Do you want to soundproof your room, home, floor, wall, or ceiling and you have stuck here to what type of insulation is best for soundproofing then stay tuned with this article denim vs fiberglass insulation?
Here you will get the answers to all your questions and also we did a sound test on both these insulations so what is the outcome of this test, that also we have shared with you here so that you could take a proper decision.
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What Is Fiberglass Insulation
It’s pink and fluffy and it keeps us warm. Fiberglass insulation is a great way to prevent heat loss from our buildings.
It is made of very fine threads of glass that’s why it’s referred to as glass wool fiberglass insulation reduces energy consumption as well as it also helps to reduce waste because it’s made from at least 35%recycled glass.
Fiberglass is a good sound-absorbing product, which does not only gives you a single benefit but also provides multiple benefits like sound insulations as well as thermal and electrical insulations also.
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Actually, fiberglass is made from thin fibers of glass and is weaved into the cloth with resin as a binder, and both these materials glass and resins have good electrical insulation properties. That’s why fiberglass is also used for electrical insulation.
Some of the products in fiberglass are very famous and popular like Faced insulation, Unfaced insulation, Blown-In insulation, and Fiberglass 703. So let’s see each in brief,
Mainly faced fiberglass insulation is used in new construction as the first layer of insulation. There is craft paper or foil covering over the one side of this insulation that’s why this type of insulation is called faced insulation.
If you are adding insulation to what’s already there, you need to use unfaced insulation. Putting faced insulation over existing insulation will trap moisture and lead to mold and other problems and that’s will not good.
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It is basically loose-fill insulation which is generally used in attics and irregularly shaped areas. But if you want to use it in finished areas then also you can.
Fiberglass 703 is a very popular and trending semi-rigid board that is good for absorbing mid and high-range frequencies. The 2″ fiberglass 703 has a good R-value which is 8.7 and also has a good NRC rating which is 1.
Both, NRC rating and R-value of this product are excellent that’s why it effectively reduces the movement of heat transfer as well as sound transmission also.
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Pros and Cons Of Fiberglass Insulation
Fiberglass Insulation is a good insulation product but along with being good, it also has some drawbacks, so now here we are going to discuss its pros and cons. (Catalog)
- Light in weight
- Here you will get to see three benefits in one product such as sound, thermal, and electrical insulation.
- Fire retardant
- Available in faced insulation
- It is fluffy
- Its R values fluctuate because it doesn’t maintain its shape
- Less dense
- Not water repellent
- Always use a dust mask because when inhaled, these itchy fibers may cause cancer or respiratory ailments
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What Is Denim Insulation
Denim insulation is generally made from old cotton fabrics and old denim which is no longer used. You can be used this denim insulation in wall studs cavity, ceiling joists cavity, floors, attics, and crawl spaces, etc.
Denim insulation has good acoustical as well as thermal insulating properties. Its NRC rating is 1.15 and its STC rating is 45 which indicates that it has good acoustical properties.
Also, it has a good R-value which is 3.5/inch which indicates less heat transfer. But there is a common complaint about this insulation is, if it is compressed then it is difficult to fluff it up. So the more you are able to fluff it up, the greater the thickness and also the higher the R-value.
This insulation is treated with boric acid. This makes them fire retardant, mold, and mildew resistant. That’s why this insulation has a class A fire rating.
Also, you can install denim insulation without gloves because it doesn’t have itchy fibers but it is dusty so always work with safety measures. Denim insulation is available in two different types of insulation which are as follows:
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Denim Insulation Rolls/Batts
Denim rolls/batts insulation is made from natural fibers which are generally used in walls, ceilings, and floors. This insulation is available in many R values such as R6.7, R13, R19, and even also in the R30 version. The thicker the insulation the higher the R-value.
This insulation was being difficult to cut into the proper width so the company now makes them with perforated seems similar to paper towels.
Loose Fill Denim Insulation
Loose-fill insulation is also called blown-in insulation which is generally used in attics and irregularly shaped areas. But if you want to use it in finished areas then also you can.
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Pros and Cons Of Denim Insulation
Denim Insulation is also a good insulation product but along with being good, it also has some drawbacks, so now here we are going to discuss its pros and cons. (Specification sheet)
- Fire Resistant
- Mold & Mildew Resistant
- Here you will get to see two benefits in one product such as sound, and thermal insulation.
- Available in Rolls/Batts & Loose fill
- Good R-value 3.5/inch
- Denser (3lbs/ft3)
- Friction fit
- No Itchy
- No VOC (Volatile Organic Compound)
- Excellent sound absorbing properties (NRC 1.15)
- Good STC rating (STC 45)
- Its 3.5 inches rolls/batts actually measured 2.5 inches thick which is a big issue hence their R-value is lower than they claim.
- Hard to fluff up
- It never regains its shape
- Hard to cut with a knife but scissors work
- Not Water-resistant
- Vapor barrier needed
- It is expensive
So here we came to know what is fiberglass and denim insulation, also its popular product, and its pros and cons. Now let’s see some other differences of denim vs fiberglass insulation
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Denim Vs Fiberglass Insulation
There are so many differences between denim vs fiberglass insulation so let’s see each difference one by one in brief,
1. How Do They Work
Both denim vs fiberglass insulation works on the same principle, even though both are made of different materials.
Each fiber of these insulations makes on itself a honeycomb structure and in this structure, they trap the air very effectively and reduces the transmission of sound, in this way both these insulations work.
