R60 Insulation Thickness Guide (Table for All Types) - The Tibble (2024)

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), homeowners can save up to an average of 15% on heating and cooling costs (or an average of 11% on total energy costs) by sealing and insulating their homes.

The key to high-performing insulation is using the right insulation thickness for your project and climate. In this article, I provide information on the appropriate locations and climates for R60 insulation. I also provide a detailed thickness guide for the different insulation materials.

R60 Insulation Thickness Guide (Table for All Types) - The Tibble (1)
R60 insulation is necessary for ceilings/attics in moderately cold to freezing climates. The thinnest layer achieving R60 is 6-10" (closed cell spray foam polyurethane), and the thickest layer achieving is R60 16-20" (loose-fill fiberglass).

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Not Many Places Require R60 Insulation

The R-value of an insulation material is used to measure its level of heat resistance, specifically to heat conduction.

The R-value required for your project would be determined by the installation location as well as the climate of your locality.

As a general rule, the higher the R-value of a material, the greater its thermal insulation performance.

R60 insulation is considered a heavy-duty rating and is only required in locations that need high levels of thermal resistance like extremely cold regions and uninsulated attics.

Depending on the insulation material and quality of installation, using R60 insulation can reduce heat loss by about 98%.

That being said, using R60 for a project that requires R30 to R49 insulation doesn’t guarantee superior thermal protection.

R60 Insulation Primarily Used in Attics/Ceilings

R60 insulation is designed for locations that require high thermal protection.

The upper areas of the house (ceilings and attics) are prone to temperature extremes throughout the year. As a result, they require greater thermal resistance than other locations like floors and walls.

R60 Insulation Thickness Guide (Table for All Types) - The Tibble (2)

They are the location where heat gathers and is lost, which makes them problematic all year round.

Unventilated or poorly ventilated ceilings or attics can account for about 25%-35% of the total heat loss in a house.

Hot air rises, so during the winter months, you might lose a substantial amount of conditioned air if your attic or ceiling isn’t properly insulated, resulting in an increase in energy expenses.

Only Some Climate Zones Require R60

States in the US are divided into climate zones based on the prevailing weather conditions in the regions.

Knowing your climate zone will help with choosing the right insulation material for your project.

Table N1102.1.3 of the International Residential Code (IRC) outlines the required R-values for the different climate zones. According to the table, R60 is required for ceiling insulation in zones 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.

Compared to zones 1-3, zones 4-8 are characterized by cooler weather conditions. Hence, the need for the improved thermal resistance provided by R60 insulation.

As a general rule, higher climate zone figures indicate colder weather conditions.

Here is a look at the climate in the different zones listed for R60 insulation.

Climate ZonePrevailing Weather Conditions
Zone 4AMixed humid
Zone 4BMixed dry
Zone 4CMixed marine
Zone 5ACool humid
Zone 5BCool dry
Zone 5CCool marine
Zone 6ACold humid
Zone 6BCold dry
Zone 7Very cold
Zone 8Subarctic/arctic

It’s important to note that climate zones overlap between states and your state can belong to multiple climate zones. For instance, New York includes zones 4, 5, and 6, while California has five different climate zones (2, 3, 4, 5, and 6).

R60 Insulation Thickness Guide (Table for All Types) - The Tibble (3)

To be safe, check with your local building code before proceeding with your project.

Examples of states that require R60 insulation include Alaska, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Michigan, Colorado, Washington, and New York.

R60 Insulation Thickness Guide: Table

R60 Insulation Thickness Guide (Table for All Types) - The Tibble (4)
Insulation TypeInherent R-value (per inch thickness)Thickness to achieve R60Best-selling option
Loose-fill fiberglassR3.116″-20″Owens Corning Atticat Expanding Fiberglass Insulation
Loose-fill mineral woolR3.18″-12″ROCKWOOL Stone Wool Insulation Granulate
Loose-fill celluloseR3.415″-20″ThermoFloc Loose Fill Cellulose Insulation
Fiberglass battR2.520″-26″Owens Corning Kraft Faced Fiberglass Insulation Batt
Mineral wool battR3.412″-18″Rockwool
Plastic fiber battR3.814.7″-16″Supersoft Recycled Plastic Insulation
Natural fiber battR3.415″UltraTouch Natural Cotton Fiber Batt Insulation
Open-cell polyurethane spray foamR3.610″-14″Versi Foam Open Cell Spray Foam Kit
Closed-cell polyurethane spray foamR66″-10″Heatlok HFO Pro Spray Foam Insulation
Foam boardsR515″-17″Owens Corning FOAMULAR Rigid Foam Board Insulation

Diminishing Returns?

When comparing R60 and R49 insulation, the decision hinges on the balance between increased effectiveness and the additional cost. R60 insulation offers a higher R-value, stopping about 98% of heat loss, while R49 is slightly lower.

The higher the R-value, the better the insulation is at preventing heat transfer. However, the key question is whether the jump from R49 to R60 justifies the extra expense.

