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Backing for interior siding

 
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Hello all. I am in the process of returning to a cabin that was dried in a few years back and has been waiting for me to finish. I am planning on using a stack of 1x rough sawn boards for interior siding that I have on hand. Due to a lack of funds and creativity, I used run of the mill paper faced fiberglass batts that were leftovers from a neighbor's project. Do any of you have suggestions on what material I can use as a backing to hide the insulation and potentially block fiberglass fibers from becoming airborne? My though is that it wouldn't be the most pleasant to have exposed insulation when the boards shrink. I've thought about jute fabric in bulk rolls, biodegradable landscape fabric and craft paper. What do you think? Thanks!
 
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I'd vote for either craft paper or maybe better a black plastic sheeting.  They'd be ok to peek at through the gaps and would hopefully act as a proper vapor barrier.
 
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I would use something black in color.  15lb felt paper comes to mind.
 
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I'm building a cabin this year and will also be covering some interior partition walls with some 1x boards, and I've chosen to use sheets of plywood painted black with a zero VOC paint to cover the studs and insulation before the boards go on.
 
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Walt Chase wrote:I would use something black in color.  15lb felt paper comes to mind.



I was thinking about tar paper but wouldn't that give off a bad smell?  Or is felt paper different from roofing tar paper?  I agree with going for black if at all possible...
 
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Would it be possible to half lap the boards? Since there is no structural need to it, you could cut away perhaps 2/3's of the material thickness for each lap. This would allow for variance in the rough cut boards. Even something as simple as cutting a bevel on the boards would eliminate being able to see through or behind the boards, so you wouldn't need any paint or colored materials behind the boards and open up other avenues for backing materials. Rounding over the bevel on the surface can work to hide small gaps if they develop over time. If the material is very green it could be helpful to let it dry out very well before hanging it, as you could end up with splitting, warping, and other problems beyond shrinkage.

If the paper-backed insulation is tacked down well, you might be able to seal up the edges instead of covering it with entire sheets. Some sort of tape, glue, resin or similar to seal the edges could be sufficient. You could also possibly use some sort of cord or other packing material if you go the half lap method, similar to old ship building methods. You don't need a water tight seal, just enough to minimize and filter any potential airflow.
 
Walt Chase
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Mike Jay wrote:

Walt Chase wrote:I would use something black in color.  15lb felt paper comes to mind.



I was thinking about tar paper but wouldn't that give off a bad smell?  Or is felt paper different from roofing tar paper?  I agree with going for black if at all possible...



Yes, tar paper is what I was talking about. It comes in 15 pound and 30 pound varieties. 15 pound is lighter and thinner.   I've seen it used before in a very similar situation as what the OP is wanting to do.  I honestly don't know about the smell.  Only time I notice it at all is when installing it on a roof when it is hot outside.

Another option would be to ship lap the boards.  Each board would have a 3/4 inch rabbet cut into it and the rabbets overlap.  That would allow for wood movement during season changes and during the curing process if the rough cut lumber the OP is using is very green.  
 
James Freyr
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Tar paper/roofing felt does have a certain aroma to it, being the petroleum product it is. Even if the smell subsides with time, it will continually off-gas VOC's for years to come.
 
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