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Hanging a wall from a steel I-Beam

Denver95's picture

Quick question for the framers -

I am helping a friend finish a basement. This is in Colorado, where expansive soil requires foating the wall and it must structurally hang from the ceiling above.

We want to put a wall underneath and flush with one side of a steel I beam. The side we want to put it on has a DWV pipe running a few inches (not wide enough to attach the plate to the wood I joists resting on the beam) off the beam for the entire (almost) distance.

What is the best method to attach the wall to the beam for it to hang from the beam? I thought it would probably be to build a c box on the underside of the beam and hang it from wood runners in the web space of the beam, but I have seen people recommend in DIY forums to drill the beam and attach the top plate with bolts. I haven't seen any questions in those forums that specify a floating wall hanging from the beam, however. And I would also ask if drilling is the best option, what do I need to look out for to not screw up the beam?

Thanks in advance!

Edit - I should add - beam is W style, 6" wide and 19 ft long with post in (roughly) middle,

Caddy/Erico does sell some (post #185771, reply #1 of 8)

Caddy/Erico does sell some pretty sturdy clamps for hanging electrical equipment.

Check out the 225 series


I'd look first at using (post #185771, reply #2 of 8)

I'd look first at using clamps.  Suspend the top plate of the wall from rods threaded into clamps.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

If you built the wall so it (post #185771, reply #3 of 8)

If you built the wall so it was a tap in fit between the beam and the floor then drill holes where the clamps go and bolt to the beam with "washers" made of 2x4 material, nailed in place over the clamp you would have a very sturdy wall at the top. TapCon it to the floor.


I Live in your neck of the (post #185771, reply #4 of 8)

I Live in your neck of the woods.   If it isn't too late I have two suggestions for you.


If you are planning a drop cieling to conceal the beam, do that first and then attach your wall to the framing of your cieling. Sounds similar to your suggestion

Without a cieling drop what we do is shoot the top plate to the bottom flange of the beam with a powder acctuated tool (hilt or ramset). We use some construction adhesive as well to increase the bond. Drilling a pilot hole for the pin helps on heavier steel beams. We use an eight inch bit for the pilot hole, drilled through the plat and beam at the same time while wall is held in place with wedges between the floor and bottom plates of the wall.


hope that helps

I'm in littleton near 470 and Wadsworth if I can lend a hand let me know.


jim at great white

Sorry I meant we use an 1/8" (post #185771, reply #5 of 8)

Sorry I meant we use an 1/8" bit for a pilot hole. I assume an eight inch hole may compromise the beam!


jjim at great white

Thanks for all the (post #185771, reply #6 of 8)

Thanks for all the suggestions.

I have spoken with a couple of others about this, and shooting it into the beam seems to be the majority opinion. I went back and looked and saw that their staircase into the basement is actually done this way - PA nails into the beam and strapping from the joist hanger plate on top of the beam down around the beam and top plate of the lower wall as well.

Does pilot drilling compromise the holding power of the nails?


Thanks again!

I have never had to predrill (post #185771, reply #7 of 8)

I have never had to predrill a hole b/4 using our older Hilti PAD. Just use the purple (I believe) shot and hang onto your hat.........and ear protection. There is little absorption of impact (except your arm/shoulder) so shoot accordingly. And use the proper length pin for the material you're fastening.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


hasn't come up as a problem (post #185771, reply #8 of 8)

We predrill because round here the purple loads are alittle hard to find. ( not at HOME DEPOT)


jim at great white