When it comes to insulation, there’s nothing on the market that insulates quite as well as spray foam insulation. Spray insulation is uniquely capable of filling all the nooks and crannies in your walls, and it’s also ideal for insulating unusually shaped cavities, as well.
But which type of spray insulation, and which brand is best for your project? Today, we’ll cover five of the best spray foam insulation options on the market, and cover everything you need to know to select the best foam for your project.
Without further ado, let’s jump right into five of the best options on the market now for spray foam insulation.
FOAM IT 1202 Self Spray Foam Insulation Kit
FOAM IT 1202 is one of the most popular open cell spray foam insulations available, and it may be an ideal choice for your insulation project.
This kit includes everything you’ll need to complete a professional quality insulation job by yourself. Included in each kit are two foam cylinders, isocyanate resistant gloves, spray gun, and 15-foot hose, ten nozzles, and three fan spray tips.
The included spray gun is one of the best in the business, and it allows you to easily spray insulation as well as the pros can, which is a major plus for DIYers.
Except for drop cloths, tape, and safety equipment this kit includes absolutely everything you’ll need for a job well done.
This foam covers 1,202 square feet at 1” thickness, and it’s Class I E-84 fire retardant and meets all building codes. Many people choose to spray foam at twice the thickness, which provides an R-value that’s more closely in line with what you’d expect from a closed cell foam.
FOAM IT 1202 is also anti-microbial and can help prevent mold and mildew issues before they have a chance to take hold. This foam also possesses impressive sound dampening capabilities, so it’s a popular choice for applications where the sound volume may become an issue. If your in the process on repairing your home check out our guide on selecting the right drywall thickness to finish your renovation project.
- Includes everything you need
- High-quality spray gun and hoses
- Class I E-84 fire retardant
- Expensive for an open cell foam
DOW Froth-Pak 650 Spray Foam Insulation
Perhaps the most popular closed cell insulation available, DOW Froth-Pak 650 provides a high-level of insulation, and it’s available in an easy to use kit that you may feel comfortable installing on your own without professional help.
Included in each kit are an isocyanate tank, a polyol tank, Insta-Flo spray gun with hose assembly, a ⅝” wrench and a petroleum jelly packet for the spray nozzle. If you’re feeling frisky, you’ll be able to tackle this job yourself with the contents of this helpful kit.
DOW Froth-Pak is Class A fire retardant, and since it’s chemically cured, it greatly reduces drying time compared to open cell foam, and even many of its closed cell competitors.
With Froth-Pak, the foam is dry to the touch in about 30 seconds, and it’s fully cured in only a minute or two.
This foam provides 650 square feet of coverage at a thickness of 1 ¾”. While Dow is one of the most trusted and popular brands in the industry, they still manage to deliver impressive value, as this kit can tackle more square footage than many competitors, making it a more economical choice than many competitors.
- Great coverage
- More affordable than most competitors
- Includes everything you need
Touch N Seal 300 Open Cell Foam Spray
Another viable option for anyone looking for open cell insulation is Touch N Seal.
This open cell foam is class I fire retardant, and this kit includes enough foam for 300 square feet of coverage at 1” thick. Since many people choose to spray at a thickness of 2” for open cell foams to provide a higher R-value, this kit covers a rather tiny 150 square feet.
As a result, this kit can get quite expensive if you plan on spraying at 2” thick, and it can end up costing much more than some other options, such as FOAM IT 1202.
This kit is Class A fire retardant, and it’s also resistant to mold, mildew, and fungi. It also dries in about a minute, which is impressive for an open cell foam.
Included in each kit are two foam tanks, a newly designed P2 anti-crossover spray gun with pre-connected hoses, five conical and five fan nozzles, chemical resistant gloves, and every other extra you’ll need to quickly tackle your insulation job.
- Includes everything you need
- Cheaper per kit than most competitors
- Dries quickly
- Poor coverage – may result in higher material costs than other brands
FOAM IT Green 602 Insulation Spray Foam
In addition to making one of the best and most popular open cell insulation kits on the market, FOAM IT also has closed cell kits available, and they offer impressive results.
The FOAM IT Green 602 kit includes everything you’ll need to insulate your project. Included in each kit are two foam cylinders, isocyanate resistant gloves, spray gun, and 15-foot hose, ten nozzles, and three fan spray tips.
