Few things in life are as jarring as putting warm feet on a cold floor first thing in the morning. Indeed, cold floors can be a continuous source of discomfort if not addressed properly.
Unfortunately, heating your home to avoid cold feet is ineffective; it doesn’t prevent cold air from seeping into your home from the ground.
Insulating your floors can help regulate the temperature in your home and keep you cozy and comfortable all year round.
The main causes of cold floors
- Flooring materials: The type of flooring in your home may explain why your floors are abnormally cold. Indeed, certain types of flooring materials such as ceramic tile or stone are naturally cold, making it extremely hard to retain heat.
- Lack of insulation: Cold floors are a good indication that your home’s rim joist or crawl spaces are poorly insulated. Lack of insulation in areas connected to the foundation can affect your floor structure, especially if these areas are in constant contact with extremely cold or extremely hot outside air.
- Air leaks and drafts: Cold air can seep in from every gap, crack, or hole in your home – and even from the ground, affecting the temperature of your flooring. Sealing and repairing the gaps and cracks where cold air may be entering will help reduce air leakage and make a considerable temperature difference inside your home.
- Uninsulated heating and air conditioning ducts: Your HVAC ductwork will conserve more energy and reduce unwanted heat loss if properly insulated and sealed – resulting in warmer homes and, therefore, warmer floors.
Areas to insulate
Insulation is one of the best solutions to avoid cold floors over unheated areas such as rooms over garages, crawl spaces, or basements. Insulating your floors can make a big difference to your home’s overall comfort.
Not only can it prevent noise from travelling into your home, but it will also stop cold air from entering through your floors, improving your home’s thermal performance. If your floors feel cold, you might want to check the following areas to determine if you need floor insulation.
Between floor joists: As the primary floor structure of your home, joists are the first place to consider adding insulation. Insulation should be placed between the floor joists and pressed gently against the subflooring to prevent heat loss and help regulate the temperature.
Basement rim joists: If you have cold floors over your basement, then you may need basement rim joist insulation. Before adding insulation, make sure to seal all cracks and leaks to prevent air leakage and help keep the heat in.
Floors above vented crawl spaces: Installing insulation over unheated areas like crawl spaces is one of the most effective ways to solve your cold floor problems. Consider placing your insulation on crawl space floors and walls if your crawl space contains water pipes and heating and cooling ducts. For optimum thermal efficiency, a vapor retarder should be installed covering the ground to prevent moisture from entering the crawlspace.
Floors over unheated areas or open spaces: Rooms built on top of an unheated basement or garage are the most subject to cold floors issues. Therefore, insulating the floors over garages or porches can help regulate the temperature inside your home and improve your home’s comfort.
Attic floors, top floor ceilings, and basement ceilings: Insulating these spaces will protect your home from the chill in winter and the heat in summer, while keeping your floors at an even temperature all year round.
Four CertainTeed products to prevent cold floors in your home
Once you’ve identified the type of flooring you have and the areas that need to be insulated, you can then select the best insulation material to address your cold floor issue. Here are five CertainTeed solutions to help you choose the best insulation for your floors.
Fiberglass batts and rolls: If you are looking to insulate between the floor joists or crawl space, fiberglass insulation is right for your project. In addition to being an excellent thermal barrier, fiberglass insulation like CertainTeed InsulPure™ can also act as an acoustical barrier and help ensure unwanted noise doesn’t travel through the walls and floors of your home.
Blown-in fiberglass: OPTIMA® blown-in insulation system is specifically designed to be blown into closed cavities such as floors and mid-floor areas. CertainTeed OPTIMA is a non-combustible insulation material that provides sound blocking properties. It improves the STC rating by 14 points.
However, if you need to retrofit existing floors to improve your home’s thermal performance, then CertainTeed InsulSafe® fiberglass blowing insulation is the right solution. CertainTeed InsulSafe is specifically designed for pneumatic applications.
Vapor retarder-faced insulation: If your floors are prone to mold and mildew, use a vapor retarder to control moisture movement through your floors. For better thermal efficiency, CertainTeed MemBrain™ Continuous Air Barrier & Smart Vapor Retarder should be installed facing up toward the unheated areas of your home. This will help keep your floors dry.
Air Sealants: Seal gaps and penetrations with an air sealant to optimize the insulation in your home. If you want to keep your home dry year-round, CertainTeed CertaSeal™ INT air sealant can also safeguard your home against wind uplift and moisture infiltration – helping you create the perfect indoor temperature.
Insulating your floors will help regulate the temperature in your home throughout the seasons. In addition to the thermal benefits, insulation will help reduce the noise between floors, turning your home into a comfortable and quiet oasis.
CertainTeed trusted contractors can help you choose the best insulation material to help maintain a consistent floor temperature throughout the year.
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