Wood floors can be gracious and are in great demand these days because of their beauty…their out of the ordinary appeal. Unlike concrete floors, wooden floors would retain heat so that you will not be shocked with your utility bills. With wood floors however, you have to be prepared to get extremely cold feet especially during the winter months. There’s no cause to worry though because you have an option…you can have your beautiful wood floor insulated.
For the cost of the insulation you will enjoy much lower utility bills, you can be assured that your wood floor will be free from moisture infiltration and most of all you will be able to feel the smoothness of the wood floor as you walk barefoot even during bitterly cold winter days and nights.
Insulating your hardwood floor will be easy if the building is still under construction. The insulation material will be installed before the wooden floor is put together. But as in most cases, homeowners paying huge heating bills would choose to have their home insulated. In this case, insulation will be done through a crawlspace underneath the floor. Insulation will be difficult if there is very little crawlspace as the space to access the area to be insulated is limited. Apart from this, the space to install the insulation can also be restricted. A three or four inches available area for insulation would need a more expensive insulation material to achieve maximum insulation efficiency.
A vapour barrier must be created in insulating any kind of floor. A vapour barrier is doubly important in wood floors as it is highly susceptible to moisture and water damage. Unfaced batts are the most feasible option. Although faced batts can also be used, it would be harder to keep up as it does not have rigid ends. If the faced batts’ firmness is lost, the vapour barrier will be broken making the wood floor insulation as well as the wood floor exposed to moisture.
Lattice boards or 5/8 inch plywood would hold the batting in place. However, this is a bit expensive for a relatively the same performance. Netting can also be used although this would necessitate a lot of work. The most feasible option is to use thin metal rods to hold the batting in place. These lightening rods when spaced every 18 inches will effectively hold the insulation in place.
These guidelines would give you run of the mill insulation procedures. If your budget permits it would be better to hire a contractor as you will be able to get the best efficiency from your insulation project. If you aren’t sure what your budget is or needs to be there is an excellent calculator to help you figure hardwood flooring costs.