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Bead board or wainscoting on interior and exterior walls

So after reading about installing tongue and grove on a cathedral ceiling I learned that drywall should be installed before the tongue and groove. Because of the extra work and expense we are going to leave the ceiling drywall for now but because we are skipping out on the wood ceiling I would like to put up some wood on some of the exterior and/or interior walls. I'm wondering if we need to put up drywall first as we would in the ceiling for air sealing or can we skip this step on the walls. The walls are 2x4 construction with r15 roxul.

Asked by Karen Connolly
Posted Dec 7, 2017 8:42 AM ET

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3 Answers

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1.

Karen,
You need an air barrier on your insulated exterior walls, just as you do on your insulated ceiling. (Uninsulated partitions are another matter.)

In most homes, the taped drywall is the air barrier on the interior side of your walls. If your insulation consists of spray foam insulation between the studs, however, you don't have to worry about an additional air barrier.

The usual way to install wainscot is on the interior of the drywall. Then cap the wainscot with a chair rail, and you are done.

Answered by Martin Holladay
Posted Dec 7, 2017 8:46 AM ET
Edited Dec 7, 2017 8:46 AM ET.

2.

Thanks for the help! On the interior walls is it okay to skip the drywall as long as there is a good air seal between the ceiling drywall and the interior wall framing/top plate?

Answered by Karen Connolly
Posted Dec 7, 2017 8:57 AM ET

3.

Karen,
Q. "On the interior walls is it okay to skip the drywall as long as there is a good air seal between the ceiling drywall and the interior wall framing/top plate?"

A. Generally, yes. It's certainly important to seal air leaks at the top of partitions. Air often leaks through the crack between partition top plates and partition drywall. These leaks can be sealed by installing caulk or glue between the drywall and the top plate when the drywall is hung, or by sealing the crack from the attic (usually with canned spray foam) after the drywall is hung.

Answered by Martin Holladay
Posted Dec 7, 2017 9:07 AM ET

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