previous
  • Remodeling in Action
    Remodeling in Action
  • Deck Design & Construction
    Deck Design & Construction
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • The Passive House Build
    The Passive House Build
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • Video: Build a curved step
    Video: Build a curved step
  • Electrical Articles & Videos
    Electrical Articles & Videos
  • Shorten a Prehung Door
    Shorten a Prehung Door
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • Buyer's Guide to Insulation
    Buyer's Guide to Insulation
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • 12 Remodeling Secrets
    12 Remodeling Secrets
  • 9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • The Hobbit House and More
    The Hobbit House and More
  • How to Install Housewrap Solo
    How to Install Housewrap Solo
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Play the Inspector Game!
    Play the Inspector Game!
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
next
Pin It

Blown Insulation for Attics: Fiberglass vs. Cellulose

Both perform better than batts and are less expensive than spray polyurethane. Neither is perfect.

When you are preparing to insulate an attic, the traditional choice of fiberglass batts might not be the best option. Blown insulation performs better than batts, and it is less expensive than spray polyurethane. Contributing editor Martin Holladay compares and contrasts two types of blown insulation, fiberglass and cellulose. Loose-fill fiberglass has a low R-value (2 to 2.7) per inch, so it is best applied in attics that have enough room to accommodate insulation 16 in. to 26 in. deep. Blown-in cellulose is made of ground-up newspaper mixed with a borate-based fire retardant. Because it is denser than fiberglass, it is more effective at reducing air leakage. Cellulose has an R-value of about 3.2 per in. Cellulose can be problematic if it becomes wet. Because it can absorb a lot of water, leaks can cause severe water damage before homeowners become aware of them via damaged drywall.

Blown Insulation for Attics: Fiberglass vs. Cellulose

Become a Fine Homebuilding Member

to view this article and over a thousand more

Learn More