Mineral Wool (Re)gains Some Ground
Although mineral wool—also referred to as rock wool, slag wool, and stone wool—was one of the first insulation materials to be widely produced commercially (starting back in 1871 in Germany), the product lost most of its market share when less-expensive fiberglass insulation came along. But mineral wool’s dense batts, with their high percentage of recycled content, inherent fire resistance, and comparatively high sound control and resistance to airflow, have recently reclaimed some of the residential insulation market. Much of this success is the result of the aggressive distribution of Roxul’s ComfortBatt mineral-wool insulation over the last few years. Although its in-store real estate is still small compared to competing fiberglass products, ComfortBatt has become a common sight in Home Depot, Lowe’s, and many building suppliers. In addition, Thermafiber, another major mineral-wool manufacturer, was acquired last year by Owens Corning, the world’s largest fiberglass insulation company. With the recently announced plan for Thermafiber’s UltraBatt to be sold at Menards, I’m expecting to see a lot of attention paid to mineral wool in the coming years.
Photos: courtesy of Thermafiber