4 Things You Need to know About Under Floor Insulation

Having cold feet on your wedding day is normal. But if you are feeling it on your floor, it only means that you have a poorly insulated floor. In this case, replacing it with new underfloor insulation is the best solution to take.

The good news is that there are tons of available options on the market today. The only problem is how you determine which of those insulation options is right for your floor.

To make the shopping process easier, here are four tips on how you can choose the best underfloor insulation:

1. Installing underfloor insulation is not always required

There are certain flooring conditions where underfloor insulation installation is not necessary. So to save time and effort, it’s best to first determine if your flooring is eligible for underfloor insulation.

There are two ways to determine this: one is by knowing the flooring materials and method used in constructing it. The second is to consult a professional insulation installer.

Solid concrete is one of the best examples that doesn’t require installing underfloor insulation. This is simply for the reason that it doesn’t have any subflooring that professional insulation installers could access and install it into. It will only be required if it was constructed as a suspended concrete slab.

Other conditions that installing floor insulation systems may not be required or tradies advised not to are the following:

  • Presence of chemical-based spray for insects
  • Presence of Asbestos
  • Non-compliant with wiring rules (AS/NZS 3000:2018)

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2. Identify your options

According to the Australian Standard (AS/NZS 4859.1), the two best underfloor insulation to use are bulk insulation and reflective foils.

Bulk insulation is a good option because it is capable of trapping heat inside the house during winter. While in summer, this insulation can prevent the heat from getting into the house. The best underfloor insulation materials to use for bulk insulation are polyester, natural wool, rock wool, and expandable polystyrene.

Reflective foil insulation is a good option because it can lower radiant heat gain. The best underfloor insulation materials for reflective foil insulation are single and double-sided fall laminates, bubble wrap, and foam foil-faced wrap.

The difference between the two are listed as follows:

  • The reflective foil insulation is advantageous for use in warmer climate locations while bulk insulation is in colder climates.
  • Reflective foil insulation is lighter in weight compared to bulk insulation.
  • The reflective foil insulation is susceptible to dust. 
  • Reflective insulation requires more installation work than bulk insulation.
  • Lastly, reflective foil insulation cost is a bit higher compared to bulk insulation.

3. Must follow the Building Code in Australia requirement

In home construction or renovation, it’s a must for everyone to follow the necessary requirement stated in the BCA to ensure that all the addressed concerns such as the type of house or apartment and climate zone per state will be covered. These two are important because they are the factors that could determine the R-value required for each part of the house.

Check the BCA requirements first, to ensure you will choose only the best underfloor insulation according to your location’s needs.

Here is the specific part of the BCA that you need to follow:

  • Building Code of Australia Housing Provisions (BCA) | Part 3.12
  • Materials for the thermal insulation of buildings (AS/NZS 4859.1)

4. Get the right R-value

Getting the right R-value may seem to be different, but this is one of the important factors that must be accurate at all times. The reason is that most manufacturers and professional insulation installers state that the higher the R-value of the materials, the more effective it is.

Do you probably wonder what R-value means? By definition, R-value means thermal resistance. This is the one that determines the effectiveness of the insulating material’s resistance to conductive heat flow. To give you a clear idea of the R-value, here’s the basic R-value requirement for floors.

R Value

Picture reference:

Aside from the climate and type of house or apartment, the density and thickness of the insulation materials also help to determine the right R-value.

Making the home comfortable is always been the top priority of everyone. Adding underfloor insulation certainly can achieve that. It’s a plus that it can also address all the other problems your floor may have (e.g., updating the old flooring, replacing broken tiles, etc.)


Featured Photo Courtesy of ehrendreich via Pixabay

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