Solid Floor Insulation is generally used with concrete or screed flooring. It is laid on of top the existing flooring and is then covered by your chosen floor finish. Providing fantastic thermal insulation, it’s a cost-effective heat-retention measure. Solid floor insulation can result in large, long term savings on energy bills, making it a worthwhile investment.
Many houses, particularly those that are old builds, have concrete floors that require insulation. While most new build houses have their concrete floor insulation completed during the construction period, you may not be so lucky if your house is a bit older.
How to insulate a concrete solid floor
Concrete is famously one of the coldest feeling materials you can have in your home, and you should consider getting your floor insulated in order to protect yourself from the cold. Laying this floor insulation can be done yourself, and may save you hundreds or thousands of pounds.
Benefits of laying insulation boards on a solid floor
Certain types of insulation board can be bought to then lay on top of a finished concrete floor, while there are also types that can be embedded in the floor itself. There are a few benefits to laying down insulation boards for your concrete floor:
The insulation boards are easy to manoeuvre and cut into size.
Laying down insulation boards above the concrete floor helps the room warm up quickly.
If your concrete floor was badly finished, a layer of insulation can help level your floor out.
Cons of laying insulation boards on a solid floor
When considering the best way to insulate your concrete floor, you have to consider why laying insulation boards might not be the right idea for you.
The thickness of the boards will raise the level of your floor, which may be an issue if you don’t have room for it.
Changes may need to be made to the layout of your room, such as moving electricity sockets and raising skirting boards.
Another layer, such as chipboard, will need to be laid over the insulation boards as it’s not a finished surface. This will add even more to the height of the floor.
Laying a floating floor
Another option would be to lay down a floating floor. This is where you lay boards on top of a solid concrete floor, which is either to level the surface or make room for the addition of insulation. Sometimes, it can be for both reasons.
You can follow this step-by-step guide on how to lay a floating floor safely.
1. Prep the Floor
If you’re looking to insulate a floor in a room that’s already been finished, skirting boards will need to be removed. After that, the floor will need to be clean and dry with no cracks in the concrete. If there are any cracks, use a floor sealer to fix it.
2. Laying Down Insulation Boards
It’s crucial that you cut the insulation board to the right length, so make sure to measure the width of your room before doing anything else. When laying down the boards, you’ll want to start in the corner of the room that is furthest away from the door. You may need to cut sections of the board to fit properly if the board is not long enough.
You’ll need to make sure that the boards are pushed tightly together with the joints being staggered rather than simply in a straight line across the room.
3. Laying Damp-Proof Membrane
After the insulation boards have been laid down, we would recommend that a damp-proof membrane be laid down too. Cut it slightly longer and wider than the room is, while overlapping the joints by at least 300mm and using waterproof tape to seal it down.
4. Laying Chipboard
The next step is to lay down the chipboard, using a tongue and groove style. Once again, this should start in the corner that’s furthest away from the doorway. An expansion gap of around 10mm between the chipboard and the wall will need to be left all the way around the room.
All that will be needed is some glue to put on the tongue of the chipboard, with no need for any nails or screws. Once the sheets have been slotted into place, any leftover glue should be wiped away.
5. Skirting Boards Fitted
The final step will be to fit skirting boards. If the damp-proof membrane needs to be reduced, trim it to 20mm above the level of the chipboard floor, and ensure it’s behind the skirting boards before they are attached to the wall.
Make sure to get the advice of an electrician if any sockets in the room need to be raised.
What are the other options for insulating a solid concrete floor?
We’d recommend the above steps if you’re looking to insulate an existing concrete floor without having to dig it all up and start again.
An alternative option is to line the concrete floor with chipboard sheets and then add a layer of carpet over the top. However, this won’t be as effective in retaining the heat in the room as it would do if the room had solid floor insulation installed.