9th Nov 2022 -

Plasterboard can also function as a form of insulation for a wall or ceiling and for this there are specialised insulated plasterboards

Insulated plasterboard products are a popular type of plasterboard in the UK, which has a cold climate that requires good insulation to keep buildings running efficiently.

What is an Insulated Plasterboard?

Insulated plasterboard is a specific type of plasterboard of varying thicknesses, used for both walls and ceilings - with the chief goal of providing better insulation. Some sub-categories of insulated plasterboard come with additional benefits, such as moisture resistance. Using thermal insulated boards will increase energy efficiency, as it reduces reliance on fuel and heating.

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What is Insulated Plasterboard Used For?

The main use of insulated plasterboard is to line external walls, usually brick walls that do not provide effective insulation. While you could theoretically use insulated plasterboard on internal walls, it is more cost-effective to insulate the spaces between internal walls by using fibreglass or foam. This type of plasterboard can also be used for ceilings, preventing heat from escaping through your ceiling or roof.

On a brick wall, it is used because it provides a relatively thin lining that takes up minimal space. Insulated plasterboard is also used for overboarding (fixing a board on a board) in ceilings for the same reason. Other reasons insulated plasterboard is used include the following.

  • Lower bills: The major appeal of insulated plasterboard is that it improves insulation, thereby increasing energy efficiency and reducing a building’s reliance on fuel for heating - leading to lower bills.
  • Comfort: Insulation prevents big temperature changes, making it more comfortable for people inside. For example, the difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures indoors will fluctuate much less.
  • Environmentally friendly: It is used to boost green credentials. Many people want to improve the environmental performance of their buildings, which can also help to attract potential buyers or tenants. 

While there are only a few main uses, there are many different applications for insulated plasterboard - and it can be used on almost any external wall. The solid internal walls of older buildings may benefit from insulated plasterboard too. 

man holding plasterboard

Where Are Insulated Plasterboards Used?

Potential areas where insulated plasterboard may be used include the following. 

  • Houses: Bedrooms, living rooms or kitchens can all benefit from insulated plasterboard, which will help to provide a comfortable temperature and can also ensure that you reduce drafts. It is one of the best ways to lower household bills.
  • Schools: Children can benefit from the warm and habitable environment that insulated plasterboards can offer, especially when they are travelling to and from school during the chilly winter months. Insulated plasterboard will ensure a stable temperature for pupils once inside.
  • Hospitals: Hospitals have such a high flow of people that insulating these spaces is quite a challenge! By using an insulated plasterboard, it is much easier to keep different parts of a hospital warm and stop temperature drops that might result in rapid movements of patients or staff.
  • Care homes: Care environments for older adults require excellent insulation as older adults can get cold quite easily. Acoustic sound insulation plasterboards can also be used here to help increase comfort between sleeping areas while adding some extra internal insulation too.
  • Outbuildings: Many people build garden rooms, external offices and home gyms in outbuildings, such as sheds or barns. By using insulated plasterboard it is entirely possible to create a habitable space, even when weather conditions are poor. Almost any building, or a section of a building, can benefit from insulated plasterboard. In addition to the above uses, better insulation problems of condensation and humidity are also greatly improved indoors.

Types of Insulated Plasterboard

There are several sub-types of insulated plasterboard. For example, some types use foil-backed plasterboards, which creates vapour barriers and limits moisture diffusion. In addition, many will act as acoustic panels that help to block sound energy.

However, the main goal of insulated plasterboard is thermal efficiency. As a result, differentiation of the types of insulated plasterboard is usually by manufacturer, size, thickness or material.

Common materials for insulated plasterboards include the following:

  • Standard plasterboard, a mix of gypsum and paper or other fibres
  • Polyisocyanurate (PIR), boards that use polyisocyanurate foam insulation

Whatever the material of your boards, insulated plasterboard contains a layer of insulating material sandwiched between each board to provide its insulating properties.

