Basement Insulation Options

basement insulation

Basement insulation is an inevitable part of home insulation and can significantly improve the overall home’s thermal performance and, consequently, reduce the bill’s costs considerably.

As you know, the basement is usually a damp and cold place in almost all homes that can drag out the heat from upper floors and allow the cold air to penetrate through the ceiling and many cracks & holes. This fact emphasizes the importance of insulation, especially if you want to transform your basement into a living area, which is quite often these days.

Here are some pieces of advice that can help you a lot when going through the heart of the project.

Basement Insulation

There are three basic methods for basement insulation:

  1. basement interior wall insulation
  2. insulating exterior basement walls
  3. basement insulation ceiling

Each method has advantages and disadvantages, so it is better to get familiar with them before jumping into the insulation. The point is: these methods do not exclude each other, meaning sometimes doing all three is necessary.

Insulating exterior basement walls need more complicated and demanding operations, like digging the soil around the building. Insulating the interior basement wall, on the other hand, can be done at any time without considering weather conditions because it is an inside operation.

Remember, you always need to take care of moisture problems in your basement before going through insulation, wiring, and piping operations.

The Basement Insulation Wall Procedure

Rigid polystyrene insulation boards (like Jablite boards) are one of the best basement insulation materials. Polystyrene insulation boards are lightweight, easy to handle, rot-proof, and easily cut to the desired size and shape.

There are some significant points:

  • Before basement insulation, check for water leaks. All cracks and holes around walls & windows, plumbing, wiring, and electrical should be properly sealed.
  • Next, clean the interior wall of foreign materials and sharp edges to be sure the board is tightly fitted to the wall.
  • Cut the lightweight insulation boards in appropriate sizes that perfectly match the basement windows and walls with a utility knife. To know the accurate cut size, make a precise wall measurement.
  • Then, you must place the boards on the walls by adding adequate glue, complementary to the polystyrene boards. You do not allow the use of adhesive with a solvent because it will cause the polystyrene board’s deterioration.
  • Apply adhesive equally to the centers and corners of each board before placing them on the walls. Boards should be spaced next to each other with less than one- millimeter space to create a proper vapor barrier.

Further, you will need to build a timber frame wall to go up against the insulation boards to keep them in place and lay the groundwork for adding other finishing or drywall. We recommend using at least 2×2 wood studs and putting them 24″ in the center, and then fastening them to the basement floor and the upper floor joists.

You can also choose the other option: directly nailing 1×3 spruce boards onto the insulation board, vertically and horizontally, on the prior location designated with chalk lines. Drill the holes through the board and the basement wall using a hammer drill, then use spring spikes to secure the spruce boards.

Using drywall screws, attach the vertical spruce boards after installing the horizontal ones. To install the wiring inside the frame’s wall where shallow electrical boxes can be utilized, leave some space between the insulation board and the frame wall. Now, you can think of your wall basement insulation project as finished.

Insulating Basement Walls with the Foam Board (Rigid Foam Board)

what is a rigid foam insulation basement?

You may ask yourself, “What are rigid foam sheets?” They are large sheets of expanded polystyrene foam (XPS), allowing the foam board to be snapped off instead of cut. Most home centers sell them as 4 x 8 feet and 1/2 to 2 inches thick (typically scored vertically).

When is rigid foam insulation used in basements?

Rigid foam sheets work well for DIY basement insulation before framing the walls.

Rigid foams also perform well on flat or smooth concrete or block walls.

Rigid foam is inexpensive and easy to use, and you can cut it with a standard wood saw. For instance, insulating a 32-square-foot basement wall with a rigid foam sheet (at 1 inch thick) will cost between $20-$30.

The installation of a rigid foam

You can install rigid foams vertically or horizontally. To keep the insulation as free of seams as possible, properly maintaining large sheets are matter. Add glue to the backs of the sheets before attaching them with washer- or cap-equipped nails. Use tape to seal seams and spray foam to plug cracks or holes.

Use spray foam basement walls.

