The below info is compiled from manufacturer’s information, customer’s feedback, and many years of experience supplying and installing insulation. Having been in the industry for a number of years, we are well informed about the various insulation options available to home owners. This is not intended to be a comprehensive technical guide, but we hope that the information below can help you to make sense of some of the most popular insulation options available, and help you to make an informed choice about which insulation options you decide to go for.
Check out our Pink Batts vs Earthwool blog article for a more direct comparison between these two brands.
Insulation Options – Thermal Wall, Ceiling and Underfloor
Customers choose different types of insulation for various reasons. The 4 most popular brands of thermal insulation that we sell are Knauf’s “Earthwool”, Fletcher’s “Pink Batts”, CSR Bradford’s “Gold” and Autex’s “GreenStuf”. These brands all have in common that they are safe and relatively easy to install, are non-combustible, and are available in a range of “R-Values” to suit different climate zones. They all come conveniently packaged in plastic or poly bags which are relatively easy to carry around and transport.
Comfort and Ease of Handling
Insulation manufacturer’s have come a long way in making their insulation more pleasant to work with. Both Pink Batts and Bradford’s thermal insulation range have undergone noticeable improvements, and the glasswool of today is definitely less itchy to work with compared to 10 – 15 years ago. Knauf Earthwool is considered by many to be the most pleasant to work with of the glasswool range, mainly due to the non-itch factor, the fact that it is practically odourless, and the easy cutting/installing. GreenStuf is a different kind of insulation altogether, and being made from polyester, is arguably one of the cleanest and most comfortable types of insulation to install. It generates no excessive dust, and can be easily torn to the required length, whereas for glasswool insulation you will need a sharp knife to cut in either direction.
Allergies and Asthma
Bradford is currently the only approved partner of the National Asthma Council Australia, and GreenStuf insulation, which is made from 100% polyester, contains no breathable sized particles and is as such considered to be 100% safe for asthma sufferers. Having said that, any dust and other particles generated from insulation after it’s been installed is negligible.
Compare Insulation – Ease of Storage and Transport
Earthwool batts are exceptionally well compressed, making it by far the easiest and cheapest insulation to store and transport. You can easily fit over 500 sqm of R1.5 Earthwool wall insulation on the back of a one tonne ute, which is almost twice the equivalent Bradford Gold or Pink Batts, and almost three times the amount of GreenStuf. This can be an important consideration if you are going to be picking up the insulation yourself or paying for freight to an area out of the standard delivery zones.
R-Value and Thermal Properties
The R-value of insulation measures the thermal resistance of the insulation. As such, if properly installed, the “thermal insulating effect” of the one brand shouldn’t differ from another brand with the same R-value.
When installing wall insulation, the R-value option is usually limited to the thickness of the wall stud, i.e. the space inside the wall cavity – this is typically either 75mm or 90mm. All these brands provide offer up to an R-2.0 in a 70mm or 75mm thickness, or an R-2.5 to fit a the 90mm stud. Bradford does a notch higher with their Gold Hi-Performance range, where they offer an R-2.1 in a 70mm thickness and an R 2.7 in a 90mm.
With ceiling insulation, the R-value is generally not limited to space, so the question is more how much insulation do you need. A higher R-value will increase the level of thermal protection, which in turn can help to reduce your home’s power consumption. As electricity prices rise, an increasing number of homes will find that the savings in their power bills over time will more than justify the initial investment in ceiling insulation.
If you currently have no insulation in your ceiling, then even a small layer of thermal insulation will make a significant and noticeable difference. GreenStuf ceiling insulation is available in R-values of up to R 4.5 – Earthwool and Pink Batts come in up to an R-6.0, while Bradford’s Hi-Performance goes up to an R-7.0.
When considering which wall or roof insulation options are the most appropriate for your home, don’t forget the under floor. A raised timber floor with no insulation will often remain the “cold spot” in winter, even if the air in the room is maintained at a comfortable temperature. GreenStuf Underfloor insulation is available in R 1.5 and R 2.0, and Bradford’s Optimo Underfloor insulation comes in R-2.1 and R2.5. The Earthwool R2.0HD Wall Batts are also commonly used in underfloor applications. Being a Hi Density insulation these have additional sound deadening properties, and are also more rigid than standard wall insulation batts, making them quite easy to install between the under floor joists.
Durability and Warranty
If installed correctly, insulation should last as long as your home. The various manufactures nonetheless provide various product warranties. Earthwool and GreenStuf are each covered by a 50 year warranty, Pink Batts come with a life time guarantee, and Bradford states a 70 year warranty.
Submit your review