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Floor Insulation Fitting & Sound Proofing

Floor Insulation Fitting & Sound Proofing

Thermal floor insulation and acoustic proofing, usually floats in together with the refinishing of existing or fitting new wooden floors. These services are provided by FloorWorks! for concrete and wooden subfloors for various reasons - to reduce draft, sound-proofing insulation, to reduce risk of damp by application DPM membranes.

Insulation fitting is part of the subfloor preparation process on many wooden floor restoration or installation projects. It is focused on issues draft, cold, with air-borne and impact generated sounds, reducing contact of the new floors with subfloor, eliminating exchange of humidity, as well as serve as levelling solution. All these are key factors, for the guarantee of the floor works, but also provides the comfort for premises and buildings.

Thermal Floor Insulation

Speaking of issues of draft we often makes us imagine a property build in early 1900s, with original subfloor design that was kept intact as pine floor boards, laid originally with the property. During the years, the pine floor boards has shrinked and gaps between them have increased. This often comes with two issues - draft and cold on ground floors and unbarrired transmission of sound with upper floors.

Common insulating products used between ground floor and upper floors is the Rockwool Insulation. Its flexibility and volume allows staffing of the insulation between the joists, which are holding the original flooring and the ceiling below. Rockwool insulation helps sound-proofing between the floors (but not drastically) and will significantly help the thermal insulation.

The fitting of such insulation however may be tricky on ground floors, where joists are followed by a void. In such cases holding support for the insulation may be required, so the insulation is laid and fixed directly to the floors. Various methods are used, some which includes nets or metal strings over which the insulation is laid.

In some cases, fitting of Rockwool insulation may be carried out together with replacement of the subfloor with chipboard or plywood. If the original pine floor boards are to remain as the subfloor, we will give a rough figure of boards to be replaced and included in your quote, as the procedure goes with some damage to the existing boards. It is inevitable, however the pine boards we supply are seasoned and with similar age and colour. If the main purpose of the floor works is the insulation fitting of floor boards, then floor sanding will need to done as well on completion.

We have to mention under this section the fibreboard underlay, which is a common choice of underlay for laminate flooring installation over floor boards. The fibreboard will significantly increase the thermal insulation on such subfloor and help dealing with minor unevenness as well, as it’s thickness of 5.5 mm is ideal for that.

Sound-Proofing Insulation

Always necessary service for converted properties. One solution for air-bourne and impact noise will come with the fitting of new engineered wood floors, which can be laid over acoustic underlay. We offer few types of underlay with increased sound-proofing qualities, which are available with our engineered floor fitting service or laminate floor installation.

Standard (but not basic) underlay will offer a sound-proofing of air-borne sound of up to 20 dB. Some underlays however offer more, going to 28 dB for high quality acoustic underlay and over 53 for E-Board hard rubber system.

It is good to note here that the Rockwool insulation does have sound-proofing capabilities but not significant. The level of the sound-proofing with this type of insulation will depend on the amount of insulation used and how well is spread.

Highest level of sound-proofing we can offer comes together with our doubble rubber E-Board product. Although a project inolving such acoustic floor insulation can be quite expensive, we will recommend this type of insulation as most effective.

Damp-Proofing Floor Insulation

DPM membrane refers to a liquid or plastic film applied over the subfloor, prior to laying new floors or underlay. Some underlay products nowadays come with built-in DPM membrane, which saves time and concerns.

Liquid DPM is applied on concrete subfloors by applicator and is left to dry, which on most DPM products takes no less than 12 hours. This is very important step for laying solid wood floors, as planks of that flooring can easily contract due to change of environment humidity and temperature. Applying DPM membrane will bring the damp coming from below to a minimum.

Can Plywood / Chipboard Be an Insulator?

These two are materials commonly used today for new or replacement of older subfloors. Chipboard comes in T&G and once fitted it provides smooth and solid subfloor, similar to plywood. They, however cannot be complete insulation on their own.

Extra layer of insulator needs to be laid below these products to help reduce further impact sound and increase thermal insulation - these products can be Rockwool or similar insulation or underlay with increased sound proofing qualities.

Some Insulation Products & Underlays We Use

In the table below we have shown some of the products we use in our floor insulation and wood floor installation services to tackle issues with noise and thermal insulation.

Product Name Damp-Proofing Acoustics Levelling Qualities
Rockwool Insulation No Average -
Fibreboard No Average Good
Basic Foam (Barrier Plus) Yes Average Poor
Timbertech Original Xtra Yes Good Good
Timbertech Contract Gold Yes Good Good
Timbertech Contract HD 5 No Excellent Good
Duralay Timbermate Excel Silver Yes Excellent Good
Duralay SilentFloor Gold Yes Excellent Good
E-Board Yes Excellent Good