Proper insulation in your kitchen, and for your entire manufactured home is a great deal to optimize energy efficiency. Your kitchen is perhaps the busiest and noisiest room in your home.
Kitchens are incredibly useful rooms, and insulating can provide a buffer between it and other rooms in your home.
Installing insulation also provides a perfect moisture-control property. This prevents mold and mildew growth; therefore, promoting a healthy environment for you and your family.
So, How Do You Insulate A Kitchen?
To optimize energy efficiency and reduce nasty noise, you will need to insulate kitchen walls, ceiling, floor, sinks, ducts, etc. Fortunately, there are several high-quality conventional insulating materials like fiberglass that will do almost everything excellently.
In this article, you will find definitive installation guides to help you with insulation. This will make your kitchen a great area and ensure you give your family a safe and conducive dining environment.
Related: Kitchen Remodeling Project Tips
Why Should You Insulate Your Kitchen?
The primary reason you need to insulate your kitchen is to give it heat-resistance properties. It is also an excellent way to lower heating and cooling costs, besides enhancing comfort in your kitchen.
When insulating your kitchens and its components, you need to consider the R-value recommended for your region.
R-value (or thermal resistance) is a standard unit of measurement that determines the efficacy of your insulation.
A local insulation contractor can help you to determine how much insulation is needed for your climate. You can also check various insulation materials and what they are best suited for.
The Four Popular Types Of Home Insulation
There are several types of insulation that homeowners can improvise to optimize energy efficiency in their homes.
Some of these types are common in manufactured homes, making an ideal choice when insulating your kitchen.
Here are the most common types you can use when insulating your kitchen and your entire manufactured home.
1. Blanket (Batts and Rolls)
It comes in shapes of batts (rectangular pieces) and rolls (cylindrical pieces). B
ecause of its flexibility and versatility, it is an excellent choice for fitting between studs, joists, beams.
2. Foam Board
Unlike the soft and flexible blankest, foam boards are relatively rigid and offer unprecedented thermal resistance.
This type is common in manufactured homes because it excellently insulates while acting as a belly board.
Foam board is ideal for insulating your kitchen floors and ceilings.
3. Blow-in (or Loose-fill)
With its amazing flexibility, loose-fill comprises of tiny particles that can be used to insulate nearly any space.
For this reason, it is a perfect choice for insulating oddly-shaped spaces or areas with obstructions in your kitchen.
4. Sprayed Foam
This is a unique concept, also known as an injection, that has gained popularity in recent years.
Principally, it involves spraying a unique liquid that foams out, expands, then hardens.
It’s suitable for filling considerably small spaces and enclosed areas.
Although it is useful and provides significant thermal resistance, its R-value is not the best.
Five Common Insulation Materials
Insulating the floor and ceiling of your manufactured home is the most recommended way to optimize energy efficiency.
However, this doesn’t mean there is harm when you cover the walls and other components that can be insulated.
Different materials do best in insulating in either area/component.
Below are some of the most common materials you can use to insulate your kitchen and your entire home.
Fiberglass happens to be the most common insulating material used in manufactured (mobile) homes.
Most homeowners go for fiberglass insulations because it is rot- and burn-resistant, besides being made of soft and flexible fibers.
Unlike some of the insulation materials that require special skills to install, fiberglass batts are a d0-it-yourself.
This is useful in lowering overall insulation costs. Before settling to insulate your kitchen (entire home) with fiberglass, beware that it’s R-value decreases with time.
Unless you are remodeling the entire house, it is advisable to use blown fiberglass because it makes it easy to insulate tight areas.
Fiberglass batts thermal resistance varies from R-3 to R-4.3 per inch of thickness and costs about 40 cents per square foot. You may find denser options retailing at around $1 per square foot.
Basically, Cellulose is engineered from recycled papers or cardboard that are concentrated down before being formed into fibers.
Cellulose is probably the most eco-friendly insulating material.
Its thermal resistance is between R-3.1 to R-3.8 per inch and is said to be somewhat fire-resistant.
This is because it taps little to no oxygen with its compactness.
3. Mineral wool
Mineral wool is a category that refers to various insulating materials like rock wool or slag wool.
Rock wool is primarily human-made insulation material made from natural minerals basalt and diabase.
Slag wool is made from slag that forms on the surface of molten steel and happens to be the most popular mineral wool.
Although not combustible, mineral wool lacks additional chemicals to make it fire-resistant. They can be found as batts or loose-fill insulation.
