I tore down some 70s wood paneling in my front bedroom of a 1920 rowhouse and there is no insulation except for the plaster on top of brick. Someone told me just to put on sheet rock(the plaster looks pretty back) and others are saying to put up the 2x4 frame and batt it down. Problem is that I am going to lose 4" to do so..? Being I am in between 2 attached row house, is the efficiency gained outweigh losing 4" off the front wall? Also, I would have to re do the window framing not sure how to go about that as well. I know sheet rock is the easiest way to go, but I want to make sure I am doing the right thing for a home I plan to stay in for many years. Advice please before I move forward.

1 Answer 1


An inch of foam and a half inch of sheetrock might suit your space loss/window frame issues better and still be a lot better than no insulation at all. Just use longer screws into the brick, and perhaps some adhesive to reduce the number of screws you need (each screw is a heat leak.)

Being in an attached row house, the front and back walls and the roof are the main places you need/want/should have insulation, as they face the world, not your neighbors' interior spaces.

  • is there a high R but thin foam board? everything I have seen was like R3-R5 per inch of thickness.
    – ecco88
    Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 20:25
  • 1
    That's pretty much it - polyisocyanurate is about as good as it gets at R6 per inch, and it's not much above plain old R5/inch styrofoam. But R5 (in an unbroken sheet) is much better than R0.5 and actually not much worse than "R11" fiberglass with wood studs that are considerably lower R as an assembly (about 9.9-9.6). Two inches of foam (without framing) is therefore better than a 4 inch studwall, for roughly half the space, but will probably still require reframing the window.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 20:34
  • Hopefully I can get another answer here on the same topic... So I procured some 4'x8' Foil-Faced Polyisocyanurate 2" panels (R13.1) but was think to fasten stud along the floor and ceiling so I can put up some drywall- is that acceptable. try to avoid the whole framing thing. Can I just glue the board on the plaster on brick exterior wall? Obviously I am a newb at this but don't want to make any mistakes.
    – ecco88
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 18:18
  • It's doable withe the right types of glue, if the wall you are starting with is flat enough for reasonable contact. If you can get a few screws into the bricks that will hold, that will help hold the panels in place while the glue dries. Presumably that (or the difficulty of that) will vary a lot with how hard your bricks are - I've had ones I could drive a screw into easily, and ones I'd have to drill and use anchors on.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 2:40
  • Thanks again Ecnerwal! Actually I will be gluing the foamboards onto plaster that is on the bricks. I am also concerned about the drywall fastening. The original plan was to have wood studs along the top and bottom and screw the drywall onto the studs - but that the wall itself is higher that 8' and the drywall and foam board are 8' - do I also glue the drywall onto the foamboard?
    – ecco88
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 14:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.