What exactly is floor insulation?
Before you choose which type of insulation to install under the floors in your home, you’ll need to consider various factors: the resistance of the insulation material to compression and the thermal resistance of the insulation material.
Floor insulation: resistance to compression
Choosing a material for your home floor insulation that’s resistant to compression is especially important if you’re installing the floor insulation from above. The insulation material needs to have an adequate level of resistance to compression to make sure that it doesn’t begin to sag over time.
Essentially, the floor insulation you choose will need to support the weight of the floor above it (whether the floor is made of floorboards, carpet, and so on). The insulation may also need to support the weight of a concrete layer above it which lies between the insulation layer and the floor itself.
What’s more, the insulation material will need to resist the weight of any furniture that’s placed on the floors of your home, as well as the weight of everyone that lives in the home!
Floor insulation: thermal resistance
The level of thermal energy that your floor insulation can effectively keep inside your home depends on a key factor: thermal resistance, or R.
In order to keep heat inside your home and stop it escaping through the floors, this R thermal resistance level should ideally be between 1.5 and 3m².K / W, if you’re installing floor insulation in a room that’s frequently used.
If you’re installing floor insulation under a crawl space or an unheated room, you’ll want the R thermal resistance level to be between 3.5 and 6m².K / W.
Thermal insulation: installing insulation from above the floor
Various types of insulation material are ideal for installing floor insulation from above the floors in your home. If you find it’s most convenient to put in your floor insulation in this way, mineral floor insulation materials are likely the best option for stopping heat from escaping through your floors at home.
Mineral floor insulation materials include glass wool, rock wool, perlite, vermiculite and expanded clay. All these insulation materials resist compression on the floor and are rot-proof.
Plant-based insulation materials are also ideal for installing floor insulation from above the floors in your home. These insulation options include wood or flax fibre.
You might also choose to install synthetic insulation from above the floors in your home, including expanded polystyrene (EPS). These are highly effective in stopping heat escaping through the floors in your home, increasing your energy efficiency at home and reducing your home heat bills.
Thermal insulation: installing insulation from below the floor
Many options suitable for installing floor insulation from above the floors in your home are also suitable for putting in insulation from below the floors in your home.
Which insulation should I choose for my floors at home?
About 7% of the thermal energy you use to heat your home escapes through its floors. This, in fact, is significantly less heat than escapes through the roof or walls of your home.
However, it is still very important to install insulation in the floors on your home in order to increase your energy efficiency and reduce your heat bills.
It’s possible to install floor insulation in both a new build home and a home that’s undergoing a renovation process. It’s also possible to install floor insulation whether you use an underfloor heat system in your home or not.
By installing floor insulation in your home, you’ll increase the levels of thermal comfort within the building and increase the general energy efficiency of the building by ensuring that less heat leaks out through the floors of the home.
Plus, this will mean that you can bring down your home heat bill, by using less heat to achieve the level of thermal comfort that you’re used to having in your home.
Fundamentally, the type of insulation that is best for your home will depend on the design and layout of the floors in your home. Is it a new build home? Are any crawl spaces in the home easy to access? These factors, among others, will affect which type of floor insulation is best for your home.
Insulation above a base concrete slab
If your home is based on a concrete slab foundation, you won’t be able to install the floor insulation from below, so opt for insulating from above.
Insulation for crawl spaces
It’s often most convenient to add insulation to these spaces from below. You can choose between mineral, plant-based or synthetic insulation options, depending on the insulation material that’s best suited to your home.
Once you’ve got effective floor insulation in your home, you might want to install a Netatmo Smart Thermostat to boost your home energy efficiency even more! Remotely program and adjust your home heat levels from your smartphone or tablet to optimise your heat bill and thermal comfort in the home.
How much does floor insulation cost?
This will depend on the surface areas that your floors cover, as well as the insulation material that you choose to install in the building.
Before you go ahead with your floor insulation project, it’s wise to compare quotes for the insulation work from various professional floor insulation companies.
Putting in floor insulation is a key step to stopping heat escaping from your home, improving your energy efficiency and bringing down your heat bills!