Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit

What do you put behind cast iron baseboard radiators?

howdihohowdiho Member Posts: 2
Hi, I am so glad to have found this site.

I am refinishing my basement and I have cast iron baseboard radiators (about 20 ft long) in one of the rooms that is a walk out. The wall that it will be against is concrete with studs in between.

So my 1st question is... what do I use to reflect the heat back into the room and where do I put it? I was told by one person to nail aluminum flashing BEHIND the drywall...but that doesn't seem right.

The 2nd question I put insulation behind the radiator/drywall?

Thanks in advance for the advice, Matt


  • howdihihowdihi Member Posts: 1

    Doesn't anyone know the answer to this?
  • edited August 2010
    I have just,

    insulated the studded wall as usual, then drywall & used regular kitchen foil-wrap(shiny-side facing out) sandwiched between the rad and the new drywall.
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,161
    Sorry never answer earlier

    Nothing. I just make sure the wall is well sealed along the floor with caulking of your preference to keep out drafts.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • howdihihihowdihihi Member Posts: 3

    I don't know why but this is the third time I have created an account with a new e-mail to post here. It keeps saying my e-mail and password is incorrect, which I know is not.
  • howdihihihowdihihi Member Posts: 3

    Thanks for the idea, I would never have thought of that
  • howdihihihowdihihi Member Posts: 3

    So, you do not put insulation behind it or you don't use reflective material?
  • edited August 2010
    Not sure,

    what make of CIBB you have, but this is the W/M procedure. Aluminum foil does the same-thing.

    PS- Yes, insulate the stud cavity behind, remember "heat goes to cold", you want to drive it into the room, not the outside wall. ;-)
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,161
    wall needs to be insulated.

    I do not use the aluminum foil. My way off looking at it is the conductive properties of the foil are out weighed by the reflective powers. The reason we use aluminum plates in radiant heating systems is to transfer the heat to the surface it is touching. White paint and a good draft sealant will do more good so you can do as Dave says and have a good job or do as I do and have a good job. It is up to you.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • DobeeDobee Member Posts: 1
    reflective material behind iron radiators

    Most everyone has a good point to make; however, for years I've been using a combination of "tru-foam" "dense Styrofoam" and aluminum foil.  The foil will help to reflect most of the radiant heat back toward the room.  Foil will not reflect all the radiant energy but reflect a significant amount.  To minimize the conductive properties of the metal, especially aluminum, spray glue a single layer of foil to the dense foam.  The square of foam only has to be the size of the iron sections that radiate the heat. 

    For cleaning purposes and to create an additional small air gap (about 1/8 to 1/4 inch) between the wall and the foiled foam to further minimize unwanted conduction into the wall , I glued Velcro to the back of the panels and attached the other "Velcro receiver" piece to the wall.  This allows me to easily remove them for cleaning or to remove them for summer months.  Use a good quality spray contact cement that has low odor (like the brand name: Stay Put or Sta' Put or whatever...).  The hard foam only has to be 1/2" to 1" thick. 

    Doing this will reasonably minimize unwanted conductive properties of the metal and maximize the reflection of heat radiation. 
This discussion has been closed.


It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!