How to Insulate Your Floor Before Installing New Carpet

Brrrrr…. I don’t know about your area, but the temperatures are finally dropping in Georgia. So I think now is a great time for a guide to insulating your flooring before putting new carpet down. It’s a process that you will greatly benefit from as far as regulating temperature during the warm and cold months of the year, as well as cutting down on the cost of your energy bill.

Here is what you will need:

  • Utility Knife
  • Measuring Tape
  • Wood Strips
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Caulk
  • Caulking Gun
  • Marker
  • A Straightedge
  • Foam Adhesive
  • Insulation

The steps to insulating your floor before your carpet is installed:

Step 1 – Getting the right Insulation for the job.

You can find insulation at many stores and you will be surprised about how incredibly cost effective it is. What you need to find is a polyurethane foam board, and you can get it at most chain stores, just ask the helpful staff. I’m sure they will be more than happy to point you in the right direction. If you are looking for a more environmentally friendly option for your flooring insulation, you can find natural versions made of wool or recycled paper. Just expect to pay a little more.

Step 2: The right adhesives

It is important to go with a high quality construction adhesive in this process. The reason being that when you use a cheap adhesive it has a tendency to slowly break down the floor below the insulation, making it impossible to do the job. If this doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can always go with a glue for flooring. It will work the same, but will take a lot more time to get the job done.

Step 3: Beginning to insulate

You will need to start by preparing the floor by removing all the furniture, accessories and decor from the room, so that you have a floor clean from obstacles, allowing you to focus on the job at hand without taking frequent breaks and pit stops along the way. Now that everything is out of the way, you will need to nail a thin wood border along the edges of the room, and the very bottom of the wall next to the floor. These should be  1/2 inch wide and be as thick as the insulation that you have chosen. Now that it is done, you will not have to come back to these until it is time to install the carpet.

Step 4: Measuring the room

It is time to take your measurements. Start by measuring the distances between opposite facing walls and writing them down. Make sure if you have any odd areas to to factor in those measurements as well such as a closet or pantry. These will probably require special cuts, but don’t worry, you can do it all with a utility knife.

Step 5: Measuring foam boards

Now you need to measure your foam boards and make the appropriate cuts, given the room’s measurements that you wrote down in the previous step. This will be done by using your straightedge and marker for exact clean lines. Simply line up the straightedge to each of the marked lines and use the utility knife to cut straight down and through the foam. Take your time and do one at a time to assure that if you mess up, you have minimal material waste.

Step 6: Lay it down and adhere it.

Now that you have all of your foam boards cut accurately, it is time to lay them out in the positions that they will be adhered to the surface. The edges of the boards should just meet flush, do not allow them to over lap, this could cause drafts in your insulation. Take the same precautions at the edge of the walls, they should fit snug. Now that everything is tight and right, lift one board at a time and use the adhesive to attach them to the floor. Make sure that they align the way you want them too before the adhesive sets, and this happens relatively fast after laying it on the floor.

Step 7: Finishing touches

At this point you need to slowly walk along the floor and look for any possible gaps in your insulation. This should be minimal if you took the previous steps to heart, but not even a professional gets it right the first time. Take the caulking gun and caulking and carefully fill in the gaps. Allow it to dry! And you are done with the insulation process!

Installing the carpet. While this is more a job for someone with experience and the right tools, the wooden strip you placed on the wall at the beginning will be used for installing the carpet. We call this the border and it will be used for carpet tacks or tackless strips, so you are already ahead of the game for installing new carpet.

I hope you enjoyed this guide to insulating your floor before installing new carpet. As always I would love to hear about any comments, suggestions, or questions that you may have on the subject, and I encourage you to comment below.

Thanks for reading and Until next time, Happy Home and Flooring!

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