Did you know that as much as 10% of the heat in a room can be lost through uninsulated ground floors and potentially higher, up to 15%, if the house has been well insulated or thermally improved in other areas? With that in mind, upgrading and insulating existing solid or suspended floors should be one area homeowners should not forget about. Insulating your floor will help reduce heating costs and a properly insulated ground floor will leave rooms feeling more comfortable and require less time to warm up. When looking to upgrade your own floor insulation, the options available to you depend on the type of floor you’ve got – suspended floors, solid concrete or timber floors.
The first and most simple option is to add a layer of insulation over your current floor finish and new flooring grade chipboard laid over this with your desired floor finish. Alternatively the floors may be excavated and new insulation laid and selected screed pored over. This option tends to be a much more onerous decision, but can achieve a much better u-value, while allowing the opportunity to install underfloor heating or other new services during the works.
A floating floor is a construction detail where a layer of the Kingspan Thermafloor TF70 is loose laid over the existing floor finish, and a minimum 18mm tongue & groove chipboard placed over the insulation. Joints are then bonded together, to give a secure floor finish which is now suitable to take carpets, laminate flooring or a selected floor finish of your choice. For domestic applications where the thickness of insulation must be kept to a minimum the Kingspan Optim-R flooring insulation may be used. The Kingspan Optim-R will provide the highest thermal performance while also retaining the slimmest floor build-up possible. While both options may be the quickest solution with the least amount of disturbance caused to the occupants, consideration has to be given to the changes in overall floor height which can affect door thresholds, skirting board details and head height within rooms. This limits the thickness in the depth of insulation that may be installed, and the achievable u-value.
While these options do provide a huge thermal improvement in existing floors with little or no insulation, it may not be enough to bring them up to the more stringent and high spec standards required by today’s building regulations.