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Finishing basement walls

Dave Collins
4 years ago
last modified: 4 years ago

I've done some renovation (including finishing our attic) but not a basement, and not an entire basement (40'x20'). (In Toronto, Canada.)

We've gutted our old basement down to the cinderblocks, redone the floor plumbing, added water barrier, weeping tiles in a ditch and a sump pump - all professionally done.

(I wanted to level the concrete floor but have been advised this is not necessary (and a bad idea, since it will defeat the purpose of letting any influx of water run to the drain). So I"m going to lay vinyl flooring.) Our basement has a low ceiling in addition to a centre steel beam, meaning thinnest floor is preferred.

First step though is to finish the exterior walls. As mentioned, the walls have that black plastic dimpled layer of water protection. Do I need to put up a vapour barrier in addition to this? Do I simply tack it right to the water barrier layer?

Over the water protection layer I'm going to put studs. I should use the Blue moisture/mold resistant stuff, right?

Online advice suggests not to use fibreglass batts, as they absorb moisture. Use solid foam panels instead, but these are not fireproof, so advice is to top it with a layer of Roxul? If so, this that eliminate the need for drywall? If I still have to lay in drywall then the Roxul seems like an extra layer I have to cover my 120'x7' of walls with.

Any other gotchas would be welcomed.