Faced Vs Unfaced Insulation: Complete Comparison


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Comparison Between Faced Vs Unfaced Insulation – Generally, insulation is a vital part of all homes!! Having a properly insulated home is a worthwhile investment. Insulation will keep your home warmer all the season.

By comparing the faced vs unfaced insulation, you can choose the one for your circumstance. It brings the comfortable and saves you from various issues.

Insulation is an ideal part of every home. It is not only helped to keep your house warm during the winter and summer, but the insulation highly helps to reduce the noise, increasing privacy, and many more.

Though, you can use different types and gains the huge benefits you want. In order to overcome all the issues, you have to understand the differences between faced vs unfaced insulation.

When it looks to roll or batt of insulation, you have to notice that are accessible as whichever faced or unfaced. The key difference between the faced and unfaced is that faced insulation helps to keep moisture out because it is having the Kraft paper on one side. Similarly, the unfaced insulation provides only the insulation.

Faced insulation is able to bring the vapor retarder and you can use this in your home and use depending on your resident building codes. Now, check the differences between faced and unfaced insulation!! And try to understand how the insulation is considered for quality and better function. Then you can easily know what type you purchase.

What Is Faced Insulation?

The faced insulation is made of fiberglass so you can use it easily. Unlike unfaced insulation, faced insulation is having a vapor retarder which helps to keeps the moisture out. The vapor retarders are a greater function that is to keep moisture from spreading within the walls and all over the house.

If you want to stay in a humid and wet climate, you need to choose the best and reliable faced insulation than other.

Faced insulation can be used in numerous areas of a house such as

  • Ceiling
  • Floor
  • Attic
  • Basement
  • Exterior walls

When To Use Each Type Of Insulation?

When local building codes require a vapor retardant, at that time the faced insulation is an ideal option over unfaced. It is because the Kraft paper on one side of the faced insulation keeps the moisture from spreading over the walls or ceiling.

You have to use faced insulation as the first layer of insulation which is most important to notice. The Kraft paper is highly flammable as well. In order to make things safe, you have to cover the unfaced insulation with drywall which is preventing the risk of a fire.

Yet, unfaced insulation is simply reducing the risk of mold, mildew, or moisture damage in your house. Including, it avoids covering an old layer of faced insulation with the alternative layer you can use to trap moisture which is a refinement ground for mold.

What Is Unfaced Insulation?

Unfaced insulation is simply insulation that comes under without any vapor retardant like plastic or paper. If you are a person who does not live in a humid climate, there you do not need to use codes in place of faced insulation.

The unfaced insulation does not prevent the spread of moisture but it offers huge benefits to you like

  • Noise reduction
  • Conserving energy
  • Retaining heat/retaining cool air
  • Keeps pollutants out

Otherwise, you can use the best Environmental Protection Agency that is simply installing the insulation in your home. Therefore, you can save more energy costs easily. It is because the insulation helps to hold the heat in the winter and cool air in the summer. Therefore, you do not need to use the AC.

What is R-Value?

The Insulation is rated based on R-value. R-value refers to a specific material’s performance like an insulator and considers how well it holds up to heat. Diverse materials repel heat conduction in various forms that denote the proper R-value.

You can find the R-value of insulation materials easily on the packing. But you have to ensure the high R-values then you have to know that is a better insulator.

The climate in the zone is able to affect you easily. So you have to need a good amount of insulation as well as the R-value of the materials. In order to make it easier, the Department of Energy has separated the country into seven zones!! Each is having its R-value necessities.

About The 8th Zone

The Department of Energy has applied the 8th zone for individual areas of Alaska. Otherwise, they do not denote the R-values contrarily for that zone presently. The 8th zone does not appear on the Department of Energy’s map, but it comprises numerous areas such as

  • Wade Hampton
  • Nome
  • Bethel
  • Northwest Arctic
  • Dellingham

This chart displays the R-value for different insulated areas.

ZONEFLOORSATTICCRAWLSPACE2 x 4 WALLS
1R25-R30R30-R49R13R13-R15
2R25-R30R30-R60R13-R19R13-R15
3R25-R30R30-R60R19-R25R13-R15
4R25-R30R38-R60R25-R30R13-R15
5R25-R30R49-R60R25-R30R13-R15
6R25-R30R49-R60R25-R30R13-R15
7R25-R30R49-R60R25-R30R13-R15

What Kind Of Insulation Is The Best?

There are several kinds of insulation that are accessible but some of them are suitable for different uses. Each of insulation is having its own R-value and other ideal function. The best four main types of insulation are

  • Blown-in
  • Foam spray
  • Roll
  • Batt

Roll and batt insulation are lumped together which is referred to as Blanket insulation. The difference between the two is that roll insulation you have to be rolled out and cut easily, and the batt is in pre-cut pieces that you have to be installed separately.

You can find rolls and batts on both the faced and unfaced with the R-value. Foam spray insulation is expensive than the other types of insulation. Moreover, it is also simple to apply than others.

