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joan518 10-30-2009 11:31 AM

insulating basement
Hi, I am wondering since I am only studding one outside wall in my basement to put kitchen cabinets on the best way to do this. So far we have drylocked the wall (2coats) and installed 2x4 treated stud wall against the block wall (which is 12" block). There is a crawlspace next to this wall and the ceiling of that will be insulated. There is only about 3 or 4' above grade and this is inside the crawlspace. The crawlspace will also have an insulated door for access. We did not leave a gap between the block and studs, but they are treated. I couldn't use a vapor barrier because it caused condensation. We were planning to just use densboard (paperless drywall) on this wall, but do we need something else to prevent condensation inside the wall or can we put something behind the cabinets only and use cement board in between the cabinets for tile? Any ideas will be appreciated. This whole wall will be getting both base and upper kitchen cabinets, which may give you a little flexibility for ideas. Course I sure wouldn't want to have to tear out a whole wall of cabinets later if I do this wrong. Any help wikll be so appreciated.

Bob Mariani 10-31-2009 06:30 AM

use spray foam or 2" solid foam against the block wall. This will act as the barrier you need and provide better insulation. You are correct in not using a vapor barrier.

joan518 10-31-2009 11:02 AM

Thanks Bob! Does this xps foam I see everyone talking about stop condensation? When warm air in summer hits the cool concrete walls they "Sweat". I am using treated studs (just in case) and densboard (paperless drywall with fiberglass coating). I think if I decide to tile between the kitchen cabinets later that you can tile directly on the densboard. I am confused as to how the xps works, is it just for insulation or does it stop the condensation as well? I guess I am concerned about mold forming inside the wall after I put up the densboard? Thanks in advance!

Bob Mariani 10-31-2009 11:20 AM

yes it will by keeping the wall warm enough not to condense. it acts as a capillary break to stop condensation from the exterior moisture also.

joan518 10-31-2009 11:44 AM

Wow! Sure am glad I found you guys.I was gonna start the trim around my basement windows this week, I was just gonna leave the block walls with drylock (2 coats) on the outside walls because I was worried about this condensation problem, although other wise the basement is very dry and draintiled around footers well. I was just gonna stud the wall for the kitchen cabinets and live with the mortar joints on the other walls. Now that I have been educated by you guys about the xps, I guess I will hold off on the window trim and look into this a little further. I may need to adjust width of jams to accomodate whatever the depth of this system is. Any ideas? I think I understand this right, although newbie and obviously green.

Bob Mariani 10-31-2009 01:41 PM

Window jams can be extended by adding a piece of clear pine to the jams. We can these jam extensions. The jam must be flush with the finished surface on the inside in order for the trim to sit square. If not the joints will be open.

joan518 10-31-2009 02:43 PM

Hi Bob! Sorry I didn't make that very clear. I understand how to extend the jams. I was wondering about what type of product is best to use on the other masonary walls. I looked up a product called "Insofast" and I don't know about this. It has wiring channels and seems fairly easy to install. Is it the same as the xps? Or will something else work better?

Bob Mariani 10-31-2009 02:48 PM

same. just more expensive since it has the channels for the electrical wires. Normally I space the studs 1" from the foamed wall, so there is plenty of free space to run wires. This space is important since it will allow the wall to dry if any wet condition ever exists.

joan518 10-31-2009 03:27 PM

Thanks! 1" space sounds like very good idea. I didn't do that on the wall we just built, but I did use treated studs, there is no taking it out unless I cut it out, but I will try to leave 1" space on other walls. Do you think that will be o.k.?

Bob Mariani 10-31-2009 08:30 PM

should be okay until something leaks

joan518 10-31-2009 08:49 PM

Thanks Bob! That wall is next to crawlspace, so hopefully not a lot of water able to get around it. Sure am glad for your help before I got to the other walls. Thanks so much!

oh'mike 10-31-2009 10:46 PM

Quick tip on framing basement walls--typically walls are assemble on the floor and 'stood up' into place.

Basement walls are best build with the top plate towards the wall-then dragged up the wall.

If you try to stand up a basement wall ,you may well run into a pipe or some other thing that hangs down and prevents the wall from going into place. -MIKE-

Gary in WA 10-31-2009 11:28 PM

Just a follow-up point on the XPS-- "Does this xps foam I see everyone talking about stop condensation?" The thickness of the foam board will let it dry to the inside or not. If over 1" thick, it will hamper the water drying to the inside. Where you use a vapor retarder depends on your climate (location) and the building assembly construction. Here is a good read:
Be safe, Gary

joan518 10-31-2009 11:41 PM

Thanks! Great tips!

joan518 11-01-2009 12:11 AM

Another thought --- since I don't have the 1" space on the wall, should I just put in 1" xps foam with channels in it to let any water run out to kind of make up for not leaving the 1" space?

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