I need to add an interior wall in the basement which runs parallel to the ceiling joists (as shown in the picture). I can't directly attach the drywall frame to the joists. I think I have two options:

  1. Directly attach the frame to the ceiling drywall. This is weak, but for a non-loading-bearing wall, this might be ok.
  2. Open up the ceiling drywall, install short blocking perpendicular to the joists and then attach the drywall frame. This is more stable but more work.

I'm new to this. Which option do you recommend? The wall is about 8-9' tall and sits on concrete.

Enter image description here

This might not be relevant, but in case it is needed, here is more info about this wall. It has no windows or doors.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Using just drywall is bad since the wall might come down with just a person leaning on it. Either the short studs or moving the wall over a few inches(8) will be better.
    – crip659
    Commented Jan 21, 2023 at 20:16
  • 6
    Pedantry alert. The things in the ceiling are joists. The things between the joists are blocking. The uprights are studs. The horizontal bits at the top and bottom of the wall are plates. Strongly suggest you have a double bottom plate: pressure treated against the concrete, fastened well, and then a normal wall that you place on top of the plate. Commented Jan 21, 2023 at 23:31
  • hi @AloysiusDefenestrate, thanks a lot for the explanation and the advise! As a newcomer I was quite confused by the terms :). By the way, I saw some videos online using a steel track at the bottom of the drywall frame and attach studs directly to the track. I am not sure how does that compare to the double wood bottom plates. Wonder if you think that I should use the wood plates instead of the steel one? Commented Jan 22, 2023 at 9:43
  • 1
    Not sure, @AloysiusDefenestrate, what the benefit of the double bottom plate is. 100% agree on using PT for the bottom plate, but why two? Just nail up through the bottom of the plate into the studs, put on a single top plate and stand the wall up.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jan 24, 2023 at 14:58
  • 1
    TBH, I've been building partition walls in my addition over the last few weeks. I've nailed the studs to the bottom plate, stood up the wall, then slipped the top plate in and either nailed or screwed down through the top plate to attach the studs. I could toe-nail, but even with a nail gun, I suck at it and either the nails stick out or the studs move on me. :(
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jan 24, 2023 at 15:24

3 Answers 3


Definitely open the ceiling to add short blocks that span the space between the ceiling joists (studs). You should have a minimum of 4 feet between each block. You can either choose to open up the whole joist bay to add the blocks, or "windows", areas big enough to add the blocks without taking out the whole bay to add the blocks.

Since it is likely you will have drywall work going on, the repairs needed to do this added blocking will be minimal, while the rest of the drywall work is going on. The benefits of the added blocking, which are critical, make it necessary, not optional. If you are want to add outlets, this aids in that as well.

  • 4
    If you spaced the blocking 16" on center, you could cut all the existing drywall inside the joists and simply use long strips without needing any other backing to hold the new drywall up. This also gives the slight benefit of the top plate attaching directly to blocking, rather than having drywall in the middle. Commented Jan 21, 2023 at 23:37
  • @AloysiusDefenestrate , Yes that is an excellent addition to the answer
    – Jack
    Commented Jan 22, 2023 at 2:13
  • Thanks a lot for the answers!! I'll open up the entire piece of drywall between the two ceiling joists. Commented Jan 22, 2023 at 8:51
  • 1
    Alternately, you could open the walls and put blocking between the studs there that you can attach your end studs for your new wall to. Repairing drywall on walls is a little easier than repairing drywall on the ceiling.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 12:15
  • 1
    Do you mean a maximum of 4 feet between blocks?
    – spuck
    Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 21:12

I would fit braces between the two joists and then attach the top of the frame to those braces.


It is more work, but it is the best and most used solution.

Build a frame for the drywall as you proposed, including the bottom part.

Without it, the drywall might just fail on you and you can never hang anything on it.


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