Likewise, the blown in insulation is also easy to put in, but it does necessitate that you have a blower. Also having a separate function, each material of insulation is having its own R-value.

This chart reveals the difference between each type of insulation and what it is finest for.

TypeBest ForMaterialInstallation
Blown-InCan fill empty /hard to grasp spots in walls and atticFiberglass, celluloseSeal any air leaks and use a blower to blow in loose cellulose or fiberglass (cellulose as higher R-value)
Foam SprayReaching spots around difficulties that Blanket insulation cannot reachIsocyanate/polyol resin combination, polyurethaneSpray foam into a gap or cavity in layers allowing it to dry between each layer
RollStops spread of heat, best used in attics without existing insulationFaced or unfaced fiberglass sheetsCut to particularamounts of the space it is filling
BattStops blow-out of heat in walls, attics, in between wooden joistsFaced or unfaced fiberglass stripsStaple the flanges to framing to safepre-cut batts in place

The following chart shows the R-value of some of the most available insulation materials.

MaterialR- value
Fiberglass and cellulose (blown in/loose fill)30-50
Open cell spray foam (Isocyanate/polyol resin combination, polyurethane)12.6
Closed cell spray foam (Isocyanate/polyol resin combination, polyurethane)6.5
Fiberglass batt13-30

Insulation Safety

Faced insulation is having the paper or plastic side right? Therefore, it is pretences a fire risk. When applying the faced insulation, you have to leave the paper side visible that is leaves the Kraft paper open and exposed to conduction.

If you want to reduce the risk of fire, just shield the faced insulation with a layer of drywall sheetrock. Furthermore, you want to be sure that the facing is directed towards the inside of your home. Then you do not worry about anything about safety.

Other Safety Pointers Surrounding Insulation

Avoid compressing the insulation. Foremost you have to leave the facing pointed towards the outside that makes it exposed to heat and other possible conduction. Whether it is faced or unfaced, you just avoid the compressing fiberglass insulation.

Compressing it to lose some of the insulation’s density and that turns lower the R-value as well.

Remember to insulate around pipes and wires. Commonly it is simple to forget sometimes, and it is not always easier the insulating pipes. You have to place where foam spray insulation comes in handy.

Wear eye and face protection. It is tremendously important to wear face and eye protection while applying foam insulation. Breathing in the chemicals in foam insulation can cause asthma and other long-term lung damage, breathing troubles, and scarring.

Therefore, wearing the proper face and eye protection is vital. When applying blown-in insulation you have to wear protection. When using blown-in insulation, sometimes the fiberglass particles are propelling all over the place.

Do not breathe in fiberglass. Breathing in fiberglass particles can cause severe lung damage. Therefore use the proper nose and mouth protection is essential.

Can You Increase The R-Value Of Your Insulation?

When facing a certain degree, you can increase the R-value of your insulation easily. Precisely, you can increase R-value in exterior walls and attics.

When insulating exterior walls, you can raise the R-value by adding covering to the insulation that is already there. You have to attach a layer of sheathing to external wall insulation to increase the R-value.

In order to increase attic insulation R-value, you have to add a layer of insulation. It will help you to retain heat within your home and you can save on energy perfectly.

One best tip for increasing your exterior insulation’s R-value is you have to use foam board insulation. Foam board insulation is easy to place in and easily covers up your home well.

When To Use Faced vs. Unfaced Insulation

Faced insulation is highly used in first-time installations inside of various surfaces such as

  • Walls
  • Ceilings
  • Floors
  • Crawlspaces

When you install the insulation, you have to ensure the paper needs to be facing towards the living area. Suppose, if you want to install the insulation in your crawlspace, the paper needs to be facing upward toward the floors.

For instance, if you want to install the insulation in an attic, it needs to be facing downwards toward the ceiling. Therefore, you can install it anywhere easily.

Faced Vs Unfaced Insulation – When To Use Unfaced Insulation

If you are having desires to add some soundproof quality to your home, or you want to add additional insulation into the ceiling or walls, then you can blindly choose unfaced insulation. The unfaced insulation comes without paper, right?

Therefore, it is the best choice for makes your living space a private place and it is extremely holding in the warmth as well.

Using unfaced insulation is quite easier it is because that there is no particular way you follow to installing it and there is no paper you use for the unfaced insulation.

Apart from that, you can use the type of insulation for making the easy DIY project as well as you have to ensure the correct insulation type.

What Did We Learn?

Learn what type of insulation use based on the needs and its R-value. Including, how you install it in your home. Faced insulation can save you and your family from severe moisture damage such as mold or mildew.

Whether you use faced or unfaced insulation, but be sure to take appropriate safety precautions and pay attention to R-value. It will help you to decide what the best insulation for your home is.

Things to consider!! The unfaced insulation provides more soundproofing around your home, but the faced insulation does not. On the other hand, faced insulation is greatest for first-time applications.

Keeping remember this pointer in mind will help you to decide what type of insulation is best for your home.

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