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What is Foam Board Insulation?

What is Foam Board Insulation?

Foam board insulation (or rigid insulation) comes in drywall-like sheets or panels. They are typically installed during new construction or during a major renovation, rather than to an existing home. Similar to spray foam insulation, the boards are filled with tiny pockets of air that slow the transfer of heat.

The boards can be installed under concrete floors, inside interior walls, and behind exterior walls. The panels come in varying thicknesses that all generally provide good thermal resistance. Although these boards are less flexible than spray foam insulation, they can be glued or screwed directly to the walls or floor so they will not move out of place. The boards are cut to fit each unique space and the joints and ends are typically sealed with spray foam. The effectiveness of the insulation will depend on the proper installation of the boards.

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Types of Foam Board Insulation

There are three basic types of foam board insulation. They are listed in order from most affordable to most expensive.

1. Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)

- Most affordable foam board
- Lowest energy efficiency
- Absorbs some moisture

2. Extruded Polystyrene (XPS)

- Thicker than EPS boards
- Better insulation
- Semi-permeable surface
- Lightweight

3. Polyisocyanurate (ISO or Polyiso)

- Most expensive foam board
- Typically has foil face
- Highest R-value (best insulator)

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ProMatcher Staff, ProMatcher
Orlando, FL 32803

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