Styrofoam

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Will Carpet Stifle a Radiant Slab?

Q. I'm finishing a basement room for customers who want to put carpet over the radiant slab. I'm concerned the carpet will insulate off some of the heat, but I can't talk them out of it. The slab is 4 to 5 inches thick, and the 1/2-inch PEX tubing is laid out on 12-inch centers, with 11/2 inches of styrofoam insulation under the slab and around its edges. The slab is at least 5 feet below grade; local frost depth is 48 inches. Is there a type of carpet and pad that would allow more heat to radiate into the room? Will the carpet cause heat to be lost into the ground? Read more

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Q&A: Rigid Foam Under Scissors Trusses

Q: We’re considering installing a layer of 1-inch rigid foam insulation on the underside of a cathedral ceiling framed with scissor trusses. Is the foam a vapor barrier, or will we need to install a poly vapor barrier on the interior side of the foam? Will the foam cause problems when it comes time to finish the drywall? Read more

Q&A: Insulated Wood Floor Over Concrete
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Q&A: Insulated Wood Floor Over Concrete

Q: We are looking for a detail for laying a wood floor over a previously... Read more

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Ten Tough Energy Questions

Puzzled by conflicting energy advice? We asked our panel experts to help out by summarizing the latest thinking on a number of thorny issues. Read more

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Ten Tough Energy Questions

Puzzled by conflicting energy advice? We asked our panel experts to help out by summarizing the latest thinking on a number of thorny issues. Read more

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High Performance Wall Systems

How can you get top energy performance without blowing the budget? Several builders reveal their latest answers to this perennial question. Read more

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Letters
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Building With Style: Energy-Detail Dilemmas
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