Mineral Wool Makes a Comeback
This natural spun-stone insulation is enjoying a resurgence in popularity—and for good reason.
Synopsis: Although it’s long been popular in residential construction in Canada, mineral-wool insulation (also known as rock-wool insulation) has mostly been limited to commercial building in the United States. Thanks to a renewed push from manufacturers and a growing interest from builders, mineral wool is starting to gain traction among builders in the States, particularly because of its inherent fireproof, watershedding, and chemically inert qualities. Residential designer Mike Maines takes a close look the material, from its basic traits to best practices for installation. A chart shows how mineral wool compares to other insulation materials in five categories: R-value, water-vapor permeability, airflow resistance, fire control, and sound control.
Mineral-wool insulation has been in use since the late 1800s, so it’s nothing new. But as the market shifted in the 1960s to less-expensive and better-promoted fiberglass insulation, the mineral-wool industry shifted its focus to industrial and manufacturing applications, where mineral…