This is the insulation that we commonly known as pink insulation. It is made of fiberglass. The biggest manufacturer of pink fiberglass insulation is Owens Corning. Owens Corning has also created a second website that helps you weave your way through the various government programs to subsidize the purchase of insulation. Incidentally these programs apply to any type/manufacturer of insulation.
This is a less common type of material but increasing in use because of some superior attributes to the 'pink' stuff. Mineral wool is made from basalt rock and slag, and this combination results in a non-combustible product. There are no added flame retardants in mineral wool products. Combustible insulations often need to have chemicals added to make them less flammable. The biggest manufacture of mineral wool insulation is Roxul, Inc.
Roxul really plays up the fire resistance of their mineral wool insulation product. But I invite you to their website for the details.
BTW Glass wool is fiberglass. So you can see Roxul beats the pink insulation, and total blows away the spray foam insulation (polyurethane and polystyrene foam).
The five reasons I picked Roxul (rock wool) over the pick (fiberglass) insulation:
- Roxul does not give me a rash - With fiberglass insulation you have to cover complete up - gloves, long sleeves, etc... The primary reason is that fiberglass gets on your skin and and becomes very irritable. With the sweating it just makes it worse. Using Roxul the only precautions I take is a mask and I wear gloves.
- Roxul is easier to use: Cutting and shaping it only requires a bread knife. It is really easy to cut out little bits to shape around outlet boxes, etc.
- Roxul is much more water resistant: Water seems to run off rock wool. I am sure you have seen what happens to fiberglass insulation when water is nearby - it acts like a sponge.
- Roxul is much more fire resistant: Act the analysis given above demonstrated rock wool is much more fire resistant than any of the other popular insulations materials.
There are a few things about rock wool you should know about:
- It is more expensive -- I have found it to be 5% to 10% more expensive
- It is harder to get -- Not everyone keeps it in stock, although that seems to be changing. You can always order it from most building supply stores.
- It crumbles - When moving it around be careful not to break open the bag as the material tends to chunk and break off easier.