Insulation for the ceiling in a private house: types of materials used + how to choose the right

Alexey Dedyulin
Checked by a specialist: Alexey Dedyulin
Author: Natalya Listyeva
Last update: May 2019

An effective heater for the ceiling provides high-quality insulation of the interior of a private house and prevents the leakage of valuable heat from residential premises. Its presence has a beneficial effect on the general atmosphere in the rooms, makes it possible to save fuel and can significantly reduce utility bills.

You will learn all about the reasons for performing thermal insulation, materials and how to install them from our article. We will tell you how to choose the perfect insulation for you, which to consider when installing the system. Based on our recommendations, you can easily purchase an option that is suitable for your home.

Reasons for ceiling insulation

Many owners of private real estate do not understand why they need insulation for the ceiling in their house, if during the construction process the attic was equipped in accordance with the rules and requirements of modern heat saving.

Among the most common are two significant reasons:

  • condensate control;
  • reduction in energy consumption.

Even with well-organized air exchange in the space between the floor and the roof in the winter, moist and warm streams come in contact with a cooler ceiling surface, as a result of which condensation will inevitably form.

It spoils the decoration of the room, promotes the appearance of molds, makes the surrounding air more moist and musty.

Master insulates the ceiling
To carry out insulation work, it is not necessary to invite hired craftsmen. Having carefully studied the features of heat-saving materials and the technology of the process of laying them, the owner of the home ownership can easily cope

With regard to reducing energy consumption, for this purpose, during the creation of an autonomous heating system in a private house, the calculation of potential heat losses is necessarily carried out. In the process, it is possible to identify that about 15% of all the valuable heat generated by heating equipment flies through the ceiling to the street.

To cover losses, you can increase the capacity of the existing boiler house or install additional heating appliances, which always costs serious money. Solve the problem of condensate and heat loss immediately without huge financial costs will only help the heater installed on the ceiling in a private house.

You can use both traditional natural and more advanced artificial insulators, widely represented in the modern construction market.

Overview of popular heat insulators

For insulation of ceiling structures 5 groups of materials are suitable:

  • bulk - dry wood chips / shavings, expanded clay, vermiculite, perlite;
  • porous fibrous - basalt (stone), mineral and glass wool;
  • plate - dense sheets created from foamed polyethylene and polystyrene;
  • bulk / sprayed - polyurethane foam, penoizol;
  • cellulose - ecowool.

The first three options are mounted in standard ways, and the organization of the fourth and fifth requires professional equipment and specific skills. That is why bulk / sprayed insulation is much more expensive than arranging the insulation of a house with other materials.

Group # 1 - bulk materials

Bulk insulation is a secondary raw material and is a product of the processing of cellulose, glass, minerals and post-industrial materials.

The composition of some brands of heat insulators is enriched with additional elements: polystyrene balls, fragments of perlite and vermiculite. This improves the individual working qualities of the materials and makes them more efficient.

Foam in the palm of your hand
Foam crumb is better not to use for insulation of ceilings. It is highly flammable and emits harsh, pungent smoke that adversely affects the human respiratory system. In addition, in this environment I feel comfortable rodents

The main advantage of bulk elements is the absence of seams that contribute to heat leakage, as well as the ability to fill even the smallest voids and gaps. The main disadvantage ceiling insulation bulk materials - a tendency to shrink, inherent in all heaters of this category.

They struggle with shrinkage by simple loosening of a loose heat-insulating layer. Maintenance of such systems is required regularly. To do this, use a conventional rake, the impact of which also helps to dry the underlying layers.

Dry sawdust

Wood waste such as sawdust and shavings are a very old type of ceiling insulation. The minimum weight, complete environmental friendliness and low cost allow the material to maintain its popularity to this day. To enhance the working qualities of the sawdust in a certain proportion is mixed with clay or other elements.

Sawdust and shavings in the palm of your hand
Use for warming sawdust and shavings without any additives is not effective. Independently, these materials are highly combustible, have a tendency to absorb moisture and block when in an enclosed space.

The result is an inexpensive and fireproof insulator that reliably protects the home from heat leakage. It does not rot during operation and does not decompose under the influence of time. Work with him can not only a professional construction and installation business, but also an ordinary home foreman.

