In any structure, the floor, as a rule, is the most problematic part, since the penetration of cold air masses through it with well-insulated walls is quite likely. Neither an excellent heating system nor carpets will help solve the problem. Wood floors are more vulnerable than others.
The most logical solution would be to properly insulate the floor with the help of special materials, but first of all, it is worth studying the structural features of the wooden flooring.
Features of the
Even the correct laying of floorboards without gaps and gaps diminishes over time due to the peculiarities of the wood structure. Boards can dry out and heat loss is inevitable. Up to 30% of the heat escapes through the floor that has not been reconstructed, therefore it is necessary to insulate the wooden floor, but it is worth remembering about the features of this work.
The wooden floor does not consist of only planks, it has a more complex structure. The base of the floor is logs, which are wooden blocks. Either a subfloor is attached to them, consisting of untreated boards, plywood, chipboard, and which is the basis for finishing coatings (laminate, parquet), or a final floor, the basis of which is made up of boards processed by a cutter.
In order for the floor to be comfortable, various types of insulation are used, but for normal operation one insulation is not enough - it is necessary to use layers of waterproofing.
Their presence is necessary, since excessive humidity in the space contributes to the formation of fungi and the development of insects that destroy the wooden structure.
Most often, wooden floors are found in private buildings, and therefore it is important to know how to insulate a wooden floor in a country house. And this depends on many factors. First of all, this is the time of the construction of the structure. If the house is new, then you need to wait for the time it takes for the wood structure to shrink (6-7 months). If the house is old, then after dismantling the old coatings, be sure to pay attention to the wear of the lag, removing the rotten, even partially, logs.
When choosing a material for thermal insulation in a country house, it is necessary to take into account the area of the room and the height of the ceiling, the type of surface, the option for placing the floor structure, the temperature and humidity of the room, the load, and, of course, the purpose of the house. Each of these factors directly affects the choice of material.
The height of the ceiling in a country house for efficient and economical heating should be within 2.35-2.50 m. The height of the room after laying the insulation should not be less than 2.35 m, otherwise the space will not be very comfortable, and higher than 2.5 m in order to avoid an increase in heating costs.
The thickness of the insulation also depends on the purpose of the house. For houses used in the summer, you can get by with a 5 cm thick insulation, and for a house that will be used constantly, it is better to purchase material with a thickness of at least 20 cm.
The choice of material is directly related to the construction of the floor, as it affects the installation method. There are several types of flooring:
- The flooring was laid either at a short distance from the ground, or on a special bedding. Both the flooring was laid without ventilation.
- The flooring is located above the basement or cellar with high humidity.
- The flooring is located on the joists, at the bottom there is a pile foundation with a lattice.
- Laying the flooring on the joists, at the bottom there is a ventilated basement with good air ventilation due to the presence of air vents.
When choosing a material for a country house, it is necessary to take into account the characteristics of the insulation itself. In addition to thickness, characteristics such as environmental safety, fire resistance, insulation service life.
To insulate the floor in a toilet located in a private wooden building, it is worth not only taking into account the above characteristics of the insulation, but also taking care of waterproofing the underground space of this room, as well as thinking over a ventilation system.
You can also insulate wooden floors in an apartment. The choice of material and installation method will depend on the floor of the apartment. For the first floor, where the ground or basement is located nearby, insulation will be both from the side of the apartment and from the side of the basement, if any. For floor insulation on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th floor, the material is laid only from the side of the apartment.
In a private house, floor insulation on the 2nd floor makes sense only if this or that floor is not heated, or when building the first floor, warmer materials were used compared to the second, as a result of which a temperature difference arises.
Floor insulation can be done in different ways. The choice of method depends on the initial condition of the coatings, the location or absence of ancillary facilities.
The simplest, most reliable and most often used method is the lag insulation. It is suitable for floor insulation both for private wooden structures and for floors located in apartments located on the 1st floor. In this case, the principle is that the coating is divided into finishing and rough.
Thermal insulation of a wooden floor occurs due to the sequential laying of various materials.
The draft layer consists of wooden planks docked with logs. At the bottom of the boards are cranial bars running along each log. The logs themselves are bars that are laid over the entire surface of the floor at a certain distance from each other, as a rule, from 0.6 to 1 meter. They can be attached to the foundation of a building, be cut into the basement of a structure, mounted on load-bearing beams or fixed on erected posts made of durable material (brick, concrete, stone).
The vapor barrier layer is laid on the subfloor and on top of the log. It is needed only when using a certain type of insulation, and the insulation itself is placed between the log. The gap between the insulation and the vapor barrier layer should be at least 4-5 cm. This value ensures proper ventilation of the space. If there is a lack of height, counter rails are packed on the logs.
