Howdy all! I'm in the process of stripping down my kitchen due to some water
damage to the floor (completely remodeling the kitchen) and today I just got
out the counters and bottom cabinets.
What has me baffled is that it turns out my walls, which face the outside,
aren't made of plaster or sheetrock, but paneling. Thin, flimsy, paneling
like you'd use to decorate a wall. I'm flabbergasted because I've never seen
or heard of such a thing (not that I have any experience in this stuff, mind
you!) These walls face the exterior of the house. I have old fiberglass
insulation in there, and the exterior of the house is brick siding.\\
So I'm wondering if, to help with cooling, I should be putting up something
else? It's not a particularly large kitchen, and "thickening" the walls up
with real sheetrock will take up valuable inches (ok... a valuable inch I
suppose!), but this house is just awful with cooling and if having this
"paneling" for a wall is hurting me, I need to consider alternatives.
One other observation... when I gutted the bottom cabinets, I found that the
air vent, which comes up through the floor under the sink, was simply blowing
up onto the floor of the cabinetry rather than being "funneled" to the vent
that was on the outside of the cabinets, in the toe-kick area. Is that
normal? Should it be funneled to the vent? The way I see it, that air is
rushing up and cooling the underside of the cabinets more than the room
Thanks in advance for any and all input!
Yes, for a more direct flow. As it is now, the air will eventually come
out the toe kick due to a build up of pressure in the space below the
cabinet bottom, unless it continues on somewhere else.
The use of paneling right on the studs is a little cheesy, but not
especially unusual. I wouldn't worry about it if you are OK with the
paneling's appearance. Replacing with drywall would not affect your
heating/cooling, there is no difference (or a really trivial
difference) between the R-values of the two.
On Fri, 7 Sep 2007 12:20:49 -0400, Heathcliff wrote
Thanx for the advice. One other question then... the house is over 40 years
old.... since I'll have everything torn down, should I consider replacing the
insulation due to age? It's the typical pink fiberglass. Anything better I
could be using? Thanks!
The use of paneling fastened directly to the studs is not just cheesy it
is dangerous. Light weight paneling that is not backed with some heat
absorbing medium has an absolutely phenomenal flame spread rating. Most
paneling is also somewhat difficult to keep clean so it is not a very
sanitary interior surface for use in kitchens. When Sheetrock or
plaster is used as an interior finish it provides two advantages over
wood finishes. It resist ignition and it resist the passage of fire
into the framing of the building. Once a fire takes possession of the
structures frame a complete loss of the structure is hard to avoid. I
would suggest that you replace the paneling with painted Sheetrock or
some similarly fire resistive construction.
In a similar line of reasoning, there is the issue of following
building code. No building code in the US would allow this today.
A major renovation like this typically calls for a building permit,
inspections etc. And then there is the issue of what happens when
you go to sell the place. If an inspection happens to find it, then
what? Or if the place burns down and the insurance company somehow
figures out what you did. All in all, many very good reasons to fix
this now and do it right. And no good reason not to.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.