Can You Put Insulated Plasterboard On A Ceiling? (Pros & Cons)

insulated plasterboard on a ceiling

It’s time to remodel your house; finally, you can change the layout of the old rooms, install modern fittings, and paint over those old color walls you never liked, instead of replacing that stained, cracked, and damaged ceiling, maybe covering it with insulated plasterboard would improve the look while also upgrading the thermal insulation of the rooms.

You can install insulated plasterboard on a ceiling. While all plasterboards provide some insulation, insulated ceiling board is specifically designed to retain warmth better. Should you use a fireproof insulated ceiling board that has fire-resistant properties, you will add a new level of safety.

Over time ceilings can become damaged, stained, or saggy. Embarking on a project to rectify this does not necessarily require the replacement of the ceilings. Homeowners have various options; one of the most effective is to put insulated plasterboard on the ceiling.

You Can Install Insulated Plasterboard On A Ceiling

Plasterboard is made up of calcium sulfate dihydrate or gypsum. An early form of plasterboard was invented in the 1880s 

Insulated Plasterboard is a more modern derivative and commonly used building material. Insulated plasterboards comprise standard plasterboard or gypsum board sheets and insulating material sandwiched together to form a single board. It is available in various thicknesses, with a choice of finish and material used for the insulation.

Insulated plasterboard was initially intended to line internal brick walls when both insulation and the dry lining were needed. It is now also commonly installed on old ceilings

Removing the existing ceilings is a time-consuming dirty job.

Instead, installing insulated plasterboard onto an existing ceiling is usually quicker and easier to install than the process of replacing an existing ceiling. 

Installing insulated plasterboard on an existing ceiling is a lower-cost method to significantly improve your home’s temperature insulation properties. If the existing ceiling has any insulation material installed, the insulated plasterboard will complement that and add further insulation. At the same time, it may also save costs if you need to replace the conventional insulation material.

Insulated plasterboards are easily cut and used on any shaped project. They also provide a smooth finish that you can skim.

How To Install Insulated Plasterboard On A Ceiling

I suggest that you use insulated plasterboard no thicker than 9.5mm (0.35 inches); this is important because:

  1. The weight of the insulated plasterboard mustn’t compromise the ceiling
  2. If the ceiling is lower than average, you will want to use as thin material as possible to maintain head clearance.

The process of installing insulated plasterboard is very straightforward and, when carried out by an experienced craftsman, is completed quickly. The following describes a craftsman’s steps to install the product on a ceiling:

  1. Review the condition of the existing ceiling. If there are stains from a leaking roof, first check whether this is a current or previously fixed problem. If the roof is still leaking, I strongly recommend repairing the roof before installing the insulated plasterboard.
  2. Review positions of light fittings installed in the existing ceiling. Disconnect the light fitting (after first switching the main’s electricity off). When installing the insulated plasterboard, the hole for the electrical wiring will need to be carefully plotted, and a hole drilled through the board for the wires to pass through.
  3. Find the position of the joists. I suggest using a drywall hammer to knock a series of holes in the existing ceiling. Then put your finger through the holes, you made to feel around inside to find the joist. Once you have found a few joists, it will be easier to mark their position on the ceiling board. 
  4. If the existing ceiling is sagging, then attaching the insulated ceiling board directly onto the joists will eliminate sagging.
  5. Cut the insulated plasterboard to fit.
  6. Place them on the ceiling and nail them through the ceiling, directly into the roof joists.
  7. Use clout nails to fix the insulated plasterboard to the ceiling.
  8. Once the insulated ceiling board is attached, strengthen the join by inserting plasterboard (drywall) screws on either side of the nails. This step pulls the insulated ceiling board as far up as possible.

How To Cut The Plasterboard To Fit

cutting plasterboard
  1. Use a straight edge
  2. Mark off the piece of plasterboard you want to cut off
  3. With standard plasterboard, you can use a Stanley knife.
  4. With insulated plasterboard, you will need to use a saw
  5. Snap it open and cut on the back of the plasterboard

Once the plasterboard is fully installed, you can finish the resultant ceiling in any way which suits you. These methods may include

Skimming the ceiling.

Skimming the ceiling is the easiest way to finish your ceiling. It is simple to apply and resists high humidity and so is well suited to rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens.

Skimming the ceiling covers the joins and imperfections to provide an elegantly smooth finish. 

Using a Popcorn texture on the ceiling

Popcorn texture is an older style and is rarely used for modern ceilings. It doesn’t wear well and shows up dirt and other stains, making it look old before it should.

Using A Stippled Finish

A stippled finish is also referred to as slap brush, mopped, or stomped ceilings. The ceiling is first sanded, and then a diluted mixture of skim is applied to the ceiling using even rolls. The roller is then applied crosswise to even the skim layer.

Swirl finishes.

Swirl finishes are the most time-consuming method of finishing the ceiling. The ceiling is first sanded. Two people work in a coordinated fashion; the first apply the skim material in even straight strokes. The second follows the first and creates swirls using a large brush. The most effective results are achieved by working in rows. Each subsequent row should slightly overlap the prior one.


Not only is it possible to install insulated plasterboard on a ceiling, but I also strongly recommend it as a method to upgrade existing ceilings and to improve the thermal qualities of your home. The material is relatively inexpensive; it is easy to cut, shape, and install. Once installed, it will provide years of benefit, both aesthetically and improving the heat insulation.

Photo of author

Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.