Finishing (most of) the Interior Walls and Ceiling

Marc Bilodeau/ Building, Tiny House

Since the cold and snow are still here in Southern Maine, tiny house work continues inside. Soon there will be more complicated projects like plumbing, or outside work such as siding when the weather is warmer. Now that the loft closet is complete, and there are several interior walls that do not require inlets from the outside, the Loft, Great Room, and Storage Loft walls can be finished.

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Vapor Barriers

A vapor barrier is a thin layer of impermeable material, typically polyethylene sheeting, that prevents moisture from damaging the walls of the building. In this tiny house, there is a vapor barrier in the floor as well.

Throughout the interior, a vapor barrier exists between the interior walls and the insulation. Because of the size of the tiny house, there are very few seams between pieces of the vapor barrier. Where there are seams, shipping tape holds them together nicely.

tiny house making use of a vapor barrier
vapor barriers between the insulation and interior wall

So far, it looks like one roll of 10′ x 100′ (~305 cm x ~30.5 m) 4mm Clear Poly Sheeting will be enough to cover every area of the interior of this 8′ x 20′ (~ 244 cm x ~ 610 cm) tiny house.

Interior Walls and Ceiling

This tiny house uses 1″ x 6″ (~2.5 cm x ~15 cm) Tongue and Groove Pine Boards. Many tiny houses that I’ve seen use a variety of interior wall material such as plywood or Drywall. Plywood is less expensive, and in my opinion doesn’t have a nice enough finish. Most modern homes use Drywall. However, I fear that when the tiny house moves, the corners and seams may crack or chip. If this tiny house was going to stay in one place, I may have chosen Drywall.

Tiny House tongue and groove finish
To break things up a bit, the walls and ceiling have different patterns.

However, Tongue and Groove has a nice finish and is flexible enough to stain or paint to whatever color scheme is used. The final colors haven’t been chosen yet. There are still a lot of color samples to test.

The Sleeping Loft

The sleeping loft was the first area finished. Trim was added around the window and skylight, and the closet was built. Overall the loft walls took a little more time than thought due to cutouts around the outlets, lights, and windows.

Tiny House Loft Pictures
Pics of the Loft walls, windows, and closet

But because of those efforts, the end result is beautiful. At this moment, the loft is largely complete except for staining (or painting) the walls and installing the floor.

The Great Room

As anticipated, the great room took the most time to complete. There are several custom cuts because of the loft floor, windows, outlets, and recessed lighting. However, due to the size of this room, there are no seams between two horizontal boards. Although, 12′ (~ 3.66 m) tongue and groove pine boards were needed to accomplish this.

The unfinished interior walls of the great room
different angles of the great room interior walls

The ceiling in the great room uses the same pattern as the two lofts. As with the walls, each row uses a single board to avoid any seams. As each side approached the middle, custom cuts were necessary to get the proper width for the ceiling cap. The finishing piece is a single board that’s parallel with the floor (not angled like the ceiling).

What remains is staining (or painting) the ceiling and securing the recessed lighting. Otherwise, the ceiling is complete.

The various stages of finishing the ceiling
The various stages of finishing the ceiling.

The Storage Loft

Although the smallest area to finish, it has the most custom cuts and angles. The straight piece at the peak has a future purpose. Behind the plate is an outlet where a camera and the internet router will reside. These two topics will be covered in future blog posts.

Tiny House Storage Loft

The great room looks almost done from some of these pictures. However, there is a built-in couch, table/desk, and staircase to add to the great room.

What’s next?

Although the interior walls are largely complete, there are still open walls in the kitchen and bathroom areas. These walls will need inlets cut and plumbing run through them before they can be closed. However, there is still some work to be done inside before those projects can begin.

In total, it took 44 hours of work between two people to complete the interior walls and ceiling. They look fantastic! This tiny house is starting to really feel like a home. However, there is still plenty of work to do, and now it’s time to get back to it.

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