The best way to make your home more cost- and energy-efficient is by making sure your floors are thoroughly insulated. This is especially important for older homes with suspended timber floors that are prone to rotting and moisture damage due to poor or no insulation at all.
Back in the past, wood floors used to be laid directly on the surface below, which was the ground. However, this led to serious damage to the floorboards that often got rotten, damp, or expanded due to the impact of moisture. In order to prevent that, suspended wooden floors were introduced. What a suspended timber floor means is when the floorboards are raised above the soil and the ground. This creates a ventilated void below the flooring construction that prevents the moisture from affecting the floorboards and damaging them. The risk of condensation is minimised that way. However, despite the fact that floorboards were protected from moisture, the new way of laying them made the floors draughty. As a result, a suspended timber floor loses the majority of the heated air in the room in wintertime, significantly more than the walls, for example. Here is how the need for additional insulation of the floor occurred.
As a proper solution for airborne and impact noise, soundproofing of the floors can work either for new floors that are still not laid, which is the easier and better option, but also for already existing floors. The latter also ensures perfect results when the job is handled by experienced and knowledgeable professionals like all members of our company. However, keep in mind that it is a bit more complex and takes more time, energy, hard work, and money, as the floorboards of the existing floor have to be lifted first, then the soundproofing insulation material is installed, and finally, the floorboards have to be fixed down to their places.
There are also different types of soundproofing underlays you can choose from. These are usually picked based on the nature of the noise issue, the type of flooring, and, of course, the budget you work with. If you want to make sure you are selecting the right types of soundproofing underlay for your project, make sure to discuss that topic with a reliable and knowledgeable professional flooring team before you make a purchase.
Underfloor insulation is essential if you want to keep your home warm and energy-efficient. Since suspended hardwood floors are so draughty, you lose a big portion of the heated air in the room through the floor. Especially considering the fact that over time, gaps tend to appear in between the floorboards, which leads to an even bigger loss of energy and heated air. The majority of the suspended floors nowadays are laid on top of timber floor joists. Therefore, liners are used and laid below the floor as a way to minimise the draughts and increase the insulation of the floor. The truth is, these liners are simply not enough to do a perfect job. Since the edges of the floor are typically not taped, the floor is not airtight and still not as cost- and energy-efficient as it could be.
The best solution is the installation of underfloor insulation. There are many benefits your home can experience from high-quality, well-installed underfloor insulation. The main reason why you would like to choose it is to make sure your home will heat up quicker in wintertime and it will lose the heat significantly slower. This means you will have toasty warm feet and enjoy comfort, cosiness, and warmth in the wintertime, while your heating bills are not breaking the bank. In addition, an underfloor insulation underlayment has also hygroscopic properties, which means it also works as a moisture barrier by absorbing some of the water vapour within the property and especially from the subfloor or joists and preventing moisture damage to the floorboards.
Here are a few terms you will stumble upon when reading and shopping for underfloor insulation and it will be helpful if you understand what do they mean, so you can make the best choice for your project.
This type of floor insulation is designed to absorb moisture and water vapour from the indoor air easily when the humidity indoors is increased. Respectively, it releases the water vapour slowly, once the indoor humidity levels drop.
This type of floor insulation is designed to be resistant to moisture and does not absorb or release water vapour.
A very popular type of floor insulation that is designed to prevent moisture from passing through it and affecting the floorboards.
Allows controlled amounts of moisture in your home to pass through.
This is the effect of draughts of air passing through the insulation and nullifying the intended insulation of the home. For example, this is when the ventilation of the subfloor area draws heat out due to loose or poor insulation.
Of course, the best time to consider the installation of an insulation layer is before the floorboards are laid. This will make things significantly easier and save you time and money. However, if your floor is already installed, however, you just decided you want a layer of insulation underlayment added in order to improve its energy efficiency, this is still possible to happen. With an existing suspended floor, the easiest way to add a layer of insulation is by lifting all floorboards, installing the underlayment, and then fixing the floorboards back to place.
In this case, the insulation is installed between the floor joists. Before the insulation is laid, make sure that the joists are in good condition, not rotting, or damp. In case floor specialists spot an issue with the joists, they need to first fix the problem and then continue with the installation of the insulation. Finally, floorboards are laid back to their spots, a quick sanding and refinishing and you will end up not only with a visually improved floor but also with great insulation. Make sure to consult with floor specialists and discuss what is the best type of floor insulation for your very own project.
Soundproofing a floor can be ensured with the usage of different types of acoustic underlayment and materials. These are professionally designed materials with good noise-reducing qualities. The soundproofing quality of the underlayment depends not just on the material of the underlayment but also on the weight of the material used on or under the floor. Commonly used materials for underfloor sound-proofing insulation include cork and plywood, vinyl, rubber, felt, and foam. These materials are preferred for insulation from the airborne and impact noise thanks to their density that absorbs the majority of the noise. One more additional benefit of the dense sound-proofing materials for underlayment is the cushioning effect that makes walking on the floor more convenient and comfortable.
When it comes to the main groups of soundproofing materials for your floor as they are offered on the market nowadays, you can choose between the classic acoustic underlayment, sound deadening vinyl, sound-absorbing floor insulation, acoustic floor tiles, and sound-absorbing carpet padding. The classic and most popular option is the acoustic underlayment that is a special layer laid over the subfloor and under the floorboards. Sound deadening vinyl is also known as mass loaded vinyl and it is pretty much a thin and heavy sheet of vinyl that blocks the noise.
Sound absorbing floor insulation is the type of underfloor insulation that is stuffed between the joists below the subfloor. Acoustic floor tiles are specially designed to reduce the echo and reverberation under floors with hard surfaces. Sound absorbing carpet padding is the most affordable option out there. However, remember that you get the quality you are paying for and this type of insulation is not that good at reducing the noise. In case you want to learn more about underfloor insulation or you want to discuss a project with our floor specialists, do not hesitate to contact us.