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Old 01-11-2010, 02:06 PM   #1
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Vapor Barrier Necessary?


I am remodeling a small cinder block home built in 1950 home located in South of Sarasota, FL. Currently the interior walls are cinder block that have been coated with a very thin layer of plaster, then several layers of paint.

To finish the interior, I plan to install 1x2 PT furring strips on 16" centers directly to the interior cinder block walls prior to installing foam insulation between the furring strips an 1/2" drywall on the furring strips.

I have had my house tested for moisture with a meter. They say the cement floor had less than 1% moisture content. Since that test, I have poured a new interior cement floor which will be covered with laminated engineered wood floating on a form pad by HD.

My question: Do I need to use a visqueen vapor barrier between the cement wall and furring strips like we used to do up North when finishing a basement?

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Old 01-11-2010, 06:33 PM   #2
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Vapor Barrier Necessary?


I'd check the local building code as to the use of plastic vapor barrier. It's been 30+ years since I lived/worked in Fla. and I'm sure things are a lot different now. I lived in a small (1 bedroom/rental) block "cottage". Insulation/drywall will be a great upgrade. The purpose of the plastic in a basement (up North) is to keep the "transfer" of moisture "below grade" away from framing and wallboard. Many will argue the use of it now in that scenario now, but in your case I really don't see any benefit since your walls (I assume) are above grade. Not many basements in most parts of Fla. Ideally I'd frame 2"x4" walls to allow the use of batt insulation and room to easily upgrade wiring, plumbing, low voltage, etc.
I'm guessing the use of furring is to limit the loss of "overall" space. If I were to go the route you're considering, I would furr with 1"x4"s (pressure treated of course). The 1"x2"s split too easily and don't give much "room for error" in your framing layout. Run one continuous horizontally top and bottom (like plates in standard framing) to make it easier to attach base at the bottom and to attach the drywall at the top. Add your vertical pieces 16" on center. I would recommend gluing your 1"x's (whatever width you decide on) to the block as well as using fasteners to ensure them holding for the long run.....

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Old 01-11-2010, 09:02 PM   #3
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Vapor Barrier Necessary?


bjbatlanta, thank you for your reply. You have it pretty much all right. I will check my FL Building Code regarding the vapor barrier. I am using 1x furring for over all room space consideration over 2xs. I am going to use liquid nails as a glue during the fastening process. I have decided to stay with the PT 1x2's because of cost and also, I'm not on the clock like a subcontractor might be so I'll be careful and take my time measuring correctly so I should have 3/4" nail area for each sheet edge.

I planning to use the nailing gun I bought at HD for this. It us a .22 bullet. I haven't tried it yet. I am hoping to not have to drill and Tapcon each fastner.

Can you tell me if these guns work on cement blocks as well as mortar or cement floors?
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:43 AM   #4
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Vapor Barrier Necessary?


It will work, but you need a pretty low velocity load (probably brown). With the narrow 1"x2"s there will be a tendency for them to split more easily...
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