If you are considering moving to an older property, it is possible that it won’t have a damp-proof course or insulation in the ground floor. The front rooms of many older properties had suspended timber floors with vents at the front and rear of the building – the vents to allow some airflow.
If you need to install a new floor throughout, consider using concrete. The old floor will have to be removed totally, then use compacted hardcore to create a level surface – and sand rolled flat on top.
A damp-proof membrane is laid across the sand with the sides turned up at the walls – to prevent moisture seeping up from the ground.
Concrete is then poured (it can be delivered ready-mixed) onto the membrane to make a slab and is then finished off with a thin layer (aka screed) of sand and cement.
This is a very dirty and dusty job, so shield the rest of the house as thoroughly as you can!
Depending on the thickness of the concrete, reinforcing rods may need to be laid.
Insulation board can be laid below or above the concrete. If you are laying it above, the screed is laid over the board.
Hiding the membrane
The edges of the membrane can be trimmed and hidden behind the skirting board.
Tiles or timber can be laid directly on the concrete (or screed). Instead of laying a concrete floor, you can fit a semi-suspended floor over the concrete slab, although you’ll need to take into account the fact that the height of the ceiling will probably be reduced.