7 Types of Insulation (and Where to Use It)

Even though the common man or woman depends on lbs . and pounds of insulation every single day to continue to be warm, most folks know really minor about insulation. If you’ve lately started researching insulation choices for your house, it is typical to get a little bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of possibilities.

There are numerous distinct types of insulation out there. Some of them are made for use in certain places, whilst other folks are merely all-close to very good possibilities. Which insulation would work very best for you depends on a selection of factors, this sort of as in which you stay, and your home’s style.

Beneath, we’ve reviewed some of the most frequent and successful choices.

The 7 Types of Insulation (and Where to Use It)

1. Roll Insulation

roll insulation
Image Credit: AKuptsova, Pixabay

Out of all insulation possibilities out there, roll insulation is very easily one particular of the most frequent. It is easy to install—so simple that several house owners choose to put in it themselves. They can be made of several distinct components, like all-natural fibers, wool, plastic, and fiberglass.

Fiberglass is the most frequent and least expensive. Even so, it requires unique tools to install and is not environmentally helpful. As a result, a lot of men and women are shifting toward more recent varieties of roll insulation.

If you have an more mature property, you will most likely uncover this sort of roll insulation currently installed. Even so, it is a typical selection for new homes, as effectively.

  • Widely available
  • Variety of different materials
  • Easy to install
  • May require special protective gear (for fiberglass)
  • Often comes pre-cut
  • May have a low R-value

2. Foam Board

Rigid Foam Board_Radovan1_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Radovan1, Shutterstock

As the title suggests, this type of insulation arrives in the sort of a durable board. It is created from many various components and comes in a assortment of thicknesses, which will influence the R-price. You can use these in nearly any part of your house, and they are fairly straightforward to install.

The best component about foam board insulation is that it can be utilised just about anywhere. You can install it in the roof or the basis.

You can find foam board with up to a six.eight R-worth. For that reason, it is ideal for a range of climates as properly.

  • Very high R-value
  • Reduced heat conduction
  • Sturdy
  • Water-resistant
  • Permeable to water vapor
  • Costly on existing walls
  • Not suitable for older homes or pre-constructed homes

3. Insulated Concrete Forms

Insulated Concrete Forms
Image Credit: Radovan1, Shutterstock

Although not as typical as other choices, insulated concrete kinds are an insulation option in some locations. Essentially, this type of insulation includes laying two concrete partitions amongst layers of insulation. When carried out accurately, this qualified prospects to a quite high thermal resistance. In reality, it can reach up to R-twenty, which is considerably higher than most other insulations.

This type of insulation does get a lot more function, and houses normally have to be developed with it from the get-go. Nevertheless, it is a wonderful selection for individuals searching to develop strength-productive houses since it works incredibly well. Soon after they are constructed, these walls will seem like traditionally constructed partitions, even though they can be a bit broader. You can even insert much more insulation to some of these walls, producing them even more effective.

  • Extremely efficient
  • Adds to the wall strength of the home
  • Saves up to 20% of energy costs
  • Noise control
  • Not insect- or water-proof
  • Can be quite expensive
  • Cannot be retrofitted to older homes

4. Loose-Fill

man wearing green with loose fill insulation
Image Credit: greg-rosenke, Unsplash

Loose-fill insulation is very distinct from the kinds we have mentioned so much. This insulation just lays loose in the attic of your home. It does not have a strong construction. Nevertheless, for this cause, this insulation simply matches into the nooks and crannies of your residence.

You would picture that this insulation would be simple to install, but this is not the situation. Alternatively, it requires expert gear, so this is not a Do-it-yourself task. For that reason, it can be a little bit much more costly than other possibilities.

You can uncover unfastened-fill insulation in a variety of various supplies. For instance, it comes in fiberglass and cellulose. The R-price will rely on the thickness of the insulation and the content it is created out of.

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Effective in small areas
  • Can be recollected and relocated
  • Requires professional installation
  • Needs to be sealed

5. Structural Insulated Panels

construction of house with structural insulation panels
Image Credit: Bilanol, Shutterstock

Also referred to as SIPS, structural insulated panels are created into the home when it is built. They are created in a manufacturing facility and occur in a variety of pre-produced dimensions. Even though they are really effortless to set up, they are not ideal for all areas. These walls have a foam core that aids with insulation. Nevertheless, on the exterior, they search just like a typical wall.

The variety of foam utilised inside the wall establishes the R-worth. You can locate alternatives up to about 6.five, and you can use these insulated walls in several distinct climates.

Numerous clients also like that this insulation blocks noise, even though they are not really successful in opposition to minimal-frequency noises. They also lessen framing time, as they come pre-developed.

  • High R-value
  • Easy to install and use
  • Moisture-resistant
  • Not insect- or pest-proof
  • Airtight
  • Cannot be retrofitted to homes

6. Spray Foam

hand applying door insulation form
Image Credit: Gabor Tinz, Shutterstock

Spray foam insulation is liquid insulation that is sprayed or poured on to a surface. After it arrives into get in touch with with the air, the liquid hardens and expands to fill the room. Because of the superior installation techniques needed, this insulation requires expert set up. Therefore, it can price a bit more than other alternatives.

Nevertheless, it has one particular of the greatest R-values at practically a seven. It can also support help save time and funds on other tasks, like caulking. Additionally, it simply fits into tiny spaces and can be employed for more substantial walls. There are two major kinds of spray foam insulation, however they are relatively comparable to every single other.

  • Very effective
  • Can fit in small spaces
  • Reduces noise levels
  • Resistant to vapor
  • Expensive
  • Requires professional insulation

7. Radiant Barrier Insulation

Radiant Barrier Asbestos Insulation Roof
Image Credit: attakorn sanguanwong, Shutterstock

This insulation performs a little bit differently from other options. It demonstrates warmth back into the home but does not resist heat circulation. As a result, this insulation does not technically have its personal R-worth. It functions for equally amazing air and scorching air, so you can use it in a range of different settings.

With that said, this kind of solution is most successful in hot areas. It performs very best to keep things amazing, although it also does a slight sum to keep your home heat.

This insulation is totally a diverse alternative, but that does not mean that it is a good selection for everywhere.

  • Straightforward to install
  • Water-resistant
  • Does not deteriorate over time
  • Not as effective
  • Usually needs to be combined with other insulation types


There are many kinds of insulation that you could potentially decide on from. For the most part, you are likely to be anxious about the R-price of the insulation you decide on. You’ll need to have to seem up the R-worth of the insulation essential in your region, and ideally adhere to the larger conclude of the spectrum. Even though much more insulation is usually far better, that is not constantly the scenario.

Up coming, you will need to have to consider whether or not you want to put in the insulation by yourself or employ somebody to do it. Some sorts of insulation can only be set up professionally, although other people are ideal Do it yourself possibilities.


Highlighted Graphic Credit score: erik mclean, Pexels