Using an insulation board is one of the most effective ways to reduce energy wastage. If you’re going to buy an insulation board, you must be aware of the different types and how certain features can affect insulation efficiency.

Check the R Value

The R value or rating determines how well the insulation material can withstand heat. The higher the R value, the greater the board’s heat resistance. Those with a lower R value will not perform as well. The R value is determined by the material employed and its dimensions.


Among foam boards, the cheapest is MEPS. While it’s inexpensive, the low R value means it warps quickly. At the other end of the scale is XEPS. It is made of high density foam and comes with higher R values for every inch.

This material also doesn’t soak in moisture like other insulation boards. If you buy an insulation board like XEPS, be prepared to pay more. However, they are easier to work with.


If you need to put the material between rafters and studs, consider getting fiberglass. Fiberglass insulation can be installed in the attic and is widely used. This material is also known for lowering cooling and heating costs.

About Foam Insulation Boards

If you’re going to install insulation in easy to reach areas, a foam insulation board will be sufficient. Unlike other materials, you don’t need frames to install foam insulation. This makes it easy to work with. Foam insulation is commonly used on basement walls.

In some cases, you may have to purchase different types of foam board insulation. Before you buy an insulation board, remember that foam boards are toxic.

This is especially true if you buy those that have been treated with insecticide. Second, the foam insulation may induce moisture retention. To avoid this problem you should get vapor barrier coating.

Some foam insulation boards are also flammable. You can get around this problem by getting a ½” fire-retardant wallboard (i.e., gypsum).

Foam Insulation Board Thickness

The foam boards for walls have to be less thick than those used for the attic or areas you’re going to walk on. The reason is you’re dealing with a complete house. Unlike frameworks, you’re going to have to maneuver to put the boards in place.

Boards that aren’t so dense mean there is little chance they will break when you move them. When you buy an insulation board for the attic, you’ll also have to shield them from the sun. This means you’ll need to get some dark plastic sheets.

Calculating the Cost

Start with the R value. The standard is R-38. If your depth is less, subtract the depth from the R-38. Next, measure the space that needs the insulation. Keep in mind the cost will be partly determined by the type of board you want to use.

The bottom line is you must consider the insulation type, R value and where it will be installed. Bearing these facts in mind will help when you buy an insulation board.

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