The disadvantage of this option is the ability to maintain fire. In addition, sawdust is only suitable for thermal insulation of the ceiling of cold roofs. For attic insulation you need to choose another material that is not afraid of moisture.

Why is expanded clay interesting?

Expanded clay is a lightweight building material with a porous structure. It is obtained by burning clay shale or clay. It is produced in the form of granules of different fractions with pores ranging in size from 3 to 45 millimeters. It belongs to the category of environmentally friendly materials and does not emit aggressive substances into the atmosphere.

Exterior insulation with expanded clay
Expanded clay is a natural natural heater. It is recommended to be used not only in ordinary residential buildings, but also in buildings where the technological projects “eco-house” and “green house” are being implemented

Among the main technological advantages of the material are the following items:

  1. High thermal insulation properties. Heat loss in residential buildings is reduced by 80%.
  2. Relatively light weight. Expanded clay weighs 10 times less than concrete and does not exert a serious load on the house floors and foundation. A structure insulated in this way does not feel additional fatigue even after a long time.
  3. Simplified installation. For work, expensive specific equipment is not required. Masters do not have to have professional skills. The landlord can conduct insulating measures independently, without resorting to anyone else's help.
  4. Prolonged Operational Period. Provided that the installation rules and principles are strictly observed, expanded clay insulation can last 100 years or more.
  5. Related Additional Features. Excellent sound-insulating ability, providing natural convection, moisture absorption without loss of physical qualities.

Due to these specific features, the material is widely used and most often used in private construction.

Bulk insulation expanded clay
Expanded clay is not afraid of temperature changes and exhibits good frost resistance. Due to its chemical inertness, it does not react with the bulk of building materials, connective compounds, acid solutions, alkalis and active alcohols

To insulate the ceilings of interfloor ceilings, a 10-20 mm fraction is used, for roofs, 20-40 mm material is used.

In structure and form, expanded clay is divided into three separate classes:

  1. Gravel - porous rounded grain size from 5 to 40 mm.
  2. Sand - crushed residue of larger fractions with a texture size of not more than 5 mm.
  3. Crushed stone - angular particles of small size and arbitrary shape.

The grade of the material is determined by its bulk density and varies from 250 to 800 units. The largest fraction claydite in the open market is extremely rare. Usually it is produced only by individual order and for certain purposes.

Overview of Vermiculite Characteristics

Vermiculite is a natural element of the silicate class from the hydromica group. Under the influence of high temperatures, it swells, increases several times and dramatically changes the crystalline structure.

In industrial production produces in three dimensional formats:

  • small - up to 0.5 mm;
  • middle - 0.6-5 mm;
  • large - 5-10 mm.

Demonstrates good bulk density and low thermal conductivity. Due to these specific qualities it is widely used as a convenient household insulation.

Bulk insulation vermiculite
Vermiculite does not burn and does not emit aggressive toxic odors that can harm the human respiratory system. Additionally, it acts as a fire barrier and protects structures from fire in residential buildings

Vermiculite is highly durable, does not dust, does not crumble during laying into smaller fractions and does not shrink during prolonged use. It exhibits chemical inertness and does not react with aggressive chemical compounds and compounds used in private construction.

It is famous for its absorbent ability, it easily absorbs large volumes of water and quickly releases moisture to the atmosphere, without losing in the process of its original physical qualities.

The main properties of perlite

Perlite is one of the new progressive bulk insulators. It is made from natural glass-like hard rock of volcanic origin. When heated to a certain temperature, it increases several times.

Fragments of perlite insulation
Insulation of the ceiling in a private house with perlite does not require reinforcing the strength of the supporting structure. The material weighs little and does not exert any load even on old wooden beams

Perlite is not afraid of sudden temperature fluctuations, severe frosts and aggressive heat. The material does not burn, does not emit harmful substances and household allergens, serves for a long time and ensures not only heat in the room, but also high-quality sound insulation from external and internal noise.

Group # 2 - porous fiber insulation

Fiber-porous material refers to artificial inorganic insulation. The group includes slag wool, stone wool and glass wool. These materials are actively used not only in the arrangement of the ceiling, but also in the construction floor insulation and walls of buildings of different floors.

Production of all types occurs on a single principle. The original raw material melts at high temperature. Then fibers are pulled from the fiery-liquid mixture by various technological methods. Between them they are intertwined in a certain order to obtain a single coating material.

