Thursday, September 6, 2012


What can I say? I'm a boy; I prefer blue over pink.

No really, I prefer 100% cotton over fiberglass. And, if possible, could I get something with no formaldehyde in it, if that's not too much to ask? I'd rather not breathe it for the rest of my (shortened) life.

Why yes, yes I can. The picture above is a close-up of recycled denim insulation in my house. It's appropriately called "UltraTouch," made by Bonded Logic. They transform 100% cotton bluejeans (and jackets, I guess) into insulation batts, and treat it with a non-toxic boron-based fire retardant that also resists mold and mildew. Thermally it performs just like any other insulation.

Here are bags of R30 (for ceilings) stacked unto heaven in the Great Room. This is only half of it; the rest was in the kitchen.

Now, to be fair, you can get the pink fiberglass insulation without formaldehyde now. But still, I've installed that stuff. I itched for a week. Even though I didn't personally install this, it felt good to not worry about what I was breathing, or what I was touching, or what I was tracking around on my shoes. It's just cotton. And mostly recycled cotton at that. I walk through the house now and touch it on purpose.

Here's the R13 in the walls of a bedroom:

And in the short walls of a skylight:

At the stone wall in the Great Room:

And in the walls of the Great Room skylight:

So, is blue more expensive than pink? Yes, but not by a whole lot. It's actually cheaper than the spray-applied insulation that was in my budget. So I ended up saving money off the original quote by going with these cotton batts. Besides, I think it's worth spending a little extra for a product that's better for people and nature.

The next post will continue this all-natural-architecture theme: interior wall boards - no paint, no stain, no sealer; just pure, simple and beautiful southern yellow pine. Smells good too.

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