Wood Fiber Insulation Use and Price per m²

Do you have ecological fiber? Heading for a bio-sourced material to insulate your home: wood fiber! This insulation packaged in panels – and different from wool – is ideal for insulating a roof, attic, or walls. 

In construction or renovation, you will love its thermal performance to enjoy maximum comfort in summer and winter.

So, does wood fiber really have it all? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this insulating product? And above all, what is its price? I have plenty of advice in stock for a successful project.


What is wood fiber?

What are the particularities of wood fiber and how can we distinguish it from its close cousin wood wool? Ootravaux takes stock of each product.

Definition

Wood fiber is a material created by defibrating wood, which produces long shavings. These are then bonded using a dry process, without water.

In thermal insulation, wood fibers are most often packaged in the form of rigid or semi-rigid panels (and not in bulk).

What is the difference between wool and wood fiber?

Do you think that wool and wood fiber are the same products? Don’t fall for it again! It is true that these terms are often used synonymously, but there are real differences between the two.

  • Fiber and wool are not manufactured using the same methods: wool is also obtained from shavings but these are bonded using a wet process (with water or a synthetic binder).
  • The two materials are not packaged in the same way: wood wool is used in flexible panels (or semi-rigid depending on the designations). Like glass wool or rock wool, it can also be applied in bulk, by insufflation or blowing.
  • Another unmistakable sign: there is a separate standard for each of the two products: NF EN 13 171 for wood fiber and NF EN 13 168 for wool.
Wood Fiber Insulation Use and Price per m²

Advantages of wood fiber insulation panels

  1. A bio-sourced and ecological material
  2. A very effective thermal insulator in all seasons
  3. A high phase shift time, ideal for summer comfort
  4. A versatile insulator

Ecology, versatility, interior comfort, excellent thermal insulation in summer and winter: detailed review of the advantages of wood fiber as insulation.

1. A bio-sourced and ecological material

The ecological aspect is one of the great strengths of wood fiber, provided that it comes from forests managed sustainably and responsibly. It is therefore one of the biosourced materials whose use is encouraged in renovation and construction (see environmental regulations RE 2020 for a new house).

Read also: How to Insulate a Container House? If You Don’t Know Then Know Here

As a natural material, a wood fiber panel is recyclable. Its impact is not harmful to the environment, unlike other insulating materials (such as polystyrene from petroleum).

2. A very effective thermal insulator in all seasons

A good point for your comfort and your wallet: panels made of wood fibers are very efficient in terms of thermal insulation.

  • The thermal conductivity (lambda coefficient λ) of wood fiber is between 0.036 and 0.042 W/mK (watt per kelvin meter). As a reminder, the lower the value, the more insulating the product: this affects your winter and summer comfort. For comparison, glass wool – one of the most effective insulators – has a lambda coefficient of 0.032 W/mK
  • The thermal resistance R must be high to attest to the insulating power of a product. To obtain a high value such as R = 5 m²K/W, you must provide at least 18 cm of wood fiber thickness. This is the result of the following calculation: necessary thickness = desired R x λ x 100.

Note that wood fibers also help to ensure the sound insulation of a home, thanks to the high density of the panels.

3. A high phase shift time, ideal for summer comfort

Thermal phase shift is the time it takes for hot air to pass through an insulator. Thanks to its high density, wood fiber is your best ally in preventing heat from entering the house: allow up to 15 hours of phase shift for wood fibers compared to 4 to 6 hours for glass wool. Enough to stay cool for longer without forcing the air conditioning.

4. A versatile insulator

The panel packaging and the qualities of the wood fiber mean that this insulating material is suitable for all types of techniques and rooms:

  • Insulation of the house from the inside or insulation from the outside.
  • Insulation of walls, roof, attic, and floor.

You can also use it to insulate a new construction or as part of a renovation.

Disadvantages of wood fiber insulation boards

  1. A relatively high price
  2. Sensitivity to humidity
  3. The flammable aspect

As efficient as it is, wood fiber has some limitations that are important to know… starting with its price.

