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insulate a shed floor

How To Insulate A Shed Floor

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Have you ever spent time in a cold shed?  Learn how to insulate a shed floor so you never have to freeze again.  Understand why you need insulation, what type of insulation and how to install the insulation properly.  It can be easier than you think.  

So you decided to build a shed for storage but not sure about whether or not to insulate the shed floor.  Your shed can and will have many uses throughout its life.  So do some thinking about your shed and whether or not you need to insulate the shed.  Here are some questions you may need to ask yourself.

  • Are you in the planning phases of your shed?  
  • Is your shed already built?
  • Does the type of foundation of your shed make a difference?
  • Can the climate impact my shed?
  • How do activities in your shed influence your decision?
  • Are there many types of insulation I can use?
  • What is the R value of the insulation needed?
  • How to insulate a shed floor?

Planning Phases

gable style shed frame

If you are in the planning phases of your shed, then you are in luck.  Planning early on can reduce headaches later in the building process.  Understanding what you are going to do in your shed will help in the planning phase also.

Are you going to use your shed as a retreat?  If so, then you may want to plan on insulating the shed floor.  Sheds that are for basic storage don’t really need to be insulated.  However, if you are going to store temperature controlled items then insulating the floor will help keep your stuff in good condition.

Planning your shed should be easy and  you should take the time to find out what you are really going to do with your shed.  Once you know your shed use you can look at the different types of sheds.  There are many types of sheds so make sure you look at all the options.  Get the biggest collection of shed plans here so you can find the right shed to build.  

Having a shed kit installed on your property is another option.  So talk to the seller and see if they can add insulation to the shed floor.  The sellers will add the right type of insulation and the right R value for your area.  See the article below to find the R value needed.

What If Your Shed Is Already Built?

So you have a shed that is already located on your property.  You can only store lawn mowers and lawn equipment only because the shed is cold.  Maybe you want to change the shed to be a retreat?  So you may want to add some insulation.

Adding insulation can be easy if your shed foundation is elevated and you can get underneath the floor.  You can add insulation very easily .  You can remove the floor boards and place the insulation between the floor joists.  Also, you can look at applying the insulation to the underside of the floor if you can get under the foundation.  

This can be easy or difficult depending on the type of insulation you use.  Read below to find out the types of insulation and their R values.

Does Foundation Makes A Difference?

shed floor design concrete pier foundation

The type of foundation of your shed will make a difference on insulation of a shed floor.  As you can read from my previous post here on foundations there are many types of foundations.  

If your shed is going to be a concrete foundation and the concrete serves as the floor then you will not be able to insulate the floor.  However, you may want to insulate the walls.

A wood and pier foundation will allow air flow under the shed.  This type of foundation could use insulation in the floor.  You can place insulation between the floor joists as you are building your shed.  Then attach the flooring to the joists.  

However, if the shed is already built there could be two ways to insulate the floor.  One could remove the floor and add the insulation between the joists and then reattach the floor.  Or one could attach insulation to the underside of the floor if the wood and pier foundation is tall enough to get under the shed.

Sheds that are on a gravel shed base can also have insulation between the floor joists.  But it would be easier to have this done in the building process.  However, if the shed is already built then you would have to remove the floor and add the insulation.  Then reattach the floor to the joists.

Climate Effect On Your Shed

Climate can impact everything in our lives.  And this is true for shed building.  Insulation is best used in climate that is very cold or very warm.  Therefore, if you live in the northern climates then I recommend to insulate the shed floor.  This is because you will be storing lawn equipment and most other things in your shed.  In the cold climates even the lawn equipment needs to be protected from the extreme cold so I recommend to insulate the floor.

In warm climates you could get away without insulating the shed floor.  However, if you are going to spend a lot of time in your shed then you may want to insulate the shed floor to keep the shed from getting too hot.  So insulation would help you keep the shed cool.  If your shed is for storage then take a close look at what you may be storing.  Some things cannot be stored in the extreme heat and insulation will protect the shed from getting too hot.

 

Do Activites Matter?

cigar shed

Sheds can be used for many things.  And this can make a difference on insulating a shed floor.  If your shed is going to be for storage then take an inventory of what you will be storing.  If your stuff needs protecting from the extreme cold or heat then insulate.

Man cave or Cigar cave or She Shed.  Insulate the floor if your shed is going to be used as a getaway.  Sheds that are retreats will typically have lots of things that can be ruined from temperatures that are too high or too cold.  Further, you will want to relax in your getaway shed in comfort.  Insulation will help one keep the temperature constant and the shed more enjoyable.

How To Insulate a Shed Floor - Types Of Insulation Used.

insulate a shed floor

There are many types of insulation that you can use to insulate a shed floor.  The insulation for a shed floor can be installed relatively easy.  This can be installed usually by one person but you may want a helper or two.  

Insulation Batts.  These are pre-cut sections of fiberglass or rock wool insulation.  It is designed for ease of handling.  So you can use between framing such as studs and joists in your shed.  Owens Corning makes great insulation and you can find out more about this insulation here.

Insulation Rolls.  These are in pre-cut widths and can fit between studs and joists. The lengths of the rolls come in various sizes.  It can be used for the shed in the attic, walls and floors.  You can find out more about this insulation here.

Foam Boards.  I believe that this is the best type of insulation for a shed floor.  They are rigid panels of insulation that can be cut to any width and length.  Foam boards are typically made from Polystyrene and Polyurethane.  You can purchase an entire foam board kit here and this should cover most sheds.

Lose Fill Insulation.  This is an honorable mention for a shed floor.  You can use this for an attic but it is not really used for shed floor insulation.

What R Value Do I Need?

insulate a shed floor
insulate a shed floor

The R value is broken down on the region where you live.  You can find your area in the picture of the United States above.  Then look across the chart and find what R value you will need for insulation.  Once you find the correct R value then think about which type of insulation will work for you style of shed.

How To Insulate A Shed Floor

The best way to insulate a shed floor is in the building phase of the shed.  I recommend foam boards as they can be cut to fit between the floor joists easily.  There is a nice video below detailing how to do this easily.

Steps for Insulation:

Measure the distance between the floor joists.  This will be according to your shed plans.

Measure and cut the insulation according to the dimensions.  If you are using foam boards make sure you cut enough of the boards.  Because you will need to stack upon one another to get to the correct R value needed.

Fit the insulation between the floor joists and attach it to the floor joists if needed.  Then install your flooring when indicated according to your shed plans.

Conclusion

There are many things to think about when deciding to insulate a shed floor.  Answer the questions above.  Then decide on whether or not you need to insulate the floor.  

Once you know you are going to insulate the shed floor then go to the charts.  

Find your area in the map and then find the R value needed.  Buy the insulation you want to install.  Install the insulation between the floor joists and the add the flooring when indicated according to your plans.  

This is an easy process so do not make it too difficult.

All The Best,

JB

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