Insulation Batts

Insulation batts, used to insulate above ceilings, within walls, and below floors, are pre-cut insulation panels most commonly comprised of fiberglass, although they also can be made of rock wool, plastic fibers, or natural fibers such as sheep’s wool. Fiberglass batt insulation is generally the least expensive kind of insulation and can save you money over other types, especially if you are covering large areas. It does, however, require very careful and consistent installation for maximum effectiveness.

Batt panels are available in widths to match standard attic joist or wall stud spacing – 12, 16, or 24 inches – and are cut to fit securely between framing cavities. They generally come in lengths of either 4 or 8 feet. Some brands of batt insulation are perforated and can be torn by hand to fit non-standard areas.

Many manufacturers of batt panels attach facing made of craft paper, vinyl, or foil-craft paper to the insulation that acts as an air and/or vapor barrier. Some brands are also flame-resistant in order to insulate areas such as basements where the material might be exposed. Faced batts are often used for exterior walls, attics, ceilings, cathedral ceilings, floors, and finished basements and are generally easier to install than unfaced batts. However, unfaced batts are generally recommended to re-insulate existing insulation.

Effective thermal performance of insulation batts heavily depends on proper installation. If you choose to do the installation yourself, make sure to follow the provided instructions and safety precautions. Find out what the local building and fire codes have to say about installing insulation. If you would rather have a professional do the job, try to obtain estimates from a few different contractors in order to find the best deal. Provided it is properly installed, batt insulation can be a very effective and economical way to insulate your home.