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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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  1.  
    Has anyone fitted insulation below or behind their kitchen cabinets?

    What kind of insulation, how thick, did it help?

    The kitchen in the old house we just bought has 3 solid external walls and a solid floor without obvious insulation. It has a walk-in U layout with fitted cabinets against all the external walls. It's bl**day cold and the backs of the cupboards have been mouldy in the past.

    EWI will happen sometime, but not before this winter, but digging the floor up to insulate will not happen anytime soon until the kitchen needs replacing.

    I am thinking about putting insulation in the void beneath the cabinets. This will increase the path length for heat to flow through the floor to the outside air.

    I'm also considering working some insulation into the void between the back of each cabinet and the wall. Needs some thoughts about moisture.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2019
     
    Donโ€™t do it! If you already get condensation and mould that will happen behind or under the insulation
  2.  
    Thanks Tony, we had that when we insulated with wool under a bath in a previous place, but we replaced the wool with offcuts of foil faced PIR which worked fine.
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2019
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeeninsulation in the void beneath the cabinets


    Yes, but perhaps leave an air grille or whatever.
    Otherwise, I was wondering, could you not simply fit a piece of 20mm EPS inside each cupboard ?

    gg
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2019
     
    Posted By: gyrogearOtherwise, I was wondering, could you not simply fit a piece of 20mm EPS inside each cupboard ?

    Eh, where? He wants to insulate the floor of the cabinets. He won't want soft EPS on the floor of the cupboards, I think?
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2019
     
    well, I was actually thinking of the BACKS of the cupboards, force-fitted inside-like...

    I should of said...

    gg
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2019
     
    I first thought of the backs, but he did clearly say underneath!
  3.  
    Just returned to this job while kids are out of the house.

    I'm fitting 50mm foil PIR into the void behind each kitchen cupboard, against the wall. To do this without dismantling the kitchen, I am scoring into one face of each PIR board, so the board can bend to slide under the cupboard and then bend up the wall behind it. The PIR is fixed tight against the wall leaving about 25mm air gap between the PIR and the back of the cabinet. Then I'm laying more PIR on the floor underneath the cupboard, again with an air gap between PIR and cupboard floor.

    Obstacles include all the legs of the cabinets, which mean every sheet has to be cut into pieces that will fit through between legs. Some pipes run under the cupboards and were roughly boxed in, I have to cut out this boxing using a recip saw at arm's length under the cupboards. Prodding sticks help for positioning the insulation. There is no space to insulate behind the cooker safely.

    As most of the heat loss through the floor is through the edges, I calculate that insulating under the cupboards will reduce the average U value of the floor from 0.9 to 0.5W/m2K.

    I found the fitters had left a 10mm gap around the sink waste pipe, invisible behind the cabinet, they thought. Filled this gap with foam and the kitchen is warmer already.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeOct 13th 2020
     
    Well done, need to monitor damp/mould/condensation between the wall and pir

    Alway love draughtbusting ๐Ÿ™‚
    • CommentAuthorGreenPaddy
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2020
     
    Maybe too late, but to save cutting around all the cabinet legs, the legs can be adjusted to give you the 50mm space to slide the insulation intact under the whole lot. Raising a couple of legs at a time shouldn't be a problem, or chock under the carcasses temporarily, till insulation in place. Slide some bits of plywood on top of the insulation to stop the feet compressing.

    I've done the leg raising thing before (sounds like a dog's walkies activity :shamed:) so it can be done. If there isn't sufficient threat left on the screwed adjusters, you can remove the leg from the fixing ring on the u/side of the cabinet (just pulls out), cut a bit off the leg where it pushed into the fixing ring, and re-insert.
  4.  
    Thanks GP, I've done that too! (On one occasion I jacked up a bathroom cabinet with the wheel jack from my car, took all its legs off, to get at a u-bend....)

    This time the legs were not cooperating, this design had been screwed to the base of the cabinets and wouldn't come off.
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