Mineral wool: properties, advantages & price
Mineral wool is very frequently used as an insulation material because of it useful material properties. It is quite cheap and easy to handle. In this article, you can discover more about the characteristics, types and advantages of mineral wool.
What is mineral wool insulation?
Mineral wool consists of spun yarn made of melted glass (glass wool) or stone (rock wool). One combines the threads in a special way, in order for a woolly structure to arise.
Thereafter, the wool is compressed into boards or mineral wool batts that serve as insulation material. Loose wool can especially be blown in hollow spaces such as cavity walls.
To produce mineral wool, one uses minerals that are largely available in nature (for example chalk, sand and soda).
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What is mineral wool used for?
Mineral wool is a widely employable product that is used for:
• Insulating walls (timber frame construction)
• Insulation of cavity walls and exterior walls
• Thermal and acoustic insulation of partition walls and storey floors
• Insulation of attic floors
• Insulation of pitched roofs and flat roofs
• Several industrial applications (insulation of machines, air conditioner, etc.)
Mineral wool insulation cost
The cost depends on the type of mineral wool (HR+ or HR++) and the application. Do you want to use mineral wool for the purpose of cavity wall insulation? The average price of cavity wall insulation with glass wool is 13 to 17.5 pounds per square metre. Curious about the exact price? Request free info & prices from specialised contractors.
Properties and advantages
• Good thermal conductivity and acoustic insulation
• Quite cheap
• Mineral wool insulation is not flammable
• The material always and constantly maintains its insulating properties
• Mineral wool does not absorb moisture, as a result of which it is immune to moulds
• The product is completely recyclable (new wool could be made with it)
• Minimal ecological footprint
• Broad range of applications
A) Good thermal insulation
As mineral wool can hold much air thanks to its open fibre structure, it is an excellent insulator. The lambda value of this insulation type is 0.03 W/mK to 0.04 W/mK. Both glass wool and rock wool are not prone to thermal ageing. This means that the product will retain the same insulation capacity during the entire lifetime of the building.
In addition, mineral wool insulation does not shrink or expand. Hence, the joints between the material stay closed as much as possible and thermal bridges are reduced to a minimum.
B) Fire safety
Mineral wool insulation is fireproof and does not conduct heat. Because of this, it is very fit for environments that put high demands on fire safety. Mineral wool is therefore often used in fireproof doors, partition walls, ceilings, protective clothing and other fire-retardant products.
Insurance companies nowadays require high degrees of fire safety in a building. Moreover, the use of fireproof insulations is even mandatory sometimes. As concerns fire safety, mineral wool insulation is classified under Euro Class A. It has the best score of all insulation materials.
C) Soundproofing properties
Because of the special structure and composition of the material, mineral wool insulation offers good protection against noise pollution. There are special acoustic ceiling-, wall- and floor tiles available that absorb sound waves. As for consumer applications, one often uses and processes rock wool blankets in walls, floors or ceilings. Think of attic floors or partition walls for example.
In case of false walls or partition walls, a combination of plasterboard and mineral wool is usually a good strategy to absorb sound waves. It is important to separate the frames acoustically as much as possible so as to avoid contact bridges between the boards.
- Irritation: the material might be irritating in case of contact (itch) and inhalation. It is therefore advised to wear working gloves and a dust mask during assembly.
- Lower heat storage: mineral wool has got a lower heat storage capacity than natural insulation materials such as sheep’s wool, wood wool or cellulose flakes. So the house will heat up faster during summer, as the material cannot keep the warmth that long.
Classification (quality label)
There are several qualities of mineral wool on the market. You can recognise the insulation value on the HR++ label. HR++ stands for ‘excellent’, whereas HR+ stands for ‘good’. These days, constructors use HR++ materials as a standard because of legislation’s high demands on energy-efficient buildings. The better the insulation materials perform, the better the energy score on the EPC will be.
If you are interested in this type of insulation, you may want to request quotes from insulation experts in your region. They can further inform you and send you a price proposal. Click here to request noncommittal quotes for free!
Difference between glass wool and rock wool
Glass wool and rock wool are very similar insulation materials. The main difference has to do with the fibre structure. Since the fibres in stone wool (also called rock wool) are shorter than those of glass wool, rock wool has a higher density (30-200 kg/m³ as opposed to 11-45 kg/m³). Stone wool is able to resist a higher pressure than glass wool.
|Glass wool||Rock wool|
|Long fibres||Short fibres|
|Low density||High density|
|Lambda value 0.035-0.039 w/mK||Lambda value 0.032-0.044 w/mK|
|High fire resistance||Slightly lower fire resistance|
|Low elasticity||High elasticity|
|Low tensile strength||High tensile strength|
|Melting temperature: 1000°C||Melting temperature: 700°C|