Well-known Insulated plasterboard manufacturers include the following:

  • British Gypsum
  • Celotex
  • Ecotherm
  • JCW
  • Kingspan
  • Knauf
  • Recticel
  • Siniat
  • Speedline
  • Warmline

How Thick is Insulated Plasterboard and What Sizes Are Available? 

One of the biggest issues when it comes to selecting the right insulated plasterboard is finding the right dimensions. Although the size of the boards is important, the thickness has more of an influence on their insulating effects.

Common thicknesses include the following. 

  • 22mm
  • 27.5mm
  • 27mm
  • 29mm
  • 30mm
  • 32.5mm
  • 34.5mm
  • 35mm
  • 37.5mm
  • 38mm
  • 40mm
  • 42mm
  • 42.5mm
  • 45mm
  • 48mm
  • 50.5mm
  • 50mm
  • 52.5mm
  • 53mm
  • 55mm
  • 57.5mm
  • 59.5mm
  • 60mm
  • 62mm
  • 62.5mm
  • 63mm
  • 67.5mm
  • 70mm
  • 72.5mm
  • 72mm
  • 77.5mm
  • 78mm
  • 80mm
  • 82.5mm
  • 90mm
  • 92.5mm
  • 93mm
  • 102mm 

The appropriate thicknesses will vary depending on many factors, such as whether you are installing an insulated plasterboard on a solid wall or a cavity wall.

Although the thicknesses are the most important part, the board sizes will play a role too. Common board sizes include the following:

  • 2400mm x 1200mm
  • 1200mm x 450mm
  • 1200mm x 1200mm

Larger board sizes can help to make it easier to install plasterboard over a big area faster. Thermal insulation in a building will make a big difference, however, it can be difficult to determine the best size given the unique specificities of each space. 

There are also a few types of finishes including tapered edges, which makes it much easier to put together and install a lot of boards quickly.


Insulated Plasterboard for Ceilings

If you want to use insulated plasterboards for ceilings then you should choose a lighter weight and also avoid fixing with adhesives. Thermal insulation in a ceiling is a concern when you have timber ceilings, but even existing ceiling boards can benefit from the addition of insulated plasterboards (overboarding), even complete replacement.

Insulated Plasterboard for Walls 

Noise reduction through walls is a concern for many, so choosing a greater thickness can be a good idea. Some building regulations in flats or other types of buildings may require a certain thickness, so you should check with your local authority or building management for guidance. Additionally, solid brick walls require greater thicknesses than cavity walls - as cavity walls are more insulating.

How Do You Fix Insulated Plasterboard

Plasterboard is generally quite easy to fix. When using plasterboard fixings, if you can ensure greater stability in the boards - you will get better performance. You can use the following fixings.

  • Masonry nails
  • Drywall screws
  • Plugs
  • Hammerfix screws 

Dot and dab fixing is a good option for walls, as it uses adhesives to stick the boards to the wall, which can speed things up. However, fixings will be necessary for ceilings - indeed for walls too, but to a lesser extent due to the effects of gravity.

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Shop Insulated plasterboards at Building Materials Nationwide

Our insulated plasterboard solutions are designed to elevate the thermal performance and comfort of your spaces. They encompass various insulation types like foam-backed, foil-backed, and acoustic plasterboards, all meticulously crafted to meet the highest industry standards. With our insulated plasterboard, you can effortlessly create well-insulated walls and ceilings that not only enhance energy savings but also maintain a comfortable indoor environment.

For trade customers working with insulated plasterboard, our trade accounts come packed with various benefits. Featuring excellent support from your own trade account manager and competitive trade pricing, we are committed to simplifying the way you shop for tools and materials as well as enhancing project efficiency. Building Materials Nationwide consistently stands as your trusted one-stop shop for plasterboard solutions. Get started straight away by signing up via our website, or tell us what you need through the form below.

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