InfraStop® Under Concrete Slab Insulation
This entry was posted on July 15, 2013.
Pouring a slab can be a considerable investment in time, material, and labor. When looking at insulation options, consumers can easily be confused as to what products to use and how effective they are.
This post is to help you understand your options. Your first option is easy and that is to do nothing. Maybe you are not concerned with heat retention for your project. In that case, use the recommended poly vapor barrier. Lay down your rebar and pour the slab.
However, if you want to retain heat and certainly if you are using radiant heat, than you will probably want to get some insulation down. The ground is an infinite heat sink and will continually pull heat from the inside downward. Insulating, or providing a thermal break, is the only option to slow this process.
The most economical choice available is our InfraStop concrete insulation. Offered in a wide variety of roll sizes, the foil within the product acts to spread out the heat signature of heating coils. This results in a more consistent floor surface temperature. The multi-layered bubble design creates a thermal break to give you an R-1.1. Other advantages are rapid installation times compared to other products, the ability to install on uneven grade, and traditional vapor barriers are not required. The insulation itself is the vapor barrier.
To gain more R-value you must move into the foam board insulation products. These products do have a higher R-value. They also have a much higher price per square foot unfortunately. Transportation and installation is also much slower as individual board sections must be laid down and the seams taped. A standard 400 square foot roll of our concrete slab insulation for example can be installed in less than a minute, compared to 12 sheets of foam board that can take upwards of an hour. For larger products we can manufacture roll sizes of 1,250 square feet to make installation even faster.
Foam board is also prone to breaking and cracking on uneven grade. This can make your concrete pour susceptible to failure. This is not to say the foam board should be avoided but it does, as with all products, have its limitations. Understanding the pros and cons of the various products available and measuring these to your specific project will be able to better help you make your decisions on what products to use when insulating under concrete slabs.