How to buy loft insulation Types of loft insulation

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Loft insulation types

There are several different types of loft insulation to choose from and a variety of loft insulation materials available - and each has pros and cons when it comes to fitting, which we reveal below.

You can find out how much you should expect to pay for loft insulation, plus how long it takes to pay for itself, on our loft insulation costs and savings page. 

Batt or blanket loft insulation

This insulation is available in rolls of foil-backed felt, rock, glass or mineral fibre and is probably the most common form of insulation.

A roll of insulation

Blanket insulation comes in roles and is fairly easy to install in your loft yourself

Pros

  • Straightforward to install yourself.
  • Some brands use recycled glass or sheep’s wool (which is non-irritant).
  • Good for insulating accessible spaces such as exposed wall cavities.

Cons

  • Some materials can irritate the skin so make sure you wear proper protection.
  • Sheep’s wool is a more expensive insulation option.
  • Rolls of blanket can be too bulky to fit in small spaces or around obstructions.

Next: find out how to fit blanket loft insulation.

Loose fill insulation

Loose-fill insulation works well in inaccessible spaces and for topping up

Loose-fill loft insulation

This is made from a variety of granular or lightweight materials such as cork granules, mineral wool or cellulose fibre. Greener types of loose-fill insulation include recycled newspaper.

Pros

  • Fits easily between irregularly spaced joists or around obstructions.
  • Useful for topping up existing insulation in attics.

Cons

  • Can come loose in draughty lofts.
  • Safety equipment and protective clothing are needed during installation.

Next: find out how to fit loose-fill insulation.

Sheet loft insulation

Sheet insulation

Sheet or board insulation is a good choice for loft conversions

Sheet insulation is designed for insulating the sloping sides of the roof and comes in the form of firm boards. Some sheet insulation boards are available with a fire-resistant, moisture-resistant or decorative covering. Sheet insulation can also be ordered pre-cut to specific sizes for an additional cost.

Pros

  • Greener insulation options include cork, straw and wood board.
  • Excellent for insulating loft conversions.
  • Can be covered with plasterboard for an attractive finish.
  • High insulating value per unit thickness.
  • Some boards come with their own system of attachment.

Cons

  • Synthetic sheet insulation materials use large amounts of energy during production.
  • Can be more expensive than other types of loft insulation.

Next: find out how to fit sheet roof insulation.

Blown-fibre loft insulation

Blown fibre insulation

You'll need to employ a professional to install blown-fibre insulation in your loft

You'll need a professional contractor to install blown-fibre insulation - the insulation is blown into the gaps between joists.

Pros

  • Quick and easy to install when done by a professional.
  • Greener insulation options include recycled paper or wool.
  • Ideal for insulating areas where access is difficult.
  • Light and convenient to handle and cut.

Cons

  • Can be more expensive than other types of loft insulation.
  • Not recommended for insulating draughty lofts.

Next: find out how to fit blown-fibre loft insulation.

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