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Which Type of Foam Insulation Is Best for My Home?

spray foam insulation for insulating ceilings

When considering how to properly insulate your home with foam insulation, it can be difficult to understand your options and make an informed decision. Here’s a closer look at two popular forms of insulation: rigid board foam insulation and spray foam insulation, and what might make one or the other the best type for your home.

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Understanding R-Value

To determine the best insulation for your home and understand what each type has to offer, we first need to understand R-value. This number measures how well a material prevents the transfer of heat energy through itself, usually given in R-value per inch of material or for a particular panel of material.

A high R-value, with no gaps, means heat can’t transfer and your home stays cool when you cool it and warm when you warm it. Of course, there’s a lot more to comparing materials than simple R-value density.

Rigid Foam vs. Spray Foam — What’s the Difference?

Rigid foam insulation refers to boards or panels of shaped polystyrene foam that can be used to back a surface or slotted into gaps.

Spray foam is a form of insulation made of polyurethane or polyisocyanurate, which applies wet via sprayer and then dries into a coating of foam.

While both are ‘foam,’ they’re very different from one another in many ways.

Infographic listing differences between spray foam and rigid foam insulation.

Benefits of Spray Foam

Spray foam insulation offers a very high R-value — around 5.5 per inch usually — can be applied nearly anywhere without leaving gaps and lends itself well to installation alongside or over existing insulation.

Because it fills spaces thoroughly, it creates superior air seals and locks out moisture effectively. All of this makes it an exceptional material for retrofit projects and new construction alike, though it sees more use in the former than the latter.

Benefits of Rigid Foam

Rigid board insulation offers a high R-value density between 3.8 and 5.0 per inch, with the easy installation of panels making it trivial to layer rigid foam boards until you reach target insulation.

It’s simple to install and inexpensive compared to spray foam, making it a great option for superior insulation on a budget. In some applications, it can also lend structural integrity, which can be a draw.

Talk to the Insulation Experts At Gold Star Insulation in Sacramento, CA

When choosing insulation for your home, the best way to determine a path forward is to work with an experienced insulation expert who understands the materials and your home.

If you’re in the Sacramento area, the team at Gold Star Insulation can offer the insight you need to make the most of your budget for comfort, efficiency and home value.

We’ll always deliver high-quality products, skilled installations and great customer service on every project, so contact us if you need an insulation contractor you can trust in the area.

Call (916) 229-8445 or contact Gold Star Insulation online to learn more about your options for spray foam or rigid board insulation in Sacramento.

Where should you insulate in your home? Check out our interactive infographic:

Products We Install
Energy Audits

Our team can help you save money with a home energy audit and air sealing services.


Our insulation team installs batt and blown-in fiberglass insulation.


Environmentally friendly and effective, cellulose works well in homes and buildings.

Spray Foam

Gold Star Insulation is a leading installer of spray foam insulation in the Sacramento area.

Radiant Barrier

An attic radiant barrier can help keep your home cooler and more comfortable.

Insulation Removal

Gold Star Insulation provides home insulation removal services.

Air Sealing

We are committed to saving you money by sealing your attic—which is the main source of air leaks in the home.

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