Internal Dry Lining

Internal Dry Lining: Your Complete Guide to Understanding the Good AND Bad of Internal Wall Insulation

What is Internal Dry Lining?

Internal dry lining is the process of attaching insulation boards to the inside side of the exterior walls of your home. This creates an insulated wall, which reduces heat loss, eliminates drafts, helps to create a more comfortable living environment, and can also improve acoustics. The materials used in internal dry lining include insulation boards, plasterboard, adhesive, mineral wool, expanded polystyrene (EPS), and polyurethane foam.

While Internal Dry Lining is seen as an easy solution to insulate your home, in reality, this is not exactly the case and in fact, we tend to guide our clients away from Internal Wall Insulation if at all possible, and here’s why.

The Reality & Disadvantages of Internal Dry Lining 


1. Internal Dry Lining Reduces Your Floorspace

To meet the insulation requirements set by the SEAI, an extra partition must be installed between the wall and the insulation. This is necessary to ensure proper ventilation and prevent moisture buildup. However, keep in mind that adding this partition means you could lose up to 8 or 9 inches of floor space on the external wall sides of your room, so you need to be aware your room will be slightly smaller than before.

2. Internal Dry Lining Can be Problematic if Not Installed Properly

If shortcuts are taken with this type of insulation or if you decide not to put up the partition mentioned above, two things can happen:

  • The walls will deteriorate, and mould and fungi will build on the back of the insulation
  • Over a period of time, you will see little spots of moisture penetrate through the insulated slabs and this will lead to all sorts of issues like mould growth and diminish the quality of the air you breath every day.

3. Internal Dry Lining Requires Adequate Ventilation

Because Internal Dry Lining works by reflecting heat, it’s a product that can get very hot and very cold, very fast. This can be an ideal environment for mould growth, so you have to strategically control the heating and have very good-quality ventilation to prevent this from happening.

If you allow the surfaces (walls) to get cold and then boost the heat to a high level to heat the area up quickly, it will encourage mould growth and you will see the walls getting black and mould growing pretty quickly. So you really have to ventilate properly when you use Internal Dry Lining.

4. Internal Dry Lining can be Very Disruptive to the Homeowner

The process of Internal Dry Lining is very disruptive. Keep in mind you need to remove all the existing skirting boards, radiators, window boards, curtain poles, cornice, and whatever else is in the way and electrical sockets will need to be extended. Once the insulation is installed, you then have to reinstate everything and also paint the walls.

So if you choose this option, keep in mind all external walls need to be done, not just the ones you feel like doing! If you have kitchen units, bathroom fittings, or built-in wardrobes fitted on the external wall side of the house, they also have to be removed, which can be a real headache and sometimes not practical at all for some homeowners. So it may be easier to look at other more effective and less troublesome methods of insulation.

5. Internal Dry Lining Can Be Costly

The cost for Internal ‘dry lining’ varies from home to home and sometimes the perception is that Dry Lining is the cheapest way to insulate your home, but if you take all the above into consideration and add in the cost of plumbers, electricians, carpenters and repainting, not to mention the loss of space and disruption, it can end up being more expensive than External Wall Insulation which is one of the most effective and least disruptive ways to insulate your home effectively.

SEAI Grants for Internal Dry Lining

The SEAI provides grant allowances for Internal Dry Lining under the One Stop Shop scheme and also the individual grants scheme.
Before you embark on any upgrades or install any insulation, why not take advantage of our free consultation service.

You can find out what energy upgrades are most suited to your home, get information on what grants you could qualify for, and get your questions answered.


Free Home Owners Guide 

If you would like some further information about Home Energy Upgrades, Grant Allowances, and the correct process to upgrade your home successfully, you can download a copy of our Free Home Owners Guide here.