The Best Types Of Insulation For Sheds

best insulation for shed

Insulation is an important feature of any part of your home.

It keeps the heat inside your house while protecting it from the harsh elements outside, while also providing other great benefits like dampening noise and preventing a build-up of moisture in your walls.

While proper insulation is crucial anywhere in your home, another important place you need to insulate is your shed.

Custom built sheds and shed kits typically have thinner walls and ceilings than the rest of your home, while also being subjected to more of the elements such as wind, rain, and snow.

As a result, it’s much easier for your shed to get too cold in the winter months or to harbor unwanted moisture and wind.

If you want to keep your shed warm and dry even in the harshest of weather, then you need to insulate it properly.

It can be hard to know where to start when it comes to insulating a shed, especially when you’re deciding what insulation materials to use.

That’s why we’ve done all the hard work for you and compiled a list of some of the best insulation materials for sheds! 

In this handy guide, we’ll take you through the best insulation for sheds, looking at some pros and cons of each material so you can find the right material for you.

We’ve also included a useful Buyer’s Guide so you know what to look for when choosing insulation for your shed, as well as an FAQ section to help answer any questions you might have.

So let’s get started, and look at the best insulation for sheds out there!

The Best Insulation Materials For Sheds

1) Fiberglass Insulation

Owens Corning R-13 Faced Insulation Roll

Fiberglass insulation is by far the most popular type of insulation used for sheds.

This is because fiberglass offers many advantages over other types of insulation.

It is incredibly good at conserving internal heat, and is also effective at keeping the effects of the elements out of your shed. 

On top of that, fiberglass is hydrophobic and moisture-wicking (so you don’t have to worry about a build-up of moisture in your shed’s walls), as well as being almost completely fire-resistant.

Fiberglass comes in two main varieties: as rolls or as batts.

Batts are the more common of the two – these are thick, compressed blocks of fiberglass that are then cut into shape to fit the wall cavity you’re installing them in.

Rolls, meanwhile, are a thinner form of fiberglass insulation.

As their name suggests, fiberglass rolls come in large spools that are unrolled to fit your shed’s walls. There are benefits to both forms.

Overall, fiberglass is a cheap and effective option that works great at insulating your shed.

Pros

  • It is cheap and easy to install.
  • Fiberglass is moisture-wicking and fire-resistant.
  • It can easily be cut to size and can be installed between joists and studs without hassle.

Cons

  • Working with fiberglass can be tough as it can damage your throat and eyes if it comes into contact with them.
  • If your shed is built already you will have to remove wall panels to install it.

2) Foam Board Insulation

STYROFOAM 2' x 2' Project Panels | 1' Thick, R-5 Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Insulating Foam Board

Another popular choice for insulation for sheds is foam board insulation.

Foam board insulation is made from either polystyrene or polyurethane and typically comes with an aluminum foil backing.

Like fiberglass batts, foam board insulation comes in thick boards that are installed directly into wall cavities. 

The difference here is that instead of being compressed into thin sheets, foam board insulation is manufactured into thicker, rigid boards that can be cut to size before installation.

These boards are usually sold pre-cut to suit various sizes of wall cavities.

Like fiberglass, foam board is very good at keeping heat inside your shed and preventing the effects of the elements from getting in.

However, unlike fiberglass, foam boards aren’t fireproof. If your shed catches on fire, foam board won’t stop it from spreading.

With that said, foam board insulation is still an incredibly effective way of keeping your shed insulated on a budget.

Pros

  • Foam boards are easy to install and can be fitted directly into your shed walls.
  • They are much easier to work with than fiberglass and don’t cause irritation.
  • It is another cheap option and won’t need replacing for years.

Cons

  • Like fiberglass, you will need to remove wall panels to install them in your shed
  • They aren’t fire-resistant and offer less moisture-wicking.

3) Bubble Wrap Insulation

Double Bubble Reflective Foil Insulation: (16 in X 25 Ft Roll) Commercial Grade, No Tear, Radiant Barrier Wrap: Weatherproofing Attics (Special Rafter/Truss Size), Windows, Garage (1)

Bubble wrap insulation is one of the cheapest ways to keep your shed warm and dry.

Unlike fiberglass and foam board, bubble wrap doesn’t actually provide any thermal insulation properties.

Instead, it provides a barrier against the cold and dampness that can get trapped inside your shed when it rains. 

With that said, however, the pockets of air in bubble wrap are great at trapping heat by making it move more slowly through the walls.

