How to Use Old Tires as Insulation

How to Use Old Tires as Insulation

How to Use Old Tires as Insulation


Using old tires as insulation is a great way to repurpose materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Tires make excellent insulation because they are hollow inside, which traps air and helps insulate. They are also durable and weather resistant. With some basic tools and materials, you can create insulation from used tires for a variety of projects.

Gather Materials and Tools

To use old tires as insulation, you will need:

  • Old tires – car, truck, or tractor tires work best
  • Utility knife or box cutter
  • Tin snips
  • Safety glasses and work gloves
  • Adhesive – construction adhesive or spray adhesive works well
  • Wood or metal for frame (if building insulated walls)

The first step is gathering used tires. Check with local tire shops or auto mechanics to see if they have old tires they are looking to get rid of. Only tires that are in good condition without major holes or damage should be used.

You will also need some basic tools like a utility knife, tin snips, safety glasses, and work gloves to safely cut and handle the tires. Adhesive like construction adhesive or spray adhesive is useful for gluing the tires together or onto a frame.

If you plan to build insulated walls, have wood or metal framing materials ready before starting your project.

Cut the Tires

Once you have gathered the materials, it’s time to start cutting the tires to size.

  1. Safely cut each tire using a utility knife or box cutter. It helps to cut in a zig-zag pattern around the circumference of the tire rather than trying to cut straight across.

  2. For straight walls, cut the sidewalls of the tires into panels. Angle the knife about 45 degrees and cut from the inner rim through the sidewall.

  3. For curved walls, like a dome structure, leave the sidewalls intact and just remove the inner tread portion of the tire.

  4. Use tin snips to cut any steel belts that are exposed after cutting.

Always wear protective gloves and eye wear when cutting tires to avoid injury from sharp edges and wires. Work slowly and carefully.

Build the Frame

If you are using the tire insulation on a wall or structure, construct a frame to attach the tire pieces to.

  • Use wood boards or metal studs spaced 16-24 inches apart for the frame.
  • Secure the frame into the ground or onto an existing structure if insulating an exterior wall.
  • Make sure to build the frame sturdy enough to hold the weight of the tire insulation.

Attach the Tire Insulation

With the frame built, you can now attach the tire pieces to create your insulated wall or structure.

  • Start by attaching full sidewall sections around the perimeter.
  • Overlap the edges slightly and use spray adhesive or construction adhesive applied along the joints.
  • Next, fill in the center space with tread sections cut from the interior part of the tires.
  • Stagger the seams between tire pieces to create a more secure insulation layer.
  • For curved structures, bend the sidewalls into place and adhere in overlapping layers.

Apply firm pressure when attaching each tire piece to ensure a tight seal with the adhesive. Add wood or metal panels over the exterior if desired.

Benefits of Using Tires as Insulation

There are several advantages to repurposing used tires as insulation:

  • Saves money compared to buying traditional insulation
  • Reuses old materials and keeps tires out of landfills
  • Requires only basic tools and skills to install
  • Extremely durable and weather resistant
  • Provides both insulating and sound proofing properties

Tire insulation works well for walls, floors, foundations, and a variety of building projects. With a little time and effort, those old tires can become an eco-friendly and cost-effective insulation solution.