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rolls and slabs of mineral wool insulation

Mineral Wool Insulation

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Mineral wool insulation is one of the most effective and eco-friendly ways to insulate your home or building. In this detailed guide, we will explain everything you need to know about mineral wool, including the different types, its key benefits, and how to install it properly.

What is Mineral Wool Insulation?

Mineral wool refers to insulation made from natural minerals like rock or glass that have been melted and spun into a fiber-like structure resembling wool. The most common types are stone wool and glass wool.

Stone wool, also known as rock wool, is made from volcanic rock like basalt or diabase. Glass wool is made from recycled glass, sand and other raw materials. Both types are non-combustible, have high heat resistance, and are durable.

Mineral wool traps air within its fiber structure, making it an incredibly effective insulator against heat transfer, noise and fire. It's suitable for lofts, walls, floors, pipes and many other applications.

Key Benefits of Using Mineral Wool Insulation

There are several reasons why mineral wool is one of the most popular insulation materials:

  • Excellent thermal performance - With a low thermal conductivity, mineral wool significantly reduces heat flow through the building envelope. This improves energy efficiency and saves on heating/cooling costs.

  • Noise reduction - The dense structure of mineral wool absorbs sound vibrations, making it very effective acoustic insulation. This helps block out external noise pollution.

  • Fire resistance - Mineral wool has a high melting point of over 1000°C. It's non-combustible and fire retardant, providing crucial fire protection.

  • Moisture resistance - The water-repellent nature of mineral wool prevents mold or mildew growth. It maintains its insulating performance even in damp conditions.

  • Sustainability - Mineral wool is manufactured from abundant natural materials like stone or recycled glass. It has a long lifespan and is fully recyclable at end of life.

  • Flexible installation - Mineral wool insulation comes in versatile rolls, slabs and loose fibers. It can insulate awkward spaces and fit between joists and studs.

  • Breathability - Mineral wool fibers allow water vapor to pass through, letting construction materials breathe. This prevents condensation build-up.

With this impressive range of features, it's easy to see why mineral wool is trusted by homeowners and professionals alike. The next sections will explore the different product types available.

Types of Mineral Wool Insulation

Mineral wool insulation comes in a variety of forms to suit different applications:

Mineral Wool Rolls

Mineral wool rolls are flexible blanket-like products supplied in set widths/lengths. Unfaced rolls have an exposed wool surface, while faced rolls are covered with a vapor barrier like foil, paper or glass tissue.

Rolls are designed for installing between studs or joists in walls and floors. They provide excellent thermal and acoustic insulation. Rolls can be cut to size on-site for a custom fit.

Mineral Wool Slabs/Batts

Mineral wool slabs or batts have a rigid board-like structure and come in standard sizes to fit between wall studs, floor/roof joists. The rigid shape makes them simpler to install than more flexible rolls.

Slabs are suitable as insulation for masonry cavity walls, timber frame walls, attic floors and flat roofs. The dimensions are optimized for typical joist/stud spacing.

Loose Mineral Wool

Loose mineral wool consists of fine lightweight fibers supplied in compressed bags without any binding. It's designed for blowing into attic spaces, timber frame walls or other hard to access cavities.

The loose fibers fill every nook and cranny for complete and consistent insulation. No gaps are left which compromise thermal performance. Loose wool provides outstanding acoustic dampening too.

Specialist Mineral Wool Products

There are also more specialist mineral wool products available:

  • Pipe insulation - Cylindrical pipe sections to insulate hot water pipes and prevent heat loss/waste.

  • Acoustic ceiling tiles - Designed to dampen echo and reverberation for professional sound studios or cinemas.

  • High temperature insulation - For insulating industrial equipment like boilers and furnaces operating at extreme temperatures above 1000°C.

  • Cladding insulation - Installed behind exterior rainscreen cladding to improve the facade's thermal efficiency.

So in summary, mineral wool comes in various forms to cater to different insulation needs - from walls and lofts to pipes, sound studios and industrial plants.

How to Install Mineral Wool Insulation

Installing mineral wool correctly is crucial for achieving the desired thermal and acoustic performance. Here are some tips:

  • Calculate the right thickness and R-value for your climate zone and application. Account for thermal bridging from studs/joists.

  • Cut slabs or rolls to size with a serrated blade for a tight fit without gaps/voids. Wear safety gear to avoid inhaling fibers.

  • Friction fit insulation between studs/joists. No fixing is required as the density 'locks' it in place. Ensure good contact with no compression.

  • Butt edges tightly for continuity. Stagger joints between layers and avoid creating thermal bridges.

  • For wall cavities, use appropriate batt width to leave 25mm cavity gap between insulation and external masonry.

  • Behind cladding, use exterior grade mineral wool suitable for weather exposure and mechanical fixing.

  • Follow manufacturer instructions for installing loose mineral wool in attic spaces or walls using blowing machines.

  • Tape joints with vapor barrier tape and seal edges with caulk for airtight, properly insulated assembly.

With careful planning and execution, mineral wool insulation can be installed to the highest standard. Contact our team if you need any advice on selecting the optimal products for your project or professional installation services.

Sourcing Reliable Mineral Wool Insulation

It's important to purchase mineral wool products from reputable manufacturers like Rockwool, Knauf Insulation, Paroc and Superglass. Lower quality insulation could underperform.

We supply an extensive range of high-quality mineral wool suited for walls, roofs, floors and specialist applications. With competitive trade pricing and fast delivery across the UK, you're sure to find a product for your requirements.

Browse our mineral wool rolls, slabs, batts and loose fibers or contact us to discuss your project. We're here to help with technical guidance, quotes and ordering. Achieve sustainability goals and transform your building's thermal comfort with our top-tier mineral wool insulation.

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