If you are doing a ‘flat reform’, the typical Valencian builder will expect you to lower the ceiling with escayola (plaster), to make it easy to rewire the flat. However Escayola does nothing to insulate the flat from the cold / heat or from noise. Also you lose much more headroom with Escayola. The cost effective alternative is pladur (plasterboard), fitted with a layer of roofing felt between the old ceiling and the plasterboard. Insulation against temperature changes is important in top floor flats and on walls that get hit by the afternoon sun. Sound insulation is also important. In the main bedroom I recommend sound insulation in the ceiling and on the wall where your bed head will be. When contracting for ‘pladur’, make sure that the contractor puts in the best / thickest roofing felt. If you do not include painting in the contract, make sure that the installer prepares the board for paint. Ie applies tapes to the joints and filler to the holes left by the nails.
Generally flats in Valencia are not well insulated for noise or for temperature. The solution is to insulate, especially if you are in a top floor. EXTERNAL WALLS - If a room is hit by the sun in the summer, you can reduce the temperature in the room by installing an extra layer of plasterboard with a layer of insulation . This will cost 3 cms of room space. It is even better if you can leave an air gap between the wall and plasterboard. CEILING INSULATION - Good insulation can reduce the temperature in a top floor room by 10%. In a middle floor it will minimize the noise from the neighbours above you. The best and most economical solution is as follows
- Fit insulation felt to the ceiling
- Install a metal frame with more felt, leaving an air gap
- Fit plain plasterboard to the frame.
- Finish the plasterboard with a skim coat of plaster for a perfect finish.
- Fit a ceiling fan for maximum comfort.