How to install rigid foam insulation

Written by meg jernigan
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How to install rigid foam insulation
Owens Corning Foamular Rigid Foam

Rigid foam insulation can be installed in a weekend by a novice do-it-yourselfer. It's easy to install and energy-efficient. When it's covered with wall board, it's also highly fire-resistant. Insects won't eat it, but they will burrow through it, so it's not recommended for outside use. Rigid foam can be used to insulate almost any room in your house, and in some cases will actually add structural strength to walls.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Level
  • Shims
  • Furring strips
  • Insulation
  • Plastic
  • Staple gun

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  1. 1

    Correct any moisture problems with the walls where you'll be installing the insulation. Simple problems can be fixed with a waterproof paint. More complex problems might require an expert's help.

  2. 2

    Attach 2-inch-by-2-inch furring strips to the wall on-centre, 16 inches apart. Use a level to ascertain that the strips are flush. Use shims to even out any irregularities in the wall.

    How to install rigid foam insulation
  3. 3

    Measure the foam insulation and cut it to size. It should fit tightly between the furring strips.

    How to install rigid foam insulation
  4. 4

    Press the foam into the spaces between the strips. Leave as little space as possible between pieces of foam board. Caulk or tape over any spaces.

  5. 5

    Use a sheet of heavy plastic as a vapour barrier on top of the insulation. Staple it along the top. Don't puncture the plastic by stapling it to the furring strips. The wall covering you install over it will hold it in place.

    How to install rigid foam insulation

Tips and warnings

  • Sixteen inches on centre means that there is 16 inches between the centre of one furring strip and the centre of the next.
  • Make sure your cuts are straight, to avoid spaces between the insulation and the furring strips.

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