This guide to batt insulation explains what it is, where it is used and batt insulation material and installation costs. Batt insulation is a very common form of insulation because it is affordable and versatile.
Insulation batts are precut lengths of insulation primarily used in walls. The lengths are cut to fit walls with heights of 8, 10 or 12 feet.
Fiberglass batts are most common. Rock wool, also called stone wool or mineral wool, is a type of insulation produced from molten stone or slag spun into a wool-like material. It is an expensive form of insulation that is used most often for fire-rated applications because of its resistance to burning.
Batts may also be made of sheep’s wool or wool composite that includes a small percentage of polyester adhesive used to hold the material together as a batt
Insulation batts are used in framed buildings. They are designed to fit between wall studs or ceiling joists, so they are made in various widths with 18 inches and 24 inches being the most common. Different thicknesses or depths are also produced to fit the type of construction such as 2×4 or 2×6 framed walls or ceilings.
When choosing batt insulation, you have the option of batts that are faced or unfaced. Faced batts have treated paper or foil on one side that acts as a moisture retarder. The facing is wider than the batt to form a flange that is used to secure the insulation to wall studs or floor/ceiling joists with the use of staples or other fasteners.
Batt insulation is effective in resisting the transfer of heat. In cold weather, it helps keep heat from the furnace or other heat source from leaving your home through walls and ceilings. In warm weather, the batt insulation helps resist heat from outside from penetrating into your home.
Many homeowners don’t realize that insulation is just as necessary during cooling as it is during heating to help control energy use and costs while keeping the home comfortable.
Faced batt insulation is used most often in unfinished walls. The insulation is installed with the facing on the interior of the home. This is done because moisture most commonly originates inside the home through cooking, laundry, showers and breathing, and the resistant barrier prevents the moisture from getting into the building materials where it can cause mold or rot.
Most homes being built or renovated on the exterior have a breathable house wrap that prevents excess moisture from outside from entering the walls and ceilings.
Both faced and unfaced batts are used as floor and ceiling insulation. However, rolls are used more often than batts in floors and ceilings because batts are precut to specific lengths. Using rolls allows the installer to cut the piece the fit the length needed.
Batt insulation is popular because both the material and installation are affordable. Here are average batt insulation and installation prices:
|Insulation Rating||Material per Sq. Foot||Labor per Sq. Foot|
|R-13||$0.30 to $0.40||$0.60 to $0.90|
|R-19||$0.40 to $0.55||$0.60 to $0.90|
|R-21||$0.48 to $0.65||$0.60 to $0.90|
These batt insulation costs are based on fiberglass insulation. For rock wool, expect materials costs to be 40% to 60% higher and the labor costs to be about the same.
Additional materials such as insulating foam, fasteners and tape will cost $25 to $45 per 1,000 square feet of insulation installed. Installation costs are based on two installers working 4-5 hours per 1,000 square feet of insulation.
The major factor in batt insulation cost is the complexity of the job. If the installer must remove existing drywall and old insulation, the cost will be significantly higher. The same is true if access to an attic is difficult. Expect the lowest installation costs in new construction and the highest in older homes.
Learn More About Rock Wool Insulation
Learn More About Batt Insulation
Get Information on Current Fiberglass Batt Insulation Costs