I’ll start by bringing a memory back from a while ago: getting rid of the old floors. At the end I told about what the future would bring, up to the new tiles: concrete, wiring and plumbing, insulation, tiles. You have three guesses where we are now.

Go!

Well done! The insulation is where we are!

Choices, choices

As with almost anything in renovation, it all starts with choices. How well do I want the insulation to perform? What material would I like it to be? Ecological or economical? How do I see it getting in place? After reading up a lot on the subject of floor insulation, I could already answer some of them quite easily.

Material

There’s PUR/PIR, there’s EPS/XPS, there’s insulating mortar. Just to name a few. Each has it’s pros and cons, which I won’t be going into now. I opted for PUR, as this is one of the best performing materials at this time. That way I could limit the need to have to dig deep. It does have its drawbacks, like VOCs that may or may not be an issue. Or that it’s not the most ecological material.

Placement

DIY or let a contractor do the job? In the case of PUR, use boards and lay them yourself, or let the PUR be sprayed in place? If you want to go the boards way you’ll need to first fill up the space between all your conduits and stuff. This means you’ll have to dig deeper for the same insulation level, or end up with less insulation for a certain depth to start with. I did my homework again, and found that having it sprayed on was actually cheaper than ordering boards. Maybe I got a really good offer on the spraying, maybe I got really bad offers for the boards, I don’t actually know.

No hesitation there.

Thickness

Also known as “how well will my insulation perform?”. When I did my research, general consensus was “8 – 10 cm” as standard for renovation. As not all the floor is being replaced, I didn’t see any reason to deviate from this.

Aaaand, action!

Soo, I knew I wanted sprayed pur. I knew how thick I wanted it to be sprayed. I knew the surface to be covered. Next step: quote requests. I ended up with a company called DC Wullaert. They have good reviews on Bouwinfo, and were reasonably priced.

I let them know they had the green light, and five days later they came by. They first had a go at the windows and doors, covering them in some kind of plastic foil up to two meter from the ground up. This is especially necessary if you’ve just installed new windows like we had, as the spraying produces a fine mist, which will not come off any surface it’s stuck on anymore.

floor-insulation-cover-sliding-door

floor-insulation-cover-back-door

If you just had your walls plastered, they also cover those up up to one meter. In our case we still have to remove wallpaper, or have the walls plastered again, so this step wasn’t necessary for us.

One thing I did do myself, was covering up that huge gaping hole between the kitchen (that needed the PUR treatment) and the dining/living room (which still has the floor in it). As I wanted to make perfectly sure our travertine didn’t get any PUR on it, I pulled up this large sheet of plastic, nailed it into the beam across and into the walls next to it. Then I rolled in a wooden batten slightly below floor level for some weight. Worked like a charm, I can tell you.

Back to our brave sprayers now.

They started in the kitchen. It’s kinda cool to see them do it, spraying layer after layer (three in our case) to get the thickness required. I wouldn’t recommend watching it the entire time though, there’s a reason these guys wear masks…

floor-insulation-kitchen-start

floor-insulation-kitchen-rename

After the kitchen the storage room was next…

floor-insulation-storage

… and then the entry.

floor-insulation-entry

The stuff gets hard so fast that by the time they are done with a layer it’s already hard for the next round. So by the time they were done, we could already walk on it. It still was kind of warm though, so I believe it still gets a bit harder when cooled down completely.

Then all cover plastic they placed was removed and off they went!

Wrapping it up

I guess it took them half their time to prepare and clean up as it did to actually do the spraying, but the end result looked good. Another step done towards our new floor! And you, anyone working with insulation lately? Which, where and why?

Added bonus: I heard this song called Starlight by The Supermen Lovers from a while ago today, and it made me instantly smile and nod my head. I wanted to share that feeling, so here you go:

Have a good one!