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How to Insulate a Cabin Floor? Ways to Get It Right

Log cabins, a luxury dream of many, comes with all its splendor towards the customers as an aristocratic item. If you are one of the lucky ones who can afford it, kudos to you.

But, with log cabins, there are a couple of considerations you need to make. Although they may not sound substantial at first, they will make themselves known in the future.

And one of the obvious answers to such a consideration is to know how to insulate a cabin floor.

There’s no single right to insulating a cabin for year-round use. There are various ways you can do it.

But our discussion will focus more on the highly effective ways to do so. Also, as an added bonus, we will try and answer some of the frequently asked questions that may come to your mind.

All you have to do is sit back and go through the content. If you do so, you will get out wiser than you were before.

That we can assure you!

How to insulate a log cabin floor: Is it necessary for you?

A recent study indicates that around 8 to 10% of heat is wasted on average through the uninsulated ground floor of your cabin or home.

Although many people will be more than happy to avoid it, you should wait and go through the next few points. Because if any of them are in agreement, then you may want to hold out.

A modern dwelling

If you’ve purchased a log home or something in the neighborhood recently, then it is possible that you have some sort of insulation below the floor.

In regular situations, modern builders tend to plan and put polystyrene insulation below the floor with just a couple of inches headroom.

If that’s the case, then you don’t need to shed extra dollars to insulate the floor.

Suspended flooring

Any housing with suspended floors doesn’t need any type of insulation. Even if you are thinking about raised cabin floor insulation, it is better to have a second opinion in the matter.

Concrete flooring after the ’30s

Builders became a lot more perceptive about the need for under-floor insulation by the 1930s.

And since then, incorporating insulation after the ’30s became a trend in dwelling establishments. And it’s become a standard since then.

The builders put a few inches thick dense insulation below the flooring surface that worked as the concrete floor insulation. 

How to insulate a cottage floor: Things you’ll need

Needless to say, there are a few things you’ll need to get started on with the log cabin floor insulation. For the sake of simplicity, we will break down the primary and secondary equipment list that’s necessary.

Primary Equipment Secondary Equipment
·         EPS Sheet (Expanded Polystyrene sheets)

·         Polyurethane spray

·         Insulating concrete (for concrete floors only)

·         Expansion foam

·         Tape measure

·         Multipurpose knife

·         Stapling equipment

·         Putty knife

·         Screwdriver

·         Caulk gun

·         Safety goggles and masks for protection

·         Washers

·         Water-proof tape or sealant

Floor Insulation: A closer look at the primary equipment

The primary choices for today’s discussion are the floor insulation options you can find at your disposal.

These are some of the basic options you will find to use as floor insulation for your log cabin.

But you will find insulating concrete as well. We decided to throw it in to give our concrete lovers something to go on about.

EPS Insulation boards

The EPS or Extended Polystyrene Sheets have the following properties:

  • They have increased insulation value with higher resistance.
  • They are very persistent to shocks, very less creaky.
  • Because of the fixed position, they tend to allow less heat flow and better overall insulation.

EPS sheets (boards) are also the cheapest options you will find out there. You can find them in varying thicknesses. But the average thickness in the marketplace is around 3-inches.

Polyurethane Spray

A spray is a good covering material. It spreads across the cabin flooring evenly and offers good insulation.

And the polyurethane spray is exactly that. In contrast to the ESP board, this spray has a greater persistence to heat exclusion. It means that heat won’t escape easily!

Another good thing about the spray is the fact that it has varying thickness choices. The reason behind it is the fact that you can spray to whatever thickness you like. Also, it’s a quick enough solution that allows you to save time.

But the one and only snag are that you need someone experienced enough to use it on the floor for you.

The average thickness you’d want with this spray can vary. But generally, pro’s like to use 4-5-inch thickness on average.

Insulation concrete

Another name for insulating concrete is screed. And this is used in conjunction with any other insulating material. Otherwise, the insulation will not be as good as you’d expect.

This is by far the costliest option out there. Also, you can’t really buy it and spread it to your heart’s content. In short, it’s not so flexible for use.

How to insulate a cottage floor: How should you approach it?

We will now discuss a quick and simple way to apply log cabin floor insulation. Although we would like nothing more than to put experts on the case, a diy approach can be a money saver.

Do keep in mind that you may or may not need all of the materials we discussed previously. But you can pretty much assume what you’ll need and what not.

Keep in mind that, the process is going to be way different that what an outdoor or garden maintenance task takes. 

Step 0: Getting ready

A very crucial and simple step is to get everything ready for the big do-over. You’d want to get yourself adorned with gloves and a mask for good measure.

It’s also a good idea to keep all the necessary equipment close at hand. You never know what you may need.

Step 1: Going through pre-checks

You are working on a log floor. So, it is prudent that you check for any broken parts or loose boards.

Also, you’d want to keep everything nice and tidy before you begin.

Step 2: Installing floor insulation boards

You’ll now need the help of the utility knife to cut the insulating boards. Use a tape measure for accurate measurement. 

There’s a specific pattern to lay down the insulation boards. But you could get fancy and apply your own styling if you wish. We would advise against it of course. 

You’d want to have extra boards at hand in case there’s a mistake in cutting and shaping the insulation boards.

Use washers to increase the overall integrity of the board. Also, space out the screws evenly to keep the board in place. Do these two things properly, and you have solid insulation with little to no creaking.

If you don’t want to go with EPS boards, then you may want to consider the spray as insulation. But you’ll need an extra pair of hands to get through with it.

Step 4: Tape up or seal the boards

It’s time to use a waterproof sealant or tape to close the joints.

The advantage here is the decreased heat loss, allowing heat to move upwards and let you enjoy the warmth of the cabin.

Step 5: Using a liquid screed

This part of the process needs careful execution.

You want to put down some liquid screed for added insulation and that’s fine. But you need to make sure that the sealant is proper and doesn’t leak anywhere.

Another consideration you need to make is the fact that the screed needs to spread evenly. If there’s unevenness, then there will be inconsistencies.

Step 6: Expansion foam installation

This is the very last part of the process.

The expansion foam needs to be put in place with a staple gun. But you could get away with a taping them up. But that is not the way you should approach the problem.

If you want to get proper results, you should do it properly.


Q: Why do log cabins need insulation?
Ans.: It’s because of the thermal properties.

Log cabins cannot hold heat within themselves in contrast to other elements. As a matter of fact, the thermal mass of logs isn’t very promising, which leads to excess heat loss.

Q: What should I do about the insulation of 44mm cabins?
Ans.: You don’t need to bother much in this case.

As far-fetched as it may seem, such thickness in conjunction with double-glazed windows is a very good trapper of heat, which should be plenty during the long winter nights.

But getting a second opinion in the matter is always welcome.

Q: Can you add drywall over cabins?
Ans.: Yes, you can. As a matter of fact, it could be useful at times.

Q: How effective are log cabins in the winter?
Ans.: They are very effective-only if the insulation is on point of course.

Final thoughts

You should now be able to work your way into how to insulate a cabin floor.

But you may have noticed that we advised you to ask for a professional opinion. Well, we did that on purpose. Because that will only make your diy project stronger.

Goodbye for now, see you later.