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How to attach finishes to Advantage ICFs

January 28, 2013

Advantage ICFWritten by Colin Showalter,  @Colin_PlastiFab

A question that I get asked quite frequently is “how do I attach interior and exterior finishes to my Advantage ICF walls?” Below I will cover many of the materials that are used as finishes on our Advantage ICFs, but basically anything that can be used as an exterior or interior finish on a conventional home can also be used with the Advantage ICF system.

So, let’s get started…

Attaching Drywall to ICFInterior drywall
Drywall is fastened to an Advantage ICF wall the same way as it would be in a wood frame house, except I recommend you use drywall screws rather than nails. When you screw it on make sure you hit one of the plastic webs or ties spaced at 8” on center for 6” ICF walls or 6” on center for 8” ICF walls. Typically a standard stud finder will find these ties as it would normal wood studs. I would recommend using a little longer than normal drywall screw with a coarse thread pattern.

Note: that an indented line marks all Advantage ICF System blocks at 25.4 mm (1”) intervals to simplify measuring and marking. Double lines mark web locations.

What types of fasteners are required for drywall?
Wall coverings can typically be attached to the ties or webs in your ICF system with #6 or #8 Type W (coarse thread) drywall screws. The screws must be corrosion resistant and have a sufficient length to penetrate the plastic tie or web a minimum of ¼” (6.4mm). #6 Type W drywall screws will provide an allowable pull-out capacity of 36 lbs (160 N) and an allowable lateral load capacity or 66 lbs (294 N). #8 Type W drywall screws will provide a slightly higher allowable pull-out capacity of 44 lbs (196 N) and an allowable lateral load capacity or 98 lbs (436 N).

What about stucco?
Conventional stuccos are applied by attaching the wire straight to the ties or webs with pan-head screws. Acrylic stucco manufacturers may require only typical foam preparation and the application directly onto the surface of the ICF with no stucco wire.

Stucco to ICFWhat about Siding?
Horizontal joints: strapping between the ties or webs using metal banding may be required if the siding joints line up with the joints in the block (where there are not ties or webs)

J trim: bucks may have to be modified to allow for certain types

Corners: strapping around corners with metal banding may be necessary for certain corner moldings. Use screws to install all sidings.

Note: All interior ICF surfaces must be covered by an acceptable thermal barrier. Exterior finishes and application requirements may vary based on local code requirements.

Do you have questions about a finish I did not cover?
If I did not cover one of the finishes you have in mind for your project, or you have more questions about what I talked about today, let me know.

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