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How to reduce heat loss through your floor

How to reduce heat loss through your floor

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The type of flooring you have can greatly impact how much heat you lose during colder months. Our advice is a high-tog rated, insulated floor will make your home feel warmer and reduce draughts, so you'll be able to save money on your energy bills and keep your room cosy. 

We’ll take you through how much heat you could be losing through your floor, how to reduce this heat loss, the different flooring types that will work best to reduce heat loss, and different ways to keep heat in as the winter months close in. 

How much heat is lost through my floor?

It may surprise you to know on average 10-20% of heat loss occurs through your floors – this is in addition to losing heat through your ceilings, windows, and doors, not to mention open fireplaces too. But this percentage can be much higher if you don’t have the correct flooring or if you don’t have insulation in your home. Here are some ways to reduce the heat you’re losing through your floor. 

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How to reduce heat loss through your floor

When it comes to keeping the heat inside your home, there are plenty of different things you can do, but one of the most important is ensuring your flooring has a high tog rating and fitted correctly – our fitting service will give you peace of mind for years to come that you’re not losing any heat from poorly fitted flooring. Here are some of the different flooring solutions you can try to reduce heat loss this winter. 

CARPET

There’s no doubt carpet is one of the best types of flooring to reduce energy costs. Carpet is a natural source of insulation, making your home more energy efficient by retaining more heat. When you walk on a carpet, warm air gets trapped just above its surface, reducing draughts, and making you feel warmer. This helps to trap the warm air in the room for longer and having more carpeted rooms in your home brings you the greatest benefit.

It's thought wool carpets are the most effective thermal insulators, as wool fibres not only retain their pile height for a longer period (which is essential for retaining insulation) but also feel warm and firm underfoot, helping you feel cosier. We wouldn’t advise including carpet in every room in your home. We don’t recommend having carpeted kitchens or bathrooms, so for rooms that can’t be carpeted, we recommend using a smooth flooring with the correct underlay. 

Underlay

Underlay is a layer of material that sits underneath your flooring and creates a barrier between your subfloor and flooring (and if you're concerned about your subfloor needing replacing, have a read of our guide). It comes in different thicknesses, materials, and tog ratings. The underlay you choose should be matched to the layer above.  If your underlay has a high tog rating it will prevent heat from escaping through the floor, while also providing exceptional comfort under a carpet and warmth under a smooth floor. 

You can add underlay underneath laminate flooring and engineered wood, but it’s not recommended to add underlay underneath vinyl flooring, as vinyl floors usually have a base layer of foam or felt back that provides extra softness and warmth underfoot, so don't need an underlay. This makes them a great value choice for larger rooms like kitchens. 

Underfloor heating

Underfloor heating acts like a big storage heater underneath your flooring – it evenly distributes heat across the whole room and is a great way of heating your room too. Because your flooring has become the heat emitter instead of radiators that sit above the floor, you won’t lose heat through your flooring. they also heat other elements of your home and make them warmer, as opposed to radiators which send heat upwards towards your ceiling and don’t circulate heat through the room. 

Fitting underfloor heating is a specialist job and is usually more suitable for newbuild homes. It’s not necessarily recommended if you have an older property. Check out our guide to which flooring works best with underfloor heating to find out if underfloor heating could be the solution for you. 

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Ways to warm your house

As well as ensuring your flooring isn’t letting too much heat out, it’s also worth knowing some tips about keeping the heat in and warming your house. Here are our top tips for creating a cosy home this winter:
  • Move your furniture away from radiators to allow the hot air to circulate around the room more.
  • Keep the door closed in rooms where the heat is needed and try using draught excluders for extra strength draught reduction.
  • If the sun comes into a particular room during the day, allow it to naturally heat the room, then close the curtains at night to prevent heat from escaping through the windows.
  • Rugs can keep a room cosy if you don’t have carpets – try our carpet whipping service to make rugs out of your favourite Tapi carpets, or discover how to layer rugs for an even cosier feel. 
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So, whether you’re sold on underfloor heating or want to try some of our free tips to see what works best, your rooms should be a little cosier this winter. If you want to upgrade your carpet or underlay to one of our higher tog options, why not pop into your local Tapi store to see what carpet options you love the most? We also have a carpet care guide you can check out for more advice on how to look after the flooring you already have during the winter months. 

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Published: 09-09-2022