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First off, let me note that I am a tenant in this house. My landlord lets me do small improvements, but I'm not going to finish the basement with drywall myself.

Basically, we have an unfinished basement space in the house that is used for storage, laundry, and minor workshop duties. There are also some drainage pipes that are in the center of the room. The ceiling and wall areas are filled with pink fiberglass insulation, but they are open and exposed.

I'd like to make the space a little more inviting and perhaps a little safer to breathe in for extended workshop sessions, by covering up the insulation with something inexpensive and quick to install (and that won't require a construction permit). Is perhaps stapling Tyvek sheeting to the studs a solution that would work here? Any other/better ideas?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you don't want to invest in sheetrock or paneling, perhaps you could stretch some attractive fabric over the studs and staple it. Pick up some cheap material at some closeout outlet. If you get bored with the pattern or color, just change it.

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And Tyvek is the most attractive fabric-like item for what I want in there, really. Thanks. – bobtiki Mar 17 '13 at 1:42

I have seen it covered with fiberglash screen mesh. It will let it breath, but still keep it off of you if you accidentally brush up against it. A whole basement covered in it would not be that inexpensive though. Maybe some 1/4 inch paneling.

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I would avoid using tyvek or any other similar vapor barrier in a basement.

In terms of breathing, the insulation shouldn't post a problem if it's left undisturbed. If you must cover it, I'd simply go with sheetrock. It's not that expensive. Pegboard might be a more useful thing to cover it with, but will be much more expensive.

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Tyvek and other house wraps aren't the same as vapor barriers. A house wrap will allow vapor (air and moisture) to pass and avoid condensation. A vapor barrier needs to be applied on the warm side because it doesn't breath. – BMitch Jan 5 '13 at 0:10
Good point, @BMitch. That said, Not sure Tyvek is any prettier than the insulation. ;) – DA01 Jan 5 '13 at 0:19
It might look ugly, but it's a cheap way to contain the dust and fibers. – BMitch Jan 5 '13 at 0:26
@Bmitch, thanks, that was my thought. And the Tyvek would be white, so it would brighten up the area a little as well. – bobtiki Mar 17 '13 at 1:41

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