Bubble wrap insulation isn’t just normal bubble wrap that you would find in a package; instead, it’s a specialized form of insulation that typically comes coated in a layer of foil.

Bubble wrap insulation is easy to install and doesn’t require you to rip out part of your walls to insulate your shed.

Instead, you can simply fit it to the inside of your shed walls and fix it in place with a staple gun.

Alternatively, you can install a thin plywood layer over the bubble wrap to make a false interior wall that hides the bubble wrap and keeps it protected. 

You can also improve the insulating properties of bubble wrap by using several layers on top of each other – best of all, because it’s a thinner option, it won’t take up too much space in your shed even if you do use multiple layers!

Pros

  • It’s an incredibly cheap option and is extremely budget-friendly.
  • You don’t need to fit it in the wall cavity which makes it much easier to install.
  • Works best in wooden sheds, which are normally harder to insulate.

Cons

  • It’s not as effective as other insulation materials.
  • It is easier to damage and loses its effect if the bubbles pop.

4) Mineral Wool Insulation

Nutec MaxWool Ceramic Fiber Insulating Blanket, 1' x 24' x 60', High Temperature 2400F, Durable, Lightweight, 6# Density

This is a similar material to fiberglass, but with some notable differences.

Fiberglass is made from glass fibers that have been spun together to create a strong, durable material.

Mineral wool insulation is made from tiny particles of minerals and stones, including ceramics, silica, and slag. 

These minerals are then mixed together to form a hard, lightweight material that is both fireproof and highly insulative.

This makes it even more fire-resistant and hydrophobic than fiberglass. It also doesn’t irritate your skin on contact so it’s easier to work with.

Mineral wool comes in the same forms as fiberglass and is available as both rolls and batts.

Again, these both have their merits and drawbacks depending on how you want to install them. 

In addition to being more fire-resistant than fiberglass, mineral wool is better at acoustic insulation as well – this means that you don’t have to worry about sound traveling in or out of your shed (which is especially useful for loud winds or if you’re working on a DIY project).

It’s not a complete improvement on fiberglass, however – mineral wool is more expensive and you still need to be careful when installing it as it can harm your eyes and throat.

Pros

  • Mineral wool is extremely heat-resistant and has a higher R-value than fiberglass.
  • It is easier to work with and isn’t irritating to your skin.
  • It has great acoustic insulation to keep sounds in/out of your shed.

Cons

  • Mineral wool is much more expensive than other insulation materials.
  • It suffers from many of the same issues as fiberglass.

5) Spray-In Foam Insulation 

Froth-Pak 650 Spray Foam Insulation, 15 ft Hose. Improved Low GWP Formula. Insulates Cavities, Penetrations & Gaps Up to 2' Thick. Yields Up to 650 Board ft. Two Component, Polyurethane, Closed Cell

Spray-in foam insulation is another type of non-fibrous insulation that’s becoming increasingly popular.

Unlike fiberglass, spray-in foam insulation is sprayed into the wall cavities and works best where there are already air gaps between the studs.

The foam expands and fills any voids and creates a tight seal around the entire wall cavity. 

This makes it ideal for creating an airtight seal that won’t let cold air in or your warm air out. It is also great at protecting against moisture and is an effective acoustic insulator as well.

It can be harder to install than other methods, especially in the typically thinner walls of a shed, and you may need to install a false interior wall before you can spray the foam in.

It is also hard to remove if there are any issues, as the foam will harden and stick to the inside of your shed’s wall cavity. 

With that said, however, you’re unlikely to need to replace your spray foam insulation for years due to how effective it is at insulating your shed.

Spray foam insulation is a great method to use and isn’t as intrusive as other forms of insulation.

You don’t need to remove the entire wall panel to install it – instead, you can make some small holes and spray it through, where it will expand to fill the entire wall cavity. Then, simply cover the holes in the wall and you’re done. 

Pros

  • It is easy and unintrusive to install.
  • The foam expands to form a tight seal that preserves heat and insulates against sound.
  • It lasts for many years without needing to be replaced.

Cons

  • It’s hard to remove spray foam insulation after it’s been installed.
  • If you don’t install it properly then pockets of moisture can form mold and mildew.

Buyer’s Guide

Now that we’ve taken a look at some of the best insulation materials to use for a shed, it’s time for you to start thinking about what type of insulation you want to use. 

This handy buyer’s guide will take you through some things you should think about when picking the best insulation to use for your shed.

