How to Attach Furring Strips to Masonry Walls

What You'll Need
1 by 3 lumber
Hammer drill
Mortar bit
Concrete fasteners

The most popular way to that homeowners can add drywall to masonry wall is with the use of furring strips. These strips are really only 1 by 3 pieces of lumber that are fastened in a vertical manner to mimic actual stud work of a regular stick built wall. The strips make it much easier to finish a basement, garage, or other room that has brick walls, with drywall. If you have a masonry wall, and want to finish it off with drywall, then here is a simple step by step process to add furring strips.

Step 1 - Clean Wall

Give your masonry wall a good cleaning before you actually put up any furring strips. This will just ensure that there is no mold, or any other type of debris that will be contained on the inside of the wall. 

Step 2 - Cut Furring Strips to Length

Before you start putting up the furring strips you will need to cut them all down to length. If you are using a bottom and top plate for your wall then you should put them into position before you start to measure for the furring strips. The strips will go on a 16 to 24 inches on center spacing. The actual spacing is up to you. Measure for each individual furring strip and cut them all to their appropriate sizes before continuing.

Step 3 - Pre-Drill Holes

This is the most time consuming part of the whole project. However, to ensure that your strips are secured correctly you will need to pre-drill for every fastener. Stand up one furring strip at the end of your wall and begin drilling the pilot holes. Use a hammer drill and mortar bit that is the same size as the concrete fastener. Drill into the wood while also drilling into the mortar of the brick. Do this at 10 inch intervals along the length of the furring strip.

Step 4 - Clean Holes

Once you have pre-drilled all of the holes for that one particular furring strip you will need to clean out the hole of any remaining debris. Use a shop vac for this and simply suck out the dirt and dust particles. You want to make sure that the anchor holes are clean so there is a good bond made between the anchor sleeve and the mortar.

Step 5 - Install First Strip

Position the furring strip back where you had it and line up the holes and start installing the concrete anchors. The anchors are embedded in a sleeve that is inserted into the hole. You may need to tap them into position with a hammer. If that is the case do not bang on the screw head too hard. Tap it hard enough to push it into the hole in the mortar. Use a socket wrench to tighten the screw head into the sleeve for a solid grasp onto the mortar wall. Repeat this process with each anchor along the furring strip.

Step 6 - Repeat

Follow the previous steps for each new furring strip along the length of the wall until they are all secure. Once you have installed all of the strips you can then cover them with drywall.