Revamp Your Interior Ceiling With Foam Board (A Comprehensive Guide)

Most interior ceilings are built using gypsum board, wood panels, MDF, plywood, and sometimes PVC.

These materials are the go-to options because they enhance the interior beauty of the residential or commercial property while meeting local building requirements.

Considering that there is a wide range of materials that can be used on an interior ceiling, could foam board be one of them? Well, that’s what we’re going to find out in today’s article.


Can You Use Foam Board on Interior Ceiling?

Yes, foam board can be used on interior ceilings. But there are a couple of factors you need to keep in mind.

Foam board is an ideal ceiling material. It’s lightweight and therefore easy to install. When used on an interior ceiling, foam board significantly improves insulation.

However, when installing foam board on a ceiling, you need to cover it with sheathing so that it’s more resistant to impact. It also needs to be weatherproofed if the floor below will be heated.

That’s not all. Foam board on an interior ceiling must be covered with a fire-resistant material because it is highly flammable. Fire-resistant material is mandatory in most local building codes.

Please note that there are benefits and limitations associated with using foam board on interior ceilings. I’m going to discuss these in detail below. So, don’t be in a hurry to decide without knowing both sides of this project.

What are the Benefits of Using Foam Board on Interior Ceiling?

Foam board is a popular type of sheathing that’s well-known for its insulative properties. It’s mostly used on walls. But under certain circumstances, it can also be used on ceilings. Here are some of the benefits associated with the latter;

• It improves energy efficiency – This is one of my favorite properties of foam board. Thanks to its thermal insulative characteristics, foam board can significantly improve energy efficiency inside your residential or commercial building.

So, you’ll enjoy low power bills. And if you live in a colder climate, having foam board on your ceiling will ensure your home is always warm.

• It soundproofs the interior – Whether you’re interested in keeping inside or outside noise away, using foam board on the interior ceiling is a brilliant idea.

Foam board also has excellent sound insulation properties. And this can come in handy when building the ceilings of noisy interiors such as bars, restaurants, theaters, or theaters.

• It makes the installation process easier – Compared to other ceiling materials, foam board is relatively easier to install. It’s super light and cuts pretty easily using a knife.

If you’re building a ceiling by yourself and you don’t want to deal with heavy materials, foam board is an excellent option.

• It enhances the aesthetics of your interior ceiling – In the market, you can find foam board ceiling tiles that come in a wide range of shapes and designs. Once installed, these can spice up interior aesthetics.

• Some foam boards are moisture resistant – These are excellent materials to use in the ceilings of high moisture areas like the bathroom or kitchen.

This promotes the longevity of your ceiling while preventing issues such as moisture damage and mold growth.

What are the Risks Associated with Using Foam Board on Interior Ceilings?

At the same time, foam board does have some issues which makes it not the best material for an interior ceiling. These limitations include;

• It’s weak – Foam board can’t be used by itself as a solo ceiling material because it is structurally weak. When used on its own, foam board can easily collapse especially if you hang heavy materials like chandeliers.

So, it must be complemented with additional materials for reinforcement purposes.

• It’s flammable – Nearly all building codes require that construction materials must be flame-resistant. Unfortunately, foam board is pretty flammable, and using it on your interior ceiling comes with some level of risk.

• Not all foam boards are moisture resistant – The likes of EPS are not moisture resistant and if used on a ceiling, they can absorb and transfer moisture to other materials like framing.

• Some foam boards release VOCs – When foam board is still new, there is a high chance that it will emit volatile organic compounds that can affect the quality of indoor air.

This can pose a problem to individuals with respiratory conditions. The good news is that off-gassing doesn’t usually last very long.

Do Local Building Codes Accept the Use of Foam Board on Interior Ceilings?

From what I’ve realized over the years is that most building codes have no issue with the use of foam board on interior ceilings.

However, to pass an inspector’s check, the foam board must be layered with a flame retardant. Also, some building codes may advocate for the use of a vapor retarder to prevent moisture problems.

These are the only two issues that may arise regarding building code.

But you should understand that different areas have varying building codes. You need to confirm with your local authorities about their take on using foam board on the interior ceiling.

Ceiling construction

How to Install Foam Board on Interior Ceiling?

Now that you know the pros and cons of using foam board on the interior ceiling, allow me to take you through a quick installation guide.

As mentioned earlier, foam board is very easy to work with. So, the installation process should be a breeze.

Step 1: Gather Essential Materials

This includes foam boards, adhesives, a knife, a tape measure, furring strips, and a set of fasteners.

Step 2: Set Up the Work Area

If this is an existing ceiling, you’ll need to remove the old materials. You’ll also need to check the wiring and do a little bit of tidying up.

Step 3: Cut the Foam Board to Your Desired Height

Using a tape measure, calculate the ideal size of foam boards you’re going to need for this project. then use a knife to cut the foam boards to the required dimensions.

Step 4: Build a Frame on the Ceiling

Some people skip this step but I think it’s very important. A frame creates the perfect surface for you to install a foam board.

Not only does it help with shaping the ceiling design, but it also ensures that your foam board adheres strongly to the ceiling. So, grab some furring strips and create a frame.

Step 5: Rub Adhesive on the Back of the Foam Board

Adhesive plays a crucial role in ensuring foam board sticks strongly to the frame. Ensure the adhesive covers the entire surface and attach it to the furring strips.

Step 6: Screw the Fasteners to the Furring Strips

Your goal should be to achieve a strong bond between the foam board and the frame. So, grab some fasteners and drive them through the foam board, all the way to the furring strips.

Make sure that there is even spacing between the fasteners. Confirm that the foam board is thoroughly stuck before proceeding to the next step.

Step 7: Seal the Seams and Finish the Installation

Before you get started with the finishing, seal the seams to ensure air or moisture can’t leak through. This will also promote efficient insulation.

To seal the seams of the foam board, you can use foil tape. And that’s it, you’ll have successfully installed foam board on your interior ceiling.

Please don’t forget to fireproof the foam board with a specialty coating afterward. Or instead, you can look for a foam board that has a higher fire rating.

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