The Ultimate Guide to Floor Insulation
When it comes to underfloor insulation, a variety of materials can be used, but the main types of insulants used are spray foam, glass wool and fibreglass. Floor insulation is typically installed before the floor goes down, but that’s not to say it can’t be installed retrospectively.
Our guide covers everything you need to know about this kind of insulation, including what is floor insulation, and how it can enhance your home.
What is Floor Insulation?
Floor insulation is probably not as well-known or popular as its wall or roof counterparts, but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective.
In fact, there’s a myriad of reasons why you should insulate beneath your floorboards. From saving money to increasing the safety of your home, the advantages of floor insulation are not to be overlooked - but they’ll be plenty more on that later.
How Does Floor Insulation Work?
The way underfloor insulation works is surprisingly simple, yet incredibly effective. Like all forms of home insulation, the aim of underfloor insulation is to keep your house warmer in the winter, and cooler in the summer. It does so by creating a barrier that shields your property from the external air that flows beneath it.
This protective barrier stops unwanted air from entering your home and effecting the temperature of it. Given that many wooden floors have tiny air gaps, that allow outside air to creep in, floor insulation can be extremely effective at stopping this from happening.
You can use pre-cut, custom fitted, or spray foam insulation to insulate your home. However, the type of floor you have will usually dictate what kind of insulation you can use here.
Additionally, if you're installing the floor insulation before the floor has been laid, or if a new floor is being laid, then there will be more insulation options for you to choose from.
Underfloor Insulation vs. Underfloor Heating
Underfloor insulation and underfloor heating can often be confused, but they have two entirely different functions.
Underfloor insulation serves to utilise the heat you already have in your home. Floor insulation can reduce the heat loss in the home, however, it cannot create heat.
Whereas underfloor heating is a form of heating; it serves to add heat into your home.
Whilst underfloor insulation and heating have two completely different roles, they can still work in tandem. In fact, if you’re thinking about getting underfloor heating, you would need to consider what kind of underfloor insulation you have, if any.
This is because you will need to ensure that the heat generated by the underfloor heating travels upwards, into the room, and underfloor insulation will help with this.
The Benefits of Underfloor Insulation
Now we know what floor insulation is and how it works, let's take a look at the importance of it. As we briefly mentioned earlier, floor insulation brings with it an abundance of advantages, that can not only improve your living space, but your quality of life.
So, let’s take at each one in a little more detail:
Prevent Heat Loss
Did you know that your home loses an estimated 15% of heat through the floor? This is on average, and could be more if your home is older. It’s true - that’s how much heat you could be losing if your floor isn't optimised for heat loss.
Floor insulation allows you to retain heat better, and in turn reduces your reliance on heating appliances such as radiators. This is because the insulation that fills the gaps between the floorboards has been designed to impede temperature change.
So, as a result of floor insulation, your home will be better equipped to regulate its own temperature, keeping you warm on those cold nights and cool on those hot days.
The prevention of heat loss is a benefit in itself. However, it also leads to another valuable benefit. The more energy efficient your home, the less energy it will need to use. This means you are likely to see a reduction in your monthly energy bills, too.
It’s estimated that floor insulation can save you roughly £60 per year on your energy bills - though this can vary depending on the size of your home.
Relying less on heating appliances is good news for our planet, too. As a result, your house will produce less carbon emissions each year. In fact, depending on the type of property you own, you could reduce your carbon output by as much as 310 kg per year.
This reduction in C02 emissions will contribute greatly to the sustainability and eco-friendliness of your property. Lots of homes are now making a conscious effort to become more environmentally friendly, and floor insulation is another method that can support this.
Pipes are always at risk of freezing, however, with sufficient floor insulation you can reduce the risk of this considerably. If your pipes do freeze, it can be a very costly affair to resolve, and so underfloor insulation can help you avoid this unnecessary cost.
Additionally, if your home is subject to very cold winters then your pipes are at even more risk, so floor insulation can provide you with that extra piece of mind you need.
This benefit is particularly significant for homes that are raised above the ground, or have crawlspaces, as these areas are more susceptible to drafts. However, you can break up these drafts with effective use of floor insulation.
Spray foam insulation is one of the most efficient methods of eliminating drafts. As a result, you can expect a cosier living space that’s free from cold spots and drafts.
When we talk about insulation, we often talk about its ability to keep you warm when it’s cold outside. However, floor insulation can also help you stay cool when it’s hot outside.
When it’s hot outside, it’s common for that hot air to build up underneath your floor. This can then rise up through the floorboards, and make your house even hotter. However, if the floor is insulated, this can be controlled, regulated and minimised.
Reduce Moisture & Create a Vapour Barrier
Moisture build up is especially prevalent in wooden floors. But, having a layer of insulation between your floors can create a vapour barrier, which, in turn, will prevent moisture from making its way in and ruining your wooden floors.
It can be a good idea to inspect your floors for signs of moisture build up. Additionally, if you have crawl spaces and/or basements, creating this vapour barrier will also aid these two areas. If you find you often need to use a dehumidifier in your basement, then it may be wise to consider a layer of floor insulation.
Is Floor Insulation Necessary?
Whilst it’s true that floor insulation isn’t deemed as important as roof or wall insulation, that’s not to say it isn’t necessary. As we’ve seen, underfloor insulation can bring about a number of benefits to your home, and go a long way to create a cosy and comfortable living space, that’s free from draughts.
However, your decision as to whether or not to invest in floor insulation may be based on a number of factors, including, your current set up/ flooring, the size of your home, and your location.
For example, if you live in a colder part of the country that’s subject to harsh winters, your pipes are at greater risk of bursting. As such, floor insulation is an incredibly viable option.
Start Your Floor Insulation Journey with EcoSpray-Foam Systems!
Here at EcoSpray-Foam, we have over 20 years experience in both residential and commercial insulation applications. Our experts will be more than happy to assess your home to find out if you would benefit from floor insulation.
We’ve successfully completed insulation project across the UK, from London to Manchester, and beyond. No project is too big or too small for us, and take pride in offering a high-quality insulation service.