Can I fix frigid bathroom by covering exterior brick?

Reply

  #1  
Old 09-12-14, 09:51 AM
F
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 346
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Question Can I fix frigid bathroom by covering exterior brick?

Here's my dilemma: Exterior is solid brick. Interior is drywall over furring strips on top half, and tile on bottom. The tile is bedded in cement right to the brick - no insulation at all. I tore out the drywall and added foam board between the furring strips, but that did very little. The floor is tile over slab, so that's nice and chilly, too.

My only remaining idea is to cover the exterior brick on this wall with Tyvek, foam board, and vinyl siding, to try and insulate the wall at least a little more. Using the bathroom in the winter is beyond uncomfortable.

Is this idea even worth pursuing? Will it provide enough insulation to make a difference, and are there any possible downsides? Not worried about covering the brick on this one wall. Thanks for any help or suggestions!
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 09-12-14, 10:15 AM
Shadeladie's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: PA - USA
Posts: 4,535
Received 112 Votes on 87 Posts
You must have the same bathroom as me, lol!
Just a couple other suggestions that help a bit. An insulated window treatment (if you have a window), a couple throw rugs on the floor, and a small heater. I use those little ceramic ones that do a pretty good job on small rooms. They heat up almost right away so you don't have to leave it running.
 
  #3  
Old 09-12-14, 11:58 AM
F
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 346
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
And you must have tried the same solutions as me! Actually, I went from the rug on the floor to using those gray foam interlocking floor mats. Ugly, but they help! I definitely need a better long-term solution. Sounds like you do, too.
 
  #4  
Old 09-14-14, 03:19 AM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 962
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
I think installing something on the outside is going to help a bit, but probably not as much as you would like. To get the equivalent insulation to that in even a 2x4 stud wall, you would need 2" to 2-1/2" of the extruded polystyrene (NOT the white beadboard). I am assuming there is no thermal break between the floor and the wall, so the polystyrene insulation would have to go at least a couple feet below the floor. You would also have to figure out how to deal with framing out around windows, if any. I would consider this kind of project major surgery; but anything can be done if your wallet is thick enough.

If it were mine, I would grit my teeth and do exactly what Shadeladie has done.

Edit: You could also look at a synthetic stucco system like Dryvit, but you have some of the same problems to resolve when you're adding a lot thickness to the outside wall. If you use a synthetic stucco system, be sure you use a VERY experienced contractor to install. There have been a lot of problems with the system, almost all with installation. So many, in fact, the architectural firms I worked for prohibited the product on buildings we designed; didn't want the potential liability.
 
  #5  
Old 09-14-14, 04:40 AM
GregH's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 10,134
Received 35 Votes on 33 Posts
You don't mention anything about what type of heat you have in the room.
Shadeladie I think is on the right track by suggesting the "little heater".

In order to be able to trap heat with insulation you have to have heat added to the room first.
Portable heaters in a bathroom are a bit of a hazard IMO but there are types like kick space heaters that could work if you have a compatible cabinet.

Can you tell us exactly what type of heating system you have and how it is connected to the bathroom.
 
  #6  
Old 09-14-14, 06:28 AM
F
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 346
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks, Bruce H. I kind of figured it would help only a little, but desperation is desperation, right? It's beginning to look like there's no workable solution that will solve the problem, without - as you put it - major surgery. It would probably make more sense to just build a new addition against that entire section of the house! Thanks for your input - I really appreciate it.
 
  #7  
Old 09-14-14, 06:33 AM
F
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 346
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
GregH - the house has forced air heat (I upgraded the furnace to a 95% efficient unit), which works fine, but can't combat the cold being radiated by the tile and brick in that room. I do use a small ceramic space heater, which makes the situation almost tolerable. Thought about trying one of those flat-panel heaters, and affixing it right to the tile, so that it would absorb the heat. Murphy's law would probably cause the tile to crack. ;-)
 
  #8  
Old 09-14-14, 06:38 AM
D
Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 4,947
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
What is above and below the bathroom? How many walls are exposed to the outside? Do you have any plumbing chases that run through the bathroom?

I have a small bathroom on the first floor of my home with one outside wall. I had an issue with it being cold as well. Probably not as cold as yours, however. I have a basement below and some attic space above. I also have a plumbing chase that runs from the basement to that attic area. I added insulation above the bathtub because there wasn't very much there. I also covered the exhaust fan because I could feel cold coming through. I covered the top of the plumbing chase with insulation and put some at the bottom. While fiberglass will not stop airflow, it did slow it down quite a bit and the bathroom was noticeably warmer in the winter.
 
  #9  
Old 09-14-14, 07:24 AM
GregH's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 10,134
Received 35 Votes on 33 Posts
Even adding insulation you may find that your furnace run time doesn't provide a consistent amount of heat.
A nice touch would be a panel heater with a towel warmer.
 
  #10  
Old 09-14-14, 07:59 AM
F
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 346
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Hi, drooplug - Only one exposed wall. Nothing below - it's on a slab. I've already insulated the attic space above pretty well, as well as any plumbing work. It's just a whole lot of tile on uninsulated walls with a brick exterior that absorbs and radiates the cold very effectively. Radiant heat is probably a better solution than the ceramic heater, I guess.
 
  #11  
Old 09-14-14, 08:02 AM
F
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 346
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
GregH - I've never relied on the furnace heat for consistency in this house. I actually thought about the towel warmer and panel heater. Might have to give that a try this winter - we're supposed to have a nasty one, I hear.
 
  #12  
Old 09-14-14, 08:11 AM
czizzi's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 7,388
Received 14 Votes on 12 Posts
Sounds like a perfect reason to install a radiant heat mat under your tile floor. Obviously would involve re-tile of the entire floor, but would help take the edge off and you would not have to worry about an electric appliance in a wet location.
 
  #13  
Old 09-14-14, 08:52 AM
F
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 346
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Another upgrade on the list. Thanks, czizzi.
 
  #14  
Old 09-14-14, 09:31 AM
D
Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 4,947
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
If you are willing to tear out the floor, you should rip out the wall instead and get it insulated on the inside. I would rather do things that would save on my heating than add to it.
 
  #15  
Old 09-14-14, 09:54 AM
F
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 346
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
drooplug - I would normally agree with you, but the room is very small to begin with, and ripping out the wall (which I've already done on the top half) would require tearing out the tile all the way around the room. Now we're talking full-scale renovation. No budget for that right now, though I'd love to do it at some point.
 
  #16  
Old 09-14-14, 10:06 AM
GregH's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 10,134
Received 35 Votes on 33 Posts
Because of the normal cycling of heating systems in cold climates, it is fairly common to have supplemental heat in a bathroom.
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: