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Old 08-21-2017, 09:40 PM   #1
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Insulate Bathroom walls in Uninsulated basement?


I have an old row house with a limestone foundation and am looking to make my basement livable with a new bathroom. After much research and discussion with local professionals, I have decided not to insulate the stone foundation and brick walls (brick walls are above grade) in the basement to allow it to dry to the interior.
I plan to frame the bathroom wall nearest the foundation wall about 12" off the foundation wall in order to provide ample space for air movement between bathroom wall and foundation. My question is whether I should use rigid foam insulation in framed wall cavities surrounding the bathroom?
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Old 08-22-2017, 05:30 AM   #2
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Re: Insulate Bathroom walls in Uninsulated basement?


You won't need 12" of gap between the outer wall and the framing. If you adhere 2" XPS to the wall and seal the seams, then set your wall an inch or so from that, you will create the needed thermal break. Insulating the interior walls will be for sound transmission muffling only, and I would use Roxul Safe 'n Sound batts for that. You will need to set your walls so the toilet is 12" centered from the FINISHED wall, not the framing.
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Old 08-22-2017, 10:51 AM   #3
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Re: Insulate Bathroom walls in Uninsulated basement?


As Larry said, I would also put 2" foam on the block/brick walls and the studs up against that. The foam is a vapor retarder (not barrier) and provides a thermal break so it allows drying to the inside without creating condensation.

I would not insulate the interior walls, at least thermally (I personally don't see the need for sound insulation but it at least makes sense to do).
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:31 AM   #4
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Re: Insulate Bathroom walls in Uninsulated basement?


Thank you for your responses. My hesitation with adding the XPS directly against the limestone and brick is that it will not allow enough drying to the interior and will force moisture upward into the brick. The stone wall is also not smooth like a concrete foundation and adding the XPS will leave airpockets between the insulation and foundation. I am planning on spray foaming the rim joists but don't want to foam the whole wall for the same reason I am hesitant to use the XPS. Would there be any advantage in insulating only the limestone foundation and then leaving the remaining above grade brick exposed to allow for greater drying potential?
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Old 08-22-2017, 02:48 PM   #5
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Re: Insulate Bathroom walls in Uninsulated basement?


Moisture on the block wall is caused by the difference in temperatures between the wall and the interior. Placing XPS on the walls forms a thermal break and keeps that temperature below or above the condensation point, depending on whether it is above or below grade. There will be no worry about moisture where the XPS and your concrete meet. I mentioned the insulation purely for sound reduction, as most homeowners want that in their bathrooms, especially if a common wall abuts an entertainment room.
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:36 PM   #6
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Re: Insulate Bathroom walls in Uninsulated basement?


Brick walls are insulated with foam all the time, why do you think yours should not be?
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