Cork and foam

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by pisces5483, Jan 30, 2005.

  1. pisces5483

    pisces5483 New Member

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    Hi guys,

    The cork and foam you American guys keep talking about doesn't seem to be so readily available over here on the other side of the pond. Any Brits out there with an idea where I can get hold of these materials or something similar?
  2. jetrock

    jetrock Member

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    Foam=extruded polystrene. It is sold in sheets as insulation at home-improvement stores. Expanded polystyrene is also usable but messier, since it is made of little foam balls that break apart messily instead of a big extruded sheet.

    Cork: Cork roadbed has been around for a while--what do UK hobbyshops sell for use as roadbed material? I know Peco sold a sort of foam roadbed but I didn't hear too much good about it in practice.
  3. pisces5483

    pisces5483 New Member

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    Thanks jetrock. Cork is available but expensive and not READILY available. The home-improvement (D.I.Y.) stores round here don't have the foam that I've seen the U.S.guys using.
  4. jetrock

    jetrock Member

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    They don't sell it in California either, just the expanded stuff--what do you use for insulation on the other side of the pond?
  5. pisces5483

    pisces5483 New Member

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    I'm no builder but I think they use some loose fibre materials. I've seen some boards in a local DIY centre but they're only 1/4" thick with a texture similar to cork but made of packed fibre. The nearest thing I've seen to the foam you guys use is a roll of foam that is sold in camping shops. You put underneath you when you're sleeping to protect you from the rough ground. Maybe that would work but,it also, is only about 1/4" thick.
  6. jetrock

    jetrock Member

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    That isn't the same sort of foam either--that is foam rubber. Expanded polystyrene is the stuff they make disposable cups and plates out of--the white crumbly stuff. Extruded polystyrene is a similar material, but it is a solid chunk insted of the little white pebbly bits stuck together. It's better for model railroad layouts but the expanded type can be used in a pinch.

    1/4" thick insulation? I should hope English insulation is thicker than that!--1/4" is about 6.35mm thick. And I have used foam rubber pads to sleep on, and a 1/4" thick foam rubber pad would be just about useless! Perhaps you're forgetting to carry the two or something when converting from metric to imperial measurement...

    Moving back to the cork--you won't find that in DIY shops, only at model railroad hobby shops. I'm sure that Brits put *something* under their track, it's just a matter of checking out your local hobby shop and asking what they have in the way of roadbed (cork, or Woodland Scenics foam roadbed, which is closer to foam rubber, or whatever.)

    You might also ask them about extruded foam and where to find it over there...they might know. Not sure why none of the folks on your side of the Atlantic have chimed in yet...
  7. pisces5483

    pisces5483 New Member

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    I assume the insulation you're talking about is used in walls. The material I have seen goes under wooden floorboards. I've only looked in the local DIY stores. Maybe a builders merchant might have something better.

    P.S. Still no British replies
  8. jetrock

    jetrock Member

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    I have seen it used in walls, but I am no professional carpenter myself so I don't really know--attics in my neck of the woods use blown cellulose or fiberglass batts. A "builders merchant" (I assume a contractor's warehouse supply store of some sort) might be a better lead--this is sort of a specialty item, for folks who build houses rather than for the weekend-project home hobbyist.