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Floor Insulation & Sound Proofing


Gold underlay with integrated damp and sound proof membraneWood floor insulation and sound-proofing, often goes together with refurbishments of wooden floors. We do it for concrete subfloors and wooden subfloors for various reasons - draft reducing insulation, sound reducing insulation, and application of damp proofing membranes in areas where moisture may be of an issue.

The insulation is part of the subfloor preparation process on  various wooden floor installations. It tackles issues 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 important factors, for the guarantee of the floor works, but also for the comfort, which the premises will inherit.

Draft Preventing & Thermal Floor Insulation

When speaking of issues of draft we often imagine a Victorian type property, whose original subfloor design has remained as pine floor boards, laid originally with the property. Over the years, the pine boards has shrinked and gaps will appear between the boards. This often comes with two issues - draft and cold on ground floors and transparent exchange of noise with upper floors.

Common solution for insulating 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 underlay 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 installtion 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

underlay with good sound-proofing insulationSound-proofing is common service for converted properties. Such projects usually requires major change of the purpose of the building and often this fact is overseen and it becomes an issue when separate owners settle in the converted property.

Proper solution for air-bourne and impact noise will come with installation of new floors, which will be laid over a sound-proofing underlay. FlooringFirst! offers few types of underlay with increased sound-proofing qualities and they are selected based on the nature of the issue, type of flooring to be laid and budget.

Typical quality underlay will offer sound-proofing of air-borne sound of up to 18-24 dB. Some underlays however will go beyond these limits. “Timbertech2 Contract HD 5” for example is a product that offers sound-proofing rate of 28 dB and the double rubber E-Board goes to 53 dB.

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

Damp-proofing is carried out by liquid or plastic film applied over the subfloor, prior to laying new floors or underlay. Many contemporary underlay products come with built-in DPM membrane, which saves time and worries.

Liquid damp-proofing course is applied on concrete surfaces and is quite important factor for laying solid wood floors. As widely known, solid wood planks can contract due to change of environment humidity and temperature. Therefore this type of procedure is vital for hardwood flooring installations.

Refer to the comparison table below to see our range of rubber underlays, which offer built-in membranes.

chipboard used for subfloor

Plywood and Chipboard as Means of Insulation

Plywood and chipboard are materials commonly used today in major refurbs for replacement of older subfloors. Chipboard sheeting comes in tongue-and-groove and once fitted it provides smooth and solid subfloor, similar to plywood.

Do they however offer some sound proofing qualities? Answer is Yes, but limited.

Ideally when replacement of subfloors is on the way, fitting of Rockwool insulation should be considered at the same time for properties with wooden subfloors. That will give the premises better thermal and sound-proofing insulation.

For Which Flooring & Services I Can Go With Insulation?

  • If you are restoring wooden floors and would like at the same time to increase the sound-proffing between the floors, you can go for Rockwool Insulation if you have original pine floor boards flooring
  • If you are installing hardwood floors, engineered wood flooring or laminate flooring speak to a member of staff for advice on the products you can go for.
  • If you are installing parquet flooring, you can still go for underlay if sound-proofing is of essence. Parquet flooring blocks require smooth level and usually goes with plying down or fitting over chipboarded subfloor (wooden subfloors). Sound-proofing underlay however can be laid below this layer for increasing these qualities.
Product Name Thickness Damp-Proofing Sound-Proofing Levelling Qualities
Rockwool Insulation - No Average -
Fibreboard 5.50 mm No Average Good
Basic Foam (Barrier Plus) 2.00 mm Yes Average Poor
Timbertech2 Original Xtra 3.00 mm Yes Good Good
Timbertech2 Contract Gold 3.30 mm Yes Good Good
Timbertech2 Contract HD 5 5.00 mm No Excellent Good
Duralay Excel Silver 3.6 mm Yes Excellent Good
Duralay SilentFloor Gold 4.2 mm Yes Excellent Good
E-Board 6 -10 mm Yes Excellent Good



FlooringFirst! Services
158 Coles Green Road
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T: 0800 0434359