If you’re looking to make your home more comfortable, thermally efficient, eco-friendly, and cheaper to run, here’s the good news. Insulation is the most straightforward way to make your home all of those things in one go. The problem is, many homeowners don’t know where to start, wondering not only where insulation should be installed, but also which type of insulation material is best for their home.
This article will explore one of the most popular insulation materials on the market, mineral insulation. You’ll find out the pros and cons of this material, how it’s used, and how much you can expect to pay for it. And then we’ll tell you how to get a quote quickly, with no hassle.
What Is Mineral Insulation?
Mineral insulation, better known as mineral wool insulation, is a type of insulation material manufactured using a mix of materials – some of which are raw, some of which are recycled. These materials are then heated to a high temperature and molten, before being spun and formed into a mat.
This mat can then be cut to size to be used as insulation in people’s homes. It’s probably one of the best-known types of insulation on the market and it works incredibly well at retaining heat in winter and keeping your house cool during summer.
How Does Mineral Insulation Work?
When air particles get warm, they move – usually upwards – and this heat is lost through your home’s roof, loft, walls, ceilings, and floors. What insulation does is form a barrier, so the heat that would typically be lost through uninsulated spaces is retained.
This ensures that during the winter months, heat produced through central heating and other methods isn’t lost as rapidly or as much.
Benefits Of Mineral Insulation
Wondering why mineral wool insulation might be the best option for your home? Here are some advantages we think might clinch it for you.
Provides acoustic insulation
Unlike many other insulation materials, mineral insulation has the added benefit of helping with soundproofing. Whether your teenager wants to use the attic to practise their drum playing or your neighbour makes excessive noise, mineral insulation can help to dull the sound of unwanted noise.
Mineral insulation benefits the environment in a few ways. For the most part, mineral insulation tends to be made from recycled materials, so it’s a great way to reduce waste – especially if you opt for glass mineral wool.
Plus, just like other types of insulation, mineral wool reduces your energy use. Since most people use fossil fuels as their main source of energy (which are notoriously bad for the environment), reducing energy use can positively impact your carbon footprint.
As well as being made from recycled materials, the insulation itself is recyclable, making it perfect for a more circular economy.
Reduces energy bills
Energy costs are on the rise. Luckily, mineral wool insulation provides a solution. The better insulated your home is, the less energy you’ll have to use to heat and cool it, as it will be more thermally efficient. That means you can save hundreds (in some cases, thousands) of pounds per year on energy costs.
Mineral insulation doesn’t conduct heat, so it’s perfect if you’re concerned about fire safety in the home. It can be used in fire safety walls, partition walls, and fireproof ceilings.
The word ‘mould’ strikes terror into the heart of any homeowner – and for good reason. Mould can have seriously negative long-term impacts on your home, so avoiding it at all costs is a must. The good news is, mineral insulation is mould and moisture-resistant, so you can expect not to have any problems with damp if you opt for this material.
Drawbacks Of Mineral Insulation
There are pros and cons to every type of insulation. Here are some things to consider before going ahead with an installation of mineral insulation.
Can cause irritation when installed
If you inhale mineral wool insulation or it comes into contact with your skin, it can act as an irritant. That’s why it’s better to be installed by professionals who have the proper protective equipment and can clean up after themselves afterwards.
Where Is Mineral Wool Insulation Used?
One of the biggest sells of mineral wool insulation is its versatility. It can be used in various parts of your home effectively. Here are just some of the ways you can use mineral wool insulation.
- To insulate cavity and external walls.
- To insulate attic floors.
- To insulate pitched roofs and flat roofs.
- To insulate walls in a timber frame construction.
One of the biggest advantages of mineral wool insulation is its flexibility, so it’s worth asking your installer whether you can use mineral wool on the section of the home you’re hoping to insulate.
Types Of Mineral Insulation
There are actually two types of mineral wool insulation to choose from – both coming in at a similar price to buy the raw material.
Glass Mineral Wool
Glass mineral wool is a lightweight insulation material with a range of uses around the home. It’s primarily manufactured with recycled materials, such as recycled glass.
Rock Mineral Wool
Rock mineral wool is a denser alternative to the glass mineral wool option. It’s made from types of volcanic rock such as dolomite or basalt.
Which Is Better – Rock Wool Or Mineral Wool?
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between the two types of mineral wool on the market – it mainly comes down to what you want from your insulation material.
Glass wool tends to have longer fibres than its rock counterpart and is much less dense. If fire safety is a priority for you, glass wool has slightly higher fire resistance, so is probably the best choice for your property. This is because glass wool has a higher melting temperature.
The texture and density of the two materials differ, so installing each one is a different experience than the other. Glass mineral wool is more flexible than rock mineral wool, which sounds better, but it does mean that rock mineral wool is easier to cut to size.
Because of its increased density, rock wool is better at insulating your home acoustically, although glass mineral wool can have a positive impact on reducing noise pollution, too.
How Much Does Mineral Wool Insulation Cost?
In terms of labour cost, how much you’re charged will depend in part on where you live in the country and how big your property is. The bigger the space you’re insulating, the more time the contractor will need to spend installing it.
For the most part, insulation installers charge a rate of somewhere between £150 and £300 per day. Insulation installing lasts between 1 and 2 days for your average UK home, so factor this in when totting up total costs.
In terms of the raw material, you’re looking at a cost of between £15 and £20 per square metre. It’s not one of the cheapest materials on the market, nor the most expensive either. To work out how much you’ll end up spending on the insulation material, multiply the cost of the mineral wool per square metre by how many square metres the space you want to insulate is.
What Are The Classifications Of Mineral Wool?
There are various qualities of mineral wool currently available to buy, with their quality indicated by the insulation value on the HR++ label. HR++ means the material is excellent, whereas HR+ means it’s good.
As a rule, contractors tend to use HR++ materials because of their superior effectiveness, better EPC performance, and to ensure they’re in line with building regulations.
Mineral Wool Insulation – Is It Worth It?
When considering any expensive update to your home, it’s important to consider whether it’s worth it first and foremost from a financial standpoint. Mineral wool insulation isn’t the cheapest form of insulation, nor is it the most expensive, and most homeowners can expect to make their money back within ten years of buying the insulation.
From an effectiveness perspective, mineral wool is not only excellent at making your home more energy efficient, but it has other advantages that you don’t find in some insulation materials, such as being resistant to fire and mould and as well as offering some acoustic insulation.
All in all, if you’re looking for an insulation material that ticks most of – if not all – the boxes, take a look at mineral wool insulation.
How To Find A Mineral Insulation Installer
In the market for a mineral insulation contractor? We’ve got you covered. With our insulation contractor tool, you can find a qualified installer in your area that you know you can trust.
As with any big home project, you should collect around five quotes to ensure you’re getting value for money and check the realistic prices for your region. A good way to check an installer’s trustworthiness is to take a look at their online reviews and testimonials.
Once you’ve found your installer and got an idea of their availability, you can expect installation to take up to around two days.