Old 03-03-03, 01:05 PM
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Smile Comforttherm?

I am currently finishing our basement using steel studs. The insulation I'm thinking about using is JohnsManville ComfortTherm R13, 16inch width.

I haven't been able to find much information about this product other then the companies spec sheets. From what I read, the encapsulated product is equal to or superior to Kraft facing. Can I install this product in a basement or is Kraft facing still the best way to go?

Also, I'm having an really hard time trying to find any faced insulation in a 16inch width. Most warehouses here don't understand why 15 inch won't fit!! I understand a lot of folks say you can just stuff some extra insulation in the gap, but I'd rather not go through the hassle - and install the correctly sized batt.

So, from the mouths of pros - is it really necessary to use 16"? Is ComfortTherm ok in a basement?

Thank you for your time!

Old 03-03-03, 04:40 PM
Doug Aleshire's Avatar
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I'mk not sure about the JohnsManville ComfortTherm in regards to priceing but i would think that it is more expensive that kraft faced or unfaced Owens Corning insualtion. In a basement application, you don't want to go broke but want a warm room.
The attached article helps describe some issues with steel studs.

The standard method of insulating steel stud walls is simply to friction fit batts into the stud cavities. Steel framing batts are made a full 16" or 24" in width, either faced or unfaced for this application. A kraft facing can be used only if the building construction is classified as combustible and the facing is concealed as required. For proper friction fit installation, batt thickness must be approximately the same dimension as the stud width and must fill the stud cavity. Although any R value 3 1/2" batt can be used in 3 1/2" and 3 5/8" steel studs, only the higher density R-13 and R-15 batts are recommended with 4" steel studs. Any friction installation also requires that board be directly fastened to both sides of the stud framing. Batts will then be enclosed on all four sides and cannot settle or shift. If the width of the steel stud exceeds the thickness of the batt by more than 1/2", or if there is no board layer on the inner surface of the wall as in some double exterior wall systems, batts must be fastened to the studs. This can be accomplished by using faced batts and taping the stapling flanges to the faces of the studs. This is a temporary measure and only enough tape need be applied to hold the stapling flanges to the faces of the studs until the finish layer board is installed. The stapling flanges will then be sandwiched between the stud faces and the board and secured by the board fasteners. Taping the stapling flanges to the stud faces provides a more continuous vapor retarder and this method is sometimes used for this reason.

It is true that finding faced insulation in the 16" or 24" width is tough but as time goes by, it may be more readily available. Get the unfaced and use the hints from above. Apply poly over it and you're done. It should go fine.

Hope this helps!

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