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Fiberglass Insulation R-value and Thickness Comparisons


Determining the Right Fiberglass Insulation R-values for the Different Areas of your Home


By Mark J. Donovan




Batt and rolled fiberglass insulation are two of the most common types of insulation found in residential construction. Batt and rolled fiberglass insulation are available in numerous R-values, lengths, widths, and thicknesses, and is used in walls, floors, and attics. R-value is a measure of how well a particular type of insulation impedes heat transfer. The R-value of batt and rolled fiberglass insulation varies a little by manufacturer. Typically it is in the range of 2.9 to 3.8 per inch. Summarized below is a table that will enable you to quickly compare batt and rolled fiberglass insulation R-values with corresponding thicknesses. 


Insulation R-value

Thickness (inches)


3 1/2


3 5/8


3 1/2 (High Density)


6 1/4


5 1/2


8 to 8 1/2


9 1/2




15 1/2


How Much Batt or Rolled Fiberglass Insulation is Required?


Well it depends upon where you live. However summarized below are some general guidelines.


Walls Wall insulation is dependent upon the type of framing used in the walls. If the walls were constructed out of 2x4s, you can use R-11 to R-15 rolled fiberglass insulation. If the walls were constructed out of 2x6s, you can use R-19 to R-21.


Attics In colder climates the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recommends using a minimum of R-49 insulation. You can achieve an R-49 R-value by stacking R-19 on top of R-30. In warmer climates you can get away with R-38 insulation in the attic.


Floors The U.S. DOE recommends using R-25 insulation in colder climates and R-11 in warmer ones.


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- Fiberglass Insulation R-value and Thickness Comparisons -

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