How to Choose the Right Insulation Boards

There is a wide range of products on the market aimed at insulating your home against heat loss. We aim to cut through the technical jargon and give you an idea of the right board to use in the right situation. When insulating your home you need to think about the three basic areas - walls, roofs, floors & ceilings, floors. In this simple guide we will look at each of these areas in turn to find a suitable home insulation product and how to apply it.

Thermal Efficiency

Thermal transmittance, also known as U-Value, is the rate of transfer of heat through a structure or material. The unit of measurement is W/m2K. The better insulated a structure is, or an insulation performs, the lower its U value. 
Workmanship and installation method can massively affect the U value, If insulation is fitted poorly with gaps and cold bridges then the U value can be much higher than desired. 

The key to making the right board choice is understanding thermal efficiency of boards. Boards use different insulants which perform differently. These range from lower efficiency expanded polystyrene to high efficiency phenolic foam. The better the efficiency the more you pay; and you need to use less space that you lose to gain the same level of thermal insulation.

Thermal Efficiency Of Boards Ranked Lowest To Highest

  • The least thermal efficient and therefore cheapest is Gyproc Thermaline Basic The insulator is expanded polystyrene
  • Gyproc Thermaline Plus - The insulation is extruded (a much more solid polystyrene)
  • Celotex PL4000 boards - The insulation here is PIR Foam
  • Kingspan K17 and K18 and Thermaline Super - The insulation here being phenolic foam, which is the most efficient of the insulating materials listed

Deciding On A Home Insulation Product

Your choice is often arrived at by weighing up the merits of space lost and the price of the boards. The better the performance of the insulation materials the higher the price.

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