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Old 11-22-08, 09:57 PM   #1
PrincessT
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Bad idea: Installing insulation under bedroom floor?

Let me first say that I think this is a really bad idea that would result in condensation and rotting of our floor.

Someone wants to go into the unfinished part of our basement which is directly under our bedroom and put up insulation. The complaint is that our bedroom, in the NE corner of our home, is the coldest room in the house. That portion of the north wall of the house was dug out by a previous owner and a walk-out stairway was installed. No dirt = more cold in my mind. It seems logical that these reasons (north facing, east facing and shadowed by houses, no sunlight, basement wall exposed to cold outdoor air) cause the room above to be cold.

My suggestion to caulk the window frame and put up a window quilt like our other Warm Window coverings throughout the house is obviously not an answer. My musings about needing insulation blown into the walls that have been standing since the mid-60s is obviously not an answer. Pointing out that our bedroom is under a very drafty door that goes to the walk-out portion of the basement and said door needs the air leaks addressed is obviously not an answer.

Insulating the floor between the basement and the main level is the answer. At least to somebody.
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Old 11-22-08, 10:50 PM   #2
Numanoid
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http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/askt...380724,00.html
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Q: I have an old cottage-style home on short piers. How can I insulate the floor to prevent winter drafts?

Phillip, Chalmette, Louisiana

A: Tom Silva replies: Rigid insulation is one way. This entails cutting pieces of insulation that would fit in each bay between the floor joists under your flooring, fitting them in tightly, then skimming over the whole section with another layer of insulation. Finally, you then have to caulk the seam where the insulation meets the floor joists, because these grow and shrink every day.

Another way to do it, if there's a ceiling below your floor, is to have insulation blown in to fill the gap.

There is one especially important thing to remember about insulating a floor, however: although it will help eliminate the drafts, it is not going to make the room significantly warmer by itself. Insulation works in one of two ways: by keeping the heat out, as it does in a refrigerator, or by keeping the heat in, as it does when it prevents warm air from moving through the walls, floors, and ceilings that you insulate. So, the better the insulation, the colder your refrigerator can stay, and the warmer your house can.

But there have been a lot of people disappointed after insulating floors, having thought their house would suddenly become warmer, which it won't. Basically, what insulation does is impede temperature change. So the insulation will certainly help reduce the chilling effect you experience of drafts coming into your house through the floor, but it's not going to appreciably raise the temperature in your house on its own. Because heat rises, when it's cold outside, the heat in your house is in the upper part of a room and the cold is toward the bottom. That means the cold is going to enter the insulation and actually maintain it at a cooler temperature than the floor. Another way to think about it is that in effect, insulation helps maintain warmth in your home by "refrigerating" the outside. So just bear in mind, insulating the floor will help your house stay warm, but it won't warm it.
In short: Heat rises. Insulating your floor, unless there are actual drafts coming through, won't accomplish much.
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Old 11-22-08, 11:03 PM   #3
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May I suggest counseling?
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Old 11-22-08, 11:41 PM   #4
Shazam
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In terms of condensation, extruded PS, thick enough, is considered to be both insulative and a vapour barrier.

From when your house was built, the subfloor is probably some sort of solid wood planking. This in itself is not good enough to be a vapour barrier (OSB/plywood can be a vapour barrier, if it's thick enough), so if you were to put in batting-type insulation, you'd have to put in VB (6mil poly, at least) to prevent condensation. This is a real PITA.
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Old 11-23-08, 11:18 AM   #5
Mrs. Danger
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Put carpet on the floor. This will create the illusion that the room is warmer. Seriously.
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Old 11-23-08, 11:23 AM   #6
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You want the floor to feel warmer? Insulate the basement walls and finish them off, then heat the basement space. Or you could carpet the floor.
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Old 11-23-08, 11:29 AM   #7
jadasion
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Buy a new house.
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Old 11-23-08, 11:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger View Post
Put carpet on the floor. This will create the illusion that the room is warmer. Seriously.
plus it would absorb the sound

if you know what I mean
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Old 11-23-08, 12:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian Bacon View Post
plus it would absorb the sound

if you know what I mean
From the sounds of it, someone won't get gettin' much unless he backs off this hair-brained idea.
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Old 11-23-08, 01:05 PM   #10
PrincessT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomOpus View Post
From the sounds of it, someone won't get gettin' much unless he backs off this hair-brained idea.
ding ding ding we have a winner!

Oh and for the other posters, great suggestions, but the bedroom is already carpeted and the basement is heated, though that particular portion of it isn't finished (it's the laundry room). The rest is.

Maybe this is his way of telling me to stop keeping the heat on 68.
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Old 11-23-08, 01:47 PM   #11
crazyronin
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Making sure your walls and roof are well insulated are going to do to make the floor feel warm than insulating the floor.

Heat goes up, then out.
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