A guide to wood floor insulation

Whilst wood floors are undoubtedly beautiful and hardwearing, many people decide to insulate their floors, in order to provide additional levels of warmth as well as improved sound insulation.

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If you are looking for an affordable way to effectively insulate your oak engineered flooring or other types of wooden flooring, consider the following options. The result will give you greatly improved sound insulation, and will also keep your floor protected from damage caused by humidity. It’s important to choose the right type of insulation for your floor, as there are several types to choose from.

What is the R-Value?

For high thermal resistance, you need a material that has a high R-Value. This means that the material has resistance to warm temperatures due to conduction. However, when it comes to wooden floors, you are often faced with added factors that will cause heat reduction such as convection, radiation, drafts or other ways for air to come through the floorboards.

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Fibre

This is one of the most affordable insulation solutions. It is essentially a thermal layer that prevents warm air from escaping through wooden floors. The other great thing is that this type of insulation allows the floor to “breathe”. This means that the floor is allowed to move freely during temperature changes and therefore does not get damaged so easily.

Polystyrene

This material is very popular and easy to use. It comes in manageable sheets and can easily be cut to size. It performs well as a sound barrier and also pulls its weight as a vapour barrier. The danger is that it can emit poisonous gases when it is burnt. Styrene inhalation can lead to “styrene sickness”, as reported in http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20090615185510/http://www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1202115635360. In homes with wood fires or burners, the risks go up even further.

Foil

Once you’ve invested in a beautiful wooden floor, from a supplier such as www.woodfloorwarehouse.co.uk/engineered-flooring/, you might choose to insulate with foil. Basically, it is two or more sheets of foil with air pockets in between each sheet to keep them apart. It’s also a great barrier against humidity and is often used in older buildings.

Carpets

Nice, thick rugs help with insulation, but are not very efficient. Rugs or carpets might provide a warm spot by the sofa to rest your feet, but they won’t really contribute to properly insulating an entire room.