4. Polyurethane foams
Polyurethane is a thermoplastic that is common in making foam boards.
Although they are lightweight, polyurethane offers excellent insulation with thermals resistance between R-6 and R-7 per inch. However, this is for the closed-cell polyurethane.
If this is your choice, you will also find the open-cell polyurethane that can be used to fill virtually all spaces.
It is a low density, spongy foam rated around R-6 per inch, which is also significant.
Because it is fire resistance, expanded foam makes a great option to use when insulating the kitchen.
Polystyrene is an excellent insulation material that comes in two types;
- expanded polystyrene (EPS)
- extruded polystyrene (XPS or styrofoam).
The two types differ significantly in R-value, with EPS having R-4 and XPS having R-5.5 per inch.
Although it offers nearly perfect insulation, polystyrene is flammable and should be covered with fireproofing chemicals.
Other insulation materials include
- cementitious foam
- phenolic foam
- and insulation facings
…and natural fibers like
- and sheep’s wool.
The most recently found insulation material is aerogel with superb heat resistance properties.
Before choosing any insulation material, pay attention to its properties, including fire resistance and R-value.
The area you want to insulate plays an indispensable role in selecting the type of insulation you will use.
For instance, you will need insulation material that is fire resistant and performs relatively well.
How To Insulate Kitchen walls
Installing fiberglass insulation in your kitchen walls is relatively simple, but you also need to be attentive to detail to optimize the insulation benefits.
Indeed, filling not only kitchen walls but also entire manufactured home walls with fluffy layers of fiberglass is the common insulation.
Fiberglass insulation offers an inexpensive way to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
You will need to work with fiberglass batts made to match the stud bay’s width and depth of the studs.
Most 2-by-4 walls are 3 ½ inches deep and 15 ¼ inches wide, while 2-by-6 walls are 5 ½ inches deep.
For 2×4 walls, you will need to use R-13 or R-15 fiberglass butts. On the other hand, walls with 2×6 studs construction will require you to use R-19 or R-21 fiberglass insulations.
Make sure to fill the stud cavity without compressing the insulation – compressed fiberglass batt or gaps leave a path for heat or cold to escape. For this reason, measure and cut batt to fit the cavity.
Five Kitchen Wall Insulating Steps (Using fiberglass batts)
1. Cut to width
- Depending on the construction of your kitchen, you will need to trim the batt to fit.
- Lay the batt in front of the cavity and line up either edge of the batt with the inside face of the stud bay.
- Lay a straight 2-by-4 in line with the inside face, then using a utility knife, make a series of shallow cuts by running the knife alongside the two-by-four.
2. Trim the length
- All you want is your fiberglass insulation to fit accurately into the cavity.
- Before trimming the length, tuck the insulation tightly into the cavity without compressing because it will reduce its thermal resistance.
- After running the batt between studs, use a utility knife to trim the bottom against the wall frame bottom plate.
- It is advisable to cut the insulation a bit longer for a tight friction fit.
3. Dealing with obstacles
- It is obvious there are electrical outlet boxes, wires, and plumbing lines in your kitchen.
- For electrical boxes, you will need cut notches guided by the box’s edges, then press the insulation lightly into the stud bay.
- Wires running down the cavities will need to be sandwiched.
- Halve the insulation’s thickness, then slip one half behind the line and lay the other over it to cover.
- If you encounter water supply pipes, which is apparent, work to ensure the batt runs behind the plumbing line to prevent it from freezing during winter.
4. Seal floor joints
- To do this, cut small pieces of paper-faced fiberglass batts, usually known as blockers, and set them to fill the space between joints and exterior walls.
- Keep the paper surface facing into the kitchen.
5. Adding favor barrier
- To prevent condensation, especially if you live in a considerably cold climate, you will need to cover the unfaced wall insulation with a vapor barrier—staple a 6-mil polyethylene vapor barrier to the wall framing.
How To Insulate The Kitchen Ceiling
The roof cavity (attic) is another very important area you need to insulate when optimizing energy efficiency in your kitchen or even the entire home.
Before insulating your ceiling, it is always good to ensure that the ceiling can withstand the weight of insulation.
For this reason, it is ideal to use a lightweight yet effective insulation like fiberglass batt insulation.
Although fiberglass is considered lightweight, it can still put a significant amount of stress on flimsy ceilings and break them.
