The Complete Guide To Floor Insulation

From the types of materials to installation, learn the ins and outs of floor insulation in our guide.
Written By: David White | Updated:
Floor Insulation
David White/DIY Works

Installing or renewing floor insulation is a simple yet highly effective way to keep your home warm and reduce energy bills. Depending upon the type of floor you intend on insulating will determine the method of insulating it. Whether you have a suspended wooden floor or a concrete floor, insulating it is always recommended where possible.

What’s great about installing floor insulation is that you can easily do it yourself if you want to. The only tricky part of the process is lifting the floorboards, but apart from that, it’s relatively straightforward to install.

How Important Is Insulating The Floor

Although insulation mainly focuses on exterior walls and attics, installing floor insulation has many benefits. Some of the potential advantages can include:

  • Reduces energy bills by up to £60 (according to the Energy Saving Trust)
  • Eliminates drafts via gaps in the floor and ground
  • Helps to keep the pipes from freezing
  • Prevents heat loss by retaining heat
  • Creates a vapour barrier and reduces moisture
  • It helps control the interior temperature during the warm summer months

Are There Any Drawbacks?

There are some minor drawbacks to installing floor insulation because it will involve removing carpets and floorboards. Not only does this mean you will need to remove all your furnishing in the room, but it may unleash a “can of worms”. For example, you may lift the carpet and underlay and then notice that the floorboards are rotten and need replacing.

Acoustic or Thermal Properties

When it comes to choosing between the different types of insulation, you have the option of acoustic or thermal insulation. Although both provide thermal qualities, acoustic insulation is far denser, which gives it better soundproofing properties.

This is certainly something to consider before purchasing all the insulation because soundproofing your home is also a big requirement for many homeowners.

How To Install Floor Insulation

For this particular example, we are installing floor insulation to a wooden suspended floor. If you are installing insulation to a concrete floor, there are further steps that you need to take that may require a professional.

To begin installing floor insulation, it’s advised that you wear a face mask and protective glasses. As you rip or cut the insulation, all of the fibres go into the air, and it’s not something you’d want to inhale.

Once you are set and ready, below are the steps required to install floor insulation:

  1. Remove any furnishing in the room.
  2. Roll back any carpet that’s laid on top of the floorboards.
  3. Assess the condition of the floorboards and replace any if necessary.
  4. Remove old insulation if there is any currently installed.
  5. Sweep up and vacuum any dirt and debris under the floorboards.
  6. Measure and then cut the insulation board or roll to size.
  7. Fit the insulation snugly between the joists.
  8. Reinstall the floorboards and carpet.
How To Install Floor Insulation

David White/DIY Works

Installing floor insulation really is quite simple, and as mentioned above, the main task is lifting the floorboards. Below are some before and after photos on Instagram of a floor insulation project that we recently installed on a second floor.

Insulating Your Home Further

As well as insulating your floor, you can go a step further to keep your home warm with our tips below:

  • Placing thick rugs or mats on the floor
  • Using draft stoppers along doors and windows to reduce heat loss
  • Seal any cracks or gaps with a suitable caulk
  • Install insulated curtains
  • Upgrade your windows and doors with an energy-efficient alternative

Conclusion

Whether you are feeling the cold or simply taking on a house renovation, floor insulation is definitely a worthwhile investment. Although the materials have an upfront cost, it will pay for itself over the years. It’s also relatively simple to install for anyone looking to take on an easy DIY project in their spare time. You may even want to go a step further and install underfloor heating in your home, which can be used alongside floor insulation.

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