Rolls of fiber insulation in the film
When sold, fiber material is packaged in heat shrink polyethylene to protect against external moisture. Additionally, it is treated with a hydrophobic composition to protect it from water during installation on a ceiling structure

Using a phenol-formaldehyde resin binder, the fibers are combined, placed in a polymerization chamber. Final heat treatment gives the material a final shape.

Porous fiber type heaters for ceilings are available in two forms:

  • medium density rolls / mats;
  • pressed plates with excellent strength characteristics.

The first option is excellent for thermal insulation of ceilings, floors, and other structures that do not experience serious operational loads. The second can be placed in places subject to severe mechanical pressure.

The main disadvantage of this type of insulators is the release of substances harmful to the human body into the air. That is why materials for indoor insulation are not recommended.

Glass wool for insulation

Glass wool weighs little and is inexpensive. Most often used for insulation of ceiling structures from the attic. Demonstrates low thermal conductivity and copes well with vibration loads.

The master puts glass wool insulation
Glass wool must be installed only with a respirator and protective gloves. Small fiber fragments irritate the skin, mucous membrane and respiratory system

In domestic conditions, glass wool does not burn. Melting begins in critical cases, when the temperature reaches 250 degrees. When compressed, it decreases in volume by 5-6 times. It is characterized by weak structural strength. Attaches to the surface with a special glue.

Stone (basalt) cotton wool

Stone wool is made from gabbro-basaltic rocks. It has low thermal conductivity and exhibits good resistance to vibration and mechanical stress. It does not burn and almost does not absorb water.

Stone wool on a foil substrate in a roll
Stone wool is made with a special substrate of foil coating or fiberglass. To give the structure of the material extra strength, manufacturers make the material flashing with wire or glass fiber

Basalt wool easily withstands the temperature load of 600-700 ° C.With well-organized ventilation, it dries quickly, does not rot and does not crumble from time to time. Basalt and glass wool has a generic name - mineral. According to GOST 31913-2011, the same concept also includes a slag variety.

We will deal with the main reasons for the popularity of mineral wool among the population. The fact is that it demonstrates minimal thermal conductivity regardless of the surrounding climatic conditions. Does not need additional insulation during installation.

It passes steam well and does not retain moisture in itself. It maintains normal air circulation and makes it possible to create the most pleasant microclimate in the room.

The master puts the roll insulation
The service life of mineral wool is 25-50 years. Small rodents do not start in this material, mold and fungal spores do not multiply. The risk of condensation is minimal even in the absence of additional ventilation devices

Classic mineral wool almost does not shrink and does not deform during the entire operational period.

Slag wool is not used in the arrangement of residential buildings due to the release of volatile toxins, so we did not give its technical characteristics.

Group # 3 - plates for ceiling insulation

Plates for thermal insulation of the ceiling are made of modern polymer compositions.

Finished products practically do not leak moisture, have good strength and normally hold their shape throughout the entire operational period. They are lightweight and conveniently mounted on ceiling structures of any type.

The master insulates the ceiling with plates
Due to the low mechanical strength, the foam urgently needs additional protection. It must be protected from mechanical damage and attacks of small rodents. Only reliably hidden from aggressive external influences, it will provide good thermal insulation in the room

The most popular on the market are foam boards, extruded polystyrene foam and foamed polyethylene. They do not emit harmful odors, are durable and retain their physical characteristics for many years.

Group # 4 - bulk / spray heat insulators

Polyurethane foam and penoizol are among the most advanced heat insulators. They effectively retain maximum heat in the room and save energy. Stacked using automatic blowing machines with corrugated hoses and special nozzles.

Master aligns the ceiling
Before applying bulk / spray insulators, the ceiling surface must be thoroughly cleaned of dirt, dust and old whitewash. All voids and cracks must be puttied, and unevenness and height differences must be carefully leveled.

Unlike rolled materials, sprayed materials do not cake and do not lose their primary shape. Thanks to the initial liquid consistency, they do not require fitting for certain sizes and dimensions.

Suitable for installation on ceiling structures of any type, from strong concrete to light clay and wooden. Provide high durability of a covering and create faultless sound insulation.

Group # 5 - Ecowool Insulation

Ecowool - a modern, lightweight and safe insulation for ceiling structures. Consists of fine cellulose fibers.

Mounted in two ways:

  • dry
  • wet.

