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Type of wall over uninsulated brick

clifton_clowers | Posted in General Questions on

My house, in CT, was built in the 1890’s and has structural brick walls. I am renovating the kitchen, and as part of that I removed th (mudjob) tile that was installed half way up the inside of the exterior wall. The plaster on the top half of the wall is in good shape and will remain in place. There are 1″ thick furring strips in place.

Some of the tile wall that was removed will be replaced with new tile, while some will be replaced with “wall”. I have read several discussions about insulating brick walls, but here, since we cannot reach the top half, it is not really an option.

However, I am wondering what my best option for wall material is. First, under the tile, should we use cement board of some sort? And for the drywall portion, is blue board OK, or green board a better option? Or something else?

Thanks for any help.

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  1. BrianPontolilo | | #1


    If you have half of the wall open, you should be able to get some insulation in. If you think about it, insulation is often retrofit through small holes drilled into walls. I'd talk to an insulation contractor or figure out the bast way to get something in there while the wall is open.

    As far as the tile backer is concerned, it depends. If this is a kitchen backsplash, tile is often installed over drywall. But it depends how much abuse the wall will see, what type of tile you plan to use, etc. There are lots of tile, tile backer, and corresponding adhesive options. It's important to use the right products together. Fine Homebuilding covered the topic pretty thoroughly a few years ago. Here's a link to the article:

  2. clifton_clowers | | #2

    In the study cited in this report ( a 7600 sqft building with 8700 sqft of outside wall was insulated with 2" of XPS. The annual savings was about $2000. We have a 4000 sqft building where we could reasonably insulate 64 sqft of (open) outside wall with, at most, 1/2" thick insulation. A rough extrapolation yields something like $4 in annual savings.

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