I'm having a workshop built (20'x24'). I want to insulate it with kraft-faced insulation batts. First, do I even need to cover that with anything? (I have read the insulation value will be poor without something over the top of it.)

Second, if I do have to cover it, can I just hang drywall without taping/mudding the joints? Other than "appearances", is there any reason that would be bad? Please note I DON'T CARE about appearances. The shop will soon be a mess anyway, due to the nature of my work. Also, I won't be doing any welding or anything with fire or heat (other than having a little electric heater in there).

So, bearing in mind that price is definitely a factor...can I just put up the drywall and forgeddabouddit?

1 Answer 1


Insulation does not require anything over the top of it to be effective. I'm not sure where you read that, but I don't believe it's true. Obviously you need to stop air movement, but the paper does that.

The usual reason to cover it is for fire protection. If your local code doesn't require that you cover the kraft paper, you don't need to. However, unprotected insulation tends to get damaged very easily in a workshop environment. You will have shredded paper and tufts of fiberglass blowing around. I would consider covering it with OSB, which also serves as a very nice backer for mounting equipment and whatever.

  • 1
    Absolutely would use osb for strengthening the structure and providing impact resistance too and at almost the same cost.
    – Kris
    Mar 15, 2020 at 1:22
  • Could the OSB pieces be butted right up against each other or is there a need for some kind of gap for expansion? And if there's a gap, could I just caulk it or something? Mar 15, 2020 at 1:50
  • 1
    fit the OSB sheets vertically so that the seams align with middles of the studs, and then the joins will not need any attention.
    – Jasen
    Mar 15, 2020 at 3:11
  • Weyerhauser says to provide 1/8" gap at almost all OSB joints weyerhaeuser.com/woodproducts/document-library/… Mar 15, 2020 at 16:01
  • Gaps aren't necessary indoors. I've done and seen many such installations, and never have I encountered a buckling situation. However, since the sheets are undersized to accommodate such a gap, you'll shift off layout on long runs if you don't leave a bit. I'd shoot for 1/16" to minimize the gap visually.
    – isherwood
    Mar 15, 2020 at 21:36

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