Radiant Barrier Foil: Double or Single Bubble?
This entry was posted on October 25, 2009.
This is an easy one and it all comes down to economics. The products are essentially the same. They are both radiant barrier reflective foil insulation products. They are made the same.
The only difference is single bubble foil has only one layer of polyethylene bubble between the two exterior layers of highly reflective aluminum foil.
For almost all projects, both residential and commercial, we recommend a double bubble product. This is the only product we offer on our main website. Because of its double layer of bubbles, the product is more robust and therefore stronger. It is also thicker, creating more of a thermal break. Single bubble products are recommended where product quality is not the main concern or where temporary radiant barrier applications are needed. There are applications where single bubble is fine. These include using the material as pipe wrap insulation and insulating dog houses or hot water tanks.
You still receive the benefits of using a radiant barrier but with a thinner, lighter product. For long term applications, forego the small amount of money you would save initially and purchase a double bubble product.
Also, although single bubble products are sometimes marketed for under concrete slab applications, you should always use a double bubble product in an under slab application. The patented product on the market, InfraStop® Double Bubble Reflective Insulation is a double bubble product consisting of two layers of industrial strength bubbles to deal with any compression issues.