  • Use a hose and gun to spray polyurethane foam insulation into the spaces between basement wall studs.
  • The foam expands in contact with studs.
  • After drying, remove the additional foam.

Use spray foam insulation on the basement walls once the wall studs are in place.

Spray foam works best when continuous insulation is required, with no gaps to allow air infiltration. It is a fantastic option for uneven walls and walls with many seams, cracks, and joints.

Spray foam installation

Installing spray foam is best left to trained professionals.

Some complete DIY spray foam kits are available, but they only provide coverage for spaces up to 200 square feet.

basement insulation options

Insulating Basements with Mineral Wool Sheets

What is mineral wool?

Stone or silica are put under intense heat and pressure to create mineral wool, a common material used in building insulation. The outcome is a soft, fibrous mat resembling fiberglass batts. The function of mineral wool sheets is similar to rigid foam insulation. They are suitable for use in basement insulation because of their moisture-resistant characteristics.

The best time to use mineral wool sheets

Mineral wool sheets can be a better option if you want to evade using plastics like XPS rigid foam or spray foam because mineral wool is a natural substance manufactured from recycled materials.

Mineral wools, in contrast to rigid foam’s low melting point, have a melting point of 2,150 0F, meaning they are fireproof under typical household conditions.

The price of mineral wool sheets is much higher than rigid foam sheets. Mineral wool sheet insulation, for example, costs more than $100 for 32 square feet, indicating that it is three to five times more expensive than rigid foams.

How to put up mineral wool sheets?

A kitchen knife or a saw would work well to cut mineral wool. Mineral wool sheets are typically fastened to the concrete basement wall with washer- or cap-equipped nails or nails that have plastic or nails that have already been fitted with washers. Each board needs six to eight bolts; the wall framing keeps the wool sheets tightly against the wall.

Basement Insulation Ceiling

Finding the best insulation for your ceiling can be quite challenging because there are many factors that you need to consider, like what type of insulation is best for your needs and what kind of R-value you should use.

If your basement is cold, you will need to consider heat and moisture insulation.

You may think that investing in basement insulation is a waste of resources because using drywall, batts, and other products can be costly. However, you can decrease the overall cost by ordering the materials you need and being inventive during the process. There is a thumb rule here: cut once and measure twice.

Keep in mind that when you are working on the insulation ceiling, there are two options ahead of you:

  1. Working on the whole house.
  2. Turn the unfinished basement into a livable area.

In a home renovation process, insulating the whole ceiling with a tight budget is nearly impossible; in this case, you will probably need to skip the basement renovation and insulation unless local building codes force you to insulate your basement ceiling.

Before jumping into the renovation process, read the local code carefully. Each district has its own mandate that states how to finish your basement’s surface.


How can we do basement floor insulation?

If the joists have no problems, you can lay insulation between them and, if necessary, secure it with netting. After that, you need to use plasterboard fixed directly to the joists underneath the basement’s ceiling to provide fire resistance and more insulation.


What are the best basement insulation types for walls?

Spray foam, insulation spray, and foam insulation are among the best types of basement insulation because they offer some beneficial features and do not let the outside air come into the area.


Why is a soundproof basement ceiling necessary, and how does it work?

Soundproofing the basement ceiling is the best way to prevent noise from transferring from the basement to the upper rooms and vice versa.

Usually, viscoelastic materials are used for basement sound insulation. They will act as a sound vibration barrier and assist in reducing noise transmission from the upper floors through the ceiling. Applying a soundproof basement ceiling causes better sound quality and less noise between the home floors.


What is the best insulation for the basement?

Fiberglass insulation that is coated in a vapor barrier is the best basement insulation option because it can last for years and is easy to install with nails or glue.


Do insulation between floor joists in the basement necessary?

Insulating basement rim joists, especially in older houses, are often neglected, which results in energy loss and cold floors. Your home will keep heat in by properly insulating the basement rim joists.


Contact us if you are looking for a professional team with extensive experience in basement insulation in Canada.

ConformiedC‘s professionals can provide the best guide at the most reasonable price, resulting in your complete satisfaction.



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