How To Insulate Floors


Surprisingly enough, the heat loss from a floor area can be quite considerable — cutting it down is a worthwhile job.

Heat escapes from nearly every part of a house — roof, walls, windows, doors, even the floor adding substantial amounts to your fuel costs. Insulating the major problem areas can make a great deal of difference to your comfort and your costs.

Draughtproofing openings like windows and doors is simple, cheap and effective.

But walls, roofs and floors can account for far greater losses of heat because of their large area.

how to insulate floorsRoofs are always a major culprit but they’re areas where you can dramatically reduce the loss without spending a great deal of money or causing an unnecessary upheaval.

Walls — especially older solid external walls — lose an even greater amount and can frequently cause condensation on the inside too.

Together these two areas lose more heat than all the others combined so it makes sense to insulate them first.

Floorboards: With a wooden floor, check for gaps between the boards. Small ones can be filled with the appropriate mastic. For larger gaps cut tapered wooden ‘wedges’ to fit, coating both sides with PVA adhesive before placing each wedge between the boards and tapping gently to get a snug fit. Any projecting edges should be planed off flush with the other boards.

Holes in floorboards where old pipes or wire came in can be patched with pieces of wood, but larger ones are best dealt with by removing the relevant section of board and replacing it with a new piece cut to fit.

Skirtings: If the floor and the skirting don’t quite meet fill in with a wooden moulding pinned and glued into position. Pin to the floor, not the skirting. Concrete floors: Insulation has been made simple with new systems such as that made by Epsicon, which have been introduced to the DIY market for use over solid floors, walls, and ceilings. The Epsicon system consists of 1200mm X450mm inter-locking panels of polystyrene available separately or bonded to a finishing material — the panels being laid loose and neatly connected or ‘clicked’ together by plastic inserts. For floors buy the chipboard finish or cover the panels with a separate ‘floating’ layer of flooring grade chipboard.

1. To lay Epsicon board, first check if the floor is damp and if it is coated with a waterproof agent. If it has no waterproof agent you will have to take the neces-sary measures to remedy this.

2. Level out any uneven patches with a self-levelling screed.

3. Remove any doors in the room. Later you will cut them to match the higher floor level. Prise off existing skirting boards and replace them later.

4.Lay the boards straight onto the concrete. Working from one corner of the room. Begin alter-nate rows with panels cut in half to get a ‘brickwork’ effect for extra strength. Before butting the panels together with the inter-locking inserts, coat the edges with PVA adhesive to give extra bonding and rigidity.

5.Cover unbonded panels with a continuous layer of flooring grade chipboard. Refix doors and skirtings at their new height.

Where changes in floor levels occur, cut a strip of board to form the rise and fit together to ensure continuous insulation.

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