Insulating Between Floors of a Double Storey House

Insulating between floors of a double storey home

If you’re building or renovating a double or multi-storey house, then there may be good reason to considering insulating the mid-floor, i.e. between the ceiling of the ground floor and the floor of the second storey. The main reason to insulate between floors is to reduce the noise transfer between floors.

Acoustic Insulation in the Mid-Floor

Acoustic insulation is very effective at reducing airborne noise. Children shouting, loud music or even a noisy washing machine can create disturbances to the rest of the household. Sound insulation between two levels of a house can help to create a quieter home and contain sound to its designated area. In the evenings families don’t have to go around on tip-toe just because young children have gone to bed.

Thermal Benefits with Mid-Floor Insulation

There may also be a thermal benefit, in particular if most of your time will be spent either in the upper or lower level of the house. In that case, any indoor heating or cooling appliances will also work more effectively, e.g. cool air from your downstairs air-conditioner won’t be so quickly transferred through the ceiling and into the rooms above.

Climate Control for Added Comfort

Many houses are built with the living areas downstairs and the sleeping quarters upstairs. In these cases, it is often desirable to heat the living rooms more than the bedrooms. People living in houses with no mid-floor insulation will often find that their downstairs living areas are quite cold, even if this is where their heating is targeted. The reason for this is often because the heat is transferred through the uninsulated ceiling. To counter this, the thermostat may be turned up, but this may result in overheating the bedrooms, which may end up being uncomfortably warm.

Energy Savings By Directing and Containing Heat

Householders may also invest in split systems from an energy savings point of view. By closing off areas and directing heat to frequently used zones of the house, families can reduce their energy consumption and save on gas and electricity bills. In this case it is also recommended to invest in an adequate level of thermal insulation, so that the targeted heat stays in the area. This includes internal walls and in the case of multi-storey houses, the mid floor.

Insulate the Mid-Floor During Construction

If you are considering installing insulation between the floors of a multi storey house, make sure you get it done while the house is being constructed or during a renovation. Once the ceiling and floor above is sealed you won’t be in a hurry to dismantle it. Not only will you reap the benefits, but insulation adds value to your home and vendors now have the opportunity to add insulation specifications to their listing when putting their property up for sale.

22 thoughts on “Insulating Between Floors of a Double Storey House

  1. Graeme Todd says:

    I am building 2 side beside homes in Beaumaris.
    I would like your advise on what is best for my insulation needs.
    Should I insulate between ground floor and first floor?
    My kitchen, living room and main bedroom are upstairs.
    I look forward to your advice.
    Regards,
    Graeme Todd

    • Pricewise Insulation says:

      Hi Graeme,

      Thank you for your enquiry. We definitely recommend insulating between floors of your double storey houses in Beaumaris. The products that we recommend for between floors include R2.5 acoustic wall insulation or R4.0, R5.0 or R6.0 ceiling insulation. We also recommend insulating the internal walls of both levels, as this helps to reduce noise and create climate zones within the home. We’ve got a video with more information about how this works – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qyVYCpNMF4.

      Please don’t hesitate to contact us on 1300 729 639 if you have any more questions.

      Cheers!
      Pricewise Insulation

  2. Chris says:

    What is the most efficient & cost effective method of insulating / soundproofing between floors in a pre existing double story home?

    • Pricewise Insulation says:

      Hi Chris,

      Installing insulation between floors in an existing double storey home is always going to be challenging. The two main options which you have are to remove the plaster and install R4.0 Knauf Earthwool Sound Shield Insulation or to lower the ceiling and install the same product. Neither of these options cheap unfortunately, which is why we encourage our customers who are building a new home to invest in mid-floor insulation before the plaster is installed. We hope this helps!

      Cheers!
      Pricewise Insulation

  3. Jennifer says:

    My home was built in 1905. We are remodeling and I’m wondering if we should insulate between the first and second story? The second story houses my children’s sleeping quarters and one washroom. Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.