1. A relatively high price

The budget represents a decisive criterion when choosing construction materials. So know this before asking for quotes: wood fiber has a high purchase cost, as is often the case with ecological insulation products.

This price should be put into perspective because energy renovation work, of which insulation is part, is eligible for financial aid from the State. The investment is also profitable through your future energy savings.

2. Sensitivity to humidity

Wood fiber has less resistance to humidity: frequent exposure to water can cause loss of insulation. Installing a vapor barrier over each panel is essential to protect against this type of damage, particularly in areas exposed to rain and in damp rooms.

3. The flammable aspect

Wood fiber remains… wood. Despite treatments to increase its flame resistance, this insulation burns easily in the event of a fire in the house.

For what type of insulation is wood fiber recommended?

Wood fiber is a versatile insulator that is suitable for all insulation projects, both new and renovated: roof, attic, wall, or even floor.

Roof and attic insulation

  • Wood fiber panels can be installed under the rafters of the frame, to ensure insulation of the roof and attics that can be converted from the inside.
  • Wood fiber is also suitable for insulating the roof from the outside, by adding a rain shield. These insulation works are larger in scale and have a higher cost.
  • On the other hand, to insulate lost attics, it is better to favor wood wool in the form of flakes, applied by blowing.

Insulation of walls and partitions

Wall insulation using wood fiber is carried out from the inside: the panels are applied to line the wall, without forgetting the installation of the vapor barrier between the insulation and the finish.

Floor insulation

Floors represent a surface that should not be neglected when it comes to insulating the house. You can choose to apply wood fiber, panel by panel, to ensure thermal and acoustic insulation of the floor, especially if you have a basement. Enough to maximize your comfort!

What is the price per m² of wood fiber?

You have noticed: that the price is one of the disadvantages of wood fiber. Ootravaux gives you all the elements to plan your insulation budget.

Material prices

Wood fiber insulation panels are offered at various prices depending on their thickness, dimensions, and brands (the main ones being Isonat, with its Flex panel model, but also Steico and Gutex).

Here are the price ranges per m² that you can observe for the different products, not including the labor rate (1):

  • 40 mm thick wood fiber insulating panels: from 5 to 15$ per m²
  • 60 mm thick panels: around 15$ per m²
  • 80 mm thick panels: 15 to 20$ per m²
  • 100 mm thick panels: 15 to 25$ per m²
  • 200 mm thick panels: from 30 to 60$ per m²

To help you compare with other insulation, glass wool is offered at prices between 2 and 40 euros per m² depending on the thickness and density of the panel.

Tip: If you buy the supplies yourself, think about other necessary equipment such as the vapor barrier (or rain barrier), but also the delivery costs if ordering online.

Labor prices

For installation alone, a professional establishes his invoice according to the nature of the work:

  • Interior wall insulation: between 15 and 60$ per m²;
  • Exterior wall insulation: between 60 and 120$ per m²;
  • Insulation of the roof from the outside: between 40 and 180$ per m².

Ootravaux reminds you that you must seek out professionals with the RGE (Recognized Guarantor of the Environment) label for your thermal renovation work: this is a criterion to be respected to benefit from state aid.

How to find a professional to install wood fiber panels?

Convinced by the qualities and comfort of wood fiber insulation panels? Ootravaux helps you find professionals to whom you can request quotes and entrust the installation work.

Word of mouth

Have relatives or neighbors recently built a house or carried out renovation work? Do not hesitate to ask them to find out the materials and products used. 

If they used wood fiber for insulation, take the opportunity to ask for the contact details of the craftsmen who worked. Word of mouth is always effective in finding competent professionals!

A search on the Internet

You can simply find craftsmen on the Internet, using a search engine or an online directory such as the Yellow Pages. You will also be able to consult professional websites, view photos of completed projects, and check the reputation of companies using reviews. 

Remember that the opinion of another customer is not a guarantee of 100% confidence but it allows you to obtain a first insight into the skills of a craftsman.

A specialized platform

Another solution for contacting professionals: use a networking platform like Ootravaux. Simply submit your quote request in a few clicks to receive free offers from available craftsmen. You can then take the time to compare prices and quotes.

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