When we think of insulation, we usually think of our walls and lofts. But there are also significant benefits to insulating under your floorboards on the ground floor.
Underfloor insulation can save you between £45-£55 a year. There are just a few things that you need to take into account before going ahead with underfloor insulation.
Do some DIY
As well as insulating under the floorboards, you can seal the gaps between floors and skirting boards to plug draughts. Just get some sealant and fill the gaps. But make sure you don’t block under-floor airbricks in your outside walls – your floorboards can rot without proper ventilation.
Check what your ground floor is made from
Lots of homes have a solid concrete ground floor. You can lay rigid insulation on top or simply have it insulated when it needs to be replaced.
If you live in an older home, it’s likely that you may have suspended timber floors. You can lift up the floorboards and lay mineral wool insulation and netting in between the joists.
Insulating under floorboards can get a bit tricky, so it’s worth calling in a professional to ensure that the job is done properly and you can save as much on your energy bills as possible.
How underfloor insulation is carried out
An insulation expert can fit your insulation and replace your floorboards afterwards. If you’ve got a timber floor and an unheated basement or cellar you can get into, it makes insulating the floor very easy. You could even try doing this yourself.
Check that the joists are in good condition and there are no signs of wet or dry rot. If there are, you may be charged more for the insulation. But if the joists are in good condition, you or the professional can put insulation in between them.
Once the insulation is laid, the basement’s ceiling should then have plasterboard fixed to the undersides of the joists. This is to provide fire resistance, so it’s very important that you or your contractor does this.
Make sure you comply with building regulations
If you’re replacing half a floor or more, you have to insulate to building regulations whether you planned to or not. So if you decide to do the insulation yourself, make sure your floor has a U-value of 0.25W/m2K or less. You should need at least 70mm of foam insulation or 150mm of mineral wool to achieve this, but it will vary depending on the shape and size of your floor.