When dry laying, the material simply crumbles between the floor beams and is gently rammed. Preliminary flooring of the film is not required, as ecowool is a natural absorbent.

Ecological insulation of the ceiling
The use of a blowing machine ensures that ecowool penetrates into the smallest gaps in the ceiling structure. As a result, a dense, integral layer with particles of air inside is created, guaranteeing the maximum level of heat storage in the room

Wet application requires special equipment. It mixes cellulose fibers with a special adhesive and pressurizes them on the surface of the floors.The resulting monolith does not support combustion, and mold spores and bacteria do not multiply inside it.

What should be the perfect material?

For the insulation of the ceilings of private households, the construction market offers a variety of materials. They are subject to certain requirements that are mandatory.

Important characteristics of the heat insulator

Among the main are the following positions:

  • the lowest possible thermal conductivity;
  • high moisture resistance;
  • minimal flammability or its complete absence;
  • environmental Safety;
  • good compressive strength;
  • flexibility and ability to restore shape;
  • resistance to mechanical damage.

Artificial and natural insulators with such indicators are suitable for use with both wooden and reinforced concrete floors and ceilings.

The collapsed insulated ceiling in the house
Insulation should not be heavy. This is especially important for old buildings that have not undergone major repairs or global reconstruction for a long time. Heavy material laid on weak beams can lead to integrity damage and even collapse of the ceiling structure

Estimated type of insulation

The choice of a specific type of material depends on many additional parameters and the budget allocated for insulation work in home ownership. As well as the type of insulation and the selected sound insulation schemes. Next, let's talk about the latter in more detail.

Measures for additional insulation of the ceiling in private households include two types of work:

  • outdoor;
  • internal.

Both options are equally effective and each owner can choose the most convenient method for energy protection of the home. The difference lies in the materials used and the technological features of the installation. For wooden floors, especially in houses of an old construction, it is necessary to choose non-combustible materials of low weight.

Such insulation will not create additional load on the supporting structures and will fully comply with the current fire safety rules, which should not be neglected under any conditions.

Fire in a residential building
Combustible polymers are categorically not applicable in wooden buildings. They can not be used for external or internal insulation. Through flammable material, the fire easily spreads from the first floor to the second or under the roof

For low or standard ceilings, it is most reasonable to make external insulation - through the attic or attic) For this, any light insulators are suitable. Internal insulation "Eat" the useful space of the room and lower the ceiling by at least 15-20 centimeters.

Glass wool and its derivatives for internal insulation are not desirable. Under certain conditions, these materials release substances harmful to humans into the air.

Use of such heaters is possible only under the condition of mandatory isolation from the living space by means of a plastic film or drywall.

With the rules for the selection of thermal insulation and floor insulation technology for logs next article, which we strongly recommend reading.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

The result of thermal insulation work on the upper floor in a private house:

How to properly insulate the ceiling in a private house and prevent fatal mistakes:

How to organize heat and sound insulation in the house + tips for choosing materials:

Choosing what exactly to insulate the ceiling in a private house, you need to carefully study the physical characteristics of the materials on the market and compare these data with the available budget.

Laying bulk, rolled and tile materials will cost less than the creation of bulk / spray insulation, but will provide at least a qualitative effect. Heat losses will decrease by at least 15%, and the microclimate in the house will become more pleasant, comfortable and cozy..

Tell us about how you chose insulation material for arranging the ceiling in the country or in a country house. Which option did you prefer and why? Please write comments in the block below, ask questions, share useful information on the topic of the article.

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Visitors Comments
  1. To warm the ceilings, I personally used Knauf Insulation mineral wool. According to reviews and the seller’s opinion in the store, the material is one of the best since it is environmentally friendly, refractory, coolly reduces heat loss, does not interfere with the natural removal of steam and air circulation. About three years ago, during overhaul, it was insulated both in the house and the rafter system when converting the flooring. The effect is pleasing.

  2. To warm the ceiling, I still decided to use glass wool. It weighs a little, and its thermal conductivity is quite low. For example, according to the experience and recommendations of the builders, I put polystyrene on top and laid a hydro-barrier. There is an effect, I see from above how warm air is delayed from the glass wool, and the ceiling breathes, as it were, but the insulation is dry. From a safety point of view, glass wool does not burn, and at high temperature it only melts.