10 Essential Insulation Tools And Accessories For Your Tool Box
Every tradesperson’s tool box looks different, but if you’re installing home insulation, there are some must-have tools and accessories you should be taking along to every job.
Of course, every job is different, but we’ve put together a list of what should be in your tool box or van as a starting point, from safety gear to insulation knives, adhesives, and more.
Whether you’re new to the industry, need to replenish your tools, or you’re installing home insulation for the first time, read on to discover our insulation essentials.
Essential Insulation Safety Gear
When installing insulation, it’s essential to make sure you have the right safety gear that protects as much of your body as possible. Some types of insulation, such as fibreglass insulation, contain fibres that can cause irritation to the eyes and lungs, which can be especially irritating to people with respiratory conditions like asthma.
With this in mind, it’s important to wear the following - you may also want to keep spares in your tool box or van:
- Safety goggles
- Long sleeves to prevent skin irritation
- A mask that covers both your nose and mouth
Some people prefer to wear all-in-one overalls with a hood to keep their entire body and clothes protected while installing insulation. Whichever option you prefer, the most important thing is to make sure as much of your body and face are covered as possible.
10 Home Insulation Tools And Accessories
Here’s our pick of the must-have home insulation tools and accessories you need to install new insulation, from cutting knives to tackers, sealants, and screws.
1. Cordless Insulation Cutter
When you’re looking for an insulation cutting knife, a cordless insulation cutter is an extremely versatile choice. Much more mobile than an insulation knife that needs plugging in, a cordless cutter also allows you to reach awkward corners, nooks, and crannies more easily.
A cordless insulation cutter provides a fast, clean, precise cut, enabling you to cut insulation material perfectly to size. The Festool ISC 240 Cordless Insulating Material Saw is a good option, as it’s able to cut through:
- Polystyrene insulation boards
- Polyurethane insulation boards
- Pressure-resistant mineral wool insulation
- Facade insulation that features both stone and glass wool, such as some types of fibreglass insulation
2. Hot Knife Foam Cutter
A hot knife foam cutter or hot wire foam cutter is another great precision cutting tool for insulation that’s ideal for cutting through insulation materials like styrofoam and polystyrene. This makes it an essential tool when you’re working with expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation or extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation boards.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance on safe and proper use when using this type of insulation knife.
3. Multifoil Insulation Cutter
If you’re working with multifoil insulation, you’ll again need a specialist type of insulation cutting knife. Multifoil insulation comprises thin foil layers that reflect and trap heat, stopping it from leaving the walls, making it an effective insulation choice. It usually has added wadding too, for extra insulation.
SuperQuilt multifoil insulation is one of the most popular brands, so we recommend adding this SuperQuilt Cutter Knife to your tool box for when you’re working with this material and need to trim it down to size. This insulation cutter has a moulded handle for enhanced grip, and comes with 10 spare reversible cutting blades.
4. Insulation Tacker
An insulation tacker, also sometimes referred to as a hammer tacker or ‘slap stapler’, is designed to be used in a similar way to a staple gun to fix insulation material in place.
Insulation tackers are designed to be used like a hammer to firmly fix the insulation in place, which is especially useful for installing insulation in between studs.
A hammer tacker is a good alternative to a staple gun; you’ll load it in the same way, but you can go much faster with a tacker because you don’t need to keep pulling the trigger. You can also use an insulation tacker one-handed, which gives this tool another advantage over a staple gun.
5. Staple Gun
Some fitters prefer to use a staple gun rather than a hammer tacker to fix insulation to a wall. The main difference is that you use a trigger to release the staples rather than needing to hammer the insulation into place.
6. Sealing Tape
Sealing tape is a tool box essential for keeping corners of insulation in place, and you’re likely to find so many other uses for it in your work.
We stock a wide selection of sealing tape for a variety of purposes, including the versatile Gerband 587 External Sealing Tape. If you’re looking for a sealing tape that will last for an incredibly long time to come, we recommend the Gerband 586 50mm Universal Sealing Tape, which has been 50-year durability tested.
You’ll of course need a few different types of adhesive in your tool box, for tasks such as fixing insulation to plasterboard, and for various repair jobs. We recommend:
- Original Gorilla Glue, which is an incredibly strong adhesive that can bond to virtually anything
- 3M Foam Fast Spray Adhesive, which bonds in just 15-30 minutes and can be used with acoustic plasterboard, or to glue foam and other fabrics to themselves or other materials
- Fit foam boards to a wall with the Liquid Nails Interior Projects & Foamboard Adhesive, which can be inserted into a caulking gun for precise application
Regardless of the type of adhesive you’re using, always make sure to weigh the insulation down while it’s drying to keep it in place and improve the chance of it sticking for longer.
8. Caulking Gun
A caulking gun or sealant gun is an essential for any insulation fitter to insert their adhesive or sealant into. Using a caulking gun allows you to apply a smoother, more even line of adhesive or sealant, so you can create a neater, more professional-looking finish.
9. Drywall Screws
If you’re fitting drywall or plasterboard, drywall screws are a must. These screws aren’t as thick as wood screws and they’re a slightly different shape with deeper threads, meaning they’re less likely to fall out of the drywall once inserted.
10. Vapour Control Membrane
A vapour control membrane might not exactly fit in your tool box, but it’s an insulation accessory that’s definitely worth having in your stores or in the back of your van.
Also known as a vapour control layer (VCL), this is essentially a plastic layer that stops moist air from moving between insulation and a wall, helping to prevent condensation as a result.
Condensation can cause insulation mould and even structural damage, potentially rotting some materials such as timber, and causing insulation material to lose some of its thermal efficiency. Insulation mould can be costly to remove, so always have a VCL on hand to use whenever you think it could be beneficial.
Stock Up Your Tool Box At U Value
At U Value, you’ll find an extensive range of insulation tools and DIY accessories from sealing tapes to adhesives, and from screws to primers. We also stock different types of insulation, including fibreglass insulation, extruded polystyrene insulation, expanded polystyrene insulation, stone wool insulation, warmline insulated plasterboard, and more.