INSULATION FOR SOLID WALLS - WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Choosing Internal Wall Insulation
There are two ways to insulate a solid wall internally – with rigid insulation boards, or a stud wall.
Stud wall insulation is thicker than rigid insulation boards, so it will reduce the size of your room more. But a stud wall is strong enough to hold heavy fittings such as kitchen units, radiators or wash basins. Insulation boards need fixings that go through them and into the wall behind.
Is the wall’s surface even? If the plaster is uneven or plaster has been removed and the brickwork is uneven, the wall must be levelled with a layer of plaster or render before boards can be fitted, so a stud wall might be a better option.
Rigid insulation boards
Plasterboard backed with rigid insulation is fitted to the inside of your walls. The insulation is usually made from one of several forms of foamed plastic. It should normally be at least 60mm thick, and can be up to 100mm. The actual thickness required will depend on the material used - find out more about different insulation materials.
Insulation boards are fixed straight onto the wall using continuous ribbons of plaster or adhesive. Extra fixings hold the boards firm, and joints between boards are sealed to prevent air leaking out.
A metal or wooden studwork frame is attached to the wall and filled in with mineral wool fibre. It can then be plastered over, ready for redecoration.
Mineral wool insulation is less effective than rigid insulation boards, so the filling needs to be at least 120mm thick.
Instead of applying plaster, the frame can be covered with rigid insulation boards for even more effective insulation, reducing your running costs even further.
Choosing External Wall Insulation
To insulate a solid wall from the outside, a layer of insulation material is fixed to the walls with mechanical fixings and adhesive, then covered with protective layers of render or cladding.
The finish can be smooth, textured or painted, tiled, panelled, pebble-dashed (for easy maintenance) or finished with brick slips to provide a real masonry brick finish.
The finish will cover the whole of the outside of your property, including existing brickwork, and may change its appearance. So you must find out if you need planning permission:
To prevent condensation, recessed areas around windows must be insulated as well as the walls – with the depth of insulation depending on the width of the window frame.
All external pipework and other fittings will have to be removed and replaced, and it may be necessary to extend window sills and even the roof overhang to protrude beyond the new layer. It is often possible to fit additional sills to avoid replacing any of the original structure.
Cladding or render?
Cladding comes in a variety of attractive colours and forms: timber panels or shingles, stone or clay tiles, aluminium panels or a brick finish.
Render can be either a thick sand and cement mix applied over a wire mesh – or a thinner, lighter cement over a strong fibre mesh. It is generally less expensive than cladding.
UK Green deal Installers are here to guide and advise you on the best solutions for insulating your home.
Call free on 0800 1123 474 for a no obligation chat.