Finishing Your Basement Walls with Furring Shims

How to Attach Furring Shims to Concrete Basement Foundation Walls

By Mark J. Donovan

Are you thinking about finishing your basement? Many homeowners tackle their own finished basement projects. Finishing a basement is one of the least expensive ways to add finished living space to your home. One of the key components in remodeling a basement is finishing your basement foundation walls. When finishing your basement walls you have two choices; you can either frame 2×4 walls adjacent to the concrete foundations or you can attach furring strips to the concrete foundation walls. From there you can then insulate between the wall studs or furring strips and attach drywall to the wall studs or furring shims / furring strips.

Attaching furring strips to concrete foundation walls is easier and cheaper than framing 2×4 walls adjacent to the basement foundation. I would however use 2x4s for the furring shims / strips rather than 1x3s.

This way there is enough depth in between the furring strips to install rigid foam insulation. In addition, it allows low profile electrical outlets to be attached to the furring strips.

The furring shims should be vertically placed on 16 inch centers along the length of the basement foundation walls.

It is important that the furring strips are plumb so make sure you use a level when marking the location of each furring strip on the wall. The furring strips should be affixed to the foundation walls with a combination of concrete nails and “Liquid Nails” or some other type of construction adhesive.

To attach a furring shim to the foundation wall cut it to length and then hold it in position along the marks you made on the wall for it. While holding the furring strip in position, drill pilot holes through the furring strip and into the concrete wall.

 Basement Remodeling Bid Sheet

Note that the 2×4 should be attached to the wall on its flat side. Drill 3 to 4 pilot holes along the length of the furring strip.

Next, apply a bead of construction adhesive to the back side of the furring shim and then reposition it into place on the wall. While holding the furring strip in place, hammer in a concrete nail into the top pilot hole in the furring strip. Note that it’s important that the pilot hole in the furring strip line up with the corresponding pilot hole in the foundation wall. Once the first nail is securely fastened, hammer in the remaining nails along the length of the furring strip. Repeat this process for attaching all of the furring strips to the wall.

Once the furring strips have been attached cut and install rigid foam insulation in-between the furring strip bays. If you’re installing wiring and electrical outlets, install them prior to installing the foam insulation.Next staple a sheet of polyethylene plastic over the furring strips and insulation to form a vapor barrier.

Attaching furring strips to basement wall.

With the polyethylene plastic attached your ready for fastening drywall to your newly framed basement foundation walls.

For more help on Basement Additions, see’s Basement Remodeling Bid sheet. The Basement Remodeling Bid Sheet will help ensure that your hire the right contractor so that your basement remodeling project is done correctly and you get the project finished on time and budget.

Related Information

Get Free Basement Remodeling Price Quotes with No Obligation!

Fill out our 3-5 minute quick and easy form, and receive a free price quote on basement remodeling from one of our prescreened and licensed basement remodeling contractors. This process is free and there is no obligation to continue once you receive your basement remodeling price estimate.