Creating a finished basement is an economical way to gain a ton of additional living space. One of the most important parts of this kind of renovation is installing basement insulation. Proper insulation saves energy. It also helps control moisture and provides a base for the drywall or other finish material.
How to Insulate a Basement
As long as the foundation walls do not have moisture problems, you can build an interior wall. Use both rigid foam boards and standard batts or blanket insulation. These techniques can help build fully insulated basement walls. Here are the steps:
• Install Basement Wall Insulation. Attach a layer of rigid foam insulation boards directly to the concrete walls. This insulates the wall and acts as a barrier that prevents moisture vapor. Use extruded polystyrene or faced polyiso basement insulation panels. Or, apply spray foam insulation to the walls.
• Build an Insulated Stud Wall. Use standard 2x4 construction to build a stud wall in front of the foam-covered wall. Use pressure-treated lumber for the bottom plate of the wall that touches the concrete floor. The studs and top plate can be made of standard lumber. The stud wall provides a raceway for wiring and plumbing lines. Pack the stud cavities with denim insulation, stone wool insulation or fiberglass insulation. This will increase the R-value of the wall. Finish up by installing drywall.
Always use an adhesive for insulation boards recommended by the manufacturer. Some construction adhesives will break down the foam. Tape all seams with a manufacturer-approved tape and caulk. Fill any openings. Aim to create a continuous barrier between your living space and the concrete wall.
The rooms above the basement are heated, so there is no energy-saving reason to insulate the basement ceiling. However, it will help cut down on sound transmission. To help reduce noise from a basement media room or a playroom for the kids, install ceiling insulation.