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Community and Q&A

Experience with “Drain Plane”?

Gordon Taylor | Posted in Green Products and Materials on

Has anyone had experience with Drain Plane, a recycled-plastic, vertically-applied furring strip by G.B. Williams that is sold for use in rain screen assemblies? ( I wonder if it could be used over foam sheathing in place of 1x4s. Any comments welcome.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    I'm not familiar with it. But I can't think of any reason to prefer it to 1x4s, unless it is cheaper.

  2. Sean @ SLS | | #2

    I am also not familiar with it, but I do see it being a benefit for the trim & corner board areas which are not typically part of the rain screed / vented detail. The one downside I see to using them in the field with foam is needing the nails holding the siding having to be driven through everything & hitting the studs

  3. Gordon Taylor | | #3

    To Sean: That's what I was wondering about too. With 1x4s, the board is screwed through the foam to the studs, and the siding is attached directly to the 1x4s, correct? It doesn't seem likely that this plastic spacer would have the nail-holding power of actual wood. On the other hand, in attaching siding to ICF blocks, the siding is attached to plastic webs embedded in the foam, and I'm not aware that there's any question about that arrangement. This seems analogous. To Martin: the Drain Plane website does tout the product's inexpensive price. To which I would add that its uniformity and straightness would be a plus. Also, it seems like a decent use for recycled plastic.

  4. Sean @ SLS | | #4

    Gordon: according to their specs it does say you need to account for the 1/4" thickness when nailing the siding
    Unless you are using specialized screws that can handle the shear load, most furring strips are attached with nails - I generallyrecommendd a combination so you have the pullout factor covered which nails don't really excel at
    We don't have to many ICF buildings around here (though they are starting to pick up traction) and in AZ it was mostly stucco, but I always recall seeing furring strips or brick ties being used for other materials - I don't recall ever seeing any product being directly applied to the ICF's. With that said, in those cases they actually used special screws & the web was thick enough / designed to hold the screws unless someone stripped it out

  5. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #5

    I disagree with your statement, "Most furring strips are attached with nails." I think it is far more common for furring strips to be attached with screws, especially when there is a thick layer of exterior rigid foam.

    For more information, see Fastening Furring Strips to a Foam-Sheathed Wall.

  6. Sean @ SLS | | #6

    Good catch Martin, I also disagree with my statement in that case - sorry I don't know why I flipped back to no foam....

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