Underfloor insulation provides an effective barrier to the flow of heat through suspended timber sub-floors and helps reduce the reliance on heaters in winter and air conditioners in summer.
Once installed, underfloor insulation tends to be forgotten. But if you’re a DIY builder or renovator looking for a relatively inexpensive upgrade that is easy and quick to install and adds long-term value to your home, then underfloor insulation should be near the top of your list.
Underfloor insulation, when installed correctly and when quality underfloor insulation products with high R-values are used, makes a noticeable difference. You will notice a return on your investment in underfloor insulation and enjoy a home that is naturally more comfortable year-round with less heat loss in winter, and less heat gain in summer.
“If you’re a DIY builder or renovator looking for an inexpensive upgrade that is easy and quick to install, underfloor insulation should be near the top of your list.”
Underfloor insulation can also provide acoustic advantages in your home by dampening the sound of footsteps on timber floors. Along with wall and roof insulation, underfloor insulation also helps reduce the transfer of noises from outside to inside and vice versa.
What types of underfloor insulation are available?
There are four main types of underfloor insulation products. Each one uses different kinds of materials and requires different methods of installation.
Foil faced insulation
A rigid insulation panel featuring a fire retardant expanded polystyrene core covered with an aluminium layer of foil on both sides. With a fire retardant expanded polystyrene core, foil faced insulation provides a thermal break and vapour barrier for thermal performance and moisture resistance.
Glasswool underfloor insulation batts
Glasswool batts contain millions and millions of tiny air pockets to effectively slow down the flow of heat. Made from recycled glass materials and a cost-effective choice, Glasswool insulation products are pre-cut to fit between the joists of timber floors and can be strapped or stapled in place.
Polyester rolls are a type of bulk insulation that traps billions of little air pockets within their structure to slow down and break up the heat path. Made from recycled plastic materials and typically pre-cut to fit new and existing timber joist floors, polyester rolls are available in a range of thicknesses and R-values.
Rigid expanded polystyrene (EPS) panels
One of the most popular choices for underfloor insulation, expanded polystyrene foam panels are a cost-effective and energy-efficient underfloor insulation that will effectively make any home with a timber floor more comfortable all year round.
Rigid EPS panels like Expol Underfloor Insulation are designed to be easy to install, making them perfect for DIY builders and DIY renovators looking for a product that will add sustained value to their homes.
How underfloor insulation adds value
Installing underfloor insulation can add long-term value to your home – whether you’re building a new home yourself or renovating and improving your existing home as a DIY project – by making it a more cost-effective, efficient, and comfortable place to live.
Underfloor insulation can occasionally be overlooked when considering DIY jobs that will improve your home. But doing so will mean missing out on making your home naturally more comfortable and economical year-round. Here are five ways quality underfloor insulation will enhance any home with a suspended floor.
By creating a barrier that wind cannot pass through, underfloor insulation helps eliminate drafts in homes that are raised above the ground.
Prevent heat loss
Insulation reduces temperature change, meaning less energy is needed to maintain the preferred temperature inside a home.
Reduce unwanted moisture
Timber floors are particularly vulnerable to moisture. Installing underfloor insulation creates a ‘vapour barrier’ that prevents moisture from gathering on the underside of a raised wooden floor, which over time may cause the floor to warp or become stained.
For those living in the colder parts of Australia in homes with piping beneath their timber floor, underfloor insulation provides an additional level of protection when the water in the pipes reaches freezing temperature. This can cause the pipes to crack or even burst.
Make summers manageable
Not just for winter, underfloor insulation also helps to control the temperature inside a home during the warmer months, relying less on air-conditioning.
Underfloor insulation for DIYers
Underfloor insulation is quick and easy for DIY builders and renovators to transport and install. Expanded polystyrene foam panels like Expol are readily available through retailers and offer a truly hassle-free installation. When working with Expol Underfloor Insulation, following these five easy steps will make installing Expol a breeze for DIYers.
Step 1: Place your Expol DIY Ruler (supplied with all first-time orders) against one side of the joist. The opposite joist will fall within one of our four panel sizes. Joist sizes can vary, so be sure to measure more than one.
Step 2: If the Expol panel is too wide, slice down the appropriate concertina edge, leaving the panel approximately 5mm oversized to ensure a firm fit.
Step 3: Slide the panel between the joists. The concertina-designed cuts will ensure a tight fit. Push it hard against the bottom of your floor leaving no air gap.
Step 4: For cables that come into direct contact with your Expol, place Expol Wireguard around the wires before installation.
Step 5: Use a knife to cut the panel and notch around obstacles such as pipes and plumbing (leaving 100mm clearance) if present.
Download a copy of our step-by-step installation instructions here.
While some underfloor insulation products can be tricky and time-consuming to install, Expol Underfloor Insulation is quick and easy to install, making these rigid panels the material of choice for DIY projects.
Trusted for more than 20 years, Expol Underfloor Insulation is available in four convenient joist widths (560mm, 470mm, 410mm, 360mm), and can easily be self-installed by DIY builders and renovators.
For more information and to find your closest stockist visit www.expolinsulation.com.au