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Cold tile floor in kitchen unfinished basement room below

Cold tile floor in kitchen unfinished basement room below

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  #1  
Old 01-26-10, 08:38 PM
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Cold tile floor in kitchen unfinished basement room below

The tile floor in our kitchen is pretty cold in winter. We have an unfinished room below the kitchen in the basement room (the rest of the basement is finished).

The ceiling in that basement room has some very old fiberglass insulation in about 1/4 of the joists. It's very thin insulation and the kraft facing downwards is brittle And flaking.

We may eventually finish that room someday (as an office), but for now we'd like to try and get our bare feet a bit warmer on the floor above. I prob should have installed heat in the floor before I put it down myself, but alas, I didn't. I concidered running PEX lines along the ceiling to heat the kitchen floor but that seems like a LOT of work.

Is it worth tearing out the messy old insulation and putting in some fresh R19 (which I already purchased). Can't hurt right. Did the prev installers of the old insulation do it correctly with kraft facing downwards?

Is it ok leave it exposed in an unfinshed room with some water and BX lines fixed to the joists? No real heat sources there except hot water lines.

Any help is appreciated! Thanks!

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 01-27-10, 07:35 AM
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Hi Fishnyc22:

Insulation should be installed with the vapor barrier toward the warm side.

Since you have already purchased the R19 insulation, my first approach would be to tear down the old insulation and install the R19 correctly.

You didn't include a description of the room in the basement. Does it have a dirt floor? That would require additional treatment.

Does it include your foundation as one or more walls? If so, you should insulate where the joists sit on the foundation.

Is it ok leave it exposed in an unfinshed room with some water and BX lines fixed to the joists? No real heat sources there except hot water lines.

Generally, I'd say yes, unless you think there is a danger of the water lines freezing.
 
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Old 01-27-10, 07:55 AM
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Thanks for the reply.

The basement is a block wall foundation with a concrete floor. very dry. The joists do sit on the top of the foundation on one wall. I'm in NJ but its never gotten close to freezing down there so I'm not worried about the pipes freezing.

I was really hoping the insulation could be installed paper down instead of up so that its not exposed. The room is kind of a workshop right now (until its finished) with a nice counter and workspace. It seems better to have the fiberglass covered no?

Does it matter that the kitchen floor is:
Tile
Thinset
CementBoard
Thinset
Plywood
Subfloor

Seems like not much moisture could travel upwards anyway. Regardless. I had already installed 1/2 the R19 then thought twice about the paper down and posted this questions. I can tear it out and flip it but god is it an awful job

Thanks again,

Dave
 
  #4  
Old 01-27-10, 08:44 AM
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Insulation will have no real effect on the temp of the floor. Insulating between floors will only help with noise. No VB is needed on the in side of the home. Id say add some heat to the floor below, this will help raise the temp of the floor.
 
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Old 01-27-10, 08:57 AM
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Thanks.. I really didnt expect it to do much but no insulation down there certainly wasnt helping I just thought it might take some of the "bite" out of the coldness and just keep it a bit more bareable. Its pretty cold in the AM when we have our shoes off

But I guess I have it up there already, its staying... if I HAVE to flip it I will but would prefer not to at this point.

We will eventually finish that room so it will be good to have the insulation there for later on.

Thx again.
 
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Old 01-27-10, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by fishnyc22 View Post
Thanks for the reply.

The basement is a block wall foundation with a concrete floor. very dry. The joists do sit on the top of the foundation on one wall. I'm in NJ but its never gotten close to freezing down there so I'm not worried about the pipes freezing.

I was really hoping the insulation could be installed paper down instead of up so that its not exposed. The room is kind of a workshop right now (until its finished) with a nice counter and workspace. It seems better to have the fiberglass covered no?

Does it matter that the kitchen floor is:
Tile
Thinset
CementBoard
Thinset
Plywood
Subfloor

Seems like not much moisture could travel upwards anyway. Regardless. I had already installed 1/2 the R19 then thought twice about the paper down and posted this questions. I can tear it out and flip it but god is it an awful job

Thanks again,

Dave
I know that it seems to make more sense and is a lot easier to install the insulation with the paper side down, but that's what is recommended. You might want to Google it yourself to check.

The basic technique to install it with the paper up is to push the bat between the joists and then hold it in place with wires that goes between the joists. These wires are a little bigger than the space between the joists so that they create tension holding up the insulation. I've seen them near the insulation in building supply stores.

Believe me, I understand what a job it is to remove the insulation. The basement I'm sitting in had ceiling insulation installed at construction time (1989) with the paper side down. The issue came up at inspection time when we bought the house. We checked with the local building department and a local building supply store to confirm the paper should be up. I've taken it all down now and painted the ceiling white. Messy job because of twenty years of dust. Wear a mask, safety glasses and gloves.

Maybe some other posters can offer advice.
 
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Old 01-27-10, 09:54 AM
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Paper up or down it does not matter in a living space. There will be no benefit ether way. Id go down so you can staple it to hold it up. Again paper is a vapor retarder and has no usefully purpose other than using the tabs for stapling it up between conditioned spaces.
 
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Old 01-27-10, 09:56 AM
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That makes me feel better! Gonna leave it! Gonna finish it up tonight if I can get the guts to go back down there... yuck
 
  #9  
Old 01-27-10, 11:25 AM
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I agree with Airman, go ahead with the paper down installation. The only thing I would do different would be to add some heat above that insulation, below the floor. It will make all the difference in the world. To have a plumber run a couple of loop extensions off of one of the existing loops would be easy and the thermal mass of the floor would even out the temp. It wouldn't take much, especially with the new insulation.

Floors are almost impossible to heat from above, as all of the heat rises. Also, while working down there, take a can of foam and seal all wood to foundation seams and any wood to wood seams to reduce air leakage. Warm that leaks out in the upper areas of the house is replaced by cold air leaking in, often right at the basement ceiling level.

Bud
 
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Old 01-27-10, 12:48 PM
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Thanks Bud. I was thinking of doing that. I read about running Pex under the floor along the joists. Do you think Pex would work? Seems the easiest way to go about it... though would copper be better for conducting heat.

I think I could do it myself if I went Pex. I think copper would be too big a job for me. Is it as simple as tapping into the hot water line, cycle through each joist (or can I skip a joist) and loop back into the hot water line?

Do you think I'd see a big difference upstairs?

Thanks again!
 

Last edited by fishnyc22; 01-27-10 at 01:06 PM.
  #11  
Old 01-27-10, 01:22 PM
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I'm certainly not a pro when it comes to designing radiant floor heating systems, but this I feel falls short of needing to be re-engineered. I don't know how many zones you have, but if you extended one that covers the main floor of the house to run through some pex in all or several cavities, it has to help. The pex I have seen is attached up against the bottom of the floor with heat plates that fit right over the pex.

Google radiant floor heat and you should see what they do.

Bud
 
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