When converting an unfinished basement into a finished room, one of the first steps in the project is to insulate the walls. Installing insulation on the bare concrete walls can make the basement more comfortable and energy-efficient. The two most common ways to insulate basement walls are to construct wooden wall frames against the walls and install rolled fiberglass insulation between the studs, or use foam board insulation. Foam board insulation is installed directly against the bare walls, eliminating the need to construct wall frames. Owens Corning manufactures a line of foam board insulation for this purpose.
Things You'll Need
- Patching compound
- Tape measure
- Utility knife
- Furring strips
- Masonry screws
Inspect the walls for areas where water can leak through. Patch any cracks by chipping away at the wall immediately around the crack and deep enough that you go underneath the crack, then fill the crack with patching compound and smooth the surface.
Apply caulk to the areas where the ceiling joists meet the floor boards and any spots where pipes or electrical cables run through the joists.
Measure the height of the walls and cut the board to length by scoring a line in the boards with a utility knife, then snapping the board at the score line.
Place the first panel into position vertically against the wall and hold a level next to it to check for plumb. (Plumb means vertically straight.)
Place the next panel into position against the first one. The boards are manufactured with notched edges that create insulated channels.
Place a furring strip into the channel between the two boards and screw it to the wall with a masonry screw every 12 inches. A furring strip is a long strip of wood that provides a firm, flat surface to attach the drywall to.
Continue installing the boards and furring strips until the basement is complete.
Tips & Warnings
- If there is an electrical box or other object on the surface of the basement wall, push the board being installed on that section over the box to make an imprint in the foam. Cut the hole for the object out with a jigsaw.
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