There’s a lot of jargon in this industry, but quite often it’s all very simple. Take ‘floating floors’ and how you insulate them.
So, what is a floating floor? A floating floor is typically taken to mean a lightweight construction where chipboard, gypsum or cement fibre board floor panels are ‘floated’ across the top of the rigid insulation layer. Floating floors are used most often in domestic buildings especially when retrofitting or refurbishing an existing building. This is because they are quick, lightweight and easy to install, thinner than screed options, with no wet trades and no drying-out time. They also allow for fast heating response times.
How to insulate a floating floor?
The layers would be, from top down:
- Floor finish (eg carpet/ laminate floor, timber boarding. As floating floors are by their nature flexible, care should be taken when specifying tile finishes which are more suited to less flexible substrates)
- Tongue and Groove flooring (typically 18mm T&G chipboard or cement / gypsum fibre boards)
- Separation layer (500 gauge polythene)
- Insulation laid continuously (eg Kingspan Thermafloor TF70)
- Damp proof membrane if required
- Screed (if existing)
- Concrete slab
What about for heavier items? For items such as bath footings or the base of toilets then a timber batten would be used. Similarly, where there is heavier point loadings such as in door thresholds or at the bottom of stairs, then again you would use a timber batten.