concrete repairs

Attaching Drywall to a Concrete Wall

Concrete walls are common in basements and commercial spaces. They consist of large rectangular concrete blocks stacked one on top of the other and are held together by mortar. Drywall can give the concrete a more finished look. A frame with strips is installed to keep the panels of drywall in place. The strips of metal or wood serve as points of attachment for the drywall and as a buffer zone between the concrete and finished wall.


  1. Measure the width of the wall in question with a measuring tape. Depending on the material you have, cut a strip with a hand saw to fit the entire horizontal length of the bottom of the wall parallel to the ground. Cut a second strip to the total horizontal length of the top of the wall parallel to the ceiling. Metal slats would require a hacksaw and wood require a hand saw.
  2. Place the bottom strip parallel to the floor along the bottom wall. Use the drill and a drill bit for drilling holes in the concrete wall every 18 inches (45 cm) or less, alternating high and low to avoid creating a straight line bearing holes. Use the drill to screw the bar to the wall. Set the bar at the top using the same method.
  3. Measure the height remaining between the lower and the upper part with the measuring tape. Cut strips with the saw to set there. Start in a corner of the wall and mark with a pencil where you will place the first vertical strip bar. Measure 16 inches (40 cm) from the mark along the surface of the wall and make a second mark where you will place the second strip vertical strip parallel to the first. Continue this process throughout the entire length of the wall. Place the last strip at the corner opposite the first end.
  4. Install vertical strips the same way as you did with slats from top and bottom.
  5. Measure the height and width of the wall with a measuring tape. Cut the drywall to fit, starting at the top of the wall and then down. Use a ruler and a pencil to mark lines measured in the drywall. Use a knife and a ruler to score the drywall and its outer casing and fold them until they break.
  6. Install the drywall on the strips with a drill. A screw placed every 18 inches (45 cm) or less along the strips, ensures the edges of each panel. Those who are not secured will be loose and give a poorly finished look.

Tips & Warnings

  • Lined metal strips provide the added benefit of moisture resistance. They do not twist or bend over time and maintain their original shape.
  • Always wear eye and hand protection when working with potentially dangerous tools such as knives.