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belindapotter 01-21-2011 09:19 AM

rigid insulation in basement
Hi. I rent a +50 year old home with cinder block exposed foundation in my basement. I want to insulate my laundry room 'cause it's really cold down there right now, and the bathroom above is cold as well. I don't have much space, everything is right up against the walls with only a narrow space to be able to open the dryer door. What's the minimum thickness of rigid foam I could use, and not make it a complete waste of $ investment? Also can I leave the rigid foam just exposed after? I'm not interested in fully finishing the laundry room, so don't want to put the $ into a stud wall, and lose the precious inches.

ccarlisle 01-21-2011 09:45 AM

I'd be looking at extruded polystyrene - the blue stuff - that comes in 2'x8' sheets. Not the white stuff, that's not as efficient an insulator for the $$. Thickness will depend on what you fit in, but in Toronto, I'd be looking at 1.5" thick...those are about $18 each, I think. Look at gluing them to the walls with appropriate glue and tape the joints; look into doing the same for the space above your joists.

The codes say they should be covered with drywall, but what you do is of course your own responsibility.

Gary in WA 01-21-2011 11:36 PM

The foam board should be taped and sealed so no interior air can get to the concrete block to condense there, Fig. 17;
Laundry rooms are moisture producing rooms.

Donít forget the rim joists, as CC said;

I would be concerned leaving foam board exposed next to the washer/dryer, possible ignition sources. Especially a gas dryer, if so equipped. Check with your landlord on this and your Renter Insurance Policy, to be safe. Even if you used the blue foam below , covered with drywall and the upper wall covered with foil faced polyiso board (some B.D. let it be exposed, check with yours), fig. #12;


benjamincall 01-22-2011 12:01 AM

You can buy foam that's recessed for furring strips. I'm putting in two layers of 2" foam, but the first 2" layer really made a difference.

If you get really ambitious and you want to put down tile in this rental, look into Wedi board to provide a thermal break.

Check out this video from Owens Corning:

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