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Floor Insulation

Energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions are prominent subjects amongst home-owners aiming to save money on their heating bills.

Insulating underneath your floorboards and filling gaps between floorboards and skirting boards can make a home much more efficient and help to reduce energy costs.


Fit Insulation under laminate or wooden flooring..

Insulation below your laminate flooring will keep your floors cosy..

Cold air can creep into the house through floorboards and through gaps in-between floor and skirting boards, creating draughts and speeding up the escape of warm air.

By reducing the ingress of this cold air with insulation, you can reduce the heat loss from the house, and therefore the amount of energy used to heat the property.

   

What is Floor Insulation?

There are different ways to install floor insulation, and much will depend on what type of floor you have. Older properties tend to have timber floors, while newer homes are more likely to have concrete flooring.

Timber floorboards can be lifted and mineral wool can be laid between the beams in properties with wooden floors; this is something you may be able to carry out yourself if you are confident with DIY.

Concrete floors in new homes will be laid with insulation, and any concrete floor to be replaced should be insulated when it is re-laid, to comply with building regulations.

Concrete floors are usually insulated with rigid insulation boards, which can be installed above or below the concrete. A sealant, such as silicon, is used to fill gaps between floorboards, or between the floor and skirting board to prevent draughts and heat loss.
 
 
  

How is Floor Insulation Installed?

 

– Underfloor Insulation

Wooden floors can be insulated fairly easily by lifting the floorboards and laying mineral wool insulation underneath. It should be laid between joists and if you do it yourself, take care not to block any airbricks which provide ventilation for the floorboards to stop them rotting.

Insulation boards can be laid underneath a concrete floor or above. When the concrete is on top it is able to absorb and store heat to help keep the house warm at night; and when the insulation is above, the house tends to heat up quicker in the morning.

The entire ground floor of a property should be insulated, but you do not need to insulate upstairs rooms, which are above other heated rooms. If you have any upstairs rooms, which are above un-heated rooms, such as a garage or workshop, they will benefit from insulation.

Floors can also be insulated from underneath if they are above a cellar or basement. Insulation can be fitted in-between the joists, but make sure that they are in good condition and there is no rotting of the joists or floorboards.

Plasterboard can then be fitted to the joists to add fire protection, and you can fix rigid insulating boards to the plasterboard for extra insulation if required.

 

– Over Floor Insulation

If a concrete floor is being insulated but it is not being replaced, you can lay rigid insulation boards directly on top of it, and then lay chipboard flooring over the insulation. One potential problem with this method is that it will raise the level of your floor, so skirting boards and doors may need to be altered to accommodate the insulation.

 

How much does it cost?

Floor insulation could cost as little as £100 if you install it yourself, but will cost approximately £770 if you have it fitted by a professional installer. Filling gaps between floorboards and skirting boards will cost around £20 for materials. You could save anything up to £85 per year by doing both, and around 340kg of carbon dioxide per year.

Place a layer of Insulating board between the concrete and laminate or wooden floorboards.

Say goodbye to cold floors with insulation.

 

How will I know what Type of Floor I Have?

If you can get safe access to the underneath of your house, you can have a look. If you have a cellar or a basement you should be able to see from the underside what type of flooring you have.

If you have a wooden floor you should be able to see the bottom of the floorboards and the beams supporting them.

If you can see any airbricks in the wall, which are below floor level, then you are also likely to have a timber floor, as they are built into the brickwork to provide ventilation to floorboards.

If you can’t get easy access to the underside of the house, the best way to check is to lift the corner of a carpet and have a look underneath.

 

What about Underfloor Heating Insulation?

Insulation is required with any type of underfloor heating, and it should be written into the plans when an underfloor heating system is fitted. Building regulations state that floors in new buildings should have a U value of no more than 0.25W/m2K, but that when underfloor heating is used the value should be no higher than 0.15W/m2K. Thermal insulation boards should be fitted below a heating system in the floor to prevent heat loss to the ground.

You can buy different types of floor insulation boards, which are specifically designed to work with certain types of flooring, such as concrete sub-floors or cement screeds.

If you are fitting a heating system yourself it is important to find out which type of insulation you should use, but if a professional is laying the underfloor heating for you, they should have planned for this already. Edge insulation also needs to be fitted around the perimeter of each room to prevent heat loss to the walls and doors of the house.

 

Summary

Laying floor insulation is a simple and effective way to improve the thermal efficiency of your home and to save money on your heating bills. You can quite easily lay under floor insulation and fill gaps between floorboards and skirting boards yourself and all of the floor insulation materials can be bought from most DIY shops.

It may prove more expensive if you use a professional installer to fit it for you, but could save up to £85 per year on your heating bills. If you intend to stay in your property long term, it will pay for itself over time.

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