I am in the process of finishing my basement and had an interior french drain system installed. I now want to start putting walls up but am unsure how to attach them on top of the french drain. I believe the cement is only around 1.5" to 2" inches thick on top of the french drain and I fear cracking the cement or damaging something.

How should I attach the studs / wall frame on top of my french drain? Can I really just shoot nails into the cement over the french drain or is there something else I should do to prevent damaging it? Is there perhaps a better way to secure the wall?

  • You probably don't need any fasteners at all. Build the wall as a tight fit, and attach the top plate to the joists. The wall's basically only there to hold up drywall, so there shouldn't be any forces trying to move the bottom of the wall. – Tester101 Mar 21 '16 at 16:53

Use construction adhesive and the occasional drilled fastener, such as concrete screws or plastic plug nails.

  • ah. Think the adhesive will hold? Any recommendations for what specific adhesive and screws to use? – Michael Mar 21 '16 at 16:42
  • It will. Unless you have persistently high moisture in your concrete it'll hold for decades. Tapcon or any predrilled drive-in anchor would do. There's very little force to contain. – isherwood Mar 21 '16 at 16:46
  • Agree with the tapcons. Be sure and used a pressure treated board for your bottom plate though. The rest of the wall can be regular wood. – BrianK Mar 22 '16 at 2:10
  • any recommended type of construction adhesive? Just wanted to grab something most people seem to have good luck with. – Michael Mar 24 '16 at 5:55
  • Liquid Nails, Titebond, OSI, Gorilla. Use the heavy duty version from almost any major brand. The project versions are often water-based and not as tough. – isherwood Mar 24 '16 at 11:49

My installer said any nails or puncturing of the concrete over the drainage system would void the warranty, and to use construction adhesive. Although removing the glued footer would probably damage the concrete as well given how thin it looks.

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