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What Is Insulation R-Value?

Whether you’re looking to insulate a home or a business, one of the most important factors you’ll be faced with is finding insulation that will provide an adequate R-value for your needs. You hear that term a lot: “R-value.” Do you know what it means, or why it’s so important? If not, you’ve come to the right place. The team at Installed Building Products Tulsa is here to give you the rundown.

The R-Value of Insulation

The R-value of an insulation is essentially its ability to resist heat flow and thermal transfer within a given thickness of the material—the “R” in the term literally stands for resistance. The higher the R-value, the stronger the material’s ability to resist conductive transfer, and thus the better it is as an insulator.

As an easy example, look at the R-value of loose-fill fiberglass, which is 4.2 per inch at its highest available density. This means if you need an R-value of 30, you need 7 inches of high-density blown-in fiberglass (or 14 inches of low density, which offers an average R-value of 2.2).

How Do I Know What I Need for My Tulsa Insulation Project?

Getting too much insulation is just as easy as getting too little, so it’s best to find out precisely what you need before installing new insulation. How much insulation you will need is dependent upon a large number of factors, including:

  • Your local climate, expressed by regions on a mapped insulation chart
  • The size and layout of your home
  • The material used in the construction of your home (wood, siding, brick, etc.)
  • The type of heating and cooling equipment you use
  • What areas of the building are being insulated

Don’t get lost trying to calculate R-values on your own. Contact IBP Tulsa online to work with the best insulation company in Tulsa, OK!

What Are the Highest R-Value Insulation Types?

Before we go listing off numbers, know this: Choosing the right R-value is just one factor to consider when it comes to choosing your insulation. It’s all about picking the right tool for the job. Sometimes the highest values aren’t necessary, and they may even be detrimental. Always work with an experienced insulation contractor in order to choose the right insulation for your project!

That said, it’s information that is certainly worth knowing. Here’s a quick rundown of average R-values for common insulation types:

  • Open and closed-cell spray foam – Closed-cell spray foam features and average R-value of 6.0 to 6.5 per inch, making it the highest R-value insulation among all common insulation types. Open-cell has a value of 3.5 per inch.
  • Cellulose insulation – Loose cellulose is a recycled paper insulation treated with flame-resistant chemicals. Its R-value stands between 3.1 and 3.8, depending on quality and density.
  • Fiberglass insulation – As we briefly covered above, loose-fill fiberglass has an R-value between 2.2 and 4.2 per inch, depending on how dense the material is. Batts have an R-value that’s more stable, and higher on average, coming in at 2.9 to 4 per inch.

Contact IBP Tulsa for Superior Residential and Commercial Insulation Services in Tulsa, OK

Whether you know precisely what you’re looking for or you’re looking for an experienced insulation contractor to help you out, IBP Tulsa is happy to provide. Our certified insulation teams will measure, assess and confer with you in order to pick the ideal insulation that will provide you with the most value and comfort at the most reasonable cost.

Contact us online to find out more about insulation in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Prefer to speak directly? Call (918) 518-0750 any time! 

Residential Insulation

We offer a wide assortment of insulation products to suit your specific needs.

Commercial Insulation

We insulate metal buildings, warehouses and other commercial properties.


No matter your gutter needs, the IBP Tulsa team has you covered.

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