Your home can lose heat through the floors, walls, roof and windows. There are ways to prevent or reduce this heat loss, and improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Under floor insulation can reduce the amount of heat lost through the floors of your home. There are several methods of effective floor insulation, from wooden suspended floors to solid floors. The Floor and wall type determines the type of floor insulation you will need to achieve warm feet. It is important to choose the right installation for the floors of your home. This will help minimise thermal bridging of the solid building elements from the inside to the outside of the structure and maximise the U-Value rating.
Floor insulation can be a simple improvement to make to your home. The benefits of a simple improvement like floor insulation can be vast, often evident in the first few hours after completion. It is common for homes to lack insulation in these areas, even if the rest of the home is well insulated. This ensures minimal heat loss and reduced energy consumption.
What kind of floor do you have?
– Suspended Solid Floor Structure – Block and Beam?
– Solid Floor Structure – Concrete Slab?
– Suspended Timber Structure – iJoists or Open metal webs?
The easiest way to determine the type of floor, if you have a basement or cellar the structure of the floor should be clearly visible from beneath. Otherwise, it will be necessary to expose the floor by removing a small area of floor covering for inspection.
– Homeowners responsibility to make sure that any changes to the home are fully compliant.
– When adding extra insulation, key issues to be considered are:
1. does the ground floor still meet the minimum room heights?
2. Have the minimum U-values (thermal performance) been achieved?
3. Have necessary steps been taken to minimise the risk of fire?
– Consult the Building Control Officer at your local council before carrying out the work.
Suspended Timber Floor Insulation
– Address any issues with damp, rot or infestation.
– Ensure that the new insulation does not block any ventilation openings like air bricks.
– Solid insulation board or rolls of mineral fibre should be fitted between the flooring joists.
– If the floor is above an unheated cellar or basement the insulation must fit tightly between the joists
– Secure in place with netting if required.
– Plasterboard should then be fixed to the ceiling of the basement to provide fire resistance.
– If the floor is not accessible from below, removal of the floorboards will be required to fit the insulation.
Suspended Solid/Solid Floor Insulation
– Upgrading any floor insulation will require compliance with Building Regulations.
– Insulation can be added over the existing concrete slab or underneath a new one.
– Where insulation is placed above the slab, rooms heat up far quicker
– High performance rigid insulation boards provide the best thermal performance at any given thickness.
– Limiting the thickness of your insulation minimises costly alterations to door openings, stairs and other fixtures.
– Lay a damp-proof membrane underneath the insulation ensuring to overlap DPC in the external walls).
– Leave clearance for expansion around the edges of each room.
– Insulating under the concrete slab can help regulate the temperature and prevent over-heating in South facing rooms.
– Damp proof membrane can be placed above or below the concrete slab, depending on the chosen product.
– If the membrane is placed above the slab an additional membrane may be required to protect the insulation from ground contaminants.
– Timber floor coverings should be left in the room to acclimatise.to prevent it from warping.