What Types of Insulation is Used in House Construction

What a lovely feeling it is to keep warm, especially on a cold winter evening. There is absolutely no pleasure in the painful experience of trying to get out of bed because it is freezing. As such, it is important to take all sorts of measures against this intruding cold and make sure that no matter how loud the winds roars or how strong the windows rattle, that your home will always be kept warm.

Luckily, there is such a thing as insulation and works rather well. Insulation comes in different types and forms with each dedicated for a different use.

The different types of insulation

There are different types of insulation materials with plenty of them being cheap. Depending on your requirement, you will have a lot of things to consider as each has its advantages and disadvantages. Ideally, you will want to consider things like price and effectiveness. You will also need to keep in mind things like R-value, flammability and the environmental impact it will have. The R in R-value stands for resistance to heat flow. Naturally, the higher the R-value, the better that product is going to be. Here is what you need to know:

Polyurethane foam

Polyurethane foam is an excellent insulator. They have a remarkably high R-value which stands at 6.3 per inch. This type of insulator is exceptionally light, weighing as little as 2 pounds per cubic foot. Polyurethane foam materials are fire resistant and can also be sprayed in areas with no insulation. This can include windows. You can keep heat from escaping with foam insulations for your window frames, as the material will prevent air from leaking around the edges.


Made out of recycled cardboard and other similar materials, cellulose has been regarded as one of the most eco-friendly forms of insulation. It is also known to be a great product that works against fire hazards. This is because the loose form of insulation material is extremely compact, which is a feature that does not allow for oxygen to enter. Naturally, no oxygen means no fire.

The R-value on this product ranges between 3.1 and 3.7, making for an effective insulating product. However, they are relatively difficult to install, with not many people being able to use this type of insulation. Also, seeing as how they are made out of recycled materials like paper or newspapers, people can start developing an allergic reaction to cellulose.

insulating house


This is perhaps the most common type of insulation, with the product amassing great popularity in modern-day use. Fiberglass is very effective at doing its job and relatively cheap. It is developed by weaving many strands of glass into an insulation material, which can prove to be dangerous when you are installing it into your house. Another trait which makes for its popularity is its’ excellent non-flammable feature. The R-value for fiberglass can go from 2.9 up to 3.8.

Mineral wool

This insulation product comes in various forms, where it can be made out of glass wool, rock wool or its most popular form, slag wool. Each is made out of different composition but they are all effective. However, they are not the most fire resistant-material on the market, seeing as how no additives are used on this product. For this reason, it is advisable to steer clear of using this product in areas of extreme heat. They have an R-value of 2.8, which can go up to 3.5.


When you are looking to kill two birds with one stone, this is the material you will want to get. Apart from its obvious characteristic of it being an excellent temperature insulation product, it is also equally as excellent in insulating sound. They are uniquely smooth and are also waterproof. Although, they are flammable, which makes them poor insulators for areas with extreme heat. However, by applying a fireproofing chemical this little drawback will be fixed. They have an R-value of 5.5.

With insulation products, there is no particular one that stands out as the best, as it will depend on your needs. However, the most effective heat insulation product is, without a doubt, the polystyrene. Still, foam does bring some very interesting characteristics, as it can be applied to windows and seal the edges. At the end of the day, if you are looking for something that is environmentally friendly, or something that is not flammable, or if you are on a budget and need a product that is cheap, you will find one that will work for you as long as you do your research and ask the right questions.

Clara Annesley

Clara Annesley is an interior design and construction content writer. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Architectural Design Technology from the University of West London. Clara specialises in residential construction for topics like health & safety, architectural design and writing cost guides for renovation and remodelling projects.