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Insulation South
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Rigid Foam vs. Spray Foam

Do you need more insulation? Chances are, you’ve gone to the internet to do some research. Perhaps you’re reading up on different materials used to insulate homes. If this is the case, you’ve undoubtedly seen both “spray foam” and “rigid foam.”

Spray foam and rigid foam (foam board) are two commonly used types of foam insulation. Is one better? What are the differences between them?

Installation Method & Material

Rigid foam insulation can be made of polystyrene, while spray foam is often made of polyurethane or polyisocyanurate. In terms of installation, spray foam is applied wet and expands into thick foam. Rigid foam, on the other hand, is available as a pre-made foam panel that can be cut to fit particular spaces.

Types of Projects

Rigid foam is typically used in new construction projects (rather than existing homes), in unfinished walls, including foundation walls. Spray foam is used for many retrofit (re-insulation) jobs and is ideal for hard-to-reach areas.


The R-values of rigid foam and spray foam insulation vary. Rigid board R-value ranges from R-3.8 to R-5.0 per inch. Polyurethane foam insulation can have R-values ranging from R-5.5 to R-6.5 per inch. Visit the U.S. Department of Energy to learn more.

Air Infiltration

Spray foam insulation can be installed in small crevices, cracks and gaps and can help with air sealing. Air leaks can undermine the performance of insulation, so making sure your home is properly sealed as well as insulated is the best thing to do.

Foam Insulation Installers in the Tacoma Area

Whether you need rigid foam insulation for a new home or spray foam insulation, Pacific Partners Insulation South can help. We serve the entire Tacoma, Washington area and look forward to helping you with your project.

Contact us to learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation!

Services We Provide
Residential Insulation

Our insulation team adds energy efficiency, comfort and value to new and existing homes.

Commercial Insulation

Pacific Partners Insulation South is a leading installer of commercial fiberglass, rigid board and rockwool insulation.

Insulation Removal

Pacific Partners Insulation South provides home insulation removal services.

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