Question on finishing shop walls?

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Forum topic by alittleoff posted 03-01-2016 02:35 PM 1099 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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541 posts in 1547 days

03-01-2016 02:35 PM

My shop is a metal building and the studs are on 4 ft. Centers. I’m wanting to hang 4×8x 1/2” plywood. Do you think I can get away with putting 1 extra wood stud in between the existing metal studs. I would have 2 ft. Centers all the way around then. One thing I might add, the walls has got to be striaght! I can’t stand to look at a bowed wall, it drives me crazy to see something that’s not level or striaght. I’m thinking I might have to go with 3/4” if I use just one stud. What do you think? If you look at the picture I think you can tell what I have now. I need insulation bad. It’s hot in the summer, not so bad in the winter on sunny days though. Also the walls will be 9 ft. Tall.

14 replies so far

View hotbyte's profile


993 posts in 3246 days

#1 posted 03-01-2016 02:45 PM

Might be easier to run 1X4 or 2X4 furring strips horizontal like a pole barn.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5415 posts in 1991 days

#2 posted 03-01-2016 02:54 PM

Furring strips would be a good option. Another thing you could do (provided your shop is well sealed from big humidity swings) would be to use OSB instead as it’s less prone than plywood to bowing. Swelling could be an issue if your shop doesn’t have some kind of a moisture barrier, that same condition would promote bowing in plywood.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Gentile's profile


327 posts in 2089 days

#3 posted 03-01-2016 03:01 PM

+1 on the furring strips.
And the OSB.

-- "I cut it twice and it's still too short"

View alittleoff's profile


541 posts in 1547 days

#4 posted 03-01-2016 03:12 PM

Humidity is a big problem here. I was trying to get out of running furrin strips because of having to drill all the metal studs. Their about a 1/4 in. Thick and hard to drill for some reason. I’ve drilled a few and it takes a new bit about every 3 or 4 holes. Their like drilling a rock or something. If I went with furrung strips, how many would I need on a 9 ft. Wall and 1/2” plywood.

View alittleoff's profile


541 posts in 1547 days

#5 posted 03-01-2016 03:17 PM

Maybe someone could tell me where I could find some good self tapping screws to buy. The ones I’ve tried just wouldn work. The studs are galvanized, whether that makes a difference or not I don’t know. If I could find some screws that would go through the steel the furrin strips would be the way to go, I guess.

View hotbyte's profile


993 posts in 3246 days

#6 posted 03-01-2016 03:23 PM

If you ran vertical “studs” how would you attach those, if not with screws?

Also, I would think vertical studs would get tricky on the gable ends because of height.

View isotope's profile


177 posts in 1895 days

#7 posted 03-01-2016 03:38 PM

I don’t know what your insulation plans are, but fiberglass insulation typically comes in 16” or 24” wide batts. A vertical 2×4 stud would allow you to install that batting easily. Furring strips would leave you with a roughly 48” wide bay, which would be somewhat difficult to fill. In that situation, I’d be tempted to use rigid insulation, which is more efficient, but possibly more expensive.

View rwe2156's profile


3280 posts in 1751 days

#8 posted 03-01-2016 04:02 PM

1. Horizontal furring strips on 16” centers run plywood vertically. I would use 2×4’s for the little extra cost I think you need them with 1/2” plywood.

2. Insulate while you have the chance if nothing else do the ceiling makes a huge diff in metal bldgs.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View clin's profile


990 posts in 1267 days

#9 posted 03-01-2016 08:38 PM

I would think there would be a standard way to do this with these types of metal framed buildings. Might check with a metal building supplier/contractor and see what they say. Maybe there are special brackets etc, that would make the job real easy.

Whatever you do, I think you have to attached to the metal frames. The sheet metal isn’t likely meant to support weight and you don’t want to put holes in it anyway.

-- Clin

View eflanders's profile


326 posts in 2121 days

#10 posted 03-02-2016 12:05 AM

If it’s an option there, use foam-in-place insulation. It’s far more efficient than all other forms and it adds rigidity to the structure. This will also give your paneling support given the spans you are dealing with. Just know that this insulation method is often air-tight and thus you may need some for of fresh air exchange.

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile


1053 posts in 1336 days

#11 posted 03-02-2016 12:27 AM

Metal hat channel run horizontally and insulate behind. That high ceiling will have to be insulated as well. You might use the 50” rolls of insulation that metal building suppliers sell. You might even contact the company that sold that building as they should be close and could make recommendations.

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle"

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1191 days

#12 posted 03-02-2016 04:25 AM


I agree horizontal furring stripes of metal or wood is the easiest way to support the plywood. Wherever there would be vertical load (like cabinets or heavy equipment) on the plywood is where I would space the furring strips closer, 16” or 12” OC depending on the vertical load. I would try to shoot at least two screws into each vertical stud to get a secure furring strip connection.

The problem you have of drilling the metal may be due to the drill bit you are using. The bit could be a soft bit or dull. A drill bit sharpener that is quick and easy to use could solve this problem.

As far sources for sheet metal fasteners, I am sure there are several on the web. I have never bought from McFeely, but they have a web presence:

I have bought from Fastenal:|categoryl1:%22600000%20Fasteners%22|~%20~|categoryl2:%22600051%20Screws%22|~|~

I agree that rigid foam insulation, at least 1”, 2” thick would be far better than fiberglass. It is a high performance product, and comes in 4×8 sheets. If installed by using low expanding (window and door) spray foam to seal the joints, the rigid foam board is also a vapor barrier, helping with the moisture problem. Closed cell spray foam is the best option, but it is quite expensive. I have heard that a homeowner can spray the foam themselves, but since I have not done this, I can be of no further help.

View BurlyBob's profile


6066 posts in 2536 days

#13 posted 03-02-2016 06:11 AM

I have an all steel garage and did exactly what your talking about. My building is significantly different than yours.
I had to custom fit each board and I did put them on 24” centers. I used OSB painted it white, walls and ceiling. I have no regrets.

View daddywoofdawg's profile


1028 posts in 1845 days

#14 posted 03-02-2016 10:31 PM

what hotbyte said.

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