“Floating walls” are not like
“Sky-hooks”. It is not an imaginary term
used in jest to explain how a building will stand. Floating walls are real and very necessary
for basement finishing. This simply
means that the wall does not extend fully from floor to ceiling. Don’t fret.
That doesn’t mean they are not solid or that they don’t provide
separation from one room to the next.
There are two ways to construct a floating wall. The most common and preferred method is to
hang the wall from the ceiling, leaving a gap at the base to allow room for the
concrete floor to heave if necessary. As
discussed in the previous post, treated wood is secured to the floor and a gap
of about 1”-2” is provided above this.
The “floating wall” suspended from the ceiling is then secured laterally
by tie rods into the base plate penetrating the floating base through a slip
hole. (See the detail for better
clarification.) This is preferred over
another method of providing the gap at the top of the wall. If the gap is at the top than any floor
movement will result in cracks in the wall finish because floors do not heave
evenly. So remember, “floating walls =
good”, “sky-hooks = bad”.