Basement ceiling insulation (1878 home)


Old 12-26-05, 09:29 AM
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Basement ceiling insulation (1878 home)

Have a question on insulating the floor in our old home. We have a partial unfinished basement with no mechanicals. The wood floors above were installed (back then) with no sub floor so the cold just comes up from the basement. burr
We have totaly remodeled the home but now that winter is here would like to put insulation to block out the cold from coming up. Of course, the width of the joists are random and some were made out of standing trees but some are true two x 8's. I was thinking of using 2" styrofoam but am concerned with moisture--not sure if paper backed insulation would work either due to dampness in the basement--any suggestions. My home is located in Northern Indiana

Last edited by story_lake; 12-26-05 at 09:42 AM. Reason: adding information
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Old 12-27-05, 01:31 PM
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Someone else may want to chime in that has more experience, but it is my understanding that you are better off insulating the walls of your basement than insulating the unfinished ceiling (or the bottoms of your floors on the ground level).

The way it was explained to me is that by insulating the floors above, you are in effect turning your basement into a large cooler (keeping the cold air in). Where as if you insulate the walls you are attempting to keep the cold from reaching the basement, and therefore reaching the floors above.

Of course this may be a non issue since you say you have no mechanicals down there (your furnace is on the ground floor?)
Old 12-27-05, 07:56 PM
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reply to 1878 house

A-Dogg, thanks for your reply. Good point. Actually never thought about insulating the walls. hmm. I see where you are coming from--we did have the house jacked up and 4 feet of the foundation replaced with cement block. Of that 4 feet about 2 feet is exposed to the outside (above grade) and frost does form on the inside. I could try the styrofoam on the cement block on the inside, unless someone can offer another suggestion. It sure can't hurt.
My thought was to block the cold from coming up through the floors--but it makes sence to block the cold from coming in. Thanks for your thoughts.

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