New floor insulation will help improve the sound barriers around your property, not to mention making it warmer for longer – but how much does floor insulation cost and what types are available?
Most of us know the importance of loft and wall insulation as well as double-glazed windows. However, the
floor is an area often overlooked when it comes to insulation. Architectural designer and TV presenter Charlie Luxton points out that: “Floor insulation is vital, especially if you have underfloor heating – it’s a fairly cheap improvement which will make your home a lot more energy-efficient.”
Regular heat loss can cost a lot in wasted energy and increase your heating bills; as heat travels out of the home through cracks in floors and walls, you’re left whacking up the thermostat in vain, hoping the situation improves – when actually it is all going to make little difference until you have properly insulated your home.
Floors are the section of room homeowners most often forget about, as the cracks and/or gaps that cause rapid heat loss are rarely visible – so what can you do to stop the heat from escaping? Well, installing brand new floor insulation is your best bet – but what types are available on the market? How much do they cost, and what are the benefits of floor insulation?
Benefits of floor insulation
Floor insulation will:
- Reduce your fuel bills
- Cut your carbon emissions
- Help prevent damp
- Keep your feet warm – this is especially good for kids and pets
- Help to cool your home in the summer as well as warm it in winter
- It’s easy to install
- Floor insulation is a low-cost home improvement
To help give you a basic understanding of the most popular floor insulation types, we’ve sourced prices from the two most popular options that are widely available.
Costs and savings of floor insulation
Floor insulation and draught-proofing can help you save a significant amount of money and lower your heating bills, especially if you can do most of the job yourself.
England, Scotland, and Wales
|Fuel bill savings (£/year)||£65||£40||£25||£60|
|Carbon dioxide savings (kgCO2/year)||290 kg||170 kg||120 kg||260 kg|
Floor insulation materials
Floor insulation boards are usually built with phenolic foam, polyisocyanurate, polystyrene, EPS and come in many different qualities, sizes and prices. Depending on which part of the room you want to use them for. The thicker the insulation board, the less heat escapes. Flooring insulation boards thickness can be between 25 – 100 mm. The length starts from 450 mm and goes up to 2,400 mm. Regarding the width, there are four different sizes 402 mm, 450 mm, 600 mm, and 1200 mm. Floorboard prices range between £3 and £20 per square meter.
What is the best floor insulation material?
After comparing the thermal conductivity (k-value) of several popular insulants that can be used for underfloor insulation, we found that phenolic foam, XPS, or EPS are the best options for non-eco-friendly homes. Batts of wood fiber or mineral wool is almost as good as EPS, and cellulose is good if you look for material that does not need to hold much height, as it is made from recycled newsprint and granulated cork.
Average floor insulation cost
Hiring a professional floor insulation specialist will cost you a minimum of £770, depending on the size of the floor space and the cost of the materials. If you decide to insulate the floor yourself, the cost for wooden floor insulation comes to only £100 for the floor insulation boards and another £20 for the materials you will need to fill the gaps between the floor and the skirting boards.
Solid Floor Insulation Cost
Most newer properties already have solid floor bases constructed directly below a room, especially on the ground floor. These can be fitted with new, “rigid concrete” solid flooring or fixed plasterboard that should help fill any cracks or gaps formed over time and improve the overlay’s insulating properties. This can take a lot of time to install and cause a bit of a fuss, but it is the most fool-proof and effective form of floor insulation available – and won’t need to be refitted for at least ten to twenty years!
According to www.energysavingtrust.org.uk, solid floor insulation costs anywhere between £950 – 2,200, depending on the size of your home and the retailer you purchase it from.
Suspended Floor Insulation Cost
Best suited for older properties with suspended timber floors to access the crawl space, suspended timber floor insulation lets you fill the cracks and gaps around the wooden paneling with mineral wool insulation. The area is easy to access, making it a perfect option for DIY enthusiasts – plus, it can even be supported by additional netting, which should help it last a lot longer than ordinary wool linings.
According to www.energysavingtrust.org.uk, suspended timber floor insulation costs anywhere between £300 – £750, depending on where you look.
Budgeting for Floor Insulation
When you’re planning your new floor insulation project, you need to be sure you have the money to pay for it well in advance – and that means taking everything about this sort of home improvement into consideration before settling on a final budget, including the following:
- How large is your property? Do you want the insulation installed in all rooms or just one floor? Or maybe just a particular area of the home more vulnerable to heat loss and sound pollution?
- What kind of floor insulation are you looking for? As you can see above, suspended timber flooring is a lot cheaper than solid floor insulation, so the material you choose will always affect the final budget.
- Finally, will you install the floor insulation yourself or hire a professional, fully qualified building engineer to do it for you? If you don’t have the necessary experience, it is always recommended that you go for the latter – that way, you prevent any further mistakes or costly repairs later down the line. Just make sure your chosen contractor is fully accredited with the National Insulation Association before you sign any contract.
While you can split floor insulation costs according to the type of insulation you want to be installed on your property, you can also save money by doing research and finding the best prices for insulation boards.
Alternatively, you can also opt for more conventional forms of floor insulation, including laying brand-new carpets or rugs. It may not be as effective long-term, but Floor Insulation costs will reduce a lot – in both time and money!
Installing floor insulation
It’s easier to install insulation to the sub-floor in a newly build property if you add an extension, carry out a conversion, or refurbish your home. Floor insulation can still be carried fairly painlessly in an existing home as well, though. As underfloor heating becomes more of a common home heating method, people are installing floor insulation to go with it. Whether you are installing a water-fed or electric underfloor heating system, which should place insulation boards on the sub-floor during installation. Mark O’Brien from Terra Therma in Essex says that: “The popularity of underfloor heating is increasing, but homes need to be well insulated for it to work efficiently.”
Floor insulation is normally carried out by placing a layer of insulating material between floor joists. Slabs of mineral wool or polystyrene can be used for this. These insulating materials trap heat and stop it from escaping. You can also use aluminum-coated paper foil, which reflects heat into the home – a combination of these methods can work well. Using a sealant to block gaps between floorboards and skirting boards will complete the insulation. However, always make sure that underfloor air bricks are not obstructed for ventilation purposes.