7th Dec 2022 -

Foil-backed plasterboard is one of the most popular choices where vapour control is an issue. By using just a thin layer of foil, manufacturers can create an extremely powerful vapour-resistant board that is ideal for walls and ceilings. 

What is Foil-Backed Plasterboard Used For?

As the foil works so well in creating an effective vapour barrier, foil-backed plasterboard is used for areas where problems from vapour, water or moisture are an issue. 

Plasterboard with a foil backing is suitable for external walls, pitched roofs and as additions to all wall and ceiling linings where vapour is a problem.  

Common areas foil-backed plasterboard is used include the following: 

  • Damp walls: If a damp wall has recently been fixed there may be remnants of moisture within it. Foil-backed wall linings will help to prevent any lingering moisture from becoming an issue indoors. 
  • Pitched roofs: This type of plasterboard is suitable for pitched roofs and ceilings that have more direct exposure to rain. With a foil-backing, if there is a leak in the roof it will not penetrate and cause damage to the interior.

Attics, lofts and duplex conversions can often have issues with water vapour, so foil-backed plasterboard is frequently used in these areas. If you are unsure of when to use this type of plasterboard, remember that it is only for times when vapour might affect the back of the boards - vapour from the front side will not be stopped by the foil.

Like all plasterboards, foil-backed plasterboard can also be used as an insulated board - but with the additional benefit of moisture protection. Overboarding a regular insulated board with a foil-backed board can provide greater insulation whilst also protecting against moisture and vapour. 

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Do I Need to Use Foil-Backed Boards Indoors?

You can use foil-backed plasterboard indoors, but it is typically unnecessary for kitchens and bathrooms as it will only prevent vapour and moisture from entering externally. Other types of moisture-resistant plasterboard are suitable for bathrooms or kitchens, and if you are tiling the walls you may not require any additional moisture resistant properties at all. 

As always, you should consult a specialist and read the manufacturer's product and installation literature to determine which solution is best for your specific requirements. 

man holding plasterboard

How Does Foil-Backed Plasterboard Work?

Foil-backed plasterboards use a thin metallised layer of film or foil - there are several varieties available depending on the manufacturer. This barrier is completely impermeable by vapour, which protects the porous gypsum boards on the other side of your wall and ceiling. 

What Brands of Foil-Backed Plasterboard Are There?

When specific types of plasterboard lining is required, you need to make sure you source a reliable brand - otherwise, you will not get the levels of performance you require.

The following are some reputable manufacturers of foil-backed vapour-resistant plasterboard:

  • British Gypsum: Globally recognised as a pioneer of plasterboarding, British Gypsum produces a foil-backed plasterboard product line known as Gyproc Duplex Cream Vapour Plasterboard.
  • Knauf: Knauf plasterboards are produced all over the world and are known for their reliability and quality. Knauf has a foil-backed product range called Knauf Vapour Panel, which uses a polyester foil backing.
  • Siniat: Siniat is a reputable manufacturer that is part of the global Etex Group of Companies. Siniat makes a high-quality foil-backed plasterboard series of products known as GTEC Vapour Boards. 

There is little point in compromising on the quality of your foil-backed vapour resistant plasterboard, as the consequences of not doing so can compromise the structural integrity of a wall or ceiling that is subject to vapour.

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    • Engineered for areas prone to moisture
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Things to Remember When Fitting Foil-Backed Plasterboard

To fit foil-backed plasterboard to walls a dot and dab approach using adhesives and jointing compounds will be sufficient. This offers an effective installation method because it ensures there are no holes in the foil-backing of the boards, thereby providing optimal performance. 

For installation on ceilings, you will need to use mechanical fixings due to the effects of gravity. Make sure you seal any joints and fixings to prevent any vapour from being able to penetrate the boards.

With effective vapour control and a plasterboard surface that can resist moisture, foil-backed plasterboards are an excellent choice for exterior walls and ceilings. This type of plasterboard is usually not necessary for internal walls, but speak with a specialist or a representative from the manufacturer to ensure you make the most informed decision possible.

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We offer a range of professional-grade moisture-resistant plasterboards for sale through our website, with delivery options across the UK. If you're a professional then make sure to sign up for one of our trade accounts first. Your trade account manager can source you everything and anything you need across plasterboards and beyond, arranging lightning-fast delivery for a fantastic trade price.

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