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Oddball Certainteed Insulation


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Hi All,

I had a weird one yesterday and I'm wondering whether any of the brethren have ever found the same thing.

Yesterday I found the underside of a 1976 house completely covered with a kraft-paper-faced R11 Certainteed brand insulation. The paper was the typical paper bag color but had a nice ocre basket-weave/wicker imprint on the side turned toward the crawlspace and was clearly labeled "Apply this vapor barrier side toward conditioned space" or some such.

I thought, "Slam dunk, this stuff is wrong and has to be either flipped or pulled out and replaced," then I pushed the end of a batt aside to inspect the underside of the floor above to see if having the vapor barrier on the wrong side had caused any funky stuff to grown on the underside of the floors as so often is the case; nope, not only wasn't there anything growing on the underside of the floors - which were pristine, by the way - but I discovered that the other side of the batting also had a kraft paper facing applied - a black one - and that side was also clearly marked "Apply this vapor barrier side toward conditioned space."

Huh?!! What the hell?!!

First I thought that the stuff had been mislabeled; but that the black side probably had the asphalt emulsion applied on the insulation side of the paper that would indicate that, despite screwed up labeling, the proper side was installed toward the conditioned space. I looked closer; nope, the paper on both sides of the batting is coated with an asphalt emulsion and both sides are labeled the same way.

Next I thought that maybe these were two different batts that had been installed face-to-face and I examined the end of the stuff more closely. Nope, that's not the case either; these are contiguous from side to side.

I didn't know what to make of it; it's insulation with a two-side vapor barrier and if you go by the labeling there is no way it can be installed correctly, or incorrectly for that matter.

I just got off the phone with Certainteed. They're baffled by it too and are going to do a little research and call me back.

I'm wondering if any of you have run into this stuff over the years. It's nice looking insulation - I've got to admit that the basket-weave pattern is nicer to look at than the underside of the floor framing, but it's just too weird for words.

Thoughts anyone?



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I've seen the insulation with the basket weave pattern on it a few times. Must admit, though, I never looked behind it to see if there was kraft paper on both sides.

As a man of delicate sensibilities myself, I enjoyed your description of the product. But I went to an arts school, so maybe that endorsement isn't welcome.

At any rate, you have nothing to worry about until you start obsessing over Judy Garland.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Wutabunch! It just seemed easier than saying a sort of deep reddish brown color.

Never could stand Judy Garland.

Just got a call back from Certainteed. They're stumped and wanted to know if I could go back and get a photo.

Well, if the client buys the house, I suppose that won't be too difficult since it's not that far away; however, if he doesn't buy the house I doubt that the seller is going to want to allow me in there again - mostly because I dissed the roof big time.

The architectural-grade asphalt roof is only about five years old; but it was installed over a plywood deck over a poorly ventilated attic. The plywood is in second stage rot and on the cusp of third stage and there's one spot where someone damned near put their foot through the roof. No way to fix it other than to strip that roof and deck, treat the framing with a fungicide, re-deck, put a new cover on and correct the dinked-up ventilation. I'm sure that'll go over like a dung beetle in a bowl of rice.



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I've found that insulation to go well with my seersucker suit and bowler hat. The ocher wicker motif integrates the entire ensemble.

I've always felt that accessorizing is the key to successful fashion.

"I told my wife to get me a seersucker suit from Sap's, but she got me a sapsucker suit from Sears."

I wish I could remember the comedian, but I can't forget the line.


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