insulating a concrete floor.

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insulating a concrete floor.

Postby berry » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:45 am

this is my problem - the entire ground floor of my house is concrete. In my living room i currently have carpet and thick underlay (firm foam stuff designed for laminate and a carpet underlay on top) this works well at keeping the floor insulated.

my problem is this room is now my work room (mostly) and I cant keep replacing the carpet every time ink/paint etc is spilled on it.

laminate flooring is out. floor is a bit too uneven for it to go down without problems later so my only choice is a hard wearing lino. with a big rug ( i have one thats machine washable cotton :cheers: )

i plan to put lino down in most of the rooms as the boy is accident prone and very messy.

how can i insulate it properly and hopefully cheaply?
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Re: insulating a concrete floor.

Postby boboff » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:56 pm

I have found the cheapest way to do this is to lay down Plasterboard and then Hardboard in the opposite direction, Duck tape the joins and paint with Evo Stick glue stuff to waterproof a bit. The lino / cheap carpet goes on it really well.

You can get contract "cord" carpet for less than £1 per square meter, so thats say £30 for a room, this may be a bit nicer for you all than lino and a rug ( I wouldn't do this, it's a recipe for disaster with children, especially Boys, who seem unable to walk anywhere!) Put the carpet down yourself with some spray adhesive and a sharp stanley knife.[just a thought this is the carpet they put down when doing shows like at the NEC, they throw it away at the end of it, a trip up to Exeter when the Caravan Club has finished might be worth a try, oh and I always buy carpet at Trago Mills! Brilliant place!)

The above can work out reasonable, if you want better insulation get thicker plasterboard (22mm?) and hardboard, oddly the pasterboard is cheaper than the hardboard which is odd. I have used Hardboard on some flats I did 17 years ago, and I still lay the new carpet on it, so I know it lasts.

I have done a floor with the proper stuff in the past (expanded foam, kingspan I think) it was hellish expensive and I didn't like walking on it, as it has allot of give, but man it's good for insulation!

The other thought is you might struggle to get lino in room size widths, generally they are 2m wide, 3 possibly, depends on your room size, again joins in lino should be avoided really.

It would be lots more expensive but an insulator layer then either reclaimed floorboards or slate put down may give you a more lasting and mopable solution?
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Re: insulating a concrete floor.

Postby marshlander » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:19 pm

Well I can do, cheaply? -probably not, depends on your bargaining and searching skills!

In our old house we put in a floating floor. In cross section think of a lasagna. The bottom layer is your concrete floor, next a layer of builders DPM polythene, then Jablite or similar flooring grade insulation boards. On top moisture resistant, flooring grade T&G chipboard or your choice. Downside is a step up on existing floors.

At the time we did our old house the standard was 50mm jablite but these days they list 70 & 90mm.

For my 5M x 4M wooden 'shed' sorry studio :lol: in the garden we bought seconds foil faced kingspan insulation and did the floor, walls and one layer in the roof for £150. We didn't mind that they were odd sized sheets as we had to cut them anyway.

We just gooogled for seconds insulation and rang around - we found the staff at the suppliers helpful.

This is a Jablite leaflet http://www.ribaproductselector.com/Docs ... 607759.pdf

Hope this helps. Otherwise lots of carpet and put down newspaper and polythene when you work! :lol:
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Re: insulating a concrete floor.

Postby Crickleymal » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:23 pm

You could use the insulation that they put under laminate flooring and then hardboard and lino on top.
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Re: insulating a concrete floor.

Postby marshlander » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:34 pm

boboff wrote:I have found the cheapest way to do this is to lay down Plasterboard and then Hardboard in the opposite direction, Duck tape the joins and paint with Evo Stick glue stuff to waterproof a bit. The lino / cheap carpet goes on it really well.

I'm a bit leary about plasterboard boboff, it falls to bits if it gets wet, has poor insulation value and wont take up differences in an uneven floor.

Hardboard is a very good idea if taped. Any pva will help make it moisture resistant - look for own brands in 5 ltr containers (leftovers good for crafts).

[quote='boboff"]
I have done a floor with the proper stuff in the past (expanded foam, kingspan I think) it was hellish expensive and I didn't like walking on it, as it has allot of give, but man it's good for insulation!
[/quote]

Be sure to buy flooring grade which is denser and has less 'bounce". Will need supporting in door ways. You could use 'cheap' polystyrene but then you have to lay 2 x 2" (adjust for insulation thickness) battens on the floor to support floor boards and put insulation between.
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Re: insulating a concrete floor.

Postby boboff » Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:13 pm

Oh I am all for plasterboard on floors, it's easy to cut, takes up uneven surfaces well, especially with hardboard on top. It's never broken up at all.

Again, from experience, my Dad has run many High Street Pubs, and it was an Archietecht back in the 90's that told him to put this on the floor of his flat above the Pub for sound insulation, he uses two sheets in the lounge, and then hardboard, and the noise levels are drastically reduced.

Also I have been driving over a sheet of plasterboard for the last couple of weeks, its wet, but it hasn't broken up, its kind of formed a slab, and sunk into the drive ( I used it in the back of the Jeep to stop logs hitting my head, then took it out in a rush and landed on the floor!) I wouldn't want to move it wet, but sat on the floor wet it doesn't seem in any great need to self destruct.

The seconds which have been mentioned are sold by a Company in Winkliegh Devon, they advertise in the classifieds of the Western Morning news on a Staurday I know, if you go that route might be worth a look there?

