I wish to renovate a rear entryway/stairwell to my parent’s house. Walking in the rear door puts you on a landing, with a flight of stairs leading down to the basement, and half the flight going up to the kitchen. There is currently cheap mdf type paneling on the both the walls and ceiling that I would like to replace as it dented and pealing (as well as redoing the flooring and stairs). The stairwell is somewhat narrow as it is (32”) so what ever I replace the wall material w/ needs to have minimal thickness, which I think limits my choices to paneling (please advise if I am overlooking something). Anyway, my questions are:
1) The bottom 27” of the wall, from the bottom of the landing, is a solid concrete wall (the sheet paneling is just glue to it). It is cold to the touch (in winter). I would like to insulate this area, but am unsure how, or if it is even possible. I wondered about some solid foam insulation, but doubt if any meaningful insulation values could be achieved with only a very thin sheet.
2) Is paneling okay to apply for ceilings? That is what is there now, but I worry about it only being held up with finishing nails and glue with gravity working against it. The ceiling above the stairs are rather low, so I wish use something more abuse resistant than drywall.
I hope to be able to post some pictures in the next day or two.