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Best Way to Insulate a Finished Basement Floor

Posted by vessandoh (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 7, 10 at 20:02

Hi, I need some help. We jut bought a house that has carpet on the basement floor and it smells horrible. I want to switch the carpet out for something more hygienic like laminate because it's going to be used mostly as a playroom for my infant kids. I am however worried that the floor will be too cold for them because even with the carpet and heavy padding now, the floor feels very cold.

I had initially considered radiant heating as option but the space is about 550sq ft and the best price i have seen for the electric radiant heating system was going to cost me as much as $4000 for just the heating system not inclusive of the additional installation cost and the cost of the laminate flooring. This option would be too expensive for us.

After much research I'm currently considering doing a layer of 1 1/2 or 2-inch thick extruded polystyrene foam placed against the concrete, with a layer of 5/8-inch plywood on top so that i'll have an all-wood subfloor for the laminate to be installed on. I would however like to know if anyone has had any experience with this sort of insulation and if it's effective? I'm also worried the floor will be too cushiony because of all the layers. What do you think? On one of the websites i saw this they suggested securing the plywood to the concrete with Tapcon screws placed into pre-drilled holes in the concrete. Will this solution alleviate the cushiony effect? And how far down do these pre-drilled holes have to be dug?

Thanks in advance for all your feedback.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Best Way to Insulate a Finished Basement Floor

The 2" of extruded polystyrene is not too different from the same material used under airport runways. Don't worry that your kids will be bouncing off the ceiling. Two alternative systems without insulation are Dri-Core and Delta FL; both types have competitors with similar systems.

The concrete screws are not "dug" into the concrete. They're drilled in. The depth of embedment varies with the diameter of the screws you're using. Follow the instructions on the package.


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