Finish an Insulated Basement Ceiling
LESLIE: Next up, we’ve got Bernard in Pennsylvania. What’s happening at your money pit?
BERNARD: When I moved into the house, the basement was not used and what the previous owner did is up on the rafters he put the strips of insulation; you know, to keep the cold air from coming up into the house. I’ve since finished the basement – right? -and what I have left is to cover up the ceiling and what I want to do is just put just simple wood planking just to cover up the ceiling. And my question is do I need to remove that insulation before I cover up the ceiling or can I just cover up the ceiling with the insulation in place?
TOM: When you say insulation strips, is like a foam board across it or is it fiberglass?
BERNARD: Yeah, it’s fiberglass; fiberglass pink strips.
LESLIE: So it’s like a batting.
TOM: OK, so it’s batts.
BERNARD: Yeah, in the rafters. Yeah, exactly.
TOM: In between the floor joists. Well, there’s no reason to remove it. Generally you don’t insulate the space between the basement and the first floor, but I will tell you it probably makes the first floor a lot warmer having done that. So I don’t see a good reason for you to remove it. I think that you could put the ceiling finish right on top of that. One thing you might want to consider though, for a ceiling finish option though, is a drop ceiling because that will allow you to remain – that area to remain accessible, which is important …
BERNARD: I see.
TOM: … especially for wiring and plumbing and things like that. A lot of mechanicals run through that particular space of the house.
LESLIE: And Bernard, the drop ceilings today aren’t just those foam panels that are lacking in a ton of character. This railing system itself, the supports; really easy to put up. All you need is a laser level so you know everything is straight and easy to go. And the foam panels that pop in; they can look like vaulted ceilings, coffered ceilings, they can look like pressed tin. I mean there’s a ton of different patterns and items available.
BERNARD: (overlapping voices) Oh, OK. Yeah, I was not aware of that. I thought it was – yeah, that’s what I was trying to keep away from; you know the old, simple, white kind of dull-looking one. But you’re saying they have different options.
TOM: Totally different today. It can look like an old-fashioned tin ceiling, it can look textured; a lot of cool options, so take a look at that.
Bernard, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.