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How To Insulate Wood Stud Walls




Danny B. of Tacoma, WA wrote:

Hey Itchy,

I'm not looking forward to it but I want  to save some money. What's the easiest do it yourself way to insulate walls?

Insulating walls is a fairly easy do it yourself project and I've probably insulated at least a mile of them in my time. In this article I will show you how to insulate a wood framed wall with faced fiberglass batts.

Most wall cavities will use fiberglass batts measuring either 15" or 23" in width. But not all wall cavities are the same and you will need to cut the insulation to fit. Before you get started measure the distance between the studs to determine what size of wall insulation to buy. You also need to figure out the R-Value you will need.


A good rule of thumb is that a wall with 2X4 studs will use R-13 insulation while 2X6 studs will need R-19 as they are deeper.

Make sure you're wearing a dust mask and long sleeve clothing. As for me, I don't bother with the long sleeved stuff - that's why they call me "Itchy". Goggles are also recommended as it can get dusty. You'll also need a few tools. A staple hammer with staples, a utility knife and a tape measure are the main tools needed to insulate a wall. Depending on the height of the walls you may need a step ladder.

Most fiberglass batts come in lengths of 8 feet. The easiest way to insulate the wall is to install the batts first and come back later to staple them to the studs later. Place the insulation batts between the studs with the paper facing the inside of the room. Don't compress the insulation into the wall cavities as I've heard it will lose some of it's R-Value. When you run across a wall cavity that will need a cut the best way is to cut through the insulation side of the batt with your utility knife.


When insulating walls you'll find some areas may have pipes or electrical fixtures that will need to be cut around. After measuring and making the necessary cuts on the fiberglass batt, insert it into place and use small pieces of insulation to fill any gaps.

Next you need to staple the batts to the studs. The best way is to open the extensions on each side of the batt and staple it to the front of the stud. You'll need to staple about every 6" to 8". Once you have the entire wall stapled stand back and take a look. Make sure you have any gaps filled with pieces of fiberglass.

That's it. Now remove your long sleeve clothing and give yourself a good scratching and then go take a warm shower. You deserve it!

 Related Tips and Advice:

How To Insulate Your Attic With Fiberglass Batts or Blankets
How To Install Blown In Insulation In Your Attic
How To Insulate A Concrete Wall
How To Insulate Ducts


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