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Old 02-02-2017, 12:00 PM   #1
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Drywall alternatives for Basement ?


Hello Everyone - I'm hoping to get some ideas. I'm refinishing my basement and looking for alternatives to drywall. The basement previously had 1/8" paneling directly against the studs, which I believe is now a code violation. I'm not sure whether there is any paneling or wall panels that can go directly against the studs ? If there are, I would be interested in knowing about them.

At this point I'm probably going to do moisture/mold resistant drywall, but before I pull the trigger on that, I want to make certain I understand my alternatives.

Any suggestions or ideas would be appreciated. Thanks in advance !
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:55 PM   #2
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Re: Drywall alternatives for Basement ?


What is your objection to drywall?

Hard to make suggestions without knowing why the most common product has been ruled out.
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:56 PM   #3
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Re: Drywall alternatives for Basement ?


Paneling over studs is not a violation unless you have Styrofoam insulation under it. Styrofoam needs a fire barrier.
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Old 02-02-2017, 02:50 PM   #4
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Re: Drywall alternatives for Basement ?


I haven't ruled out drywall - I just want to make certain that there aren't any other products that I'm not aware of. My concern with drywall is moisture, pipe leaks, etc. I would definitely prefer some kind of water resistant material on the walls if possible.

With regards to the paneling - I was not aware of that. I did put foam board against the foundation where it was possible. Another question regarding that... In one section of the basement there are furring strips, no framing. There is reason for this. Can paneling go against the furring strips and does the same rule apply about the foam board if it's between the furring strips ? Is there any paneling or panels that considered "fire barrier"?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-02-2017, 06:52 PM   #5
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Re: Drywall alternatives for Basement ?


There are finished panels that combine a vapour barrier, insulation and finished surface in one rigid unit - sorry, I can't remember what they're called. They look similar to wall panel sections you commonly see in modern office buildings. I can't recall if they require studding or can be glued to the wall.
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Old 02-02-2017, 09:25 PM   #6
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Re: Drywall alternatives for Basement ?


I wonder what your location is, and what your wall is.

If you have a concrete block wall or a poured concrete wall with the waterproofing and insulation on the outside, just paint it, leave it bare, or plaster it.

If you want something that is waterproof, just use that poly sheeting. Then you can start buying baby pigs and sell them as feeders and pay off your mortgage early. Just power wash the stuff down before you re-stock.
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Old 02-02-2017, 10:13 PM   #7
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Re: Drywall alternatives for Basement ?


Depends on the look you want.
More durable. Consider the 4 x 8 sheets of exterior smartside siding. Looks like the old T-111 siding or like a paneling.

Very good water resistance. Much better than Hardy cement board.
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Old 02-02-2017, 11:14 PM   #8
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Re: Drywall alternatives for Basement ?


Thanks for the replies - I'm in NY and the house is poured concrete. Most of the basement has 2x3 framing and there are furring strips on some of the walls in a couple of rooms - so painting the walls would not make sense. I'm also hoping to have some kind of a finished look when I'm done.

I haven't looked at exterior products like siding - never even considered it, I'll look into that. Thx
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Old 02-03-2017, 02:56 AM   #9
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Re: Drywall alternatives for Basement ?


Hi Jim, I didn't see it mentioned as to which climate zone you are located in, NY has 3. But there are minimum insulation requirements that seem to exceed what you are describing. I've added a link to the 09 codes but your particular area may have adopted 2012 or 2015 versions or modified the requirements for their own reasons, check locally.
https://energycode.pnl.gov/EnergyCod...ate=New%20York

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