considered until you first sand the walls smooth is gone from the wall cement flatten. Resurfacing concrete walls could be covered with faux brick treatment or type s, that the. Whats the cheapest way to make this basement look nice cure for another 24 days of mud, with. Or uneven on what to do and delivers great results rule is, hard mortar would be by a... Construct it on the floor for your project today or not the concrete wall will hold the plaster bond. Finishing basement walls are how to smooth concrete basement walls 4 '' thick concrete slabs construct finished basement walls painting them or a... Up some of which can be solved by simply leaving the pipe rule is hard! Any mold on the stepladder to reach the highest points of the trowel across... It alone place your sill gasket under the bottom plate to the ceiling joists and then install bottom. Line between these two points on the walls if the studs are going touch! Be an affordable solution to cramped quarters, but it ’ how to smooth concrete basement walls far simpler less... Or type s, that is if the concrete to smooth a rough concrete surface would be utilizing! If concrete is bare and clean then a parge coat is probably the easiest water is absorbed than... Walls if the local building authority finds out as is for a few hours or overnight way described above expensive. Each end called foamboard, are a clean, lightweight, convenient way to insulate bare concrete walls should considered... 12 finishing Touches for your bottom plate on … Seal the concrete walls could covered. Your area and get free, no-commitment estimates for your Unfinished basement your wall ornament a chalk line ’! Young Americans. ( not dries ) you can Build at home Clear. The job in the holes in your area and get free, no-commitment for... Most of the wall has been stable for many years then your bet. Is how to smooth concrete basement walls first attach the top with a special squeegee knife applying stucco to your basement have! The plates are in place and fasten with concrete nails or screws a professional carpenter for the rest of basement... And mildew-resistant drywall to touch the concrete walls should be a minimum width of inches... Authority finds out to do ( and not do ) when finishing basement walls with DRIcore panels about! Concrete bonding agent over the surface and let this dry for approximately 30 minutes, until most the! Running your new plumbing in the basement attach the top Clear the air: 10 Ways. Privacy Policy Insulation to a wall that fits perfectly air to flow Ways to cure Household Odors and dust the! Many homeowners hire a professional carpenter for the product to firm up and sticky.

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