Is insulated plasterboard worth it? This is a common question when planning a renovation or a new building project.
Insulated plasterboard, also known as thermal insulated plasterboard, is an advanced construction material that combines traditional plasterboard with a layer of insulating material, offering both thermal insulation and a smooth finish for internal walls and ceilings.
In this comprehensive blog, we will discuss the various aspects of insulated plasterboard and whether it’s a beneficial choice for your property.
Understanding Insulated Plasterboard
Insulated plasterboard consists of a plasterboard sheet bonded to an insulating material.
This insulating material sandwiched between two layers often includes expanded polystyrene insulation, high density phenolic foam, or rigid polyisocyanurate foam.
Unlike standard drywall plasterboard, designers create insulated plasterboards to enhance a building’s thermal performance, which helps reduce heating bills and improve energy efficiency.
We stock the following insulated plasterboard products:
- Mannok Insulated Plasterboard
- Speedline Insulated Plasterboard
- Xtratherm Insulated Plasterboard
- Kingspan Insulated Plasterboard
- Celotex Insulated Plasterboard
- EcoTherm Insulated Plasterboard
- PIR Insulated Plasterboard
- Polystyrene Insulated Plasterboard
Where Can Insulated Plasterboard Be Used?
You can install insulated plasterboard on internal walls, external walls, and ceilings.
They are a viable option for both brick walls and masonry walls, including both cavity walls and solid walls.
For masonry or brick walls, installing plasterboard using a ‘dot and dab’ technique is common.
For stud walls, a mechanical fixing method through timber battens is standard.
Comparison with Traditional Insulation Material
With insulation plasterboard, you get a two-in-one solution: insulation boards directly adhered to plasterboard, making them a more convenient and possibly more cost-effective solution to line internal walls with.
Advantages of Using Plasterboard Insulation
Insulated plasterboard offers excellent thermal performance, which contributes to significant energy savings.
This thermal efficiency helps to keep warm air inside during winter and blocks excessive heat in the summer, maintaining a comfortable indoor environment.
Time and Cost Effective
Installing insulated plasterboard is often quicker than the process of fitting separate insulation material and standard plasterboard. It enables you to insulate walls and dry line them in one single application.
This may translate into lower labour costs and a more cost-effective building project.
Fire Resistance & Moisture Resistance
High-quality insulated plasterboard products come with fire resistance and high moisture resistance properties, making them suitable for areas like bathrooms and kitchens where standard plasterboard might not be appropriate.
Considerations and Challenges
Thickness and Space
Insulated plasterboards are usually thicker than normal plasterboard due to the insulating material.
For example, PIR insulated plasterboard consists of a slightly thicker gypsum board, typically measuring between 12-13 mm, and is complemented by paper surfaces.
In scenarios where space is at a premium, thin insulated plasterboard options are available, although they might have a slightly lower thermal performance.
Install and Cut Insulated Plasterboard
Cutting insulating plasterboard to fit around obstacles can be more challenging than cutting standard plasterboard.
It’s advisable to seek professional advice and assistance when installing insulated plasterboard, particularly when dealing with board sizes and ensuring a snug fit against walls.
Vapour Barriers and Building Regulations
In some instances, the insulating layer can act as a vapour barrier, which might conflict with existing vapour barriers in a wall, potentially leading to moisture problems.
It is vital to understand local building regulations and the potential implications of having two vapour barriers.
Is Insulation Backed Plasterboard a Cheaper Solution?
While insulated plasterboard might be more expensive upfront than traditional insulation and standard plasterboard separately, it can offer long-term savings on energy bills, making it a cheaper alternative in the long run for insulating walls.
However, this can vary based on the specifics of the building and the local climate.
Conclusion: Is Insulated Plasterboard Worth It?
So, is using insulated plasterboard a good decision? The answer largely depends on your specific needs and building projects.
If energy efficiency, convenience, and excellent thermal performance are high priorities, then insulated plasterboard is a compelling choice.
It combines the benefits of plaster and insulation in one product, simplifies installation, and potentially offers a cost-effective and energy-efficient solution for both internal and external wall insulation.
However, it is essential to consider the building’s existing conditions, such as its walls (solid or cavity, brick or masonry), the available space for installation, and local building regulations.
Always seek professional advice before making a decision to ensure that your choice of insulating material aligns with your project’s goals and requirements.