No way to get the stove to the first floor. The house is only 1100sqft.
The foil-faced, poly insulation I looked at online wasn't that expensive at all. I have no problem installing it, just still trying to see if it is going to be worth it. It looks as if the best application for the product is reflecting the heat back down like in an attic. I need to find someone (other than the manufacturer) who knows if the same insulation would make a big difference in a 1/2 height installation in my basement.
I'll know more tomorrow after the builder gets here. Like I said, he is swearing by the in-floor grates with low-voltage fans in them.