Floor insulation is an integral part of the renovation. People who have started repairs often ask themselves: what material is better to use for installation.
The construction market offers a wide range of raw materials that can be used for this task. Expanded clay is considered one of the most popular and affordable heaters. Let's try to figure out what this product is.
Features of the
Expanded clay has several distinctive features from other materials. It consists of natural raw materials: clay and shale. Therefore, it is an environmentally friendly raw material, absolutely harmless to health. It is made in a cylindrical furnace under the influence of high temperature.
The round shape of the material is due to the rotational movements in the oven. The material is light: it has a porous structure, so it is most convenient to use it in repair work.
Expanded clay can be used to insulate floors, walls and ceilings. It is also used in combination with other heaters (for example, with such as mineral wool).
Advantages and disadvantages
Each building material has its own pros and cons. Let's upset the advantages of using expanded clay, thanks to which it is especially popular:
- it is an environmentally friendly material, it does not emit harmful substances in the air;
- excellent thermal insulation and sound insulation is formed due to the porous structure of the building material;
- durability and frost resistance are characterized by high strength of clay raw materials, as well as good resistance to high and low temperatures;
- the fire resistance of the material will ensure you fire safety: it will not catch fire.
- the lightness of the material is a huge plus for wall and ceiling insulation;
- rounded shape facilitates the construction process;
- the cheapness of raw materials is a pleasant bonus for repair costs.
Despite the large number of advantages, expanded clay has a number of disadvantages:
- Hygroscopicity: granules absorb water well. After that, the material becomes heavy, which leads to deformation of the work done. It is not advisable to use expanded clay when repairing wet rooms.
- Brittleness of the material due to its porosity. Raw materials should be carefully laid: in case of damage, the number of positive properties decreases.
- Large layer required expanded clay for high-quality thermal insulation.
Expanded clay is produced in the form of granules, which differ from each other in their size.
Depending on what size the original granules are involved in production, several varieties are distinguished:
- expanded clay sand - fine-grained material;
- expanded clay crushed stone - medium fraction material;
- expanded clay gravel - coarse material.
All of these types are made using the same technology, but they are used for different types of construction work. Expanded clay sand is made by crushing larger granules. Particle sizes range from 1 to 5 mm. It is used as a grout filler. It is also used in a mixture with gravel and crushed stone to fill empty spaces.
Expanded clay crushed stone does not have a round shape, it is more angular. This material is formed by crushing large pieces. It does not have a specific size, rather it is medium-sized granules between sand and gravel.It is used as the main backfill layer.
Expanded clay gravel has dimensions from 5 to 50 mm, it is distinguished by an oval and round shape, it is the most demanded material for construction work. It is mainly used for floor insulation.
Which is better?
Experienced builders recommend using a mixture of all types of expanded clay. Particles of different sizes are able to fill the empty space between the granules, which will further improve the quality of the work done… Depending on the object of work (for example, in a house or apartment), they choose which type of expanded clay is better to use.
Each faction has an advantage in a specific use case. For a dry screed, it is best to use fine-grained expanded clay… The sand will create a dense layer up to 5 cm thick.
For expanded clay concrete screed, coarse-grained material (for example, crushed stone) is used.
There are many options for using expanded clay, for example:
- You can use this building material under the screed. The presence of a porous structure characterizes the good thermal insulation properties of the floor. You can use it to insulate the floor in a wooden, stone private house, in the insulation of a loggia, attic and balcony.
- Expanded clay is used to fill the foundation of the house and finish the basement to insulate the first floor and form a blind area around the house.
- With the help of expanded clay fractions, you can insulate a stone basement, walls, chimney, building ceilings, a steam room.
- Expanded clay mixtures are used to create concrete blocks that are able to hold onto screw piles. And they also use it for timber frame overlap.
- This material is used as a cushion for the subfloor.
- To preserve heat, communication and water pipes are insulated with expanded clay raw materials.
- At the dacha, the use of expanded clay is especially important. You can form paths, insulate a room built in half a block, decorate flower beds and lawns.
How to calculate?
For floor insulation, a layer of expanded clay 15-20 cm thick is often used. To calculate the amount of material required, use the Teremok program. It helps to automatically perform accurate calculations, taking into account the rules and regulations, and is optimally easy to use. You only need to enter the parameters of the object of work and the material that you will use.
How to insulate?
There are several ways to insulate the floor:
- dry insulation (with this method, the material is poured in its original form);
- wet styling (characterized by mixing concrete and expanded clay);
- combined method (the first layer is covered with dry material, after which a mixture of concrete and expanded clay is poured).
To insulate a wooden floor, it is important to use the following sequence of steps:
- dismantling the floor covering;
- surface preparation;
- installation of rails;
- backfill of expanded clay;
- installation of flooring.
To begin with, dismantle the top layer to the level of the lag. The boards are removed and taken out of the room. After that, the logs are carefully inspected and measured by their level. Rotten, bent or deformed beams are replaced with new ones… If possible, you can install new ones.
The next step is surface preparation. Clean it from debris and examine it.
If you find small cracks, it is recommended to rub them over. If there are deep cracks, it is important to cover them up with cement mortar or seal them up with construction foam.
Inspect and work out the corners and joints. After that, for better adhesion to the surface of the waterproofing material, you need to use a primer. Further, the surface is covered with sand or treated with coating waterproofing materials (polymer waterproofing mastic, cement-bitumen composition, bitumen-polymer mixture, liquid rubber, roll materials).
To waterproof, you need a film that needs to be spread so that it covers the entire floor. It is important to fix the lags with a construction stapler or tape. With this it is important that the film fits snugly against the bars and grooves from below… If you have dismantled the blocks, the next step is to install new rails. New logs are set in level and strengthened with corners, which are screwed in with screws. New slats are installed on the prepared surface.
Next, expanded clay is poured, mixing small granules with large ones. It is recommended to lay the backfill from the walls from right to left. It is important to fill all the space so that there are no voids left..
The raw material layer must be even. For this, beacons are installed, which are guided by. After filling, the material is carefully tamped, leaving the particles intact.
A layer of expanded clay is covered with a waterproofing film, which is reinforced with a stapler and tape. The membrane can be diffusion, super diffusion, metallized, waterproofing. For floor insulation, experienced builders advise purchasing a waterproofing film, since it compensates for the main disadvantage of expanded clay, it is similar to parchment.
A subfloor made of plywood is laid on the protruding insulation. After that, the finishing flooring is installed. To insulate the floor under the concrete base, the same algorithm is followed, but the following steps are added: reinforcement and screed.
Reinforcement - the installation of a metal mesh with large cells, which is laid on the insulation. It has important properties: increasing the strength of the screed, protecting against cracks, increasing the service life, and preventing subsidence. To reinforce the screed, you can use a metal mesh, polymer, fiberglass or fiberglass. The most durable of these is the metal mesh.
Using a screed, the surface is compacted and leveled. The mortar consists of sifted sand, cement and water. Sand and cement are taken in a 3: 1 ratio, kneaded until a thick homogeneous mass is formed.
You can make expanded clay concrete screed. Most often it is used when it is necessary to raise the floor level or when the rough surface is uneven.
The mixture is prepared from sand, cement, expanded clay in a ratio of 1: 2: 4, and water is poured in until the desired consistency of the solution is formed. The screed should dry for about a month.
According to the reviews of Internet users, we can conclude that expanded clay is the No.1 material for warming and leveling the floor. Everyone notes only the positive properties of this building raw material, it is advised to use it in repair work.
Only a few tell about bad experiences, who, most likely, did not comply with one important requirement - waterproofing.
For information on how to insulate the floor with expanded clay, see the next video.