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Creekbender 01-29-2010 03:16 PM

Wine Cellar in Finished Basement
Hi All,
I'm planning to build a wine cellar in my basement, which is currently finished. The cellar will be kept at 58deg year round and perhaps 70% humidity with an active temp/humidity device made for this purpose. I live in MN, so my basement is insulated with a vapor barrier directly behind the sheetrock (the warm side).

My plan is to build a stud wall and partition off part of my basement to create the cellar. Two of the walls I'm planning to use are finished insulated foundation walls as described above.

I understand vapor barriers should always be on the warm side of walls, so this brings me to my question. The placement of vapor barrier on the new stud wall is easy - under the Sheetrock on the non-cellar side, the warm side. But, Do I need to gut my two finished foundation walls to put a vapor barrier behind the insulation? In the summer, the cellar will be the cool side. In the winter it will be the warm side. Thus my dilemma.

Now, I understand the basement basically has this same problem already. The basement is the warm side in winter and cool side in summer. The contractors who finished my basement just put up 6 mil poly directly beneath the Sheetrock (over the insulation) and called it a day. That seems to work fine.

Anyone have any tips here? Thanks!

Bondo 01-30-2010 02:20 PM


The contractors who finished my basement just put up 6 mil poly directly beneath the Sheetrock (over the insulation) and called it a day. That seems to work fine.
Ayuh,.... I'd do the same thing,+ call it a Wine Cellar....;)

Ron6519 01-30-2010 02:57 PM

Insulate all the walls of the wine cellar enclosure and the ceiling. I would also use an insulated door with a gaskets perimeter to maintain the rooms temperature and humidity.
Are you using one of those wine cooling units that go through the wall? Make sure you get the correct size or it will shorten it's life dramatically.

Creekbender 01-30-2010 06:39 PM

I updated the title to something more apt.

Ron...yes, I'm planning to get a through-wall unit, perhaps a WhisperKool. I haven't quite picked it out yet. I hear you on getting the correct one for the space.

I'm definitely planning to insulate the walls and ceiling. Do you have any more thoughts on the floor? Under the carpet (which I'll remove for this room) is a concrete slab. I was thinking of just leaving it concrete.

As far as the ceiling, would you recommend tearing out the existing finished ceiling and putting insulation up between the floor joists, or just insulate over the finished ceiling with pink foam or some such?

I think what I'll do in regards to the vapor barrier is the following. I will leave alone the two finished foundation walls. They have studs, fiberglass batting insulation with a 6 mil poly vapor barrier directly behind the sheetrock. On the new partition wall I'll build, I will put the vapor barrier on the basement side of the cellar because the basement should always be warmer than the cellar.

On the new partition wall, that gives me:
basement--> sheetrock--> 6mil poly--> studs/insulation --> sheetrock--> wine cellar

Thanks all!

Ron6519 01-31-2010 09:54 AM

I would remove the ceiling and insulate the space. The concrete is more problematic. You can't just lay down a sheet of foam insulation. I might look into a cork floor as an option.

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