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2. Acoustical Performance
The acoustic performance of any soundproofing product refers to how effectively this product reduces the transmission of sound. The NRC, STC, and IIC ratings are the main measurements of this acoustic performance.
The NRC and STC ratings of both these products are different. The NRC rating of denim insulation is 1.15 and the STC rating is 45 which is really good as compared to fiberglass insulation.
The NRC rating of fiberglass insulation is 0.9 and the STC rating is 39 which is good. But when we compare it to denim insulation then found that it is less than denim insulation.
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3. Thermal Performance
The thermal performance of any product refers to how effectively this product reduces the movement of heat or cold. The R-value is the main measurement of this thermal performance.
The R-value of both these products is different. The R-value of denim insulation is 3.5/inch which is really good as compared to fiberglass insulation.
The R-value of fiberglass insulation is 2.5/inch which is good. But when we compare it to denim insulation then found that it is less than denim insulation.
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4. Cost Of Product
The cost is the main concern of any product. If the cost of any product is less than expected and that product is performed well, so it comes to know that this product is overall good.
But if the cost of any product is high than expected and that product is not performing as per their mentioned value then it comes to know that this product is not good, hope you will be understanding my point.
Now you will get to see something similar here too. The cost of denim insulation is more expensive than fiberglass insulation, it is more than twice the cost of fiberglass insulation.
The cost of fiberglass insulation is less expensive than denim insulation, it is less than half the cost of denim insulation.
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Thicker, denser, and heavier material is always able to block the sound effectively. As you know the denim insulation is thicker, denser, and heavier than fiberglass insulation.
The density of denim insulation is 3 lbs/ft3 which is good and more than as compared to fiberglass insulation.
On the other hand, the density of fiberglass insulation is 1.5 lbs/ft3 which is good, but less as compared to denim insulation.
6. Dimensional Stability
Dimensional stability is referred to the material/product that maintains its original shape even when subjected to temperature and humidity.
The denim insulation has good dimensional stability and less thermal drift than fiberglass insulation. But if these denim batts are compressed they won’t provide the same R-value that they claim.
Also, its 3.5 inches rolls/batts actually measured 2.5 inches thick which is a big issue hence their R-value is lower than they claim.
On the other hand fiberglass insulation is fluffy, it has less dimensional stability than denim insulation. Over a period of time, it settles and sags that’s why its R-value also decreased.
7. Water Repellent
Water repellent refers to those products that resist the water, but here both these products are not water repellent. If water comes in contact with these products then both these products hold the water rather than resist and lose all insulating properties.
8. Fire Retardant
Fire retardants refer to those products that have fire-resistant properties, denim and fiberglass insulations are one of them.
Denim insulation is a class A fire Rated insulation treated with boric acid to make them fire-resistant as well as mold and mildew repellent also.
Fiberglass insulation is also a class A fire-rated insulation designed to be fire-resistant. Fiberglass insulation is non-flammable means does not catch fire easily. But it melts when the temperature goes above 1000 degrees Fahrenheit (540 degrees Celsius).
Also, you have to be careful about batt insulation of fiberglass that is backed with craft paper or foil because these paper materials burn easily but the fibers of glass do not catch fire easily.
9. Vapor Permeability
Vapor permeability is the ability of the product to allow vapor to pass through it. Denim insulation is designed to breathe and release the vapor it receives, which means denim insulation is vapor permeable, hope you will be understanding. (Some FAQs)
On the other hand fiberglass insulation is also vapor-permeable but it is very less vapor permeable. How did I know it’s very less permeable? From its perm rating, it comes to know that it is very less permeable. Actually, its perm rating is 0.1 to 1.0 which is very less.
Of note, Perm rating is the measurement of the product that how much vapor-permeable is this product. The lower the number the less likely it is to allow water vapor. Hope you will understand the point.
10. Health Issues
Denim insulation is made from recycled denim or high-quality natural fibers and this is the reason why it does not itch like fiberglass insulation.
Denim insulation has no VOCs, no chemical irritants, no formaldehyde, and also there are no warning labels as compared to fiberglass insulation.
But denim insulation is very dusty, it may cause irritate your eyes, throat, and nose so always wear a dust mask, safety goggles, and hand gloves when working with denim insulation. (MSDS)
On the other hand Fiberglass insulation is made from fine fibers of glass. So far it has not been found that it has caused permanent damage to anyone, or someone has been handicapped by it.
But yes it may temporarily damage your skin when you come in direct contact with fiberglass. Its sharp ends of strands may irritate your skin, nose, throat, and lungs.
It is very itchy may cause rashes on your skin. If you inhale these itchy fibers of glass it may damage your lungs or respiratory organs so always wear a safety apron kit while working with fiberglass insulation.
11. Ease To Install
Denim insulation comes in batt/rolls so that it is very easy to install. It is slightly oversized in width to ensure a tight friction fit into the stud cavity of the wall.
But this denim insulation was being difficult to cut into the proper width so the company now makes them with perforated seems similar to paper towels.
On the other hand, fiberglass insulation is fluffy so it needs to be secured with staples or wires. Also, you can cut it easily with the help of a utility knife as compared to denim insulation.
12. Sound Test
As you will have read this article carefully then you will have came to know that almost all the parameters of denim insulation are better than fiberglass insulation.
But when we did the sound test on both insulations then we found that fiberglass insulation is better to reduce noise than denim insulation.
So from this sound test, it comes to know that Fiberglass insulation is effectively absorbed more noise than denim insulation.
So all these are the main differences between denim vs fiberglass insulation.
Hope this article “denim vs fiberglass insulation” will help you in the right direction in your project