Difference Between Wall And Ceiling Insulation. Can They Be Interchangeably Used?

wall and ceiling insulation

When researching types of residential insulation, you may have noticed that the products are categorised according to specific areas of your home: ceiling, walls, underfloor and between floor areas. This begs the question: can you use one type of insulation in another area of the home? Could you install wall insulation in the ceiling or vice versa?

At Pricewise Insulation, we would typically recommend against using insulation products interchangeably. By using a product in its intended application, you ensure the ideal fit for the stud spacing, cavity depth and thermal ratings (R-values). When you install insulation where it has been designed to be used, you can experience the maximum thermal performance and energy savings. However, in some cases it may be possible to use wall insulation in ceiling applications.

Can You Use Ceiling Insulation In The Walls?

Ceiling insulation is not ideal for wall applications. The issue with installing ceiling insulation in walls is that the ceiling insulation is too thick to fit in the wall cavities. If the insulation expands further than the wall frame it can cause the plaster to bulge after it has been hung which can be costly to repair. If you try to compress bulk insulation to fit a smaller cavity than it was designed for, you may reduce the effectiveness of the product. Additionally, wall insulation has a water repellent added to it whereas ceiling insulation doesn’t.

On the other hand, some wall insulation products can be used as underfloor insulation as these areas share similar dimensions and R-value requirements. For example, Knauf Earthwool Sound Shield R2.0HD and R2.5HD, can be installed in both wall and underfloor areas.

Can You Use Wall Insulation In The Ceilings?

In some cases, wall insulation can be used in ceiling applications. Unlike the issue described above, wall insulation is not too thick to fit in ceiling cavities and will therefore not damage the plaster after it has been hung. Acoustic wall insulation may be used in some ceiling cavities and between the floors of double storey homes to reduce the transfer of sound.

If you are considering using wall insulation in a ceiling application, care should be taken to ensure you have adequate R-Values for your ceiling area. The highest R-value that wall insulation reaches is an R2.7HD, however we recommend a minimum of R4.0 for ceiling insulation.

What Insulation Should I Use In My Ceiling?

For ceiling applications, we recommend using ceiling insulation batts. Batts for residential applications are typically made from glasswool (recycled glass materials) or polyester (recycled plastic materials). Both of these materials offer excellent thermal properties and will help keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

A very important consideration when choosing insulation for your ceiling is the thermal performance or R-Value of the product. The roof and ceiling are responsible for the greatest heat loss and gain in a home, so it is important that you choose ceiling insulation with higher R-values to ensure the best thermal performance.

The Building Code of Australia (BCA) sets the regulatory requirements of R-value rating for different parts of your home. If you live in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Perth, or Brisbane we recommend installing a minimum R-value of R4.0 for ceiling insulation. Just remember that this R-value is a minimum requirement and upgrading to a slightly higher R-value can further increase your thermal performance and reduce energy bills.

The BCA requirements differ depending on where you live and your climate zone, for cooler climates and alpine conditions an R-value of 6.0 or above is usually recommended. If you are unsure about which ceiling insulation R-value you should purchase, please contact the team at Pricewise Insulation for free expert advice!

What Is The Best Insulation For Walls?

When choosing insulation for your walls, consider both the acoustic and thermal capabilities of the insulation product. All insulation provides a level of thermal resistance (this is their R-value) but choosing insulation that can minimize noise levels within your home can create a more comfortable acoustic environment too.

There are two types of wall insulation we would recommend you install in your home: external and internal wall insulation. The main purpose of external wall insulation is to reduce temperature transfer from outside the home to inside and vice versa. Specialised acoustic wall insulation can also help keep your home quieter if you live on a busy street or have neighbours close by.

Internal wall insulation reduces unwanted sound travel between adjoining rooms to help create quiet and private spaces within the home. Internal wall insulation will also prevent heat loss or gain between the rooms of a home. This allows you to create climate zones within your home for more effective heating and cooling.

We recommend installing a minimum of R2.5 wall insulation in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide and a minimum of R2.0 for Perth, Brisbane and northern NSW. Installing wall insulation should be done during the construction phase or during a major renovation project, as it’s difficult and messy after the plasterboard has been installed.

WALL INSULATION

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CEILING INSULATION

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