About 10% of heat loss from an average home is through the ground floor.
If your floor isn't already insulated, this could be a good move to help you cut your energy bills.
Read on to find out more about floor insulation and what's the right option for your home.
Do you need to insulate your floor?
This really depends on your home and what kind of floors it has:
Older houses with 'suspended floors', which are in effect above a void, are likely to lose more heat through the floor.
Homes with solid (concrete) floors, built since the 1930s, have less of a problem. Concrete floor insulation can, however, be installed and usually consists in a layer of solid insualtion which is placed directly on the floor.
Modern houses tend to incorporate slabs of polystyrene insulation a few inches below the concrete floor surface, effectively reducing this type of heat loss.
Whatever your home, there's still some kind of measure you can take to insulate your floor.
Four ways to insulate your floor
Draught-proofing - simply use sealant or caulking to fill the gaps between your floorboards and between skirting boards and the floor.
Add an insulating layer under your carpet or floor-covering - try a fibreboard underlay or polyfoam board.
A rug - it's not going to solve all your problems, but putting a rug on top of bare floorboards will help to block some draughts and keep your toes warm.
Underfloor insulation - if you have you an access hatch that allows you to get into the crawlspace (void) below the floorboards, this is a relatively easy process, if not you will have to take up the floorboards. You will need to use netting or wooden battens to hold the glass or mineral wool style insulation in place beneath the floorboards.
Alternatively, it may be easier to use batts rather than blanket style insulation. Batts typically also have the advantage of having a slightly higher R-value - the higher the R-value, the greater the insulator's effectiveness. Sheep's wool could also be considered, due to its breathability.
One thing to remember, however, is the need for ventilation. The void (or crawlspace) below the floorboards will have ventilation grills and these should not be blocked up, as floorboards may otherwise become damp and start to rot.