How to Install Kraft Faced Insulation - Tip and Tricks

Wall Insulation Installation Tips

Insulation
Installing insulation. Photo kmsiever Flickr

How to Install Kraft Faced Insulation

Installing insulation is not hard if you have a thorough understanding of the process and the areas on which insulation is critical. Proper insulation installation will produce a comfortable building and can reduce energy costs and thus the importance of having a professional installation. The main purpose of the insulation is to provide thermal comfort for its occupants, reducing heat loss and transfer from one side of the building to another.

The type and amount of kraft faced insulation depend on the building design, climate, energy costs and budget. Building codes will guide you to determine the minimum amount of insulation that you must install to provide comfort to its occupants.

Installing Insulation: Kraft Faced Batt or Unfaced Batt?

Batt insulation is available with and without facing. Faced batts are used in exterior walls as well as attics, finished basements, ceilings, floors, knee walls and cathedral ceilings. A faced batt is an insulation material that contains a facing material usually serving as a vapor retarder. Normally faced batt insulation is easier to handle and to install, and even some manufacturers have pre-cut pieces of faced batt insulation. Factory-applied vapor retarder facings are generally made of kraft paper.

Faced batts are attached to framing members by stapling through the flanges. Unfaced batts are installed between framing members but not attached, allowing friction to hold them in place.

It is a recommended practice and for better energy efficiency, your home should be properly insulated from the roof down to its foundation, including attic spaces, HVAC ducts, ceilings, walls, floors, and foundations.

How to Install Unfaced Batt Insulation

  • Use the correct size of insulation to fit at the sides and ends.
  • Fill the cavity completely but don't shove it in.
  • Expand the insulation material to its fullest by pulling it and filling the depth of the wall or cavity.
  • If installing insulation in non-standard cavities, they must be filled by insulation at least 1 inch wider than the void or area to be filled.
  • When installing it around wiring and pipes, cut the batt in such way that it can fit around pipes, and electrical wires, one layer in front and one layer of the pipe.
  • Spaces that are 2" or less must be insulated with small pieces.

How to Install Kraft Faced Batt Insulation

The facing material is generally a vapor retarder that helps resist the movement of moisture vapor to cold surfaces where it can condense.

  • Always install the insulation with the facing side toward living spaces.
  • The flanges of faced batts shall be stapled or attached to the inside of the joists.  It must be continuous with no penetrations.
  • If building code requires, overlap the flanges and staple them to the edges of the framing members.
  • Duct tape shall be used to seal tears or breaks on insulation.
  • Always cut on the unfaced side of the batt.
  • Faced batt insulation shall be attached to the face of the wall stud every 8 to 12 inches from the top down or according to manufacturer’s specifications on facing.

    Insulation Installation Professional Recommendations

    • Walls near tubs and showers must be fully insulated.
    • The R-value should be marked visibly on the insulation, faced or unfaced.
    • Insulation should be installed between the sheathing and the rear of electrical boxes. The insulation material shall fit around electrical boxes with a piece placed behind each box.
    • Rim joists should be insulated to the same R-value as the walls. Insulation shall be cut to fit into the rim joist.
    • If the climate is too cold water pipes installed on outside walls, shall have at least two-thirds of the insulation between the pipe and the outer wall.
    • Insulation should be placed between the outside wall and the pipes. If kraft facing is used, it should be in direct contact with the gypsum boardKraft facing should never be left exposed.
    • A recommended insulation value of at least R-19 should be used on knee-walls and skylight shafts.
    • Any insulation installed with water should be thoroughly dried before covering with gypsum board.
    • Taping vapor retarder facings are not standard practice.
    • All walls of interior closets for HVAC and/or water heating equipment should contain the same R-value as the exterior walls.
    • All insulation requires proper air sealing or the installation of a rated air barrier.