Properly insulating your home is essential if you want it to be energy efficient and lower your heating bills. Most people are familiar with loft, roof and wall insulation, but what is underfloor insulation and how does it work?

What is underfloor insulation?

Underfloor insulation is a type of insulation that, as the name would suggest, goes under the floorboards of your home, providing an extra thermal barrier.

Most homes can have some type of underfloor insulation installed, but the specific type of insulation will depend on the property. Homes that have suspended floors or a cavity underneath (typically pre-1970s homes) are usually suitable for bulk insulation, but those without a cavity will need a type of rigid board insulation instead.

How does underfloor insulation work?

Underfloor insulation works by creating a thermal barrier beneath your flooring. This is the opposite of a thermal conductor, which encourages the transfer of heat. When heat from the home tries to escape through the floor, the thermal barrier prevents it from escaping.

What materials are used for underfloor insulation?

There are a few options when it comes to materials for underfloor insulation, each with its own benefits and requirements. As a general rule, bulk insulation can only be used where there is subfloor access, but rigid foam boards can be installed under the floor finish.

Insulation boards are also known as expanded polystyrene sheets (EPS) and have a high insulation value. They are also pressure-resistant, meaning the floors won’t crack when walked on. EPS must be fixed on even ground. 

Polyurethane spray can also be used for underfloor insulation and has very good insulation properties and a good seal even in awkward spaces. Polyurethane spray can be applied in varying thicknesses and is quick to install, but needs to be applied by a professional.

Insulating screed or concrete is another option that is made from a combination of insulation materials, such as polystyrene granules, and cement. Insulation screed usually needs to be combined with another type of insulation to be effective.

What are the benefits of underfloor insulation?

The most important benefit of underfloor insulation is that it helps your home to better retain heat instead of letting it escape. A home with underfloor insulation will reach the desired temperature quicker when heated and maintain that temperature for longer. This means the heating system doesn’t need to be used for as long, reducing the cost of heating bills.

Underfloor insulation can also reduce the presence of cold draughts and moisture throughout the house, as well as prevent the pipes under the house from freezing in the winter.

By coupling underfloor insulation with other insulating methods such as external wall insulation, you can make your home incredibly energy efficient. Don’t worry about the house becoming too warm in the summer either – the thermal barrier created by insulation works both ways, meaning that hot air from outside can’t get into the property during the warm months.

If you are interested in having underfloor insulation installed in your home, then you can read about our services here.