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TYPES OF INSULATION


Key Things to Consider

When looking to insulate your home, there are many different insulation types you can choose from. To decide what’s best for your needs, there are a few key things to consider.

  1. Do you want to DIY or hire a contractor?
  2. Where should you prioritise installing insulation?
  3. What insulation R-value or weight do you need?

Do you want to DIY or hire a contractor?

Whether you plan to tackle the project on your own or you have extra budget to pay a contractor is an important consideration. Some insulation products are more complicated and will require a professional to install, often making them a more costly choice overall.

Below you’ll find a table listing a range of common insulation materials, where they can be added to your home and your installation options.

Viewing on mobile? Swipe left on the table to scroll across the columns.

INSULATION TYPE WHERE TO USE CAN YOU DIY? CONSIDERATIONS

Insulation Batts

Ceilings, floors & walls

YES

The most common type of insulation due to its great combined thermal and acoustic properties . A relatively inexpensive product that’s easy to install for any DIY-er.

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Roofing Blanket (aka Space Blanket or EcoTuff)

Roofs

NO

Creates an insulating barrier at the roof line to reduce noise and heat entering your home. Can only be added to new metal roofs by a professional.

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Foam Board (aka Insulation Panels or Rigid Foam)

Ceilings, floors and walls

YES

High insulating value with less thickness, however, poor acoustic properties and not as easy to DIY install. Can block thermal short circuits when installed continuously over frames or joists. Although you can DIY, we recommend hiring a professional.

Loose-fill and Blow-in

Ceilings, floors and walls

NO

Good for adding insulation to hard-to-reach, irregularly shaped areas and around obstructions but requires special equipment.

Sprayed-foam

Ceilings, floors and walls

NO

Good for adding insulation to hard-to-reach, irregularly shaped areas and around obstructions but requires special equipment.

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)

Ceilings, floors and walls

NO

A new build construction material that has high insulating properties but will add significant upfront cost to your building project.

While insulation batts are a simple DIY project, you can also hire contractors to install the product you’ve purchased. We have a list of recommended insulation installers across Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and beyond on our insulation installers and contractors page.

>> INSTALLERS & CONTRACTORS

Where should you prioritise installing insulation?

Insulation can be added to ceilings, roofs, walls and floors for the purpose of improving the temperature inside your home or for ‘soundproofing’. The more parts of your building that are insulated, the greater the impact on the comfort of your home and energy bills. But, sometimes insulating the whole home isn’t a viable option. So, what should you prioritise?

If you’re key aim is to soundproof your home, adding acoustic insulation to your walls will give you the highest payoff. External wall insulation batts will help reduce noise transfer from busy roads, trains and loud neighbours. Internal wall insulation batts will assist with sound being transferred between rooms. Acoustic insulation can also be installed in the ceiling reduce outside noise and between floors to reduce noise between levels of your home.

If you’re key aim is to reduce temperature fluctuations in your home and reduce your energy bills, then insulating the ceiling should be your number one priority. As the diagram below indicates, up to 35% of Winter heat losses and Summer heat gains are through the ceiling. Walls account for up to 25% and floors up to 20%.

Source: SEAV 2002

What insulation weight or R-value do you need?

For acoustic insulation, you’ll want to consider the density (measured by weight in kilograms) when choosing your insulation product. The heavier the product, the more dense the insulation and the better the product will be at reducing sound transfer.

For thermal insulation, you’ll want to look at R-values. A higher R-value generally means thicker insulation and the better the product will be at reducing heat transfer. You can find more detailed information about R-values in our R-values guide.

For both acoustic and thermal insulation, we recommend choosing the highest density or R-value that you can afford. It’s also important to consider insulation as a long-term investment. With Australia’s rising energy costs, the right insulation can greatly reduce your energy bills. Choosing to spend a couple of hundred extra dollars now can save you thousands over the life of your home.

There are some insulation products, such as Ecolife Solutions’ recommended Earthwool HD insulation batts, that are sufficiently thick and dense enough to meet both thermal and acoustic needs. These high density insulations are the ideal choice for maximum comfort.

>> R-VALUES GUIDE

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