While R60 insulation provides increased resistance to heat transfer, it may not always result in a significantly higher level of effectiveness compared to R49. Factors such as the unique structure of your home, the color of roof shingles, roof ventilation, and sunlight exposure can impact the insulation’s overall performance.

If you live in an area with less extreme weather conditions, the difference between R49 and R60 may not be substantial enough to warrant the higher cost.

In essence, choosing between R60 and R49 involves assessing your specific climate, budget, and the structural characteristics of your home. If the climate necessitates R60 according to building codes, it might be a worthwhile investment.

However, if you’re considering it as an optional addition, carefully weigh the benefits against the cost to determine if the extra insulation value aligns with your needs and budget or if it represents diminishing returns for your particular situation.








R60 Insulation Thickness Guide (Table for All Types) - The Tibble (2024)


How thick is R60 insulation? ›

6 more rows

Is R60 too much insulation? ›

According to federal Energy Star guidelines, the proper attic insulation for our climate is R60.

How many inches of spray foam for R60? ›

Each inch of blown-in insulation provides R3 ½ of insulation, so you will need about 17 to 18 inches of blown-in to achieve R60 insulation. In the case of a flat ceiling, the minimum insulation requirement is R31 and this is typically completed with batt or spray foam insulation.

What is R30 vs R60? ›

The difference between R30 and R60 is that R60 has twice the insulative ability as does R30. Due to the Law of Diminishing Returns you get fewer savings per R1 value the more you add. Also, you may want to check what weight load your ceiling is rated for as insulation adds weight.

How deep is R60 blown fiberglass? ›

Recommended Insulation by Climate

Warm Climates (R-30 to R-49): Moderate Climates (R-38 to R-60): Cold Climates (R-49 to R-60): Fiberglass (blown): 14” – 18” Fiberglass (batts): 11” – 14” Cellulose (blown): 11” – 13”

How thick is R60 blown? ›

Technical Information
Blown Inches4.521.5
Coverage/bag (ft2)162.030.5

Is R60 insulation worth it? ›

R49 or R60 insulation is necessary for extreme climates, but they can be an unnecessary expense if you live in a more temperate area.

What does R60 mean for insulation? ›

In other words, it's the ability that heat has to transfer through a material (like insulation). On average, the higher the R-value, the more resistant the material, so if you have a material that's rated R60, it will be more resistant to heat than a material that's rated R30.

How tall is R60 insulation? ›

The charts on green fiber says 11-12 inches is about r40, and 16-17 inches (16 settled) is R60.

Can spray foam insulation be too thick? ›

To install spray foam too thick is to ruin it. As a rule of thumb, most 2-pound spray foam or medium-density spray foam should be installed in layers no more than 2 inches thick. Each “pass” or “lift” should be allowed to cool before another layer is added. This foam was sprayed in too thick a layer.

Is 3 inches of spray foam enough? ›

When using closed-cell foam in walls, it is generally considered sufficient when 2 to 3 inches are sprayed. Open-cell foam in walls would not be sufficient with just 2 inches, requiring at least 3.

How do I calculate how much spray foam insulation I need? ›

Determine the Desired Thickness:

The desired insulation thickness plays a critical role in calculating the required board feet of spray foam. For example, if you intend to insulate a wall that is 100 square feet and you want a two-inch thickness, you would need 200 board feet (100 sq. ft. x 2 inches = 200 board feet).

How deep is r60 attic insulation? ›

Cellulose rated at R-60 is about 16 or 17 inches deep. Cellulose rated at R-100 is about 27 or 28 inches deep.

How deep is r60 cellulose insulation? ›

Many green builders aim for a ceiling rated at R-60, R-70, or even R-100. When it comes installing cellulose, the usual advice is to “pile it on.” Cellulose rated at R-60 is about 16 or 17 inches deep.

Is R30 enough insulation for attic? ›

Depending on where you live and the part of your home you're insulating (walls, crawlspace, attic, etc.), you'll need a different R-Value. Typical recommendations for exterior walls are R-13 to R-23, while R-30, R-38 and R-49 are common for ceilings and attic spaces.

How deep is R60 cellulose insulation? ›

Many green builders aim for a ceiling rated at R-60, R-70, or even R-100. When it comes installing cellulose, the usual advice is to “pile it on.” Cellulose rated at R-60 is about 16 or 17 inches deep.

What does R60 mean in insulation? ›

Typical R-values range from R13 to R60, although some products may offer higher or lower values. The higher the R-value, the better the insulating power of that material. R-values are based on the thickness and density of the material.

What is the R-value of 12 inches of blown insulation? ›

R Value Of Materials And Depths
Mineral Wool blown (wall)3.1 - 4.037.2 - 48.0
Cellulose blown (attic)3.2 - 3.738.4 - 44.4
Cellulose blown (wall)3.8 - 3.945.6 - 46.8
Polystrene Board3.8 - 5.045.6 - 60.0
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Jun 30, 2019


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