How To Insulate A Cold Wall From The Inside A Step By Step Guide

Your room can get cold, especially if it is on the second floor and towards the corner, and that is because it is exposed on two ends, making it easier for cold air to come through. Even though the wind might not travel through certain materials, there are gaps we don’t acknowledge that let the cold air through. The best solution is to insulate a cold room’s interior.

To insulate a cold wall from the inside, you’ll need to get measuring and installation equipment, measure your wall, and order wood studs and insulation batts accordingly. Once you have the materials, you’ll frame your wall with wood studs and tuck in insulation batts between the studs.

In this article, you will learn more about each step in detail, including how you can:

  • Find and shop the essentials for the project
  • Measure your wall properly
  • Calculate the wood required for framing
  • Order the wooden studs and insulation batts
  • Frame the wall with wooden studs
  • Tuck insulation batts between studs

You’ll also find out a lower-effort alternative to making your place warmer if you do not want to take on an elaborate project.

1. Get Measuring and Installation Accessories

To get started, you will need certain application supplies as well as measuring tape. With measuring tape, you’ll get an idea of the surface you wish to cover, so you do not buy too much or too little insulation.

Since the application accessories remain the same regardless of wall size, we recommend purchasing them in your first round of shopping. You will have a second-round where you’ll buy framing or bolts if necessary and batts for insulation according to your wall measurements. Below are the products will buy in the first round alongside our top recommendation for each.

  • Measuring Tape
  • Respirator: Since we will use batts for insulation, you will need a respirator to cover your mouth so you don’t breathe in a fine dust that arises from cutting certain insulation material. If you don’t have one, you can get this 3M Half Facepiece Respirator on Amazon.
  • Goggles: For reasons similar to the ones for using a respirator on the project, you’ll also need goggles to protect your eyes. Find goggles that are comfortable to wear and feature an adjustable headband, like these 3M Impact Goggles on Amazon
  • Gloves: To protect your hands and avoid fine insulating fibers from biting into your skin, you will need to don a pair of gloves while insulating your room. Any pair of work gloves you currently have shall work. If you don’t own work gloves, you can get Ironclad Ranchworx Work Gloves, which come in various sizes.
  • Work Knife: Though you’ll install a wooden frame and order batts that match the size, you might need to cut the insulation sheets to match. Therefore, it is essential to have a sharp work knife at hand.
  • Chisel: Prepare a chisel so you can tuck the insulation into hard to reach areas and crevasses. Any chisel will work. If you do not have one already, you can order a WORKPRO Wood Chisel.

2. Measure the Surface

The second step in insulating your cold walls is to measure the area you wish to insulate. This will guide you as to how much framing and insulating material you require. Careful start from one corner and anchor your measuring tape’s hook on one end as you stretch it to the other end.

Drop the thumb lock and take a reading of the length of the wall. You can do this a few times over to compensate for potential errors. Then stretch the hard measuring tape till the hook touches the ceiling.

Pressing the tape against the wall, pull the case further down until the tape touches the ground. Drop the thumb lock and measure height. Repeat this a few times as well to be sure. By multiplying height with length, you’ll get the area of the wall. Do this process with each wall until you know the total area you need to insulate.

3. Estimate Framing Materials

For appropriate insulation, you can either use the stud framing method or the permanent adhesive method. As long as the batts stick to the wall, your interior is sufficiently insulated.

The method we prefer involves stud framing, which means you’ll need to decide the number of wooden studs you need to accommodate the batts. There should be a 15-inch (38.1-cm) gap between wooden studs, so here is how you can estimate the number of studs for your project.

  • Consider the height of the wall you have noted at a previous stage. You’ll need wooden studs of the same height. You’ll subtract from this the top plate and the bottom plate’s width that run across the bottom and the top plate and is generally as wide as a single stud.
  • Consider the length of your wall in inches noted at a previous stage. Divide this by 15 to get the number of studs that will go up on the wall.
  • You’ll need a bottom plate and a top plate that run across the length of the wall. Therefore, the plates should be as tall as the length noted at a previous stage in the project.

4. Order Framing Materials

Once you have calculated the number of studs and plates you need, you can order the framing materials from a local store or online. Some shop owners may try to ‘consult’ you regarding the number of studs you need. This advice is often an upsell attempt under the guise of help. It is up to you whether you consider it. Ideally, you wouldn’t want to widen the gap between the studs beyond 15 inches (38.1 cm) or cram them too close to go narrower than 15 either.

5. Buy Insulation Batts

Insulation batts are available in a wide variety of thicknesses. We recommend R21 Kraft-Faced Insulation Batts as they are affordable and have a paper face that looks pleasing to the eye, unlike exposed insulation wool.

When ordering insulation batts, make sure you take into account the batts’ size. Since the batts we’ve recommended are 15 inches wide, they shall fit perfectly with your wood framing. Falling within the recommended R-value and being formaldehyde-free also makes these batts all the more attractive for interior insulation.

6. Frame the Interior With Wood Studs

With your second round of shopping complete and wooden studs and insulation batts on location, you can begin the installation process. First, you’ll wear protective gear, including gloves and goggles.

Then you’ll erect the wooden studs by correctly installing the bottom plate, the studs, and the top plate. Remember to keep a 15-inch gap between the studs. Here a great video on wood stud framing:

7. Install Insulation Batts

Once your space has the wooden studs, you need to wear a respirator, make sure you have your gloves and your goggles on and proceed with batt installation. Carefully remove a single batt and tuck it between the studs. Use your tactical knife to cut off excess insulation and leverage your chisel to tuck the batts all the way.

Initially, you’ll install the batts at the bottom and across. Once you have covered the bottom area, you will have a significant portion left over. That’s where the second row of batts will be installed, this time with more cutting as you’ll soon reach the ceiling.

8. Alternative to Fiberglass Insulation

While the method covered so far is the most cost-effective way of insulating your walls from the inside, it isn’t the only one. You can hang thick blankets, tapestry, or even quilts from a wall and make a difference. There is an insulating effect to having clothes against the wall.

This doesn’t insulate your interior completely, though, and ordering quilts for the project will cost more money. While wood stud framing and batt installation might seem overwhelming, it is relatively low cost and a better solution overall.

Related: Best Soundproof Insulation Materials

Final Thoughts

Insulating a wall from the inside is cost-effective and can be done in under a week. Here’s a recap of the post showcasing the steps you can take to do so:

  • Get safety and measuring equipment.
  • Measure your length and width of your wall.
  • Find out how much wood you need for framing.
  • Order wood studs and insulation batts.
  • Frame the wall and install the batts.
  • Finish the wall with the right material