Rock wool: characteristics, advantages, disadvantages, price

Rock wool is an insulator derived from volcanic and basaltic rocks widely used for the insulation of buildings. In recent years, it has tended to replace glass wool despite its slightly higher cost, due to its better thermal and acoustic performance, but also for its less irritating composition. Let’s take a look at the characteristics of rock wool, its advantages and disadvantages, as well as its cost.

What are the characteristics of rock wool? What price ?

Rock wool is an insulating material of mineral origin, like its cousin, glass wool, which it has tended to replace in recent years. It is a natural material made from eruptive volcanic, dolomitic and basaltic rocks. Rock wool is very popular for its thermal and sound insulating capacities. It is more effective than glass wool on this last point, but also less irritating. Lightweight and efficient, it is appreciated for insulating homes and all types of buildings.

As incombustible as glass wool, on the other hand, it reacts much better to water and humidity since it does not absorb them, unlike its cousin, which retracts on contact.

Stone wool is priced higher than glass wool because of its advantages over the latter, but it is still attractive in terms of cost. Indeed, it takes on average 10 to 15 euros per square meter for a thickness of 100 mm.

Stone wool is sold in the form of rolls, panels or flakes, which allows it to adapt to all needs. It is in fact used to insulate walls, attics, ceilings, roofs and other elements both in new constructions and in the context of renovations.

What are the advantages of this insulation?

Rock wool is an insulating material that has certain advantages:

  • Stone wool is inexpensive compared to many other insulators. It is indeed one of the cheapest materials on the market, although it is slightly more expensive than glass wool. It is an insulator with a very attractive price / quality ratio.
  • It is an excellent thermal and sound insulator. Thanks to its high thermal resistance, it helps to maintain a good indoor comfort temperature in the middle of winter without exploding the energy bill.
  • Easy to apply, rock wool comes in several flexible and semi-rigid formats to meet all needs.
  • Rock wool resists humidity and water much better than glass wool since it does not absorb them.
  • It is a durable, rot-proof and non-combustible material. It provides a good barrier against fire to slow the progression of fires.
  • Rock wool is a breathable insulator, which allows air and water vapor to circulate. As a result, indoor air is less exposed to humidity and healthier for its occupants.

What are the disadvantages of this material?

If rock wool is an interesting material, it is not without drawbacks:

  • Rock wool is a good thermal insulator, which allows it to protect the house from the cold. On the other hand, it does not perform well against heat and does not protect the house as well from summer heating as glass wool.
  • Stone wool is durable, but to preserve its insulating abilities, it is imperative to replace it every 15 years on average, which comes at a certain cost.
  • This insulation is less irritating than glass wool, but it is essential to protect yourself just as much to install it. Mask, gloves, glasses and protective clothing are strongly recommended, as its fibers are very volatile and dangerous for the lungs. Likewise, consider installing an airtight film to prevent the VMC from sucking up these particles and diffusing them into the air.
  • The ecological balance of rock wool is relatively negative, insofar as it is not renewable and difficult to recycle. In addition, its production requires a lot of energy.
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