I an getting near the point of having to decide what type of flooring to
install on the concrete slab in my basement addition. Ignoring for the
moment other considerations such as durability, I'm wondering about the
'heat sink' effect of the slab, and whether carpeting will have an effect. I
seem to recall that at the time the Title 24 calcs were done, being told
that an exposed slab, would have a positive effect on the calcs, but a
carpeted floor wouldn't figure into the equation.
This addition is in the half of the basement area that wasn't already a
finished room. The pre-existing half does have carpet, and in the hot weather
we are currently experiencing, I'm noticing that the new room does stay
cooler than the pre-existing room.... (I don't have a/c for the lower half
of the house). I would like to keep it that way, and
am wondering if carpeting will have a noticable effect. My alternative to
carpet would be real linoleum, which I'm assuming would have a very limited,
Would appreciate any comments, especially from those who do title 24 calcs
for a living.
Years ago, I lived in a building that had formerly been a
car repair garage. Had cement floor. One cold winter day, I
was laying on the bed, watching television. A space heater
was keeping the ceiling warm, but the floor was bitter cold.
At one point, I noticed that my left foot was not as cold as
my right foot. I looked down, and noticed that left foot was
on a carpet scrap plus the room carpet. Right foot was only
on the thin carpet. So I moved the carpet scrap so it could
be under both feet.
Since that time, I've been a big believer in having a big
thick carpet sample where my feet hit the floor, stepping
out of bed.
Anyhow, I find that carpeting does have insulation value.
Use that information as you wish.
I do have heat in that area. As part of this project, I installed two new
heaters, one for each level, but I only installed a/c for the upper level.
Carpet certainly does have a percieved warmer feel, but my question is, will
the moderating effect that masonry has on actual temperature and rate of
temperature change, be negated by installing carpet.
Because the warm in your feet isn't being sucked out by the slab. They are
Negated? Who knows. Affected? Yes. Carpets and rugs insulate. So does
How much? Depends on the material, thickness and type of the carpet and
padding. Big difference between glued to slab, skimpy, low pile commercial
carpet and a densely woven, high pile wool carpet on a thick foam pad.
That doesn't make any sense--if a slab has an effect but changing the
slab to something else doesn't, then that fact "has figured into the
And, it'll be exactly the opposite effect when the cold weather arrives.
Of course carpeting has an insulating effect; just how big an "R"
factor it is depends mostly on how think the pad used is; the carpet
itself is a lesser (but not totally negligible) amount.
What I meant, but perhaps didn't say very well, is that a exposed concrete
slab would be figured into the calculations, and would have an effect that
would help me meet the title 24 requirements. However if I specified carpet,
then it wouldn't be considered.
Where do you live, I live where winter heat bills kill you, zone 5.
Where I am at about 5ft below grade ground temp is never above 50-55
so it cools year around and concrete doesnt insulate much, maybe R 1
for 4 inches. Foam padding is an excelent insulator maybe R 3 for 1/2"
and carpet itself maybe R2 I will guess. Carpet and padding makes my
basement much warmer in winter since that 50f temp is being held back.
If you live south where winter heat is a few dollars and AC is the big
money then tile it, linoleum is best, the plactic tile has very little
if any insulating value but up here in the midwest carpet with the
thickest foam will save money on utilities. The foam pad per inch has
the highest R value. Keep a good dehumidistat handy and a
dehumidifier, you dont want above 65-70% or mold might grow. One idea
might be a foam pad and area rug you roll up in summer, portability is
also a good idea for when a pipe breaks, one leak and wall to wall is
trash. I just use a bunch of area rugs and padding, mainly for the
Or have a really deep basement, and insulate the heck out of the side
walls. When it is subzero outside, that 50-degree dirt 10 feet down
looks pretty good.
That is the basic premise of earth-berm houses, after all....
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