Mineral Wool Insulation
Mineral wool insulation has been around for a while, but it’s becoming quite a bit more popular. While fiberglass is probably still the most common choice for insulation, mineral wool insulation has quite a few benefits people are starting to consider.
Mineral Wool Insulation: Mineral wool insulation is a type of insulation made from volcanic rock, generally basalt, rather than the standard fluffy glass fibers found in fiberglass. Mineral wool insulation is generally seen as a better insulator and easier to install. It’s also very fire resistant.
If that all sounds interesting, read on to learn more about this up and coming option when it comes to insulation.
What is Mineral Wool Insulation?
Mineral wool insulation is also known as rock wool. As mentioned above, the insulation is made from volcanic rock and slag, which is a by-product of steel production.
How is Mineral Wool Insulation Made?
It takes a couple of steps to make mineral wool insulation. First, the basalt and slag are melted in 3,000° Fahrenheit heat. Next, the liquid is exposed to air and spun into long fiber strands. These strands are then compacted into thick mats and cut into pieces for insulation. The pieces are called batts.
Stats on Mineral Wool Insulation
When you’re looking at insulation, most likely, you’re considering a few different factors. Here are some areas you might look at:
Let’s take a look at how mineral wool rates in each of these areas.
Insulation’s ability to resist heat is measured by something called R-value. Insulation that has a higher R-value provides greater insulation. Mineral wool has an R-value of 3.0 to 3.3 per inch. This is slightly better than fiberglass.
Since mineral wool insulation isn’t as widely used as fiberglass, there aren’t as many choices when it comes to size. Mineral wool is typically only available in a couple of sizes. The good news is, it’s very easy to cut.
Another benefit of mineral wool insulation is that it’s made from 70% or more of recycled material. This is a big deal for many in the world as businesses try to go greener. Fiberglass, on the other hand, is generally made up of 20 to 30% recycled materials.
Mineral wool insulation does cost more than fiberglass because it’s just not as readily available. Mineral wool is anywhere from 25 to 50% more than fiberglass. Remember, though, that you get the added benefit of better insulation from mineral wool.
When you’re buying insulation, you also want to consider the density of the insulation. The denser a material is, the better it insulates against outside noise. Mineral wool has a density of 1.7 pounds per cubic foot, whereas fiberglass has a density of .5 to 1.0.
As you can see, mineral wool insulation offers many benefits over the standard fiberglass, even if it costs a bit more.
Is Mineral Wool Fire Resistant?
Another benefit of mineral wool insulation is that it’s fire-resistant. All insulation has to pass some level of fire resistance, but mineral wool is very fire resistant. In fact, it’s probably one of the most fire-resistant types of insulation.
Mineral wool insulation can withstand heat in excess of 1,800° Fahrenheit. This compares to fiberglass being able to withstand heat up to 1,000°Fahrenheit. This makes mineral wool insulation a safer choice when it comes to fire resistance.
Brands of Mineral Wool Insulation we carry
The market for mineral wool insulation is expanding, and as it expands, more brands become available. Some of the main brands available now are the following: • Roxul • Rockwool • JM Temp Control • OC Thermafiber
No matter which brand you choose, mineral wool insulation is becoming more and more popular. It’s two most noticeable benefits are that it’s made from an abundant natural resource (stone) and is also made from recyclable materials, making it a prime choice for those concerned with sustainability.
Let’s take a look at what each of these brands has to offer.
One of the main suppliers of mineral wool insulation in the United States is Roxul. They were one of the first companies to make mineral wool insulation more readily available to the everyday consumer trying to build a house rather than just industrial contractors.
Roxul actually now goes by the brand Rockwool. Roxul was originally the North American division of Rockwool, but in January 2018, the company was rebranded Rockwool in an effort to present a unified identity for the company and continue to increase its global reach.
Rockwool, as we just mentioned above, is a global company that produces mineral wool insulation, frequently referred to as stone wool insulation on their website. The company says they are the world’s largest stone wool manufacturer and have been in operation for 80 years.
Rockwool operates 45 manufacturing facilities around the world in addition to sales offices and distributors. It was started as a small family business. Rockwool says its goal in producing mineral wool using natural resources is that it will create a lasting impact.
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JM Temp Control
Johns Manville is another company that produces mineral wool insulation. It’s very easy to find their JM Temp Control mineral wool on the company’s website. It comes in two different sizes and three different thicknesses.
The company considers itself a leading manufacturer of premium-quality insulation and dates back to 1858. While the first two brands focus more on mineral wool insulation, Johns Manville has a broader focus, including calcium silicate, aerogel, and perlite.
Thermafiber is a company owned by the larger company Owens Corning or OC. OC Thermafiber is made from a minimum of 70% recycled materials, is non-combustible, and mold-resistant. Thermafiber also prides itself on producing the first formaldehyde-free mineral wool insulation in North America.
The company was started in 1934 and is headquartered in Indiana. Its products can be found in some of the tallest buildings in the world, as well as regular offices, hospitals, and stores. Its parent company, Owens Corning, has facilities in 27 countries on five different continents. Special Offers | Product Specs