Edinburgh World Heritage - Floor Insulation

 

Floor Insulation

A traditional cottage or a detached house loses nearly 6% of its heat through the floor.

There are a number of things that can be done to improve this situation.

Suspended Timber Floors

Ground floor insulation can be installed against a ventilated space under the floorboards.

  • This can be a very delicate operation: consider employing an experienced joiner for lifting and refixing floor boards, especially if they are valuable or historic.

  • Where historic floor finishes have to be preserved, insulation may be inappropriate unless there is sufficient crawl space underneath to install it from below.

LBC is required to lift historic floorboards and alter the floor height.

In some cases, sealing gaps and draught stripping skirting boards may be the only solution possible, together with laying a carpet with an insulating underlay. It is important to use moisture permeable materials to prevent timber decay.

Solid Floors

Generally it is more difficult and expensive to retrofit insulation to solid floors, especially if existing finishes and floor height must be retained.

  • Flagstones can be carefully lifted, the subfloor dug out, insulation and screed installed and finished by relaying the flagstones back in place.
  • Alternatively, a new floor can be laid over the existing. The existing floor will be preserved, but it will result in a higher floor built up by about 100mm. It is not advisable to add an impermeable membrane and it is preferable instead to use an insulated, breathable lime-concrete floor.
  • If your original floor has been replaced by a concrete floor, you can add insulated floorboards on top.

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