Blanket insulation is the most common type of insulation and comes in rolls or batts. It is also one of the easiest insulations for the homeowner to install.
Blanket insulation is made of flexible fibers that make it easy to install. While fiberglass is the most common type of blanket insulation, rock wool, plastic and natural fiber insulation are also available. The manufacturer designs the blankets to fit between wall studs and rafters and floor joists.
The design of continuous roll insulation allows the consumer to cut it to fit. Insulation batts are precut to standard lengths for inserting into wall cavities. For new blanket insulation, manufacturers attach a vapor barrier, made of kraft paper or foil. The vapor barrier faces the heated area. When adding insulation to increase R-value, the homeowner should choose unfaced blankets to prevent trapping moisture between the walls.
Standard blanket insulation has an R-value between R-2.8 and R-3.9 per inch. In order to meet the upgraded R-Value recommendations of the Department of Energy, manufacturers offer high-performance insulation that increases the R-value to as high as R-4.3.
For insulating basements, manufacturers offer a special type of blanket insulation with a fireproof barrier. With this insulation, it is acceptable to leave the uncovered barrier.