Is Applying Plasterboard onto SuperFOIL a Good Idea?

Working with insulation can be a complicated process sometimes, and especially when you aren’t familiar with the product you’re working with. Which is why our team has worked to develop a range of technical resources, all intended to help you install our products.

However, if you are ever unsure about any part of installing our products, you should never hesitate to reach out to our tech team. They’re on hand to help you out with any questions you might have, whenever you might have them.

Our Recommendations

That being said, the basic installation process is roughly the same whether you are installing in a wall or roof – which is why we thought you’d be interested to hear our experts’ recommended process when installing our products:

1. You’ll want to start by stapling the SuperFOIL product you are using to the studs of your wall (or your rafters in a roof). Of course, if you are insulating a solid wall – such as brick or stone – you will first need to install a row of studs at 600mm centres. When fixing the SuperFOIL, the size of staples will depend on the thickness of the product (see our Installation Guide for details).

2. Next, you should use a quality foil tape to fully seal all joints, cuts and penetrations. Once that is done, you can add a counter-batten layer, sandwiching the SuperFOIL between the studs (or rafters) and the counter-battens. Just remember to make sure you’re using the right size of batten for the product you’re using.

3. Finally, you may apply the finishing layer of plasterboard – or any other approved lining material; such as wall board – which marks the completion of the installation process.

If you’d like some more specific installation instructions, then we invite you to have a look at our installation guides (or to reach out to our tech team directly for personalised advice).

Why Follow Our Recommendations?

Our recommendations are based on years of experience, and are designed to provide you with the best thermal performance and to achieve a robust and neat finish. In our experience, installing counter-battens is always going to be the best way to do that.

That being said, these are recommendations and not rules, deciding to take our advice on how to get the most from your product is entirely up to you. However, if you’d like some insight into why we make these recommendations, then we’d be happy to oblige…

Why a Counter-Batten System?

To begin with, SuperFOIL products are not solid and will compress significantly under pressure. By using counter-battens, you can focus and control this compression and also create spaces between the battens for the SuperFOIL to expand into while maintaining the air gaps necessary for the maximum thermal performance of the product.

This expansion is what makes control over the compression of SuperFOIL vital. Think of the SuperFOIL as being similar to a cushion or pillow: if you squeeze it tightly in two places the thickness between those points of compression increases. As a result, controlling the points of compressions is incredibly important if you want to ensure a solid, regular surface onto which the plasterboard can be applied – and also to include appropriate spaces for that expansion.

After all, if the SuperFOIL doesn’t have the space to expand into – provided by the gaps between battens – then the thermal effectiveness of the insulation would be reduced due to the reduced air spaces around the product. Plus, you risk completely eliminating those spaces, reducing performance further and potentially causing thermal bridging across the entire insulation build-up.

Additionally, that secure, regular surface is key to avoiding unnecessary issues you might encounter with your plasterboard due to the inconsistent pressure applied to the SuperFOIL, such as an uneven ‘wavy’ surface of your finished wall or even plasterboard fixings ‘popping’ over time.

Whilst the addition of the battens will add to the overall depth of the roof/wall which may be a cause for concern in some instances, the concerns regarding performance and finished appearance are, in our opinion, far more important.
Particularly since the loss of an air space will reduce the overall performance of the insulation and is likely to result in the required U-value for Building Regulations not being achieved.

Why Worry about Batten Size?

Battens provide the space that SuperFOIL products need to properly expand and help maintain air gaps too! Both of these are vitally important to SuperFOIL’s ability to provide their maximum performance, which is precisely why size of your battens matter.

As a result, if you install your insulation using battens that are smaller than our recommended minimum, then your build-up won’t have the room to maintain the appropriate air gaps around your insulation, and might not even have enough room to let the product itself properly expand. Both of these will reduce the thermal value of your insulation.

If you want to learn which size of batten you need for which products, then you’ll be happy to hear that we have a batten size chart to help you find out!

But What If You’re Short on Space?

These recommendations are all well and good, but what are you supposed to do if you don’t have the space to install your SuperFOIL in the best possible way?

Well, our number one suggestion would be to make sure you consider your options and pick the right product for the job. After all, if you use a low efficiency product to its full potential, then you will get better results than when installing a “better” product in an inefficient way.

SuperFOIL SFUF is a great option for low-space build-ups. Highly space-efficient product, SFUF is just 6mm thick and (unlike other SuperFOIL Products) it doesn’t require air gaps to provide its maximum possible performance, meaning those 6mm are all it needs.

SFUF is a great option for insulting thinner spaces alone, but it also makes a great option for inclusion into combination build-ups; since, combining the hyper thin SFUF with another product is a great way to add an edge to your overall thermal performance with less than 1cm of added thickness. Even better, like most SuperFOIL products, SFUF comes with a high-quality vapour control layer built-in, allowing it to take the place of traditional VCLs in your build-up.

Useful Resources to Rely On…

It never hurts to have some reliable sources of information, which is why we’re doing everything we can to provide them to you.

So, if you’re looking for more information about anything we covered in this post, then you might want to consider one of the following resources:

  • If you’re interested in learning more about battens, we have a detailed blog post on the topic, with a chart for easy

  • And if you still can’t find an answer, we’d recommend getting in touch with us directly. We can provide you with

    technical guidance, personalised U-value calculations, and even a free discovery session to help you really get to

    grips with how you can reach your ideal insulation quality;
  • Oh, and if you’re interested in learning more about what we do here at SuperFOIL – and how we do it – then you

    might enjoy checking out our YouTube channel or checking out some of our other blog posts and case studies – like

    the one about the record-breaking hot-air balloon made using SuperFOIL SFTV, that one’s great!

Still Not Sure What to Do?

Don’t forget: our technical support team is here to help you!

Just provide them with the details of your project – which you can do by emailing [email protected] or calling 01636 639900 – and they’ll provide you with personalised recommendations to help you make the most of your insulation.

They can even help you to plan a build-up that’ll meet the building regulations standards you’ll need for approval.


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