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How to Insulate a Concrete Floor

2023-07-09 05:45:02  News

Rigid insulation under concrete floors is an important part of home construction that improves energy efficiency, controls moisture and reduces energy costs. It’s also a simple way to make your home more comfortable and add value when it comes time to sell.

Depending on your local climate, you’ll need to consult your area’s heating degree days (HDD) to determine the proper thickness and R-value of the rigid foam. Once you know what thickness and R-value your project requires, it’s easy to order the materials you need online and have them delivered to your construction site.

Before insulating the floor, it’s important to thoroughly clean the concrete and repair any damage. You’ll then need to cover the bare concrete with a polyethylene plastic sheet that will act as your vapor barrier. Make sure the sheets overlap at the seams and seal them with construction tape.

Once your vapor barrier is in place, you’re ready to install the foam insulation boards. These are available in either cement coated or uncoated form and can be cut with a utility knife to fit your room. They’re easily installed on the top of the concrete slab using a special adhesive that adheres to both surfaces and sets quickly.

Concrete floor insulation can also be applied with ICFs (insulated concrete forms), which are engineered, code-accepted, concrete block systems that sandwich foam insulation between concrete. While they differ in their design – "flat" systems produce walls that look similar to conventionally poured walls, while grid and post-and-beam systems have rows of discrete concrete columns completely encapsulated by foam insulation – they’re all strong and energy efficient.

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