Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Foamboard Arrives

June 8

Once we had decided we were going to install radiant heat in the basement we knew we needed to figure out a way to insulate between the earth, the tubing and the concrete slab.  It's important to keep the heat in the house and not have it travel down to heat the earth.  That would not only be a waste of energy it would also be super expensive.  One option for below slab insulation is to use Bubble Foil.  Another option is to lay down Extruded Polystyrene Foam Board (also known as XPS).

Rob and I talked read what information we could find online, asked lots of questions and decided that XPS was the best option for us.  Some installers & suppliers think the bubble foil doesn't really have as good an r value as the XPS, so we would have had to lay down two layers, and that doubles the cost.  Also, by using foam board we'd be able to staple the tube right to the board as opposed to having to lay down a layer of concrete reinforcement (we've heard it called cattle fence and cattle guard, but it's really a type of rebar that is in 6" squares and comes in large flat sheets or large rolls) and then zip tie the tubing to that. 

We researched the price and realized that Home Depot had the best price.  After I worked out a design to utilize the best way to lay out the 8'x4' sheets we went down and ordered 61 sheets.

Rob wanted to haul it to our garage in the back of our little truck.  This would have meant multiple trips from the store to our garage, then multiple trips from our garage to the lot.  I gave him my funny look, which I'm pleased to say he recognized instantly (it's only taken 30 years) so he quickly asked about delivery.  Then I gave him my big smiley face. 

After we rescheduled the delivery once (due to delays getting the foundation started), we tried to reschedule it a second time, but they couldn't fit us in, so we just had it dropped at the lot a couple of days early. Luckily, it was well packaged and protected from the elements and from UV rays. This stuff doesn't like being exposed to the elements so we wanted to leave it wrapped up as long as we could.

The truck arrives with our XPS.

The first stack was easy to get off the truck.  The second stack took a little more maneuvering with the fork lift.  The top two bundles actually looked like they were more likely to tip off when we were there in person.  But the driver knew just what to do to keep everything balanced.

Noah and Grandpa get a kick out of watching the forklift.

61 sheets of XPS (and our VERY CROOKED porta potty)

We were very glad the foam board was well bundled as we had a pretty good windstorm move through and one of the smaller bundles ended up in the road.  It also made it easier for the crew to move out of the way when they brought the big gravel trucks in.

Kudos to Home Depot.  The employees we worked with for this specific order were great.  The customer service rep in the special order department answered every question we had and was super helpful and friendly.  The driver was pleasant and professional and skilled with his forklift. 

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