How to Insulate Cold Floors: A Comprehensive Guide

Common misconceptions about cold floors - Buy underfloor insulation

Despite being hot most of the year, many households across Australia are prone to cooler temperatures during the winter months. This can be an issue for homes that lack proper underfloor insulation. 

In this guide, we explain why your floors are so cold, and how to insulate cold floors so they retain all that warm air and become hospitable and comfortable. 

Why floor insulation is so important 

Underfloor insulation is an essential component of your home and can prevent heat loss during the cooler months. Here are three benefits of ensuring your floor is properly insulated:

1. Keep your home comfortable during the winter months

Despite enjoying some of the warmest and sunniest weather on the planet, Australians are no strangers to cooler temperatures. Many of our capital cities frequently experience sub-zero temperatures during winter and insulation is one of the most important ways to combat the cold. This is made even more necessary given that many Australian households do not have double-glazed windows or adequate central heating systems. 

2. Avoid higher energy bills 

Proper floor insulation can also help you avoid higher energy bills during winter. Without insulation, up to 20% of heat can be lost through an uninsulated floor, which means your heating system has to work harder to maintain the desired temperature, resulting in increased energy consumption and higher bills. Heat can be lost through cracks, gaps and the flooring material itself. By sealing gaps and installing insulation under your floor, you can keep your home warmer and more energy-efficient, ultimately saving on your energy costs.

3. Combat health issues 

Floor insulation can also have a positive impact on your health, particularly for those with health issues like arthritis and asthma. Cold floors can exacerbate arthritis symptoms, as cold temperatures can increase joint pain and discomfort. Insulating your floors can help maintain a warmer environment in your home, reducing the impact of cold on your joints and providing relief from arthritis symptoms. 

Reasons why your floor is so cold 

Understanding the factors that contribute to a cold floor can help you resolve the problem and lead to added comfort and savings on your energy bills. Here are a few common causes of cold floors:

Gaps in the floor are letting the cold air in

During the cooler months, gaps in the flooring can be a major issue for households that do not have the means to effectively seal and insulate. Even though cracks in the floor can and do exacerbate the problem, sealing the gaps will only improve the situation to a small extent, and won’t actually solve the root cause of the problem.

Your home lacks proper floor insulation 

Without proper underfloor insulation, your home may lack the necessary barrier between the floor and the cold air underneath. Insulation is a poor conductor of heat, so it will be difficult for the heat in the flooring to escape through the insulation. As a result, the flooring material retains the heat generated, making it more comfortable during cold weather.

Inadequate heating system 

While a combination of factors is usually to blame, a poor-quality heating system can also impact how cold your floors are. Bear in mind that you can still have a quality heating system in place and still have cold floors because of a lack of quality underfloor insulation.

Different types of floor insulation and their benefits

Different types of floor insulation offer various benefits to homeowners. Finding the best solution for combating cold floors and improving energy efficiency in your home will depend on your home’s location and structure. Here are some of the most effective solutions available:

  1. Knauf Earthwool Underfloor Insulation Batts are engineered to deliver superior thermal performance throughout the year, effectively preventing heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer. They also serve as a barrier against wind, helping to protect your home from unwanted air draughts, and maintaining a comfortable indoor environment.
  2. Autex Greenstuf Polyester Underfloor Insulation is an eco-friendly and high-performance insulation solution designed for residential and commercial applications. Made from 100% polyester fibre, it provides excellent thermal and acoustic insulation properties for underfloor installations.
  3. Bradford Optimo Underfloor Insulation Batts offer outstanding thermal and acoustic insulation properties that help maintain a comfortable indoor environment. These lightweight, pre-cut batts can be easily fitted between floor joists with minimal hassle, making them a popular choice for both DIY enthusiasts and professional installers.
  4. Expol Polystyrene Underfloor Insulation has excellent thermal properties and mainly consists of stabilised air. This popular polystyrene floor insulation product is safe to install, non-allergenic, and contains a flame retardant making it ideal for fire-prone areas.
  5. Kingspan Air-Cell Permifloor Insulation boasts advanced thermal and moisture control properties, providing an energy-efficient solution for maintaining a comfortable indoor environment. Its unique air-cell structure consists of a combination of closed-cell and low-emissivity layers, which work together to provide superior insulation and reflect radiant heat.
  6. Foilboard Insulation Green Rigid Panels are locally manufactured from a fire retardant expanded polystyrene core (FR-EPS) with pure aluminium foil directly laminated to both sides, creating superior insulation, thermal break and non-permeable moisture barrier – ideal for effective underfloor application.

Challenges of installing underfloor insulation

Installing underfloor insulation can be somewhat of a challenge, depending on a number of factors. The most obvious is the crawl space underneath the flooring which is quite often limited, sometimes to the extent that you may be forced to move around whilst lying on your back and install insulation over your head. If you are doing the installation yourself, we recommended you check out our guide on How to Install Underfloor Insulation.

Tips on how to insulate cold floors

Installing underfloor insulation can be a challenge. Here are a few tips to install it successfully:

  1. Measure and cut accurately: measure the dimensions of your floor space accurately before cutting the insulation material to ensure a proper fit. Avoid leaving gaps or overlapping sections as this can compromise the insulation’s effectiveness.
  2. Seal all cracks: before installing the insulation, seal any major gaps or cracks in the floor to prevent warm air leakage.
  3. Wear protective gear: when handling insulation materials, wear appropriate protective gear such as gloves, goggles and a mask to protect yourself from irritation or harmful particles.
  4. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions: read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully for the specific type of insulation you are installing. 
  5. Ensure insulation is properly secured: use fasteners, strapping or staples to secure the insulation, ensuring it does not sag or shift over time.

Video – How to Install Earthwool FloorShield Insulation

Purchase underfloor insulation products directly from our online store

Feeling ready to upgrade your floor insulation? Purchasing directly on Pricewise’s online store gives you a price advantage on some of the highest-quality insulation products in Australia. 

Simply visit our online store and conveniently shop by project, application, R-value, insulation type or even by material. 

Frequently asked questions 

Why is my floor cold?

A lack of insulation, gaps and cracks in your flooring may all contribute to your floors being colder than usual. Additionally, if you live in a cooler climate, or lack proper indoor heating, cold floors may be more common. 

Can I DIY install underfloor insulation?

Yes, you can. You should bear in mind that every home is different, and there could be various challenges along the way. You can always check out our guide on How to Install Underfloor Insulation if you decide to do it yourself.  

Are cold floors bad for health?

Cold floors can exacerbate existing health problems like arthritis and asthma. You can help combat the effects by installing proper insulation and ensuring your home is properly heated. 

Where can I buy underfloor insulation?

At Pricewise, we stock a range of high-quality underfloor insulation products. Buy them from our online store and discover fast delivery.

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From $ 19.57 p/m2 inc. GST

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