Breathable Flooring

The fundamental issue facing the owners of older  properties is how to bring them up to modern  standards with regard to heating, insulation, air-tightness and freedom from damp. Homes and  workplaces need to be functional spaces where  people can live and work comfortably. Increasingly,  they also need to be energy efficient, satisfying the  ever-growing demand for carbon reduction while  retaining their distinctive character

Flags on LimecreteToday’s Building Regulations require the solid floors  of most buildings to have high levels of insulation and  high compressive strength as well as impermeable  barriers to prevent moisture migrating through the  floor into the room. The Building Regulations are  absolute for new dwellings and are the goal for  existing traditional buildings, but the regulations can  be a little more flexible for old buildings if there are  good reasons not to conform.

Where a new floor slab is to be created, one option is  to use a slab based on lime (Limecrete or GlassCrete) which is breathable, rather than OPC (Ordinary Portland Cement), which is virtually  impermeable. A lime floor can be designed to  meet modern insulation requirements and can  incorporate under-floor heating (UFH). It may be  possible in some cases to re-lay the original surface on  top of the new slab if desired, although this can be  difficult to achieve successfully and requires a  methodical approach if the character of the floor is  not to be altered.

Preventing ground water penetration requires some  form of capillary break. This can be achieved using an impermeable damp-proof membrane (DPM) as is  common in the US and would usually include petro-chemical based insulation. An arguably better  approach is to use recycled foam glass (GlassCrete) or expanded  clay aggregate (Limecrete) insulation as loose-lay insulation.  Being made from re-cycled glass and clay, respectively, these are  more durable and widely perceived to be more  environmentally friendly than  insulation based on  petro-chemicals. Furthermore, due mainly to the  open pore structure of these aggregates, they have  low capillary attraction to moisture.

This website details the buildup of the various lime flooring options available. Please use the menu above to navigate these.