Asked on Jan 12, 2019

How can I cover exposed insulation in my basement cheap?

Cathy Rizzo
by Cathy Rizzo

My basement is unfinished and there’s no way I can afford to get it finished any time soon. I sit and see this ugly view and it’s making me nuts! Help! I don’t want to do anything fancy and it’s really just half a wall cuz the rest is concrete which I dont mind. TIA!

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  18 answers
  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Jan 12, 2019

    You can cover with painters,tarps or cheap drapes by just nailing it stapling it around the top.

  • Large sheets of gyprock are so cheap and can be painted to look good.

    • Morgan Morgan on Jan 12, 2019

      In the US gyprock, as it is known in Australia, is known as sheetrock or gypsum board. (Since many "big box" hardware stores do NOT hire specialists who are familiar with the variety of names for certain products, these days I don't assume they know exactly what the customer is asking for. So by providing them with familiar names, it makes it so they're not buying the wrong product.)

  • Cathy Bailey Cathy Bailey on Jan 12, 2019

    Use muslin fabric or sheets from thrift store. You could dye or tie dye old sheets for a "groovy" look, staple them to the studs. Cardboard would be another choice, you can get big boxes from appliance stores. Cardboard can be painted and I would paint the concrete with basement paint to prevent any moisture from seeping in.

  • Donna Donna on Jan 12, 2019

    burlap or clearance upholstery fabric, stapled, would work, too. Paint concrete to match or complement.

  • Marlene Marlene on Jan 12, 2019

    I covered an ugly concrete wall in my basement laundry area using a dollar store shower curtain. I screwed cup holders into the wood ceiling beams, spacing them according to the width between the grommets on the shower curtain. The hooks make the shower curtain easy to hang.

  • Sally-Charles Evans Sally-Charles Evans on Jan 12, 2019

    How about some cheap paneling?

  • Steve Woodward Steve Woodward on Jan 12, 2019

    seriously sheet rock may be the cheapest option,.. especially if you are just hanging it yourself. Just make sure you use the type required by code,.. ( moisture / fire ect.) As it is a basement both moisture and fire code should be a concern, otherwise or any option may end up costing much more.

    I would opt to break the job up to make it more affordable.

    • Morgan Morgan on Jan 12, 2019

      You're right about that. I also know that many homeowner's insurance policies will not cover for damages if materials used are not up to current code, so she may be risking a big financial hit using the "cheapest" possible options.

  • HandyGirl HandyGirl on Jan 12, 2019

    I used Dollar store plastic party tablecloths. You can pick the color then buy whatever you need. Then run clear packing tape along the top edge to make it sturdier. Get on a step ladder and use small brads to attach to the wall stud near the ceiling. Overlap the plastic enough to hide the insulation. At windows or doorways you can cut the plastic easily to fit the space and use your packing tape to hold in place. I’d attach a pic but we’ve sold that house.

    • Slk5013238 Slk5013238 on Jul 03, 2021

      Can you send me a pic of how this turned out? I am a visual person and would love to get inspired. Thanks

  • Diane Wickham Diane Wickham on Jan 12, 2019

    You could raid a second hand store for colorful or patterned sheets, the bigger the better, and curtain rods or shower rods. Cut sheets to size you need and hang from rods! If you don’t need the window for light you could cover some cardboard or poster board and cover the window! Or maybe a family picture would look nice there. Or just cover it with the sheets. Good luck

  • Ellis Ellis on Jan 12, 2019

    I would use moisture resistant sheetrock, it's very cheap when you consider a sheet of it is 4 feet x 8 feet. A sheet is under $15 at big box stores, which makes it about 50 cents/square ft., and it's mold and fire resistant.

    • Leanne Leanne on Mar 24, 2022

      Don't you need to have studs to attach the sheetrock too? If there are no studs in place - and it does not look like it from the picture - this would not work.

  • Al Al on Jan 12, 2019

    I had this same thing in my old basement, I used bamboo yoga mats. they made the room look oriental and were not very expensive. They were also easy to put up. you can use a staple gun or tacks.

  • Linda Bradley Linda Bradley on Jan 13, 2019

    I agree w most of the above who say drywall. Make sure you have 6mil poly on the wall, use red poly tape on ALL seams& holes. I wd put the 4’x8’ sheets horizontally and if u start at the top, then you only might need a narrow piece to fill in the bottom, and that allows you to have easy tapeing. Stagger the sheets, top & bottom so the joints are not all in one line. Add any blocking for drapery attachment first, as well as any upper plug-ins. You can buy a sheet or two as u have $. Anything else your going to be just wasted money! Gary

    • See 1 previous
    • Leanne Leanne on Mar 24, 2022

      Except that you need studs to attach the drywall to right? If there are no studs, then this is not a cheap or easy job!

  • V Smith V Smith on Jan 14, 2019

    Could it be sponge painted so the pink doesn't disappear but becomes the background color and texture.

  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Jan 14, 2019

    I'd try to hide it with curtains, or fabric, depending on size.. You could use PVC pipe mounted from the ceiling, Its cheap comes in many many diameters.. You can slide curtains over them or use rings and hang them from them. If the walls are huge you can use flat sheets to match the decor, for less money if the budget is tight or you want it for a year or two..Room darkening panels give the illusion of windows behind the curtain. This will soften the look and the sound also, since you have cement block on the walls..

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Dec 23, 2020

    Sheetrock isn't that expensive you can use that and it'll give you a cleaner look

  • Melanie Melanie on Mar 24, 2022

    I have top sheets stapled tightly to the exposed boards in the ceiling in my basement. We didn't do this, but it was there when we bought the house. In one section that it had came down (or was ripped down for inspection), I can't stand it. So I bought a matching sheet and did it myself for that section. It's cheap, it's easy, and it doesn't look bad if you get it tight enough.

  • David David on Sep 16, 2023

    Don’t you just hate it when people don’t answer the question directly? Sheetrock is not an option here guys. Sheetrock may be cheap but it is heavy and backbreaking to install. And you only want to go that route when u are ready to professionally finish the basement. Codes don’t matter either until you are ready to professionally finish the basement. She’s looking for a quick and easy covering until ready to finish. Y’all get it now?

  • Deb K Deb K on Sep 18, 2023

    Hi Cathy, I would go to a second hand store and buy a bunch of non fitted sheets in a solid color like white, and pin them up you can cut them to size and get two covers from one sheet. Or if you can find cheap blankets, throw or towels cheap, use them