Working With Steel Wall Framing

David Trammel's picture

Does anyone have experience with steel or galvanized wall framing material? I've been working in the basement and have finally removed the old shower.

Here's a picture of it from before:

I planned to remove the shower enclosure and turn that area into a laundry. Removing the walls was pretty straight forward. The bricks were mortared together and a few hits with a hammer loosened them up enough to remove. Around the water pipes was a bit tricky, to avoid putting a hole in the pipes.

The big wrench in the removal was the lower section. It appeared to be pour concrete and was. In fact the person who made it had put chain link fence scrap into it as stiffener.

I rented a hammer drill and spent a weekend chipping it up.

This let me move around the washer and dryer:

and to add a small shop sink. Next up will be getting a plumber in and remove the shower pipes and move the incoming water pipes over to the new area.

What I'd like to do is frame in that wall, around to the left and then create a small kitchen nook, with an L counter top and cabinets to the right of the window. I want to add insulation to the basement, especially on that side, since about 4' of the basement wall is exposed. The past deep cold really showed how chilly the basement can be.

Looking at my options, I decided since its in the basement, wood frames would be subject to rot if they get wet. Right now the basement has one small leak, which is on the list to patch, as well as several visible cracks in the walls. I can't rule out additional leaks in the future so I've decided to go with steel framing members.

I've been watching quite a few youtube videos, and gotten some hints on how to proceed. I wondered if anyone here had used them before and any observations.

As long as you've got open walls, install your grab-bars and handrails!

Everywhere. You never know when you'll need them.

Would not steel framing rust when it stays wet for too long?

David Trammel's picture

Yes, anything degrades, but in a basement situation mold is a big problem, something steel framing can mitigate.

What I've seen is the recommendation you install a pressure treated 2x4 on the concrete, then put your steel framing members on top of that. Even PT wood will rot eventually but it holds its structural integrity better than rusting metal.

Going with the bottom 12-18" using concrete board helps too. Wet drywall tends to outgas formaldehyde, its why in flood damaged buildings they have to gut all the drywall. Mostly though I won't be facing deep flooding. The biggest problem will be the sewer drain backing up, which puts a couple of inches of water on the floor around the drain. The original builders put a depression of at least that around the drain. We've never had it get out into the rest of the basement.

Fixing any leaks in the basement wall first is a priority, its cinder block construction so its got some cracks at the joints between bricks, as well as insulating the rim joists around the sill plate. I just have one spot that sees water during heavy rain.

Beside that, I'm going to subdivide the basement, into a patched and hole plugged 2/3rds area and a heavily insulated and framed office 1/3rd area for day to day use.