Inexpensive Methods for Insulating Concrete Basement Flooring

Updated February 21, 2017

Insulating a concrete basement serves several important purposes. It keeps dangerous moisture from seeping into the basement where it can ruin concrete, help rot wood or fabric and create serious and expensive mould problems. And insulating the concrete floor in a basement also can give the basement the potential to become an extra room in the house, immediately raising its property value. You have many different ways to insulate a basement floor based on price and when the insulating project can be completed.

Foam Boards

Foam boards are useful for several reasons. They are relatively inexpensive compared to other foam options and often allow homeowners to install the boards themselves. They also make an ideal beginning to a basement renovation project in which the eventual goal is to cover the floors with carpet or wood. The boards have good thermal transfer resistance, which means they will keep heat in the basement. Homeowners who want a faster form of insulation may want to hire a contractor to use spray foam instead, although this will probably be more expensive.

Concrete Insulation

As insulation that is a part of the concrete floor itself, concrete insulation typically requires replacing the floor entirely, but this is often a necessary step when basement floors are cracked and damaged, so using concrete-based insulation can actually save time. Some types of concrete are combined with fibres to give them greater insulation properties. Homeowners can also use concrete blocks that are filled with insulation in the centre.

Paints and Sprays

Paints and sprays are a type of insulation that homeowners can use if their concrete floor is in good shape. These options tend to be the least expensive of all insulation types, although they may not be as efficient as other materials. Plastic-based tars are available that are both cheap and easy to spread as a do-it-yourself project. Also consider a number of clear sealants that are designed to keep moisture down and stop heat from flowing through the concrete floor.

Vapour Barriers

Thin sheets of plastic specifically designed to prevent moisture and heat from moving through a concrete floor are called vapour barriers. The good news is that they are relatively easy to install and are both long lasting and affordable. The bad news is that they need to be put down when the concrete floor is first laid, which means the ideal time to install the barrier is when the basement is being built, proving difficult for homeowners who already have a basement to use the vapour barrier as effectively as is intended.

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About the Author

Tyler Lacoma has worked as a writer and editor for several years after graduating from George Fox University with a degree in business management and writing/literature. He works on business and technology topics for clients such as Obsessable, EBSCO,, The TAC Group, Anaxos, Dynamic Page Solutions and others, specializing in ecology, marketing and modern trends.