Winter brings out the worst in our homes, exposing the colder rooms, bringing out the draughts and showing up the areas which need more insulation.
In older houses particularly, the failings of poor construction, bad insulation and decades of wear and tear themselves show as cold spots, costing us money as we rush to put the heating up. However, it needn’t be like that. It is quite possible, and affordable, to take steps to insulate our homes well enough so that, next winter at least, our bills will be reduced and our comfort levels increased.
When talking about insulation, most people’s thoughts will turn to walls, lofts and windows, yet there is one often overlooked area which will have a big impact on your home’s heating bills – the floors. Badly insulated floors allow heat to be drawn downwards towards the foundations, or to escape to upper floors – a problem if you live on the ground floor, as you’ll then be paying money to keep your upstairs neighbours warm and toasty.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, insulating your floors could save you up to £90 a year in heating bills.
Here are just a few ways you can insulate your floors and make a difference this year:
The type of underlay you use has a big impact on the amount of heat lost through your floors. Of course, the thicker the underlay, the better the insulation, but if you have underfloor heating you will want to choose a thinner type, which then lets the heat pass through into the room.
Vinyl tiles are a good alternative to ceramic or stone, and provide better insulation properties. Add these to a thick underlay and you have a really effective insulating layer on any floor.
One of the best floors, insulation-wise, is engineered wood flooring, such as that available at http://www.ukflooringdirect.co.uk/engineered-wood-flooring. Made up of a layer of beautiful solid wood, on top of supporting layers of MDF or plywood, engineered wood flooring is a naturally insulating material and is lovely and warm under bare feet. A floating flooring, it can also be laid on top of underlay, adding extra insulation.
Another type of flooring which provides good insulation, laminate, especially the thicker kinds, is a good, affordable choice.