    • Pricewise Insulation says:

      Hi Eric,

      Blow-in insulation works in open roof spaces as a thermal solution, but it is unlikely to be very effective between floors. Most acoustic products such as Knauf Earthwool Sound Shield Insulation are very dense, which is what helps them to reduce sound transfer. From what we’ve seen, blow-in insulation is generally light and fluffy and therefore less effective in reducing sound. Furthermore, it would be difficult to blow into a mid-floor area where there are lots of wooden joists in the way. Your best option would probably be to remove the plaster, insulate between floors and plaster up again. We understand that this is not a cheap solution, which is why it’s so important that people insulate their homes properly during the initial building phase. Feel free to give our team a call on 1300 729 639 if you would like to clarify this further.

      Cheers, Pricewise Insulation

    • Pricewise Insulation says:

      Hi Shirley,

      Thank you for your question. If you are renovating your home and lifting up old wooden floors to replace them, then you could certainly look at insulating below the floorboards. Just give our team a call on 1300 729 639 to discuss which product would be best for your application.

      Cheers, Pricewise Insulation

  4. kate says:

    We are building a 2nd story (bedrooms & rumpus for kids) and we have insulation (R2.5) between the ground floor ceiling and floor of the 2nd floor. Ground floor master is under the rumpus room. We are putting in floorboards upstairs. Will this be enough noise protection or should we also be considering an underlay under the boards to reduce noise?

    • Pricewise Insulation says:

      Hi Kate,

      Thank you for your question. It really depends where you are at in the building process and whether the R2.5 insulation batts that have been installed are acoustic batts. If they are R2.5 thermal ceiling batts then they won’t do much in terms of reducing sound transfer. If they are R2.5 acoustic batts then they will certainly help to reduce noise. However, considering that the rumpus is above the master bedroom you would be best off with a better product like R4.0HD Earthwool Acoustic Mid-Floor Insulation (this is a new product). It sounds like the R2.5 batts are already installed, in which case you could look at adding another layer of insulation batts to improve the acoustics. Please give our team a call on 1300 729 639 and they would be happy to help.

      Cheers!

  5. kosha naik says:

    we have existing double story house. We have master bedroom and below is the family room. we are considering to replace carpet in the master bedroom. Is it possible to install acoustic insulation to avoid noise between the floor. Not looking at entire upstairs. Just the bedroom as it covers entire family room downstairs.

  6. Mario says:

    I’m installing insulation in my heated basement ceiling family room. The heating pipes run through that ceiling. The insulation will be above the pipes. How should I install the insulation? With barrier side up or down?

    • Pricewise Insulation says:

      Hi Mario,

      What country are you based in? If you don’t live in Australia then we would suggest checking the local codes in the country where you live. If you live in Australia, then please give our technical team a call on 1300 729 639.

      Cheers!

  7. Christa says:

    We have an raked roof with exposed beams. We don’t want to lose this feature but will need to insulate between floors. It is possible, if we were renovating the second story to add insulation as part of those renovations? For example perhaps extending the height of the ceiling on the second story a little to account for the insulation?

  8. Haidar says:

    Hi
    Apart from airborne noise, what is the best way to reduce contact noise between floors. For example, kids jumping up and down on the first floor.

    • Pricewise Insulation says:

      Hi Haidar,

      Thanks for your question! If you are building a new home then we recommend installing the R4.0HD Knauf Earthwool Acoustic Mid-Floor Insulation Batts between floors. This is a thick, dense product that will help to reduce the noise of children plying upstairs. We also recommend insulating the internal walls with R2.5HD Knauf Earthwool Sound Shield Insulation, as this will also help to reduce the transfer of noise within the home. If you are living in an existing home, then your best option would be to talk to one of our insulation specialists. Feel free to give our team a call on 1300 729 639.

      Cheers!

  9. MARK says:

    We built a double story house in Victoria,I do not believe there is insulation between levels,we used a well know builder,with a new build should it be insulated.Thanks Mark.

    • Pricewise Insulation says:

      Hi Mark,

      That’s a really good question. Most new homes built by the volume builders (and also smaller builders for that matter) do not have insulation between floors as it is generally not needed to meet the 6-star energy rating requirements. However, we highly recommend anyone who is building a new home to consider installing midfloor insulation because it cannot be retrofitted later without removing the plasterboard of the ground floor ceiling.

      Cheers!

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