What To Know About Foam Board Insulation

Whether you are renovating your home or designing a new one, insulation is an essential part of the process. Insulation helps keep your home comfortable by regulating the temperature inside and reducing energy costs by improving the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems. One insulation option available to homeowners is foam board insulation. In this article, we will discuss what foam board insulation is, how it works, the different types of foam board insulation, and some of the benefits and drawbacks of using foam board insulation.

What is Foam Board Insulation?

Foam board insulation, also known as rigid foam insulation or insulating foam board, is a type of insulation made of polystyrene, polyurethane, or polyisocyanurate foam. It comes in large boards or sheets and is available in various sizes and thicknesses. Foam boards have a high R-value, which measures the insulation’s resistance to heat transfer, making it a popular choice for homes and commercial buildings.

How Does Foam Board Insulation Work?

Foam board insulation works by creating an airtight barrier between the inside and outside of your home. Its high R-value allows it to prevent heat from escaping during the winter and from entering during the summer, keeping your home comfortable. It also helps reduce noise transfer and can even act as a barrier against moisture.

Types of Foam Board Insulation

There are three types of foam board insulation: polystyrene, polyurethane, and polyisocyanurate.


Polystyrene foam board insulation is the most commonly used type of insulation. It is less expensive than other types of foam board insulation and is available in two forms: expanded polystyrene (EPS), and extruded polystyrene (XPS). EPS is less expensive and has a lower R-value compared to XPS, which is more expensive but has a higher R-value and is more moisture-resistant, making it ideal for below-grade applications.


Polyurethane foam board insulation has a higher R-value than polystyrene and is commonly used in commercial buildings. It is available in two forms: sprayed-in-place foam and rigid foam boards. Sprayed-in-place foam is more expensive but can be used to seal and insulate hard-to-reach areas, while rigid foam boards are used for walls, roofs, and floors.


Polyisocyanurate foam board insulation has the highest R-value among the three types of foam board insulation. It is commonly used in commercial and industrial settings. Polyisocyanurate insulation is available in two forms: foil-faced and non-foil faced. The foil-faced insulation has reflective properties that help increase energy efficiency, making it ideal for hot climates.

Benefits of Foam Board Insulation

Foam board insulation has several benefits, including:

Energy Efficiency

Foam board insulation can help reduce energy costs by improving the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems. The insulation provides an airtight barrier, preventing heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer.

Noise Reduction

Foam board insulation can also help reduce noise transfer between rooms or from outside your home, providing a more peaceful living space.

Moisture Resistance

Foam board insulation can also act as a barrier against moisture, reducing the risk of mold and mildew growth inside your home.

Durable and Long-Lasting

Foam board insulation is durable and can last for decades, saving you money on replacement costs.

Drawbacks of Foam Board Insulation

While foam board insulation has several benefits, it also has some drawbacks to consider, such as:


Foam board insulation can be more expensive than other types of insulation, such as fiberglass or cellulose.

Professional Installation

Foam boards must be installed by a professional. Improper installation can lead to an ineffective insulation system.

Environmental Impact

Foam board insulation is not environmentally friendly and can release harmful chemicals during the manufacturing process.


Foam board insulation is an effective way to insulate your home or commercial building. It increases energy efficiency, reduces noise transfer, and acts as a barrier against moisture. While it can be more expensive than other insulation options, its durability and long-lasting benefits can make it a worthwhile investment. Before deciding on foam board insulation, consider the type of foam board insulation that best fits your needs, associated costs, and environmental impact.

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