Radiant floor heat insulation in the floor

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Brad549, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. Brad549

    Brad549 Member

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    Ok the gravel is down compacting tommorow. Was planning on 2" foam insulation in the floor plus a vapor bareior then the rebar mesh and PEX tube. Salesman tried to put me on to bubble wrap for insulation and vapor conrol. Says its as good as 2" foam and less expensive. Anyone ever use it for this application? Also grade stake question. When I pound them down after floor is poured the will penetrate plastic (or bubble wrap) wont this allow moister to get at my flooor? cause it to sweet? Salesman just said thats how everyone does it no need to worry. I would really hate to be regretting this for the next forever. No easy fix once the floor is in any help would be awesome. Thanks
     
  2. BeckyW

    BeckyW Well-Known Member

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  3. lwj2

    lwj2 Well-Known Member

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    Talk to your local building and codes inspector, they vary with locale, some use the national code, some are more strict.

    The salesman's interest is in selling profitable product.
     
  4. ttryin

    ttryin Well-Known Member

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    Not sure I have it right -- if you put the bubble stuff over the gravel and black plastic over that and then pex over that, isn't there a possibility you could break the bubbles while walking on them to tie the pex to the wire grid that goes over the plastic? And what goes over the pex for the floor? Will the bubbles handle the weight of that?

    There are some experts on bubble wrap insulation over at the Little Houses Yahoo group. I would ask there.
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LittleHouses/

    Good luck.

    T
     
  5. HeavenHelpMe

    HeavenHelpMe Well-Known Member

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    We bought the ready-made insulation. Bubble wrap? Oh my! I can't see that holding up for years on end. Yes the insulation is incredibly expensive, but we did it, we just set the boiler closer to the house to keep down the cost. We did all the digging and concrete work ourselves, too, to keep down expense. Are you sure they'll warranty the thing if you put unrecommended insulation around the PEX? You may want to contact the manufacturer before you do what you're planning.

    Oh, and once we got inside the basement, we didn't insulate the PEX at all. We have ours rigged to the exchanger on our old oil furnace, though. Maybe that's much different as far as needing to insulate.
     
  6. SolarGary

    SolarGary Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    I'd stick with the rigid foam board insulation.

    Two inches of rigid foam is worth R10.

    The reflective bubble wrap insulation when it does not face air spaces is worth very little.

    If you read through the report on the Van Geet house here:
    http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/SolarHomes/plansps.htm#Example Designs
    The one regret they had on this really exceptionally energy efficient house is that they did not put foam board under the flooor.

    Gary
    www.BuildItSolar.com
     
  7. wisfarm

    wisfarm Member

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    I from central Wis. and put in 2 layers of 2" panels. All the heating guys here say it's worth the money.
    Mark
     
  8. SmartAZ

    SmartAZ Well-Known Member

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    Bubble wrap? Insulation works when the bubbles are very small. In bubble wrap the bubbles are very large. Large bubbles let the air swirl around and it's the same as no insulation at all. Just because "everybody does it" doesn't mean everybody is right.
     
  9. kmaproperties

    kmaproperties Well-Known Member

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    the bubble wrap he is talking about has an aluminum skin on it, and is 90% plus reflective. that is the only benifit, R factor does not figure in. we used the 6 mil plastic, 2 inch foam, then the bubble wrap and then the pex, and light weight concrete.
    You can do it without the bubbles, but it is just one more efficiency item.