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My home is a ground-floor unit in a condominium. The floor is really quite cold and I'd like to do something about that. I saw in another question the suggestion to use Platon. Would I be able to put laminate on top of that? Or is there something else I should be using?

The floor is currently laminate, I'm not sure what's underneath but I suspect it's probably just the bare concrete, perhaps with a thin layer of foam, but I'm not really counting on it. Maybe laying down some thicker foam underneath would help?

Update: Some more details. I live on the west coast of British Columbia, near Vancouver. I'd like to avoid installing anything that requires power to operate, so some sort of passive solution would be best. I could probably spend up to $10k on the project, but of course less is better. My unit is about 1000 sq ft.

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what scale of Renovation you are willing to take / pay for? in what climate do you live? - describe it. –  Asaf Chertkoff Mar 27 '11 at 9:10

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you are on slab, the planton (or DeltaFL) should be a good option.

As I commented in that answer, I re-did my basement a couple years ago and used DeltaFL, and it's been great. It really does feel like a regular above-grade floor, and isn't cold at all. It's reasonably cheap to install, my cost (for the membrane and plywood) worked out to about $0.83/sqft, so at that price it would cost you $830 (plus some tapcons, tape, etc). This only gets you to a subfloor, so then of course you need to add on the finished floors.


If you're not on slab, and there is an unheated crawlspace or basement below you, and your floor is a wood floor, the best option is to insulate from underneath (something presumably your landlord should be doing).

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Greg, your comment and blog post sealed the deal for me. I heard about DeltaFL elsewhere, and the fact that it's available at Rona is nice too. It's good to hear that someone else has had success with it. I will probably go with this option and either put laminate directly on the DeltaFL or lay down some OSB first. Presumably the OSB option would be a bit sturdier and perhaps slightly better insulated. Sounds like the whole project could come out to under $3k at that rate. –  Kamil Kisiel Apr 28 '11 at 22:50

On the cheap end, I'd suggest laying down 2" XPS (The pink stuff), being sure to tape all the seams, and then laminate flooring on top of that. If you have heavy furniture, you may need to put plywood down prior to the laminate. If you can forgo the laminate, shag carpeting would probably offer more insulation on the feet.

On the 10k side, you may be able to get a heated floor as Asaf suggests, but that'd depend on all sorts of variables. The may electrrical heating systems you can tile on (typically for bathrooms) as well as hydronic systems that would require another layer of concrete on top of.

OH, and of course, the REALLY cheap option: invest in some really nice slippers. ;)

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It depends on what amount of money are you willing to put in, your desirable outcome, your climate, and many other variables but the bottom line is that in very cold climates, just isolating the floor wouldn't be enough. i recommend to consider sub-floor heating.

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I once owned a town house here in Massachusetts that was built on a slab. I ripped out the pink carpet in the living room downstairs and had oak hardwood floor installed over 1/2 plywood in its place. The result was actually quite comfortable, even at sub-zero temperatures (in F).

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