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I just bought a house and the basement looks like this:

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I was wondering what those "studs" across the main floor joists are for? Are they intended to just hold acoustic foam perhaps? They're too thin to actually hold drywall panels, right? Or can I hang drywall there after all?

  • I think despite varying answers, there is at least a consensus that these are not well hung or even. Now, there is a difference between 'can' you and 'should' you. That may come down to local building code and best practice. – BrownRedHawk Sep 15 '15 at 19:51
  • If so, can I just leave them alone, buy new lumber (1x3? 2x4?) and properly fasten the new ones to the floor joists, adjacent to the existing straps/bridges, to save time and effort? – Rollo R Sep 15 '15 at 19:59
  • That's not a bad idea IMO. 1x3 is plenty so long as you're using good construction screws. They're a bit more expensive, but it's easy insurance against a ceiling coming down on top of you. – BrownRedHawk Sep 15 '15 at 20:04
  • Don't just go screwing them up there. Get a feel for how you are going to put the drywall up and make a plan so that you are sure that you get the spacing right. When you are holding that drywall over your head you do not want to start guess where to put the screws. – jqning Sep 15 '15 at 20:07
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It's not called "bridging," it's called "strapping." It is intended for drywall or some other ceiling material.

It doesn't look to be well-fastened, by the way.

You DO want to hang drywall from those strips instead of the joists. They help to even out the inconsistencies of the bottom of the joists, also making it easier to orient the long edge of the drywall perpendicular to the joists.

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    So I just need to make sure the "straps" are well fastened to the floor joists, then all I need to do is screw drywall to the "straps"? – Rollo R Sep 15 '15 at 19:54
  • ...and these days, with decent (and not overly stinky) construction adhesives available, glue and screw the drywall (and possibly also glue and definitely screw the strapping.) 1x3 strapping (which that looks to be - 3/4x2.7 in modern lumber, of course) is utterly normal to attach drywall to - but you will need to correct the areas where it has been removed. – Ecnerwal Sep 15 '15 at 21:54
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You don't want to hang drywall from those strips. It looks like the HVAC guy did a number on them.

EDITED removed my reference to strapping.

  • Do you mean I can remove the bridging strips and fasten drywall directly to the floor joists? – Rollo R Sep 15 '15 at 19:01
  • @RolloR yes that's what I mean. Is there something other than carpet above the bridging? – jqning Sep 15 '15 at 19:08
  • @jqning Is there any reason you couldn't just attach to these like furring strips (other than height)? Could you elaborate on the reasons not to attach to these strips? – BrownRedHawk Sep 15 '15 at 19:10
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    If it was my job to put a ceiling up in that space, I'd pull the existing strapping and re-do it. As it exists in the photo, it's not helping anyone. I would NOT drywall directly to the joists, as that is a recipe for noise transfer and worse, motion transfer. Those straps are not "bridging" which would be placed diagonally inside the joist space, preventing the joists from twisting. Strapping does very little to prevent joists from twisting, that's not its role. – dwoz Sep 15 '15 at 19:55
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    This answer is still incorrect. Bridging and strapping serve different purposes. It is perfectly fine - and very common - to hang drywall from strapping. – friedo Sep 15 '15 at 21:34

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