What type of insulation board should I use?
March 25, 2019 Paul
One of the most detrimental and overlooked factors of home heat loss, insulating the floor effectively is a necessity for household comfort. The EnergySavingTrust estimates that good floor insulation will save about £60 a year on energy costs.
Insulation boards are an excellent solution; affordable and worthwhile, board insulation is the easiest to install and can be cut to fit any shape room.
But which insulation board variant is the most appropriate for your needs? Getting this right is crucial for comfortable living and the success of your underfloor heating installation. The design, size and costs need to be considered, as well as the house’s properties and preferred heating system.
Tile Backer Boards
The correct choice if you are hoping to install an electrical underfloor heating system below a tiled floor. Made of polyfoam and reinforced polymer cement, the sturdy panels can be used with mats and loose lay cables. Securely screwed together with metal fixings, the substrate is dimensionally stable and will not rot or warp under pressure.
Excellently heat and moisture resistant, the boards can be strengthened with self-adhesive mesh. The boards are suitable for domestic and commercial use, providing a high level of insulation and reliability.
The top option for dry tiled heating, the variant is more expensive but its guaranteed quality of comfort cannot be substituted. Capable of being sized precisely and shaped to fit the room, tile backer boards are a must have for tiled floors.
XPS Insulation boards
The affordable underfloor board designed for dry heating solutions, XPS boards offer great protection for poorly insulated concrete or screed bases. Ideally to be laid under wooden laminate, XPS insulation boards are made from extruded polystyrene, resistant to fatigue and moisture.
When assessing the thickness of the insulation board, frequency of use and future savings need to be considered. Thicker insulation is shown to noticeably improve the comfort and heat retention of the room. Also, purchasing a wider dimension than necessary is recommended as the panels can be tightly butted together to reduce the movement of air and loss of heat. Premium boards are available for extra effectiveness, ranging from 6 to 50mm in thickness.
The lightweight boards can be cut easily and laid in a brick pattern providing neat and confident heat retention. The XPS board combines affordability and quality to improve household comfort.
Solid floor panels
High density insulation designed for wet underfloor heating systems, solid floor panels are suitable for domestic and commercial use. They feature carved channels which fit the pipes transporting the warmed flowing water. Their excellent material provides even heat distribution across the space, eliminating heat spots. Wet underfloor kits involving solid floor panels ensure effective warmth of a large space. It is a vital component of a superior all-encompassing heating solution popularly preferred over visible alternatives.
The polystyrene boards are moisture and heat resistant, possessing excellent compressive strength and fatigue resistant. They must be installed on concrete, screed or flat wooden subfloors. The floor panels are designed to be low profile, meaning they have a minimal effect on the height of the floor.
Solid floor panels are ideal for homeowners who intend to heat tiled floors with wet heating systems. This product has strict installation instructions which needs to be reviewed before you or an installer begins the laying process.
Floating floor panels
The speediest installation option for wet heating systems, floating floor panels are ideal for laminate and wooden floors but should not be laid under tiles. With no wet trades needed, the boards can quickly be laid and then the piping will slot into the upward grooves.
The heating panels can be modified to fit around permanent fixtures; they offer flexibility with their ability to be rotated and still fit together. Additional bends can be cut with a knife or mechanical equipment. The panels can be used for multi output systems and can sustain high temperatures.
The provided instruction can be easily followed for simple installation. Heat loss can be further minimised by also using edge insulation around the sides of the floating floor panels. Low profile variants are available for less of an effect on floor height.
Made from high tech aluminium foil, distributing heat effectively, floating insulation boards are perfect for quickly insulating a variety of floor types.
Depending on your type of underfloor heating and type of flooring, one of these options will be suitable. Each of them are supplied by Element Shop, with a range of sizes and thicknesses available. Consider your requirements and browse our collection to be sure you are selecting the right type of insulation board.