Thermal Mass or Insulation??

Thermal Mass or Insulation??

Several years ago we decided the carpets were old enough to be replaced. Actually they were old enough to be replaced before that, but, we procrastinated.

After floor shopping, we found that high end wall-to-wall carpet was no where to be found in our town. I guess the high end stuff is no longer supplied because there are so many alternatives. The stuff we found would last 7 or so years. We started to look at alternatives.

We happened on a local shop that handled construction overruns and one of the things they carried was unfinished solid wood flooring. I mentioned unfinished because that will be another part of this project.

They happened to have a LARGE amount of  goncalo alves, also known as tigerwood, a very dense Brazilian wood. We were interested in this wood because, being dense, the wood was hard and therefore difficult to damage. Also the wife liked the color!!

After talking to a neighbor that installed hardwood flooring (over 10 years of experience) we purchased enough to do the whole house.

We hauled home a GIANT pallet with 1500 square feet on it, on a 20 foot trailer behind a 3/4 ton truck. Luckily the truck was not a 1/2 ton!

The installer mentioned how this wood was much heavier than oak or any wood he had ever installed.

Many people had told us the wood floors could make the house feel cold. Our experience has been quite the opposite.

Lets see, we removed several hundred pounds of carpet, we installed over 3500 pounds of wood flooring. The thermal mass of the home just went way up!!


Geek note, heat tends to rise, so the insulating value of the carpet, being on the floor, is minimal.

The thermal mass of the dense hardwood we added has greatly stabilized the temperature in our home.

A constant temperature is important to the comfort level of a home.

So in conclusion, we have found the thermal mass of the wood floors that we added has greatly increased the comfort level of our home even though we removed some insulation by removing the carpet.

One Response to “Thermal Mass or Insulation??”

  1. JR says:

    this is a good point to make about a temp regulator.

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