Here are some factors to consider when making your choice.

Cost

Insulation costs vary greatly depending on the material you choose.

The cost of insulation doesn’t necessarily reflect its effectiveness, but more expensive options might be a better choice in the long run.

For instance, mineral wool is the most expensive insulation material on this list – however, it is a highly effective insulator that is great for preventing the loss of heat and the transmission of sound, while also being moisture-wicking and extremely heat-resistant. 

Meanwhile, bubble wrap insulation (the cheapest option here) is less effective as an insulator and is more likely to need replacing after a few years.

However, there are still ways that bubble wrap is better than mineral wool, such as how easy it is to install.

While paying more for the improved insulating properties of more expensive materials can be better in the long run, you should consider what you want out of your insulation and find the most cost-effective option for that.

Installation

As we’ve already covered, some insulation materials are easier to install than others.

Options like fiberglass, foam boards, and mineral wool all rely on access to the wall cavity in order to install them.

This means that you’ll have to either remove panels from the existing interior wall or add a false wall in order to fit them. 

Meanwhile, options like bubble wrap insulation and spray-in foam are much less intrusive to install and can be fitted in a completed shed without the need to rip it apart.

If you’re installing the insulation into a new shed as you build it, then you might be better off fitting the more difficult-to-install materials like foam boards and fiberglass as these won’t have as much of an impact.

Otherwise, simpler methods might be the best for you.

Durability

Durability is another factor that you’ll need to consider when choosing which insulation to use.

Some materials last longer than others, so if you plan to live with your shed for a number of years, then you may want to opt for something that lasts longer.

Mineral wool is one of the longest-lasting options available and will last for years without the need for replacement. 

Fiberglass is another popular option, but it requires a lot of work to maintain and needs to be replaced every 10 years.

These materials can also slump inside the wall cavity over time, which reduces their effectiveness and means you’ll have to remove the wall panels to fix the issue.

Meanwhile, bubble wrap insulation will need to be replaced more often and can cause issues such as moisture build-up over time; however, it is far easier to access and replace it.

Heat-and Water-Resistance

This factor is especially important in a shed, as it will face more of the brunt of the elements.

If you want to prevent issues like mold and mildew in your walls as a result of moisture, then a hydrophobic and moisture-wicking material like fiberglass or mineral wool is your best bet. 

Alternatively, spray foam insulation will fill the entire wall cavity and stop moisture from building up in the first place.

Fire resistance is also important in insulation materials.

Insulators with a higher R-value (which measures how well a material prevents the movement of heat) are far better at stopping the spread of fires.

Mineral wool is one of the best materials in terms of its R-value, and is the best option for preventing the risk of fire.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why Is It Important For Me To Insulate My Shed?

    Insulating your shed will help keep it warm during winter months and cool during summer ones.

    It’s also important because it helps reduce noise and keeps unwanted pests away.

    Proper shed insulation will shield it from harsh elements and bad weather, making sure that the inside stays warm and dry even in strong wind and rain.

  • Can I Use Cellulose Insulation?

    Blown-in cellulose insulation is one of the best materials for insulating the walls of a home.

    It is cheap, easy to install, and is made of eco-friendly materials (typically shredded paper and cardboard).

    However, cellulose insulation is a poor choice for sheds. While it is treated to avoid absorbing moisture, this isn’t enough to protect it from possible moisture and water inside the walls of a shed.

    If you use cellulose insulation and it gets wet, then it can easily lead to mildew and mold inside your shed’s walls.

    This can be harmful to your health and is especially devastating to wooden sheds as it will start to rot the wood.

  • How Much Should I Spend On Shed Insulation?

    The cost of installing insulation varies depending on what type of insulation you choose.

    Cheaper options aren’t necessarily bad, but they may be less effective at insulating the shed and require replacing sooner.

    Meanwhile, more expensive materials will last longer and can work out far cheaper in the long run.

    If you’re going to be spending more time in your shed and plan on living in one place for many years, then a more expensive option can be a good investment.

    On the other hand, cheaper materials like bubble wrap insulation are better in the short term and are less of a hassle to install and remove.

  • Final Thoughts

    Finding the right insulation for your shed doesn’t need to be a hassle.

    There are plenty of great options to choose from, and each material has its benefits and drawbacks depending on what you want out of your shed. 

    The materials on this list all have great benefits and are all good choices for insulating your shed.

    Whichever material you choose to use, you can rest assured that your shed will stay warm and dry, even in the toughest conditions!

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