2023 Author: Philip Bishop | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 07:54
- Why do you need floor insulation?
- Advantages and disadvantages of expanded clay
- Methods of expanded clay floor insulation
- Insulation on top of compacted soil in private houses and structures on the ground
- Thermal insulation of wooden or concrete floors in apartments
- How to choose layer thickness and material fraction
- Step-by-step description of floor insulation technology
Most specialists and builders choose a cement-concrete floor screed for repairs. An excellent alternative for floor insulation is expanded clay. Such material can be used both in apartment buildings and in the private sector, and the ease of installation, low cost of expanded clay floor will pleasantly surprise the consumer.
Why do you need floor insulation?
As you know, air is the most effective substance that has thermal insulation properties. In this regard, all materials used to insulate various surfaces have a porous structure - air is retained even in the smallest pores and thereby prevents heat loss. Insulation material should always have a low density in order to cope well with the assigned task.
The main function of the floor insulation is to ensure a comfortable living in the room. In addition, a good insulation should provide sound insulation and protect structures from the formation of fungus and mold. Expanded clay does an excellent job with all these tasks.
Such material is produced from low-melting clay, which is placed in a heat chamber and softened to a dough consistency. After applying high temperature, the clay boils and pores appear. After solidification, small fractions are formed, which are called expanded clay.
This type of material is bulk and, due to its natural properties, has a longer service life than other types of floor insulation.
Advantages and disadvantages of expanded clay
This insulation material has its advantages, among which are:
- Environmental Safety. Expanded clay is a natural material and therefore does not pose a danger to humans. Even when exposed to high temperatures, or interacting with other substances, this material will not contain harmful emissions.
- The presence of heat and sound insulation properties. The porosity of the material significantly increases its thermal conductivity as well as noise insulation.
- Low weight. The presence of many small pores makes the material lightweight;
- Fire safety. Expanded clay has no fire properties.
- Long service life. Due to the fact that the material is natural, its service life reaches 10 years.
- Ease of installation. You can insulate the floor with expanded clay on your own, and you do not need certain skills.
- Leveling the surface. Expanded clay will create an even layer for the subsequent processing of the floor surface.
- The strength of the material allows it to be used even in industrial premises, because it is durable.
- Availability of the price category. Compared to other types of insulation, expanded clay has a relatively inexpensive cost.
With such an abundance of advantages, expanded clay floor insulation is also not without its drawbacks:
- Compared to expanded polystyrene and mineral wool, expanded clay loses in thermal conductivity.
- When installing thermal insulation, a certain amount of dust may appear due to the properties of clay.
- Expanded clay is a moisture-absorbing material, when water gets on it, it is very difficult to dry it.
The correct laying technology will help to avoid some of the disadvantages of this material.
There is also a new semi-dry screed technique that helps to level the floor in an apartment in one day.
Methods of expanded clay floor insulation
Before insulating the floor with expanded clay, it is necessary to carry out preparatory work on the surface. There are several ways to provide thermal insulation using this material:
Insulation on top of compacted soil in private houses and structures on the ground
Such floor insulation is used in private or country houses, as well as garages and baths. This option is also divided into several ways:
- Floor on logs on the ground. To begin with, the floor covering is removed, after which the logs are dismantled. Next, a waterproofing material is laid, and only after that bulk expanded clay is used. The next layer is filled with fine-grained material, for example river sand. Finally, the reinforced mesh is laid and the screed is poured.
- The floor is on logs installed on brick posts. In this case, expanded clay is filled up to the level of the laid brick supports. As a rule, this method is used to insulate a wooden floor, so beams are nailed onto the posts, and then wooden boards. After them, other types of insulation are used and a concrete screed is poured.
- Concrete and expanded clay insulation. This method is used in garages and saunas. Waterproofing is laid directly on the ground, after which a screed is made, which includes cement, sand and expanded clay. This solution is poured onto the floor surface and allowed to dry. For strengthening, a special cement milk is used.
Thermal insulation of wooden or concrete floors in apartments
In order to insulate the floor in an apartment of a multi-storey building, you must have a sufficient margin of ceiling height, since in order to comply with the technology, you will have to raise the floor level. The whole process consists of removing the floor covering, eliminating all cracks and cracks on the floor surface. Next, you need to apply waterproofing, which is most suitable for this room, and then pour a layer of expanded clay. Its height should be equal to 5-10 cm. Finally, lay a reinforced mesh and fill the screed.
When choosing a method of expanded clay insulation, be guided by the operating conditions of the floor and the type of base.
How to choose layer thickness and material fraction
In order for the floor insulation with expanded clay to have an effect, it is necessary to correctly calculate the layer thickness and select the size of the fraction. Usually, a layer of 40 cm is used for thermal insulation of wooden floors, for a concrete base 30 cm. If insulation occurs in a private house to overlap floors, then a layer of 20 cm will be sufficient.
The correct calculation of the layer thickness depends on the expected load on the future floor - the higher it is, the larger the layer should be. In order to get the total amount of the required material, it is necessary to multiply the area of the room by the consumption of expanded clay per 1 sq. m is approximately 10 liters for a layer of 1 cm.
The choice of expanded clay fraction is also important. Today, producers produce expanded clay in three fractions: small - up to 5 mm, medium - up to 20 mm, and large - up to 40 mm. The first option is most often used for leveling the subfloor, as well as for additives to the concrete screed. Medium granules are used for thermal insulation in apartments, and large ones for floor insulation in garages.
Step-by-step description of floor insulation technology
Expanded clay floor insulation can be done independently, you just need to adhere to the rules and follow a certain technology of work.
- Training. The first step is to dismantle the old flooring and clean it thoroughly. Anything previously installed on the floor must be removed and then cleaned. Most often, the floor is based on a reinforced concrete slab. Use hard metal brushes to clean the surface, which will remove even dried debris and dirt. After the floor is cleaned, sweep or vacuum and then rinse with water. All cracks and holes found must be sealed with mortar or special glue. The cracks in the floor are sealed with polyurethane foam.
- Protection of communications. In order not to damage the wiring and other types of communications, they must be fixed. This is done using special fasteners, after wrapping pipes and wires with polyethylene.
- The next important step is waterproofing the floor. It is best to use a coating type of insulation - a special bituminous mastic. It is applied to the prepared surface with a wide brush or roller with a long handle. It must be remembered that waterproofing is also applied along the perimeter of the walls to a height of about 10 cm from the floor. The bituminous waterproofing must dry completely, after which it is better to repeat more layers.
- Floor screed. Beacons must be installed before screed. For expanded clay screed, T-shaped beacons made of metal are used. Installation of beacons is carried out in the same way as for a conventional cement screed.
Next comes the floor screed. It can be dry or bulk. If the first option is chosen, you just need to fill in expanded clay to the desired thickness. After that, the floor itself is directly mounted.
The self-leveling screed is performed in several approaches: first, expanded clay is mixed with floor mortar and a layer is poured. In the second stage, a conventional concrete screed is poured, which is aligned with the beacons. The time for such a floor to dry completely is about a month.
Insulation of the floor with expanded clay is an effective method of thermal insulation not only in houses, but also in other rooms that are not intended for permanent residence.
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