View Full Version : question about metal studs/framing in basement

06-06-2009, 08:54 PM
So I'm looking at a house that I am thinking about buying and I noticed that they framed the basement walls with metal studs and insulated it. The vapor barrier on the inner side of the framing (if I touch the wall, there is vapor barrier between me and the insulation).

I am only familiar with wood studs. I would like to know more about using metal studs in the basement.

Is there anything that I need to look at? Does the vapor barrier have to wrap under the frame to separate the base from the concrete floor? Will the metal framing be uber cold in the winter due to the better heat conductivity vs wood framing? What about condensation and breathability?

Does anyone have any guestimates on how much it would cost to replace this with wood studs? I'm guessing that the area is about 24' x 30' give or take.

Big Daddy G
06-07-2009, 08:30 AM
We just had a metal stud adventure of our own a few weeks ago. Unfortunately it is code now, so we have to live with it.

Running electrical through it was fairly straightforward. There should be predrilled holes in the studs to run the electrical cable. You also need to have rubber or plastic grommets around those holes. You need a special type of electrical box that wraps around the studs.

Hanging the drywall was challenging. I understand that in commercial developments, steel stud is used primarily and it is supposed to be quite fast to put up drywall.

However, due to the nature of the steel stud, it is kind of shaped like a [

So when you go to screw in your drywall, the C kind of bends on the open side and it makes it very difficult to properly screw in.

If I had the choice to do it again, I would rip out the steel stud and put in wood, it was just a pain in the ass to work with.

06-08-2009, 10:32 PM
If you ever watch Holmes on Homes he doesn't like steel studs in the basement. If it ever floods or gets damp the studs rust. He doesn't like them in general but he really hates them in basements.

06-08-2009, 10:34 PM
The condo I live in was built with steel studs. It's a challenge to drill into them, and if you are unlucky enough to get the screw crooked, there is no way to back the damn thing out.

06-08-2009, 11:43 PM
Steel studs aren't terrible, but they aren't great either.

Excellent for a fire safety rating, hense their use for commercial purposes.

They don't mould or rot

I believe they make them galvanized now so they would be very resistent to rust.

not that great for an r-factor (insulating), actually transfers cold rather quickly.

these standard steel studs cannot be used for a load bearing wall.

Not terrible to screw into as long as you use metal tapping drywall screws and a drill (you'll likely never get into the stud screwing by hand with a screwdriver)

I personally wouldn't feel comfortable hanging a flat screen to steel studs.

I wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing more houses in the future built with steel studs, just for the fire rating.

06-09-2009, 12:47 AM
Originally posted by Pacman
The condo I live in was built with steel studs. It's a challenge to drill into them, and if you are unlucky enough to get the screw crooked, there is no way to back the damn thing out.

Just a little tip, when I was doing cabinet install at the childrens hospital, every single stud in that place was metal.

The best screws you can use are Self Tappers. It makes it insanely easy to get a nice hold into a metal stud.

They look like the bottom one in this pic.


You could probably do it yourself pretty easily, framing is a piece of cake!

06-10-2009, 08:29 AM
As a Taper/Boarder I can tell you they are a nightmare! ESPECIALLY in your basement. They are hard to bite into without a bend. But THE worse part..if you have kids or something...the walls will flex. So if your kid runs into it odds are all your tape seams will crack before he makes a hole. Just go push on one...imagine a board across them. the whole wall can be pushed.