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How To Install A Vapor Barrier On A Ceiling

Kevin S. of New Orleans, LA wrote:

Hey Itchy,

I plan on insulating my new addition myself. I'm using kraft faced insulation for the walls. How to you install a vapor retarder on the ceiling?

The vapor is always installed on the heated side of the insulation, between the sheetrock and the insulation. If your using loose fill insulation to insulate the ceiling adding a vapor barrier is usually not necessary. When insulating with fiberglass batts, it's a different story.

If your installing fiberglass batts with kraft paper attached, simply staple the flanges to the faces of the ceiling joists as you install them, about every 6" to 8".

When installing unfaced fiberglass batts, you will need to use plastic sheeting as a vapor retarder. Roll out the vapor barrier on the floor from one wall to the other and cut it with a utility knife. Unfold it completely. Stating at one corner of the ceiling, staple it securely to the ceiling joist. Continue stapling it along the wall where the joists meet it. You should be stapling every 6" to 8". Once it's secured along the complete length of the wall. begin stapling the vapor barrier down the length of the ceiling joists, smoothing it as you go, until you've reached the opposite wall. You will run into ceiling fixtures that will have to be cut around and sealed with tape. 

Once you have the vapor retarder installed, you may need to trim areas of excess plastic sheeting to allow for proper drywall installation.



Related Tips and Advice:

How To Install A Vapor Barrier or Vapor Retarder In A Crawlspace
How To Install A Vapor Barrier On Walls

How much insulation do I need?
How to soundproof a wall with fiberglass insulation.
How to insulate ducts.

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