Are you caught at crossroads on what kind of insulation for basement ceiling you should use?
In this guide, we shall discuss different types of basement insulation that offer some bit of soundproofing and weather insulation.
Insulating the basement ceiling is purposely done to retain most heat in the living space and insulate the basement itself.
You will also realize that some of these insulation materials are also included in my detailed guide of cheap soundproofing materials.
If you’ve converted your basement into a home theater mancave or probably have your teenage kid convert it to a drum room or an office, you will need to take both insulation and sound isolation into consideration.
What Kind of Insulation for Basement Ceiling Should You Choose?
There are different insulations for the basement ceiling you can get on the market today.
We shall be looking at several of them so that you can be able to choose one that matches your specific requirements and basement aesthetics.
The best insulation for the basement ceiling is Fiberglass Batts. (Source)
If you have an unconditioned basement (basement with not heat-producing devices or appliances) where the only source of heat is from the room’s floor above, then fiberglass batts are your best bet.
In this case, base ceiling insulation will help the living space upstairs retain heat during those cold winter days.
You can insulate the ceiling in this case with blankets or fiberglass installed between the floor joists held in place with fishing line, wire, or spring metal dubbed as “tiger claws.”
Insulating an unconditioned basement ceiling helps keep most of the heat in the living space upstairs.
This means that the basement will become colder during winter and hence the need for heating/cooling and water pipe insulation in the basement.
You should pay attention to the water pipes around or near the basement perimeter to freeze when exposed to extremely low temperatures.
On the other hand, if your garage is unheated and there’s a living space above, the garage ceiling should as well be insulated.
Here’s a guide on how to insulate and soundproof your garage from the inside.
For Conditioned Basements
A conditioned basement is the opposite of an unconditioned basement.
In simple terms, it’s a basement with heating elements installed intentionally for heating purposes or heated as a result of the presence of heating systems like a water heater or other heat-generating appliances.
For an intentionally heated basement, the basement’s temperate would be the same as the living space above, hence no need for insulating the ceiling.
On the other hand, for an unintentionally heated basement, the temperature will vary and range between the outdoors and the living space above.
Your focus, in this case, would be insulating the basement walls and not the ceiling.
For a basement above the ground level, you should insulate the walls using fiberglass batts- install them between the studs.
For unfinished basement concrete walls, there are two insulation options.
First, you can install wood framing and attach fiberglass batts if you plan to finish the basement walls.
Alternatively, you can attach several inches of acoustic foam insulation against the inside of the concrete wall.
The insulation, in this case, should extend all the way down to the basement floor or below the frost line.
Don’t forget the band joist when doing insulation for your basement.
The band joist is a 2-inch-thick piece of wood that separates your basement’s interior from the outdoors.
Additionally, you should also ensure that water pipes are kept on the basement’s inner side when doing insulation to protect them from freezing during winter.
What Kind of Insulation for Basement Ceiling Do I Recommend?
There’s one fiberglass batts insulation product that I can recommend at the moment.
It’s available online and is effective and affordable as well.
1. Owens Corning R-19 Faced Fiberglass
The Owens Corning Fiberglass is available in 93x15x6.25 inches length, width, and depth, respectively.
It’s recommended for use in 2×6 walls, thus giving the best thermal and effective acoustical control.
Owens has less dust than other fiberglass products on the market.
This product is GREEENGUARD GOLD Certified and also approved as a Formaldehyde-free product.
The product is produced in R-values ranging from 11-49 and thicknesses ranging from 3.5-14inches, making it a perfect pick for basement insulation in different US zones. (Source)
Final Thought on Insulation for Basement Ceiling
If you’ve converted your basement to something like a home office, library, or man cave, it’d be wise to not only insulate it but also to soundproof it.
Hi, my name is Todd R. Bressler and I am the founder of this soundproofing blog. I’m a DIY enthusiast from Cincinnati, the city that just beat New York for the City That Never Sleeps Award in 2020. (Original) I have been in the DIY soundproofing industry for close to 5 years, running a YouTube channel and a Podcast show every Saturday. I started Crafty Soundproofing to help you learn the basics of “self defending yourself against noise”
Have an idea worth sharing? Please contact me and I’ll be happy to respond ASAP.