Pegboard Wall

A full pegboard wall turned the ugliest wall in my basement into an attractive, useful storage solution.

Pegboard wall. Buy the boards and hooks at Home Depot, Lowes, etc.

I struggled for years with what to do about an unfinished wall in my basement. It had been excavated when I added an addition to the house about 12 years before, but due to a loophole in the contract, our builder was not obliged to finish it because "it was part of the old house, not the addition". 

It was a mess on one side: old sewer pipes sticking out, a large hole where a glass block window used to be, and the entire surface was hard packed dirt and gravel. You couldn't paint it, as the wall would just crumble away over time. I considered putting a drywall wall up, but it seemed like a lot of work for a strictly cosmetic improvement, So, I covered it up with a neon sign and my workbench, and ignored it for years.

The "Eureka" moment for me was when I thought, "Why can't I make this negative into a POSITIVE?". The room was my indoors workshop, so it was all about tools and projects. Why not make the entire wall out of pegboard? Then I can have some great tool storage while hiding that ugly mess.

Although it was my first time building a wall, it only took me 3 days or so, part-time, to put it up. Here are the before and after views:

BEFORE: The unfinished wall is covered up to the best of my ability.

AFTER: What used to be a negative is now a positive - all of my favorite tools within easy reach, above and around my workbench.

And here are a couple more shots to show you the finished product.

Some Gladiator GearTrack on the wall to the right puts my most popular power tools within reach.

I used to store all of my tools in the drawers within the workbench, but would have to dig through each drawer to find them. HAving the tools on display on the wall makes finding and replacing them much faster.

Having a full-length pegboard wall gives extra room for things like long furniture clamps, crowbars, and levels.

Here's the rest of my workshop. It's reasonably nice for an unfinished basement, so the unfinished wall was a real eyesore by comparison.


I decided to tie into existing joists in the ceiling. I also needed to come out far enough to clear a sewer drain pipe, about 12" or so. With that decision made, I attached a 2x4 to the floor using TapCon screws (Home Depot), drilling the holes with the appropriate sized bit and a hammer drill. With the right drill and bit, each hole is done in about 15 or 20 seconds - no big deal.

Then I attached the vertical 2x4 studs to each joist, using a right-angle bracket and wood screws. Originally I tried to use those framing attachment pieces where you hammer the little points into each piece of wood. Didn't work worth a damn - mebbe operator error, who knows. What's key is to get each vertical stud aligned with each other on the surface where you'll be mounting the pegboard. To do this, I first created a plumb-bob out of a piece of twine and a weight. By dangling it from each joist on the ceiling I could see where each stud should be attached. Then I used a laser level to sight across the studs until they were aligned. If you cut them to a very precise length so that they will just barely fit in place between the ceiling joints and the floor-mounted 2x4, they will stay in place so that you can align them with the laser level and plumb-bob prior to screwing them in position permanently.

Your objective is to have each 4x8 piece of pegboard lie perfectly flat against the supporting studs. Once that is accomplished, cut pieces of 2x4 to serve as lateral supports between each stud, as shown. This keeps them from moving left or right.

With 16" spacing between each stud, I was able to mount each 48" wide sheet of pegboard to a joist so that the end of each piece was on a stud. That helped a lot with strength when attaching tools to the boards. I also mounted an electrical outlet to one of the joists so that it was accessible on the wall. Finally, I made cut-outs in the wall so I could remove pieces of the panel for access to the sewer or water lines.