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Old 08-13-2010, 01:52 PM   #1
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Cold bathroom floor


It's nice and warm now, but in the winter the tile floor in my downstairs bathroom gets pretty chilly.

I don't have the money or expertise to take the tile out and put in heated flooring or anything like that.

In the crawl space under the bathroom I can see fiberglass insulation stapled to the floor joists but I guess that can only do so much.

Would it help to nail 3/4" insulated sheathing to the floor joists under the bathroom?

What else (simple) can I do to get the floor to be less cold?

Thanks for any suggestions,

D2.

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Old 08-16-2010, 02:10 PM   #2
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Cold bathroom floor


Since u have access to the crawl space underneath the bathroom floor??

Maybe removing the existing insulation and vapour barrier and hitting it with an insulating spray foam instead would help your problem. The spray foam works great and u can pick up a DIY spray foam kit from your local Lowes or even online suppliers that ship right to your door. Of course making sure the ENTIRE area in your crawlspace under the bathroom is insulated properly (not just directly under the floor) would really help as well.

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Old 08-16-2010, 03:21 PM   #3
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Cold bathroom floor


The floor in your bathroom will gradually reach the ambient temperature of the room. If the floor is over a crawlspace, and the crawlspace is colder than the house (which it typically will be in the winter), the surface of the floor will reach a temperature slightly colder than the room. Since you already have insulation under the floor, replacing it with a different type of insulation is not likely to increase the surface temperature of the tile.

The problem with bathroom and kitchen floors is that they are typically tile or stone, which is a good conductor of heat. This means that when you touch the tile with your bare feet, it is going to feel cold if the tile is less than body temperature. In the winter, you probably only heat your house to about 68 degrees, so stone or porcelain tile at that temperature is about 30 degrees colder than body temperature, hence it feels cold.

You many want to consider replacing the tile with a less conductive material. Unfortunately, good insulators like cork or wood are not usually considered suitable for bathroom flooring. Vinyl is less conductive than porcelain or stone. We installed underfloor heating for just this reason.
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Old 08-17-2010, 11:55 AM   #4
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Cold bathroom floor


I agree with previous post, there is not a lot what you can do. I would suggest you buying those really thick rags for the bathroom. They will keep you feet feel much more comfortable that barefoot over the tiles for the winter time.
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Old 08-17-2010, 02:16 PM   #5
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Cold bathroom floor


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
If the floor is over a crawlspace, and the crawlspace is colder than the house (which it typically will be in the winter), the surface of the floor will reach a temperature slightly colder than the room.
Yes I totally agree.....

However, if the entire crawlspace area (not just under the bathrrom floor) was to be insulated in a way that it would make it "less cold" than it is now, I know that it would "help" with the temp of the bathroom floor as well. Especially if there is even a slight draft which can still penetrate through your basic "thermal barrier" fiberglassed insulation (as presently installed) but not penetrate through a spray foam that creates more of a "thermal break" as I mentioned previously.

There is no doubt tile will feel colder in any room and of course an under tile heated system would be the best solution, but I disagree that if making sure the entire area under the bathroom floor and crawlspace are well insulated and airtight wont help at all.

A year back I assisted my father with some work in his basement. It was a complete ceramic tile floor sitting directly on the basement concrete slab installed approx 20yrs ago and 1/2 the basement floor steps down about 1/2" for some odd reason and he wanted to level everything off. We removed all tile, built a 1" sub floor from from lumber (making sure we placed a barrier seal anywhere wood was touching concrete) and then in between framed sub floor glued 1" thick rigid foam board. For the lower section we built a 2 1/2" subfloor (to level w/ 1st section an filled in voids with 2 1/2" of rigid foam then topped entire floor with 5/8 tounge & groove plywood tapconed into concrete. Installed tile underlayment then thinset and new ceramic tiles.....

What a difference now in floor temperature.......

Also, we've noticed that the area that was built up with 2 1/2" rigid foam is slightly warmer than the existing area only built up with 1" rigid foam.

Only difference there was 1 1/2" of extra rigid foam (insulation).
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Old 08-18-2010, 11:10 AM   #6
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Cold bathroom floor


Thanks for the replies everybody... I like the insulating spray foam idea... I understand that it will never make the floor "warm" but it has to be better than it is now.

My original idea of adding insulated sheathing was to create a "box" around the existing insulation and prevent the air from moving to increase the insulation value.

With the foam, would I just apply several inches of spray foam between the joists in the whole bathroom area?

Thanks,
D2.
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:31 PM   #7
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Cold bathroom floor


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch2 View Post
My original idea of adding insulated sheathing was to create a "box" around the existing insulation and prevent the air from moving to increase the insulation value.
If you go with the spray foam....just follow the manufacturers recommendations regarding the "R value". I believe its usually only 2-3 inches in thickness but then again that depends on the product make and type.

PS: If you find the tile is still to cold for you, Walmart sells comfy cozy fuzzy slippers for like $7. (cheapest fix you'll find.....lol)

Good Luck

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Last edited by 57_Hemi; 08-18-2010 at 03:40 PM.
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