If your kitchen ceiling features considerably light tiles, you might need to replace them before insulating.
You will also need to check your local building code for R-value and vapor barrier requirements.
Five Kitchen Ceiling Insulating Steps
1. Prepare the space
- In this step, you will need to fix any mold issues.
- If your roof is damaged or has noticeable signs of getting damaged, you will need to services of a professional.
2. Check for pipes and vents
- Some manufactured homes have plumbing pipes in the attic cavity.
- If this is the case in your home, then your kitchen ceiling must have a network of water pipes to supply sinks.
- Wrap all pipes with foam pipe sleeves to prevent moisture problems.
- You will use a utility knife to cut the sleeves to the desired length.
- Also, make sure all vents are directed to exhaust outside.
3. Seal gaps
- To prevent heat loss around utilities and fixtures, you will want to seal all air gaps.
- When sealing, use high-temperature caulk to seal around heater flues and metal chimneys to prevent fire hazards.
4. Insulate the joists
- Before covering the joists, you need to have the spaces between joists filled with insulation.
- Cut fiberglass batts into sizes that will accurately fit between joists and tuck them into the spaces.
- Make sure not to compress the fiberglass insulation.
5. Insulate above the joists
- After you have completed filling between joists, it is now time to add a second layer of fiberglass insulation.
- Add a uniform layer of insulation above to cover the joists entirely.
- This time, insulate with unfaced insulation and work in the opposite direction of the first layer.
Note: Some utilities and fixtures like exhaust fans and recessed lights should not directly get into contact with insulation. For such fixtures, you will need to install metal barriers 3 inches from the fixture. To know whether you should insulate your lights, check to see if they are Type-IC. It is acceptable for insulation to contact Type-IC lights directly; however, if they are recessed, allowing insulation contact can fire-hazardous.
How To Insulate The Kitchen Floor
The underbelly of you manufactured home is more susceptible to elements.
Proper insulation can dramatically improve energy efficiency by blocking all possible air escapes.
If you are a savvy DIYer, installing insulation under your kitchen space floor can be relatively simple.
However, if you doubt your potentials and skills, you will need to hire a skilled contractor to do the job.
Six Kitchen Floor Insulating Steps
1. Prepare the space
- Before insulating, you will want to create as much space as possible.
- Switch off the electricity and turn off the water supply to avoid being electrocuted.
- Most manufactured homes have a fabric road barrier meant to protect the underbelly during transportation.
- Remove this barrier before insulating, but remember to reinstall it afterward.
2. Lay a moisture barrier underneath the area you are insulating
- A moisture barrier is handy in preventing ground moisture from penetrating the insulation.
- It also makes crawling more comfortable.
- A 6-mil polyurethane plastic barrier is recommended.
3. Covering water pipes
- Cover plumbing pipes with foam pipe insulation and fasten them tightly against the underbelly.
- Keep in mind that your insulation must cover these water pipes.
4. Seal any gaps
- Inspect all seams between floor and joists, then where the pipes pass through the floor.
- If there are any gaps, seal them with high-quality silicone caulk.
5. Insulate between joists
- Using fiberglass batt insulation, fill the cavities between the joists.
- When insulating the underbelly, you must use paper-backed insulation with the paper facing the ground. Secure the paper to joists by stapling it with a staple gun.
- You can ultimately support the insulation by attaching wires to each joist.
- If there are areas you can’t reach, use polyurethane foam insulation to fill them as desired.
6. Re-attach the road barrier
After installing your insulation, you will need to cover it with the fabric.
This reduces condensation and freezing during winter.
Reattach the fabric road barrier you removed in step and secure it with the fasteners that held it.
If the barrier is damaged, consider replacing it and fasten it well to prevent sagging.
Three Ways To Protect Yourself While Insulating
Safety is a big priority when installing insulation in your kitchen, and the entire manufactured home for that matter.
With ideal protection, you will get the job done without any significant discomfort. You will need to
- Wear ideal high-quality safety gear to protect your eyes, skin, and lungs from fibers. You will need a dust mask, work gloves, goggles, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants.
- Avoid standing on joists; instead, stand on a piece of plywood or a wide board.
- Illuminate dark corners
Constantly finding cold spots in your kitchen, as well as living space, can be annoying.
Insulating your kitchen walls, ceiling, and floor will consolidate the entire heat and keep your rooms warms.
Ideally, insulating your kitchen will help optimize energy efficiency.