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Soundproofing, Damp Proofing & Thermal Insulations for Wooden Floors

Gold underlay with integrated damp and sound proof membraneWood floor insulation and soundproofing often go 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 the application of damp proofing membranes in areas where moisture may be of an issue.

The insulation is part of the subfloor preparation process on wood floor fitting. It tackles issues with air-borne and impact generated sounds,  reducing contact of the new floors with the subfloor, eliminating the exchange of humidity, as well as serving 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 a draft we often imagine a Victorian type property, whose original subfloor design has remained as pine floorboards, laid originally with the property. Over the years, the pine boards have shrunk and gaps will appear between the boards. This often comes with two issues - draft and cold on ground floors and a transparent exchange of noise with upper floors.

A common solution for insulating between the ground floor and upper floors is the Rockwool Insulation. Its flexibility and volume allow the stuffing of the insulation between the joists, which are holding the original flooring and the ceiling below. Rockwool insulation helps soundproofing 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 of which include nets or metal strings over which the insulation is laid.

In some cases, fitting of Rockwool insulation may be carried out together with the replacement of the subfloor with chipboard or plywood. If the original pine floorboards 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 of similar age and colour. If the main purpose of the floor works is the insulation fitting of floorboards, then floor sanding will need to be done as well on completion.

We have to mention under this section the fibreboard underlay, which is a common choice of underlay for laminate floor installation over floorboards. The fibreboard will significantly increase the thermal insulation on such subfloor and help to deal with minor unevenness as well, as its thickness of 5.5 mm is ideal for that.

Soundproofing Insulation

Underlay with good sound-proofing insulationSoundproofing is a common service for converted properties. Such projects usually require a 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.

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

The typical quality underlay will offer soundproofing of the 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 a 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 is not significant. The level of soundproofing with this type of insulation will depend on the amount of insulation used and how well is spread.

The highest level of soundproofing we can offer comes together with our double rubber E-Board product. Although a project involving such acoustic floor insulation can be quite expensive, we will recommend this type of insulation is most effective.

Damp Proofing Floor Insulation

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

A liquid damp proofing course is applied on concrete surfaces and is quite an important factor for laying solid wood floors. As widely known, solid wood planks can contract due to changes in environmental 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 the replacement of older subfloors. Chipboard sheeting comes in tongue-and-groove and once fitted it provides a smooth and solid subfloor, similar to plywood.

Do they, however, offer some soundproofing qualities? The 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 soundproofing insulation.

For Which Flooring & Services I Can Go With Insulation?

  • If you are restoring wooden floors and would like the same time to increase the soundproofing between the floors, you can go for Rockwool Insulation if you have original pine floorboards 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 choose parquet floor fitting, you can still go for underlay if soundproofing is of the essence. Parquet flooring blocks require a smooth level and usually go with plying down or fitting over chipboard subfloor (wooden subfloors). Sound-proofing underlay, however, can be laid below this layer for increasing these qualities.
Product Name Thickness Damp Proofing Soundproofing 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

Call Us For Advice

Our flooring service comes with obligation-free site visit, quick quotations and free advice. Give us a call on 020 88309782 to speak to a member of our staff, who can arrange for a free assessment of your floor sanding or wood floor fitting service at a convenient for you time.

FlooringFirst! Services
158 Coles Green Road
London, NW2 7HW
T: 020 88309782