Furring is a technique used to level out walls and ceilings with furring channels. In construction, a hat channel (a hat-shaped aluminum channel) is what is used to fur out a wall, masonry wall, or ceiling to provide a corrosion-resistant framing component. Hat channels and Z channels are often used by masons and builders to level uneven walls or ceiling. An added benefit of the aluminum channel is that they protect your interior and exterior framing applications from fire, moisture, and corrosion.
What is Furring or Wall Furring?
Furring in construction refers to what is raising or leveling out the surfaces of walls and ceilings using furring channels, also known as aluminum hat channels. To ensure buildings are structurally sound, both residential and commercial builders often use aluminum hat channels to level out walls and ceilings. The channels also create a gap between interior or exterior walls and drywall or siding, which allow for the material to breathe and prevent moisture buildup and eliminates the need for undue maintenance.
When installing wall furring, a mason or construction worker will lay the channels perpendicular to the wall studs. They will install the wall furring vertically if the surface is already present. Metal furring strips are synonymous with hat channels, and they contain flanges on either side to provide a stable mounting structure.
Metal Furring Channel
Aluminum hat channels and metal furring channels are required in construction to be installed to keep the building structurally sound and prevent any sources of unevenness in the installation of walls and ceilings. Aluminum channels provide a quick, simple, and cost-effective way to level out walls and ceilings for finishing. Hat channels and z channels are two common types of metal furring channels used in construction and remodeling projects. Aluminum hat channels and aluminum z channels are completely resistant to fire, moisture, and corrosion.
Furring Channel Material Comparison
- Will not rust, resists mold, warping, splitting, and corrosion
- Easy installation
- Extremely durable (longest product lifetime)
- Protects against the spread of fire
- Easily customizable
- Often requires additional coating
- More expensive
- Lower fire-resistance rating
- 3x the weight of aluminum
- Prone to rust and corrosion
- Traditional furring material
- Prone to rotting, mildew, and infestation
- Moisture absorption can cause warping and instability
How are Furring Channels Placed?
The actual process of furring involves attaching furring strips like hat channels onto existing surfaces (i.e. wall studs or completed walls). If aluminum furring channels are attached to wall studs, they are placed perpendicularly to the studs. When placed on an existing wall or other already-complete surface, hat channels are placed vertically.
The proper spacing of furring strips depends on the finishing material for a wall. If you plan to use drywall or paneling, furring strips should be placed closer together. For finishing materials that do not require as many contact points, channels can be placed less frequently. Builders often use furring for drop ceilings, walls, and basement renovations.
Industries that use Aluminum Furring Channels
- Commercial builders
- Masonry, stone, concrete builders
- Deck and patio builders
- General contractors
- Acoustic tiles and panels
- Wall cladding
A rainscreen is a system provides ventilation between the exterior siding of a home or building. It provides an air gap for venting moisture and a barrier for water resistance. Using an aluminum hat channel or furring channel aids in providing a long-term solution against moisture, material rot, mold and mildew forming, and will not rust or corrode as traditional materials such as wood or steel.
Acoustic Tile and Panels
Hat channels can be used for installing acoustic panels or ceiling tiles. The aluminum channel provides a perfect shape to allow tiles and panels to be attached or hung. Acoustic panels are used to reduce noise and control sound in building and architectural spaces. Controlling internal noise levels can be used in buildings such as schools, libraries, manufacturing, restaurants, and retail stores.
The use of aluminum furring or aluminum hat channels in the application of cladding when applying one material over another to provide a protect or finish layer. In construction, wall cladding is used to provide thermal insulation and weather resistance, while improving the appearance of a building. The use of aluminum furring provides the best form of defense against moisture, corrosion, or mold and mildew. Wall cladding is the process of constructing the exterior of a building in the form of panels to improve the thermal, acoustical, and appearance of a building.
Eagle Aluminum is a manufacturer, stocking warehouse, and supplier of custom and OEM aluminum extrusions. If we don’t have the extruded aluminum part that meets your specifications, our professionals will help you create and engineer one to meet your needs. Our custom and OEM extrusion services enable us to meet nearly any aluminum extrusion needs our customers may have.