The Key to Warming up Your Home’s Cold Floors Is in the Basement.

Cold floors are not fun. No matter how warm and cozy you manage to make the rest of your home, there is almost always one room where you need to put on extra socks and a pair of slippers to get through the room without suffering frostbite. And if you don’t have any disorder , chances are your constantly cold feet are due to the icy consistency of your floor.

Before spending a lot of time and money on heating solutions elsewhere in your home , you should first think about your basement or basement space. Cold floors are most common when the space underneath is not heated . Even if you put insulation in the gaps between the beams, if your basement is a cube of icy air, the temperature of the floor above it will drop by several degrees.

Of course, you can wear slippers or carpets, but if you don’t address the root cause of cold floors, you’ll never be truly comfortable in winter. If the floor that turns your feet into blocks of ice is located above a basement or cellar, consider installing a thermal break.

How a thermal break can fix cold floors

A thermal break is a product or material that reduces the transfer of heat between one material and another. For example, in your basement or cellar, concrete or earth floors are quite porous and let cold and moisture through. This turns your basement or basement into a freezer and that cold is then transferred to the walls and ceiling, which is also the floor in the room above.

A thermal break installed above this freezing basement floor will create a floating barrier that is not part of the floor itself. This creates a small air gap that prevents the cold from the floor from migrating upwards. This can increase the temperature of the basement or basement by several degrees.

You can do-it-yourself waterproofing in basements or basements using a so-called subfloor membrane panel made from oriented strand board (OSB) . Wood acts as an excellent thermal barrier, but will rot quickly from contact with damp basement floors, so a waterproof membrane on the underside is essential. These panels will also be raised with pegs from the side of the membrane to create the necessary air gap. Their installation includes cleaning and preparing the floor, cutting the panels to size, and snapping the panels into place with slot connectors. There is some work involved in leveling and stabilizing the floating subfloor, but it’s not particularly difficult to do, especially if you’ve ever laid any type of spiked and grooved floating floor.

Companies also make tiled systems that work in much the same way, but without the rot-prone wood. These systems are proprietary and more expensive, but may last longer.

Once a thermal break is installed under your living space, the air gap will break the connection between the cold basement floor and the rest of the space, reducing the amount of cold and moisture that is transferred to your floor above. It won’t make your unheated basement a tropical paradise, but it will make it warmer and the floors above it noticeably more comfortable.


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