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The kitchen is a bustling part of the house where family members join to create good food. When winter comes, you might wonder if it is possible to add some insulation in your favorite place. To help you avoid the icy feeling, we've done the research to guide you on how to insulate the kitchen walls.
You can control your kitchen's temperature and moisture levels by adding insulation to the walls. With suitable insulation, you can work in a warm area free of mold and mildew caused by moisture. To insulate the kitchen walls, follow these steps:
- Remove kitchen fixtures attached to the wall.
- Place insulation boards to the wall using a foam adhesive.
- Add some foil strip tape around the corners of the boards. Apply some silicone sealant before pushing the boards in place.
- Cover joints and gaps with foil tape and sealant.
- Add plasterboard or any hard sheet on top of the insulating boards.
Prepare suitable and high-quality materials before you insulate. If you don't use insulation boards, you can use spray foam or other materials. Remember to choose insulation with the right R-value. Even if you don't have experience, read along to learn how you can successfully add insulation to your kitchen walls.
Insulation For Kitchen Walls
Insulation can help you save costs of controlling the temperature to create a more comfortable living. As interior walls in the kitchen need insulation to battle the cold, it is much more necessary to insulate if the basement is directly below or sleeping areas are adjacent to the kitchen. By doing so, you can prevent moisture inside the kitchen.
If there is too much moisture, your kitchen is vulnerable to mold and musty odors. In the long run, moisture will damage the structural supports of the kitchen. Kitchens are busy and noisy. Insulation is a solution that helps dampen the sound between the kitchen and other rooms in the house.
When installing the insulation yourself, you should get familiarized with the processes. You can choose either board insulation or spray foam methods.
Kitchen Wall Insulation With Boards Or Panels
To insulate the kitchen walls, you need to carry out each of these steps:
- Before insulation, remove fixtures attached to the kitchen walls.
- Check if there are additional plumbing and electrical works for the walls. You need to install the necessary connections for kitchen fixtures like sinks or a fridge.
- Start with sealing the kitchen windows on the exterior wall with some expanding insulated foam.
- Also, check any cracks, gaps, or holes on the walls. Fix the issues first to avoid any passageway for air. If you have a brick wall, repair the loose and crumbly mortar joints.
- Insulate the existing pipes without moving them. For new pipes, allow enough space to add insulation behind.
- Add PIR insulation boards or other similar material to the walls. The thickness of the board is around 20 to 60 mm. It also depends on which part of the wall you will insulate.
- Use expanding foam adhesive to stick the panels.
- Tape a strip of foil around the corners of the board where it meets the walls.
- Apply a silicone sealant before pushing the boards on the wall to create an airtight seal.
- Cover the joints with foil and close all gaps with the sealant. Be careful of the facing of the foil and sealant. These should create a vapor barrier that keeps the warm air inside the kitchen.
- You can use a plasterboard or a hard sheet such as MDF over the insulation boards. A combination of the board and sheet can give better results.
- Afterward, return all the kitchen fixtures in place.
The process is really tedious, but you'll have an easier solution if you use spray foams.
Spray Foam Application
For the spray foam, the process is simple.
- Before you start, remove the existing insulation.
- Cover the floors with a plastic sheet.
- Spray foam in cavities between the studs.
- Allow the foam to expand to fill the gaps.
- Add spray foam after installing the wirings and pipes but before placing drywall.
For new walls, you should drill two holes in each stud cavity. It is common to drill one on top and one on the middle. Refer to the instructions of the product for the hole size. Then spray foam inside the holes. Add a layer of slow expanding foam to avoid overfilling the holes. By doing so, you can get reliable coverage for the walls.
If you think that you cannot do the insulation, you can hire a professional to do the job.
What Insulation Material Is Best For The Kitchen Walls?
Closed-cell polyurethane spray foam is most suitable for kitchens. The foam has a high R-value that is effective for the heat flow resistance of the area. It will settle and cure inside the walls that reinforce the structural integrity of the walls. The benefits of this type of spray foam include:
- Preventing pests, molds, and bacteria growth
- Reducing dust and allergens
- Cutting energy costs and improving efficiency
- Thorough sealing of gaps
Some contractors suggest polyicynene foam spray. The thermal conduction of PIR can be lower than PUR, but it has better stability and fire resistance. You can spray the foam behind the old kitchen walls to create a tough barrier. A slow-pour version can seep into the holes to reduce cracking. You might save on costs by spraying the foam on your own, but it is better to hire a contractor.
Even though it is easy to use, here are some drawbacks of spray foam insulation:
- The foam is not thick enough. You might need to add more foam to fill all the cavities.
- There is also a problem with uneven spraying. Some parts of the walls will have too much while some will have less.
- Spray foam can pull away from the wall framing due to improper mixing, low-quality foam, and high temperature.
If spray foam does not meet your needs, you can choose other insulating materials.
More Insulation Options
Other than spray foams, here are some options to choose from:
- Rigid board - These boards are common for internal insulation because of their high R-value. The materials for these boards can either be fiberglass, sheetrock, or plastic foam. You can buy batts of the board to fit certain cavities on the wall.
- Fiberglass - Although a popular choice for insulation, fiberglass also has negative health effects. Fiberglass can release harmful particles into the air. When installing, observe the proper use of safety equipment.
- Stone wool - The porous material is effective in trapping the air. You can also choose this insulation if you want to soundproof the kitchen. It is also suitable for kitchens because it is non-combustible.
- Foil - Aluminum foil is a great insulator by radiating the heat back to its source.
You might also want to check out the 9 Types Of Thermal Insulation You Should Know.
What R-Value Insulation To Use For Kitchens?
Selecting insulation with high R-values is also crucial when insulating the kitchen walls. The width of the wall studs limits the insulation materials you can use.
If you choose fiberglass batts for 2x4 walls, the R-values range from R11 to 15. For spray foams, you can choose from R14 to 28 values. The higher the R-value, the insulating capacity is also higher.
It is best to refer to Energy Star's recommended home insulation values for your specific region.
Is It Necessary To Insulate Kitchen Cabinets?
Insulation is optional for kitchen cabinets and cupboards. In this way, you can prevent getting those cold dishes, appliances, and ingredients. With some insulation, you also protect the kitchen supplies and utensils from mold and mildew. If you still want to add some insulation, the process is easy.
Target the gaps where air can pass through to avoid moisture entering the kitchen storage. The quick fix is to spray some insulating foam on the gaps. You can also spray some inside if the moisture comes from the back wall.
Insulating your kitchen walls is possible if you carefully follow the right procedure. But before doing so, you should select a suitable insulating material that will give the greatest benefits to your kitchen. Also, check if the R-values of the insulation are appropriate.
If you think insulation on the walls is not enough, you can also insulate the kitchen cabinets and other storage. After all, insulating the kitchen will help you get through the colder months.
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