I am all for Insulation!
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Re: insulating a concrete floor.

Postby marshlander » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:16 pm

Sound insulation makes sense as p.board is good and dense. Ideally need air pockets for heat (that's why aerated concrete is better than aggregate blocks for thermal insulation). Looked up Trago but they're only down your way, bu@@er!
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Re: insulating a concrete floor.

Postby berry » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:59 pm

thanks for the advice. my room is 13 x 11 with a whacking great lovely 50s fireplace in the middle. its a very uneven floor.

im going with lino as its easier to keep clean! the boy wont be allowed in my workspace and the kitchen and hallway its a given really.

i was thinking of boards on the floor but im worried that with the floor being so uneven i may need to get it fixed up to an inch difference in some places :( only found this out trying to lay laminate a few years back and gave up.

my other worry is too much give and the lino getting cut/pierced etc.

im really not sure what to do with it. i need it washable esp with the work i do and really dont fancy carpet. designer in me is screaming out for it to look good too :/

sorry im bloody awkward :/
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Re: insulating a concrete floor.

Postby marshlander » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:11 pm

If you put vinyl flooring straight down it will show and wear out on the high points. To level the floor use a latex floor levelling compound - buy from builders merchant or diy shed. It levels out floors up to 25mm high spots with sand added to the mix. Worth checking out.

If you rug is big enough to cover a lot of floor area you could just paint the floor once levelled (or not if yu dont mind surface) ? Or put the rug in a relaxing area leaving the work area floor clean and clear. Propper floor paint is very durable, easy to clean and if you dollop paint on it you can always repaint! It comes it colours too. Just a thought.

As 10-15% of heat is lost through the floor but 25% - more if draughty, through windows, any improvement money would be well spent on heavy curtains and blinds for windows, draughtproofing and so on.

If you level the floor you could go back to plan a of course and use laminate flooring.
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Re: insulating a concrete floor.

Postby boboff » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:12 am

I agree with Marshlander, spend your money on blinds, worst case just paint the floor.

Thermal Blackout is the way to go, and install then as close to the glass as possible to reduce condensation forming on the glass. It won't stop it, but it helps.
Millymollymandy wrote:Bloody smilies, always being used. I hate them and they should be banned.
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Re: insulating a concrete floor.

Postby berry » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:14 am

I'll try the blinds first. I have thick curtains up already but had planned to put up Venetian blinds - both windows have the sun pouring through in in the morning on one side and the evening on the other. so blinds are on the to-do list. Just wondering if i could get away with the venetian style just change my curtains adding on a decent amount of thermal lining instead of the white cotton?

my rug is pretty big and the idea is just to keep toes warm when watching a film - my floors are incredibly cold to walk on. ( i have slippers too!) and fold it up when im actually doing messy work.

just thinking perhaps a layer of laminate underlay with the thin foam/silver layer then the lino would work? i can add more rugs if needed.

marshlander - the high points are at the door...it slopes down gradually and it was where i had issues with the laminate. its not 'bumpy' just slopes near the door, the bay window and around the hearth. thats why i thought lino would be a better option all round.

i guess i can all but try and lino will set me back the same as a replacement carpet. laminate a fair bit more.
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Re: insulating a concrete floor.

Postby diggernotdreamer » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:09 pm

We had this issue in our other house. In the end we went for slate floors which we laid ourselves. The tiles were about 89-99p each depending on what Wickes were charging for them week on week. I know it probably has all sorts of issues attached i.e. Indian or chinese slate, but we are always quite skint and Welsh is too costly. Carpet was out of the question, we are too dirty boots, I hate laminate and the sort of wood I would have liked was too costly. Although slate sounds cold, it is warmer than ceramic tiles, it asborbs warmth like a heat sink and releases it back again, it doesn't have to be competely level as the tiles have high and low bits which add to the asthetics of it, they have lovely colours and it is easily swept and kept clean, you can put rugs down in areas where you want to put your feet or sit on the floor etc. We have just done the same thing here, the slates, tile cement, grout and sealer has set us back about £900 which I think for something we are going to enjoy forever is a bargain, the area is 11ft wide by 40ft long (our entire downstairs)
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Re: insulating a concrete floor.

Postby grahamhobbs » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:12 pm

If going for lino, which is sensible and cheap, I would at least put hardboard underneath. Again reasonably cheap and will add a little insulation (at least no draughts through floorboards) and will prevent the lino wearing out very quickly as the floorboards will inevitably show through otherwise. In the good old days, people used to put thick layers of newspapers down instead of the hardboard, but with the price of decent papers these days.......
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Re: insulating a concrete floor.

Postby diggernotdreamer » Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:50 pm

Lino or linoleum or marmoleum is not cheap, it is very expensive, hard wearing and would last most peoples lifetimes and if you have the money to buy it and get someone experienced to put it down for you, great, they will screed the floor and handle the product properly. I had proper lino in my shop, it was second hand from the officers mess and I had it put down by some professional floor people. To my knowledge it is still in the place, it served me for 16 years of heavy traffic customers, dogs in and out all the time and it still looked good, you can get a wax to restore the lustre if they get dull.

Vinyl flooring (or what most people call lino which it is NOT) is cheaper. I have found it pits easily, especially the more expensive cushion floor stuff, it scuffs,if you have a bump it can break through and it generally looks a bit jaded after not a very long time, I was very disappointed with the stuff I had put down in my house, but at the end of the day it is down to personal preference.
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