If the building is located in an area where high groundwater is present, then instead of a vapor barrier layer, you need to lay a waterproofing layer that will prevent the insulation from getting wet. In addition, some types of insulation do not need a vapor barrier.
The installation outside the house of special air ducts installed in 4-5 m increments and an exhaust pipe will also help to get rid of high humidity. The presence of these elements contributes to good air circulation and increases the efficiency of floor insulation.
It is possible to insulate a wooden floor without dismantling the old coating using linoleum on a jute or felt basis, but it is better to use it not as an independent type of insulation, but as an addition to a warm floor. This durable and easy-to-install coating performs the function of waterproofing.
Another method of insulation without dismantling is liquid foam, which is driven under the floor through the holes with a special device. But, using this method, it is worth remembering that the filling of the space is uneven, and therefore this option is not perfect.
How to choose the right insulation
All types of materials of natural or artificial origin used to insulate a wooden floor, are subdivided into:
- cellular stone.
Any insulation has both advantages and disadvantages.
The most common and affordable material is mineral wool. Floor insulation with mineral wool has a lot of advantages. This material, in addition to its direct purpose, has very high noise insulation properties, has good fire resistance, and has a low thermal conductivity. This eco-friendly material is easy to arrange and has different forms of release (rolls, mats), which is important to consider when choosing.
A type of mineral wool is a brand insulation "Isover"manufactured by Finnish manufacturers for over 20 years. The basis of this material is fiberglass. Insulation "Izover" will protect the wooden structure from the development of fungi, bacteria, invasion of rodents and insects.
But this material has its drawbacks. First of all, they include poor moisture resistance, therefore, it is better to use mineral wool in combination with a waterproofing layer.
Unlike mineral wool, polystyrene foam is poorly permeable to water. This lightweight, non-toxic material is not subject to deformation due to the effects of temperature extremes. Even with a small thickness, it does not lose its good thermal insulation properties. But it also has some disadvantages. The fragility of the material is in the first place, so the material must be adjusted as accurately as possible.
Long-life polystyrene foam has improved characteristics. In addition to high levels of noise insulation and low thermal conductivity, the material is distinguished by increased strength. Installation with extruded polystyrene foam, in addition to insulation, will protect the house from the invasion of rodents and the development of mold fungi.
Vapor-proof roll materials izolon or penofol have a small thickness, and therefore cannot provide the required degree of insulation. Most often, these materials are used in conjunction with others. With penofol or izolon, a rough floor surface is laid, using it as a waterproofing layer on which the insulation is laid.
Bulk materials used as insulation, such as expanded clay and sawdust, are used for structures without basements.
Warming the floor with sawdust makes it possible to save money, since sawdust is of low cost. In addition, the shape of this insulation allows you to fill up even the most inaccessible places. Very often sawdust is combined with other substances to enhance thermal insulation, antiseptic and other properties.
Expanded clay floor is insulated in the case of close proximity to the ground. This lightweight material has a porous structure, due to which, in addition to thermal insulation, good sound insulation is provided. He is not afraid of temperature changes, and even an inexperienced person can handle the installation.
After analyzing the floor structure, it is necessary to consider the best solutions for a particular room. There is a certain sequence of floor insulation, suitable both for insulation along logs, and without them.
First, it is necessary to dismantle the old coating, if the insulation process takes place in the old room, and to lay or replace the logs. Then proceed with the laying of the rough covering, on which the waterproofing or vapor barrier layer is laid. Its edges should overlap the walls by 15-20 cm, and the joints should be glued with tape.
After that, you can start laying the insulation, which is placed either between the logs, or directly on the lined layer. It is necessary to lay insulation between the lags without gaps, otherwise the effectiveness of these works will be reduced to zero. The resulting gaps can be sealed with polyurethane foam or sealant.
After installing the insulation, you can start laying the vapor barrier layer, which is fixed on the logs, and the joints of the material are glued with tape. The last step is the installation of boards and finishing flooring.
To insulate cheaply does not mean bad, the main thing is to choose the right heat-insulating material, having previously analyzed the structure of the floor.
For information on how to insulate the floor along the logs, see the next video.
Successful examples and options
There are many examples and options for insulating a wooden floor in a variety of premises. It is possible to insulate the floor not only in an apartment, a private building, but also on a balcony, in a summer house, a veranda and a bathhouse.
Successful options include the decision to use two types of insulation, especially if the use of one material does not give the desired result. For example, to insulate the floor in a bathhouse, a layer of expanded clay is laid on the ground, on which, in turn, a waterproofing layer is laid. Another insulation is placed between the lags, which is covered from above with a layer of vapor barrier, and only then, after the rough boards, the main coating spreads.