It may seem that insulation is all the same.  Actually, there are a number of different types of materials.  Each has benefits and disadvantages.  Here are some of the more common choices on the market today.


Fiberglass is what we see most often.  It is non-flammable and is very good at preventing heat or cooling loss.  It is inexpensive.  It is made by weaving extremely fine strands of glass.  That means the most danger is during the installation process.  If the tiny glass particles get into eyes, lungs, or skin, they can cause significant damage.  If you attempt it by yourself, be sure to be fully equipped with protective gear.  The best choice is to have a professional installation.

Mineral Wool

Mineral wool is a somewhat generic term for several types of insulation.  Glass wool is made from recycled glass and is basically fiberglass.  Rock wool is made from basalt.  Slag wool comes from the debris from steel manufacturing.  It is availabe in batts or loose.  It is untreated and is not fire resistant.  If combined with other forms of insulation, it can be effective in large areas.


Cellulose is made from recycled cardboard, paper, and similar materials.  Because it is very compact, it has little to no oxygen.  Oxygen feeds a fire, so it is proving that any fire damage would be minimal.  It is eco-friendly and inexpensive.  If people suffer from allergies, asthma, etc., it can be difficult to live with.  It is also difficult to find anyone skilled in installation.

Polyurethane Foam 

Polyurethane foam is used as a blown-in insulator.  It is light weight and are treated with a gas to make it more acceptable to the ozone layer.  Its low density format can be used in areas with no insulation.  It is fire resistant.

Polystyrene is a thermoplastic foam.  It is excellent for waterproofing and is often used for sound and temperature insulation.  It is produced as expanded (EPS) and extruded (XEPS), which we know better as Styrofoam.  XEPS is the more expensive of the two.  Since it is extremely smooth, it is unlike other insulating materials.  In order to comply with fire safety standards, it will need to be treated with a chemical called Hexabromocyclododecane or HBCD, which is under investigation for environmental risks.

As you can tell, many factors go into making the final decision about the type of insulation materials to use in a building.  It is always recommended that you consult with a professional.  When doing so, it is best to have as much detailed information as possible about the space, intended use of the space, dimensions, and other facts.  With that in hand, you can mutually decide upon the best course of action.

Get a Free Estimate

For a quote, don’t hesitate to contact us at  We have many years of experience working with different materials and have specialists that are able to provide additional information about each type.  We can also arrange an appointment to speak in person or to view the proposed area.  We work with clients of various sizes, from small homeowners to large companies and are happy to help with your needs.

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