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If You're Insulating from Scratch, Put The Right Vapor Barrier in The Right Place

Though some batts come with a paper or foil facing that can act as a vapor barrier, Tom Silva prefers to use 6-mil polyethylene sheeting, cut to fit between the joists and with seams sealed by foil tape, to prevent moisture from seeping into insulation. Whether using loose fill or batts, put the vapor barrier closest to the warm side of your installation, where hot, moist air would get in—facing the house's interior in cold climates (beneath floor insulation) and the attic's interior in hot climates (on top of floor insulation). Some regions don't require a vapor barrier.
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