Monday, February 18, 2013

cold floor Rx

Because we are putting in a marble floor, we were concerned that the floor will be cold on our bare feet.  Half the year, this will be a good thing, but the other half of the year, it will make it uncomfortable.  We don't want to put a heater under the marble, because this room does get a lot of sun since it faces south, and it warms up quickly.  The real concern is nights and first thing in the morning. 

Taking out the linoleum and underlayment, we can see sun through the slats of the subfloor.  We have a lot of ventilation under the house, which is necessary in this climate.  But - that means there are cool breezes blowing under the house when it's cold out - so we knew we wanted to insulate the floor.  Besides the open crawl space breezes, this house doesn't have central heat, and this space is the furthest from the floor heater.
Dale spent most of the afternoon today under the house.  Of course, there's always a bit of bad news when you go into previously uncharted areas, and he found that the old cast iron drainpipe had a small leak under the sink, very minor, and that pipe will be removed when we relocate the plumbing, but it's annoying.  We went through and repaired the termite damage, replacing the subfloor planks that had damage:
This area will be underneath a banquette along the south wall, so it won't have a lot of traffic across it, but it's ready to go.

We went with a recycled denim insulation - for a couple of reasons.  First, I like the fact that it's recycled and environmentally friendly.  no VOC gasses, and no fiberglass particles, which is particularly great considering Dale has to lie on his back and push it up and tack it in place with wire braces.  Nothing like getting a face full of itchy scratchy fiberglass.  Also, it's extremely easy to tear apart with your hands (yet, it's firm and not at all fragile),so cutting is not a problem.

I don't think it's just my imagination, but the room feels so much warmer even tonight!  Before he puts the backerboard underlayment, Dale is going to get the electrical, gas and plumbing relocated while he can easily access the space.  We're pretty happy with this, and we'll be insulating under some of the other areas in the house that are cold (in particular, our bedroom!).

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