Q&A OF THE WEEK: “Where Can I Find All-Foam Basement Subfloor Panels?”

Q: Where can I find the Insul-Armor all-foam subfloor panels you mentioned in a video and on your website? I’m finishing my basement and want to do the floor as well as possible. Can these be used under any kind of flooring?

These are some of the Insul-Armor subfloor panels I tested at my own place. Except for a few things, these are the nicest subfloor panels I’ve seen for several reasons.

A: Insul-Armor is the best basement subfloor panel I’ve seen so far (for most situations) and I make it my business to keep on top of these things. Products for basement finishing in general are constantly improving, and the light weight, high insulation value and easy cutting options of Insul-Armor are impressive. Conventional wood-and-plastic subfloor panels work well, but Insul-Armor’s light weight is not to be dismissed. Instead of having to haul potentially thousands of pounds of conventional panels downstairs, you’re looking at less than 1/10th the weight for Insul-Armor.

The all-foam construction also means there’s no organic material to feed mold in the event of some kind of moisture leak, and these foam panels are twice as large as the regular type. The only drawback with Insul-Armor is the fact that it can’t be used on its own under carpet. The product is for use under hard flooring such as laminate or luxury vinyl plank or tile. If you do want to use Insul-Armor under carpet you’ll need to put down some kind of plywood subfloor on top to prevent the foam from squishing under foot with carpet.  If you have your heart set on carpet, you’d probably be better off using one of the more traditional wood-and-plastic subfloor panels because it needs no additional strength. Insul-Armor is relatively new, so while it is available in different places,  do some online searching to determine local options.

Are you skeptical, thinking that how could foam support any kind of load without compressing over time? Well, it can and easily. In tests I’ve run the compressive strength of the foam is more than enough to support any kind of residential loads as long as something hard is on top of the panels to spread the load. Laminate and even luxury vinyl plank and tile work well over Insul-Armor.

I made the Insul-Armor video below a while back as I was doing research for my popular online basement finishing course. Like I said, I’m impressed.

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Just want to say how much I enjoy your Saturday morning newsletters and website. The content is always excellent... - FL

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