18 Nov 2019

Best insulation for self-builds

When planning a self-build, you’ll have a lot of decisions to make; however, one that may leave you feeling overwhelmed is deciding which insulation to purchase. But, finding the right insulation isn’t something you should choose lightly. After all, annually it can save you up to £455 in energy bills, not to mention you will be making your home eco-friendly.


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So, we’ve asked the experts at Insulation Express to highlight the top five insulation boards for self-builds, before highlighting the benefits of each one.

The best insulation for general use and preventing heat loss: Celotex GA4000 Insulation Board

Rooms: A variety

No doubt you’re already aware of this brand if you’ve researched ‘insulation boards’ before now. Celotex is an extremely well-known brand of insulation, famed for its versatility and its low thermal conductivity – meaning your self-build will be kept nice and warm. Celotex GA4000 is perfect for a self-build project as it can be used in a variety of places, such as:

• Floors – whether solid concrete, block and beam, or suspended timber joist – and even where underfloor heating is used
• Timber and steel-framed walls – between and across the face of studs
• Pitched roofs – between and across the face of rafters
• Flat roofs – in ventilated cold roof constructions, installed from inside the buildings
• Refurbishment projects – lining existing timber to make them more thermally efficient

What’s more, it’s easy to handle and install, and can be used to improve reliable long-term energy savings for buildings.

Revealed: the ideal acoustic insulation for

your self-build: Rockwool RWA45 Acoustic Insulation Slabs

Rooms: Living room, active loft or a music room

If you just wish to soundproof between a WC and room, as now required for new internal walls under ‘Approved Document E’, Rockwool RWA45 is optimal for this.

However, as this product is robust and provides excellent acoustic performance, you may want to use it elsewhere. If you’re planning on having a loud living room or wish to cut off the sound from a loft conversion, or even design a music room – this is the insulation worth keeping in mind.

The Rockwool RWA45 doesn’t just perform on acoustics; it’s highly water-repellent and fire-resistant, which will help in the maintenance of the house. Best of all, the slabs are easy to handle and install, making it ideal for self-builders.

The top insulation for solid walls: Celotex PL4000 Thermal Insulation Board

Rooms: Any for solid walls

If you want your self-build to have an efficient energy performance, this is the ideal option. Celotex PL4000 offers first-rate thermal insulation, perfect for autumn and winter nights, and will save you money for your heating bills in the long run.

This insulation board is great for use in self-build projects as it can be easily mechanically applied to timber frame studs, or joists and rafters in pitched and cold (ventilated) flat roofs. It can also be fixed using plaster to the internal face of existing solid walls or cavity walls to upgrade their thermal performance.

What makes the Celotex PL4000 so user-friendly, is it offers the ability to install both the insulation and the plasterboard in one go and reduces the installation time. Perfect for self-builders who have a lot to be getting on with.

The self-builders’ optimal tile backing

thermal insulation: Marmox Multi Board

Rooms: Bathroom, kitchen and utility

When it comes to designing your bathroom, or any room that has a focus on water, the last thing you want is damp and leaks. However, the Marmox Multi Board is the ideal solution for waterproofing any areas prone to moisture, and it even provides thermal insulation.

It can be used as a shower backer board and provides an effective way of preventing tiles and grout from cracking due to horizontal movement in the floor. The unique pattern of Marmox allows heavier tiles to be safely and securely fixed to walls – making it ideal for those who choose expensive tiles for their dream self-build.

If you do decide to use this in the bathroom, we recommend using the thinner 4mm and 6mm boards, as they’re ideal for waterproofing. What’s more, you can even use the thinner boards with underfloor heating to boost the performance and save on energy bills.

The top choice for loft insulation: Isover Spacesaver Loft Insulation Roll

Room: Loft

Even if you only decide to use your loft for storage, insulating your attic is essential for any home, new or old. Thankfully, there are excellent choices out there to keep heat inside your home, but one that particularly stands out for self-builds is the Isover Spacesaver loft insulation roll. The product is strong, resilient and flexible, and is an effective way of ensuring your home is warm, energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly.

It is manufactured from a combination of silica sand and up to 89% recycled post-consumer glass from building regeneration projects or flat-glass manufacture that would otherwise go to landfill, which makes this product the eco-friendliest of the five – ideal for any eco-warriors.

Best of all, the lightweight nature of the product and long length makes it easy to roll and install – however, because the product is made of glass, remember to wear protective clothing.

No matter if you’re starting a self-build or renovating a home, finding the right insulation for your project is essential for maintaining an ideal temperature all year round. So, we hope we’ve answered your queries on all things insulation, and you’re on your way to building your dream home.

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