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Are you renovating your basement walls and unsure of your options? There is a range of ways to finish a basement wall and create a warm, damp-free basement. Firstly, make sure your basement has the right perimeter drain and waterproof membrane to prevent moisture. Here we will look at how to avoid the three most common problems that homeowners experience when renovating their walls.

#1. Using Wooden Studs

To get warm dry walls, you traditionally needed conventional stud framing and fiberglass insulation which is a two-step process. Using wood studs can have significant drawbacks even if your basement was designed correctly. Wood, being organic, can rot and grow mold, even if it was treated prior to installation. Water from plumbing leaks will also damage wood.

The Solution

A good way to avoid the drawbacks of wooden studs is to use a foam wall covering. This is glued onto the basement walls and has integrated metal studs. These custom-engineered foam panels are fastened directly to the walls with nails through the metal studs. Being inorganic, it cannot rot.

#2. Using Metal Studs

Many installers try to overcome the limitations of wooden studs by hanging dry wall on metal studs. The problem with this is that metal is highly thermally conductive. When used to conventional frame an internal wall in a basement against a cold foundation wall, each stud becomes a thermal bridge in the wall. This creates cold spots every 16 inches or so.

The Solution

Foam is also a good alternative to metal studs. As the metal studs don’t go all the way through the wall to the cold side, a 1” barrier of foam eliminates cold spots. The nails holding the studs to the wall won’t compromise the insulation in the basement walls to the same extent as metal studs. Foam has the added convenience of vertical channels for wiring every 30 inches and horizontal channels 16” and 64” off the floor. All the electrical work is done in one-step after the panels are installed giving you the flexibility to run wires anywhere.

#3. Using Painted Drywall

Drywall and paint are especially susceptible to water damage, not only moisture coming through the walls but water damage from pipes. Leaking pipes will ruin painted walls. Drywall is also inconvenient if you want to hang anything such as clocks or pictures on your walls as it’s hard to patch over where screws or nails have been.

The Solution

A good alternative to painted drywall are cement boards with a washable vinyl finish. This won’t be ruined by leaks and if you choose an off-white and beige colored ‘alligator’ texture, it will hide marks and scratches effectively. Cement boards let you hang anything you want and remove it without having to worry about visible damage. You can remove screws or nails and simply putty over the hole – there is no need for filler or painting. A firm with experience of home design in Calgary will offer your basement renovation these options and more, giving you a room with warm, dry walls that you and your family will love!



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Be it your mancave, entertainment haven or simply a functional space you’ll love your new basement. Increase your existing home living space by 30% – 50%. Enjoy this new extension of your home complimenting existing space.


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