Floor insulation entails adding an insulating material on the floor to reduce the amount of heat that escapes from the house through the floor into the ground. Heat lost through the floor is said to be nearly 15%. Thus, insulating the floor will reduce draughts.
You can install floor insulation when constructing a new house or during the renovation. The insulating material will contribute to a significant saving on your overall heating bill and will make you home comfortable. It will help you to walk on the floor barefooted due to improved temperature.
The article will provide you with in-depth information about floor insulation.
Most homes have their floors made of concrete planks, slab or block, and beam. You can insulate a concrete ground floor by laying rigid insulation on top of it. On the other hand, a floor made of timber can be insulated by spreading a mineral wool insulation underneath it.
Alternatively, you can spray foam insulation on the underside of the floorboard without removing it with the use of a robotic device that is remotely operated.
The foam will expand and fill the gaps and still retain the required ventilation space underneath. The technique is known to reduce heat loss through the floor by 90%. Thus this type of floor insulation lowers carbon emissions and savings on energy cost.
Floor insulation provides you with a better living environment. For instance, an average comfortable temperature is about 20°C, but the floor of a non-insulated floor is roughly 11°C. Thus, you may not enjoy walking around the house barefooted. Further, most people are not comfortable living in a house that has a temperature below 14°C.
On the other hand, an insulated floor has an improved temperature of 20-21°C, which is the ideal temperature for most people.
Types of Floor Insulation
There are different floor insulation materials with different working methods and properties. They include;
The method has the best lambda value. Polyurethane spray is an insulation material that has a good seal that eliminates all holes and irregularities. You can apply polyurethane spray by yourself since its quick activity, and the material allows you to determine the thickness that you want. On the other hand, this material is more costly than its other options.
This type of insulation uses expanded polystyrene sheets (EPS), which an excellent insulation material. You can install the sheets quickly, and their insulation value is higher. However, you have to fix these boards have on an even ground to prevent the floor from collapsing or cracking. Additionally, these insulation boards are pressure-resistant.
It’s also known as insulating concrete and is made from a mixture of the insulation material or polystyrene granules and cement. You need to combine this insulation material with another type to get good value.
Construction of floor insulation
It’s essential to have a correct structure and material before embarking on this kind of insulation. Otherwise, you won’t enjoy the new floor as expected. The following is the procedure for installing floor insulation.
The Concrete Slab:
The first layer of this floor should be a reinforced concrete slab of roughly 100 mm. Such a qualitative floor will prevent dampness, keep vermin away from destroying the insulation, and stabilize the floor.
The second layer is made of foil that that is laid on the concrete directly to prevent damp. You can now apply the insulation on this foil and seal the edges using edge insulation.
Pipes and Screed:
You can place floor heating pipes on top of the insulation and complete it with a sheet of Screed.
Cover the Screed with a preferred floor type.
Benefits of Floor Insulation
1. Although floor insulation is costly because you have to fill the gaps between the floor and the skirting boards. However, you will be able to recouple the amount spent on this project by the reduced energy bills.
2. Insulation reduces carbon footprint by nearly 240kg annually.
3. Your house will be more comfortable when insulated than before because insulation lowers the movement of heat through the floor. Thus, you will have warmer winter and colder summer seasons.
Limitations of Floor Insulation
1. Floor insulation on an existing house is tiring because you will be required to move the floorboards and carpets.
2. The cost of insulation is likely to rise when you discover that some of the floorboards are rotten and need to be replaced.
Tips for Floor Insulation
1. Seal all gaps that exist between the floor and the skirting board to eliminate draught. This should be done before laying a carpet.
2. Spread the insulation material evenly and avoid squashing because it will reduce its effectiveness.
3. Install underfloor heating (UFH) for more energy efficiency and comfort, especially when combined with solid floors. It enhances the room layout by making it more flexible and is ideal for homeowners that want to make their homes sustainable because it works well with renewable heating sources.
4. Lifting an existing floor will compromise the equilibrium of the structure, and the design or appearance is likely to change after the floor insulation construction.
5. Topping with impermeable layers will inhibit the breathing ability of a solid floor.
6. Leave the external air vents placed under the suspended floor open to allow the free movement of air. This will prevent decay of the timber and damp. The timber may be rot due to dampness, fungal attack, and beetle infestation.
7. You should number the flagstones, floorboards, tiles, and bricks when lifting them temporarily.
Floor insulation will make you comfortable during winter and summer months as well as reduce the amount of heat your house loses through the floor.
Professionals do most of the home insulation with the required skills, equipment, and experience. However, you can seal gaps that may occur between skirting boards and floors to reduce draughts; however, lifting the floorboards and fitting insulation as well as replacing the boards requires a professional.