Insulation & NEW plaster

atlantic123June 8, 2010


We had to remove our plaster walls & ceiling in the kitchen that started to crumble when we took the previous owners paneling down. We are very dismayed, because we love plaster so much. Our house is nearly 90+ years old and has original plaster in the rest of the house.

We now have exposed brick (the plaster was directly on the brick). We are keeping the interior walls exposed brick. This is a good time for us to insulate the exterior walls.

Contractors have told us that we are nuts to want to plaster over the insulation. What do you think? Should we go the easier & cheaper route and put up drywall? We are on a very limited budget. Is this a DIY project for beginners?

Advice on insulation? What is feasible?

THANKS SO MUCH! this is my first posting on Garden Web and am excited to post more. We are recent first time home buyers and chose to purchase an older home.

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Is veneer plaster (aka "blueboard")available in your area? that would give you the best of both systems.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 9:35AM
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Macv, Thanks a lot!!! I am researching veneer plaster right now. It sounds like a good compromise.

Do you know what the sound barrier would be with this combo: brick wall, insulation (not sure what type yet), and veneer plaster? We live in a city, so sound is somewhat of an issue.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 11:34AM
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I'm not exactly sure of the sound barrier of your proposed wall, atlantic 123, but I would suggest that nicely fitted insulation would at least make up for the fact that you are using veneer plaster instead of (the original) 3-coat plaster. I would think the brick would provide most of the sound insulation anyway. Making sure windows and wall openings (e.g., electrical outlets, etc.) are air-tight will probably affect the sound barrier more than the thickness of the plaster.
If you want to be extra sure, see if you can specify 5/8" blueboard (rather than the standard 1/2") to get your finished wall as close as possible to the original thickness of the 3-coat plaster (probably 3/4", more or less)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 4:05PM
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How are you going to handle the thickness of wood trim around doors, floors and windows that will most likely now be an issue due to the change in thickness of the board vs the original plaster?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 5:42AM
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"...that nicely fitted insulation would at least make up for the fact that you are using veneer plaster instead of (the original) 3-coat plaster."

Not very likely.

Attenuating sound requires mass and thermal insulation is not a high mass material.
Fiberglass for sound insulation is denser and makes poor thermal insulation.

Two layers of drywall (with or without veneer plaster on top) would do better.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 7:59AM
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To apply blueboard to a brick wall usually requires some kind of shimmed furring/strapping so the total thickness might be the same or greater than the original plaster.

As for sound, the brick would provide far more sound separation than any thin interior finish assuming the brickwork doesn't have a lot of cracks or thru-penetrations. Of course, the interior finish would help by sealing any such penetrations.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 11:34PM
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