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Ive been researching and toiling over this as opposed to actually getting it done for too long, finally had to turn to a forum!

I purchased a relatively old house (1957) some time ago and we've finally gotten onto the basement (i call it the basement but its really considered living space as its only half underground/tri level home).

The utility room is bare cinder block on the 3 of the 4 walls. I intend to attach furring strips (1x3) which ive already purchased.

my question is kinda two-fold.

I also need to attach window sills to the "hollow side" of cinder block as all the new windows we just had put in have nothing but holes leading down into cinder block below them. Ive cut the window sills and was hoping to simply use liquid nails to secure them however as luck would have it, 2 of the boards have a slight warp so ill need to use something to draw them flush/square.

Im on a very tight budget so im looking to find a solution that will work for both the furring strips and the window sills.

I looked at a ramset but it appears the orange sleeve the fasteners are surrounded by actually creates a bulge above the surface of the wood. Im concerned this would cause me the ramset equivalent of a nail-pop if i tried to drywall over the bulges on the furring strips, and it would also make it impossible for me to spackle/woodfiller/mud or whathaveyou the windowsills to finish them off with white paint.

Sorry for being long winded here. Anyone able to set me straight on something that will work for both and fasten flush with the wood?

  • Get another piece of wood that is not warped for the window sill. – Michael Karas Dec 11 '17 at 14:19
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    How much load will the furring strips need to carry? – GdD Dec 11 '17 at 14:34
  • @GdD just 1/2" drywall vertically ran and the ceiling is only 7' so not quite full sheets. – klepp0906 Dec 11 '17 at 16:14
  • @MichaelKaras yes, i believe you are correct there. The good paint grade stuff is relatively expensive and they are deep windows but its probably the easier solution. – klepp0906 Dec 11 '17 at 16:16
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Use a hammer drill with a 5/32" masonry drill bit to install 3/16" Tapcon phillips concrete anchors that are 1-3/4" long. The phillips head should countersink itself flush as you drive it into the furring strip. You may need to use a countersink drill bit before driving the Tapcon to help it sit flush depending on the hardness of the furring strip.

  • tapcon works great on cinderblock – Rob Elliott Jul 2 '18 at 19:12
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What you want is to use some sort of wall anchors and flat (countersunk) head screws. If you aren't going to be hanging much weight off of them you could use plastic or metal anchors (plugs), however Murphy's law states you'll want to have some weight on them so I'd go for a medium-duty anchor like a sleeve anchor or a concrete screw. With these all you need is a hammer drill and some bits, if you use flat head screws then the top of the screw head will be flush with the wood surface.

I'm not a fan of liquid nails on cinder block type material, doesn't seem to hold well. You could use the same fasteners on your sill if you want, if you countersink your holes deep enough you can put wood filler over them, sand and paint.

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thanks for the replies/info/feedback gentlemen.

Went and picked up the tapcons and masonry bit today and have a dewalt hammer drill en route in the mail. Hopefully the screws can be driven flush without a countersink bit and without splitting the 1x3. Time will tell.

Fwiw also got new wood, incredibly no matter how close to straight it looks by eye, the 2 new pieces i bought for the window sills have a twist in them as well as evidenced by a level.

Wont be perfect but theyre as good as i can get em. will have to live with it! Some liquid nails and bracing off the ceiling in specific areas have them close. whether it holds after i take out the braces is anyones guess but it is what it is.

  • sounds like it's too late now, but most boxes of tapcon come with a bit. – Rob Elliott Jul 2 '18 at 19:13

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