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View Poll Results: Best Insulation for Walls/Ceiling
Polyiso, PIR, ISO 14 9.21%
XPS (Blue/pink 'Styrofoam') 8 5.26%
EPS (White 'Styrofoam') 2 1.32%
3M Thinsulate SM600L (synthetic fiber) 89 58.55%
Fiberglass rolls or batts 0 0%
Polyurethane foam (white/yellow spray) 10 6.58%
Icynene foam (eco-friendly spray, closed cell) 3 1.97%
Sheep's wool 26 17.11%
Voters: 152. You may not vote on this poll | Withdraw Vote

 
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:19 PM   #1
travisap
 
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Default Best Insulation for Walls/Ceiling

Trying to make a decision on the type of insulation material for the floor and ceiling.

What do you recommend based upon your own experience or research? Consider these variables when making your in your decision:

1) R Value
2) Installation effort
3) Toxic/safe
4) Cost
5) Thickness

Thanks!!
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Old 03-11-2019, 03:24 AM   #2
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Default Re: Best Insulation for Walls/Ceiling

Thinsulate


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Old 03-11-2019, 03:39 AM   #3
gltrimble
 
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Default Re: Best Insulation for Walls/Ceiling

I second that, Thinsulate.


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Old 03-11-2019, 05:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: Best Insulation for Walls/Ceiling

100% Thinsulate. You just cannot go wrong with it.


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Old 03-11-2019, 05:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: Best Insulation for Walls/Ceiling

Quote:
Originally Posted by travisap View Post
Trying to make a decision on the type of insulation material for the floor and ceiling.



What do you recommend based upon your own experience or research? Consider these variables when making your in your decision:



1) R Value

2) Installation effort

3) Toxic/safe

4) Cost

5) Thickness



Thanks!!


I did thinsulate and polyiso combination. Works fantastic.


Thinsulate for walls and doors.

Polyiso for roof. And then more on top of the thinsulate since even the thickest stuff doesn't fill up walls completely.


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Old 03-11-2019, 02:17 PM   #6
hein
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Default Re: Best Insulation for Walls/Ceiling

Quote:
Originally Posted by travisap View Post
Trying to make a decision on the type of insulation material for the floor and ceiling.

What do you recommend based upon your own experience or research? Consider these variables when making your in your decision:

1) R Value
2) Installation effort
3) Toxic/safe
4) Cost
5) Thickness

Thanks!!
Why not include noise reduction as a criteria and list products like Dynamat, Fatmat, Noico, etc? 3M Thinsulate(TM) also competes with them.
All the best,
Hein
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Old 03-11-2019, 04:36 PM   #7
Zundfolge
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Default Re: Best Insulation for Walls/Ceiling

I'm currently re-doing my van and insulation is at the top of the list. Before I had done enough research I was one of the ones who glued reflectix to the entirety of interior wall surfaces, and then used EPS (whoops) on the ceiling, and fiberglass in the walls (because I had it and it was always meant to be temporary).

I know there are 1000 insulation threads but conventional knowledge takes a while to catch up, so repetition is key. I'm interested to see where this goes. I've been thinking of maybe just buckling down and ordering some Thinsulate (Hein, been meaning to send you a message or call you about that), but I'm rethinking that now after doing a lot of reading and consideration of my finances.

I am narrowing it down to two options that are realistic to my personal current situation, which among other things has to consider materials cost - a factor that makes Thinsulate unrealistic. I think I will be going Polyisocyanurate board (polyiso) in my ceiling, or possibly closed cell spray foam (Foam it Green) as I have a kit from a job that I may have enough left over to use for the van.

Let's get these values here-
R-Value/in:

Spray Foam.....R-6-7
Polyiso............R-6
XPS................R-5
EPS................R-3.9
Fiberglass.......R-3.7
Sheep's Wool..R-3.7
Thinsulate......R-3.2

(Note: If any of my values are off please let me know and I'll correct them, this was based on the info I could find)

We all know and the OP stated that R-Value is not the only consideration, so and taking into account the other factors in my mind this narrows it down to Thinsulate, Polyiso/spray foam kits, and sheep's wool.

I really like sheep's wool for its natural sourcing/non-petroleum based, moisture wicking capabilities, ability to retain 30% of its weight in water, non-sagging, non-toxic etc etc nature and *I think* that from the standpoint of a well rounded product that checks all of the boxes it wins. Affordable, R-value, moisture properties, sustainability, sound deadening, easy install.

I know that so many on here are big fans of Thinsulate, and I know Hein has done his research and preached on here for a long time now, so I would definitely value his opinion regarding everything I'm saying, I'm just trying to trudge through it all and make my own decision too.

That brings me to: why would one choose Thinsulate over Commonly available polyiso board? Not taking cost into consideration, how is Thinsulate better? Polyiso board is almost 2x the r-value, and above all, we want to stay at a comfortable temperature in our vans. If I can insulate the ~1 3/4" in my ceiling with about R-10 using polyiso, can anyone convince me why I'd want to use R-6ish Thinsulate (or any other material?) instead?

Thanks all.
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Last edited by Zundfolge; 03-11-2019 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 03-11-2019, 04:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: Best Insulation for Walls/Ceiling

I started out with a plan to use polyiso and as SprinterPaul mentioned it does work in some of the large flat areas. But installing it in the bulk of the van became a chore and a big mess. Trying to cut and fit the polyiso cleanly is difficult involving a lot more labor on my part. I value my time and prefer to dedicate it to more important tasks on the van. My math said the Thinsulate was far less costly when considering material and labor.


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Old 03-11-2019, 06:50 PM   #9
GSWatson
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Default Re: Best Insulation for Walls/Ceiling

I did 1Ē polyiso glued to the van skin using a Great Stuff pro applicator gun, and then filled in the gaps around the polyiso with the gun. That meant I didnít have to be exact with the polyiso cuts, and the gun lets me lay down a precise bead, and that becomes my vapor barrier as well. It also stiffens up the van sheet metal.

On the other hand, rigid foam is exactly that - rigid. Which means that itís not the best at noise reduction; you want a pliant material to absorb the energy of the sound waves. So I put Thinsulate on top of the PI. Overkill perhaps; the PI and gun and GS cost me around $200; the Thinsulate was around $500 if I remember right.

In the next van, Iím doing just Thinsulate. It may seem expensive now, but insulation is the first thing youíre going to do, and the hardest thing to re-do, so I makes sense (and cents) to do it right the first time.

(Also, Iíd be worried about the sheepís wool retaining that moisture as a rust worry).


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Old 03-12-2019, 05:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: Best Insulation for Walls/Ceiling

Polyiso on the floor or ceiling also reduces the standing height - a big concern for taller people.


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