ICE Panel Construction,Pre-Construction Planning,

ICE Panel vs. Insulated Concrete Floor: Cost and Product Comparison

When constructing homes with a slab-on-grade design like our Homestead project, choosing the right floor system is crucial. In this blog, we will delve into the cost and product differences between two common methods: the ICE Panel floor and the Insulated Concrete floor.

ICE Panel Floor

The ICE Panel floor is an innovative solution that combines structure with insulation. It comprises a 7.5″ R31 ICE Panel with a 3/4″ plywood subfloor securely fastened on top. Installed over a pea gravel or sand base, this system offers remarkable advantages, particularly in terms of construction speed.

One of the primary benefits of the ICE Panel floor is its rapid installation, allowing framers to proceed with interior partition walls without the need to coordinate with various subcontractors and material deliveries associated with traditional concrete floors. The hard cost of the ICE Panel floor, excluding construction speed benefits, totals approximately $39,800.

Insulated Concrete Floor 

In contrast, the Insulated Concrete floor involves a 4″ EPS rigid insulation sheet laid over a gravel base, similar to the ICE Panel system. The subsequent 4″ thick concrete floor, reinforced with 10mm rebar in a 16″ grid pattern over the EPS insulation, results in a sturdy and well-insulated flooring system with an impressive R18 plus. This system also facilitates the cost-effective installation of hydronic floor heating lines within the concrete.

The overall cost of the Insulated Concrete floor system is $36,100, making it a competitive alternative to the ICE Panel floor.

In Summary

Both the ICE Panel floor and the Insulated Concrete floor have their unique advantages, catering to different goals and preferences.

The ICE Panel floor, with only a 10% premium over the Insulated Concrete floor, offers a compelling option for those seeking 72% more insulation. Its faster construction timeline and reduced organizational requirements make it an attractive choice.

However, if floor warming or heating is a priority, the Insulated Concrete floor becomes a more financially viable option. This system allows for a cost-effective installation of hydronic floor heating lines, leveraging the thermal mass of concrete to retain heat efficiently.

Conclusion

The decision between these two flooring systems depends on your specific project goals. The ICE Panel floor excels in insulation and construction efficiency, while the Insulated Concrete floor shines when prioritizing cost-effective floor heating solutions. Both systems offer high-quality solutions for home projects, and the choice comes down to your specific requirements and preferences.

*costs shown in the table above are specific to the Homestead project, designed & built in 2023/24
Published May 23, 2024

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