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Best way to insulate my Basement ceiling (New Jersey)

Best way to insulate my Basement ceiling (New Jersey)

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  #1  
Old 08-11-19, 09:40 PM
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Smile Best way to insulate my Basement ceiling (New Jersey)

Hi Experts,

I need your help with some insulation issues that i have. I bought an old home in NJ last year. It is a split-level house with a basement. The hardwood floor above the floor was really cold last winter. There is absolutely no insulation in the basement ceiling. I insulated the rim joists with 2-inch-thick rigid foam boards last year, but that didn't help much. Basement ceiling has all the pipes and gas lines, HVAC pipes etc. Currently basement has carpet on the floors, but the walls are not insulated. I have plans to completely finish the basement (maybe few years down the line). But for the time being I need to address the cold floor issue that I faced last year.

1. What is the best insulation to address the cold issue? Fiberglas batts or rock-wool?
2. If I insulate the floors with fiberglass batts, will it solve the cold issue?
3. If I use fiberglass, I believe I should use the face side up to act as vapor barrier. Will it cause any issues when I completely finish the basement? Because at that time both sides of the insulation will be conditioned space.
4. Will fiberglass act as a sound barrier? My aim is to get a soundproof basement when it is completely finished. Is fiberglass and drywall combo enough to get a soundproof basement?
5. what size of batts should I use? My ceiling joist bay is 7.5 inch deep, but the spacing between them is not standard. It varies from 13.5 to 15.5
6. I am planning to do it as a DIY project. Anything else that i should consider during this project?

Thanks
~A
 
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Old 08-11-19, 11:26 PM
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Heating the basement is the best way to heat the floors above it.
 
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Old 08-12-19, 07:03 AM
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A couple questions;
Is the basement heated?
Is the affected floor fully over the basement? I've seen some splits with basement and crawl space, or with slab on grade, or a combination of.

As for insulation, it's all going to come down to how deep your wallet is vs. what you need/want.

For soundproofing, to what extent are you looking to soundproof?
If you are looking for full out sound proofing, bring in a pro and be prepared for huge costs.
If you are looking to have decent soundproofing for movies or reasonable music while the kids are sleeping up stairs, this is obtainable and will be as effective as the room/area construction.

In general, if you can, decent quality drop ceiling in the basement is ideal for basic sound dampening and ease of access for running utilities. Pipe wrap or bat insulation around exposed heating ducts will reduce sound from traveling through them. Use solid doors instead of the hollow cheaper interior doors makes a big difference.
 
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Old 08-12-19, 07:46 AM
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Normally you dont insulate interior walls/floors and you would gain more benefit from getting the basement walls insulate than the ceiling.

But the ceiling insulation will act as sound proofing so that is a benefit.

When I did my basement a few years ago I installed Ultra Touch as my sound proofing material, it's got a much higher sound absorption than fiberglass and not as much a pain to work with!
 
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Old 08-12-19, 07:58 AM
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Normally you dont insulate interior walls/floors and you would gain more benefit from getting the basement walls insulate than the ceiling.
I'm surprised I forgot to mention this. Although below grade walls tend to not benefit as much as above grade walls, it does help.

In the house I'm working on now, removed the insulation between the first and second floor helped a noticeable amount on the heating bill.
 
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Old 08-12-19, 09:30 AM
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Hi Mike, Thanks for your response and thanks for all the tips

Is the basement heated? No
Is the affected floor fully over the basement? I've seen some splits with basement and crawl space, or with slab on grade, or a combination of. : Yes, the affected floor is completely above the basement. I dont have nay crawl space.

For soundproofing, to what extent are you looking to soundproof? : I just need a decent soundproofing, not the extreme one.

My first priority is to fix the cold floor issue. Is batts enough? I believe vapor barrier should be touching the floor above it . is that right? What size of batt insulation to use?

I have plans to insulate the walls, but only after installing a sump pump and a channel drain. That will be my next priority after installing the basement ceiling.
 
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Old 08-12-19, 09:38 AM
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Ultra Touch looks good too. I just checked a you-tube video. so does that mean we don't need a vapor barrier?
 
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Old 08-12-19, 09:39 AM
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Insulating is not going to fix the cold floor; you need to apply heat.
 
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Old 08-12-19, 10:03 AM
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Insulating is not going to fix the cold floor; you need to apply heat.
95% agree.

If your basement is like most here (or at least most I've owned), the part of the basement wall you need to worry about is the area above grade (which is just below the floor). My one place was ~1500sqft unheated, unfinished basement with only that small area above grade stuffed with insulation (jammed between the concrete wall and the joists). That basement never got cooler than probably 60-65'F, even when we where in the -30' temps.

That being said, with heat in the basement, you will be able to use the space more comfortably, heat will travel up so the floor will be warmer, regardless of what is installed for sound.

As for sound, just adding a ceiling will make a huge difference. If you are looking to dull the noise (foot steps above, mechanical equipment in basement below), you can probably go with less expensive batt and a ceiling.
Be sure to wrap any ducts going through the area as that will carry sound badly.
 
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