FOAM IT also does a great job at providing resources for DIYers. Between their detailed instructions, an extensive library of tutorials and 24/7 customer support, they provide everything you need to confidently tackle your insulation job.
This kit from FOAM IT also has an impressive R-value of 7 when sprayed at only 1” thick. This allows you to achieve a high level of insulation in less time while also using less product. As a result, FOAM IT 602 is one of the more economical options available, and it can cover 600 square feet with a single kit.
One downside of this kit from FOAM IT is how the weather can affect coverage. While all spray foam kits can be a bit finicky when it comes to the weather, many users have complained that the slightest ambient temperature fluctuations can dramatically affect the amount of coverage you’ll get from each kit.
- Includes everything you need
- Strong R-value
- Impressive coverage per kit
- Lower temperatures dramatically affect coverage
Tiger Foam Quick Cure 200 Spray Foam Insulation Kit
This closed cell foam from Tiger Foam is another compelling option in the closed cell category.
This foam provides an impressive R-value of 7 at 1” thickness, and each kit covers 200 square feet. While that’s significantly less coverage than many competitors, Tiger Foam is also significantly cheaper per kit, so it works out to about the same cost as the competition.
Included with each kit are a spray gun, 9.5” hose assembly, four fan tips, four conical tips, and detailed instructions on how to use the kit.
Like many other options, this kit is Class I E-84 fire retardant, and it cures quickly. It’s dry to the touch in under a minute and fully cured within one hour.
- Includes everything you need
- Affordable kit price
- Impressive R-value
- Only covers 200 square feet per kit
When it comes to spray foam insulation, there’s several different characteristics and factors that you’ll want to take a closer look at as you evaluate which insulation is best for your building project.
Spray foam insulation is available in two different types, and they differ greatly. Depending on the project you’re working on, you’re likely to find that one type of insulation is a much better fit for your project than the alternative.
Open cell spray insulation is lightweight and pliable and it does a great job at filling in nooks and crannies in building materials, making it ideal for home building applications. Open cell foams use water as the spraying agent; they also provide impressive soundproofing characteristics.
Open cell foams have a relatively low R-value, which means that they don’t insulate as strongly as the other type of spray insulation. They’re also highly moisture permeable, and they can absorb up to 75% of their weight in water.
This high moisture permeability of open cell foams may seem like a negative at first, but it’s a feature that can come in handy, especially when sprayed on roof decks or walls.
If there’s ever a leak in the roof or the walls, the spray foam will absorb water at that point and discolor, which makes it exceptionally easy to pinpoint where the leak is for repair. Since it’s so pliable, it’s also easy to work with for projects like installing new wiring.
Since open cell foams can expand as much as 100 times over during installation, they’re usually much more affordable than closed cell insulation.
Closed cell foams differ significantly from the open cell variety. Closed cell insulation is much heavier, it expands minimally once it’s sprayed, and it uses chemicals instead of water as a spraying agent.
Closed cell foams are virtually impermeable to moisture, and they don’t provide the same soundproofing characteristics of an open cell foam.
Another impressive feature of closed cell foams is their strength. Once it’s set, closed cell foams are strong enough to walk on, and they make building structures stronger, which can help prevent shearing.
These foams also have a much higher R-value than open cell foams, meaning that they do a better job of insulating than an open cell foam does. Closed cell foams are usually much more expensive than open cell varieties.
Spray foam insulation is a relatively new way of insulating homes and buildings. For years, contractors have relied on fiberglass batts or blankets, or structural insulated panels for their insulation needs.
While these classic solutions are effective and easier to install, they don’t offer many of the important benefits that sprayable foam insulation does.
With sprayable insulation, you can create an air-flow barrier in one step. With closed cell insulation, you can also create a moisture barrier in that same step, as well. Sprayable insulations have higher R-values, especially when it comes to closed cell foam.
On the other hand, while spray foam is relatively easy to apply, many people prefer to rely on a professional to handle the insulation process, especially when dealing with closed cell insulation.
Sprayable insulation is already more expensive than traditional methods to begin with, and adding professional installation increases that cost further, especially when it comes to closed cell insulation.
While spray foam may be more expensive, it does provide significant savings over time compared to more traditional insulations, since it does a better job of providing an air-flow barrier inside the building, which allows you to save on energy bills.
When it comes to insulation, one figure you see a lot is the R-value of the insulation.
R-value is used to measure heat flow through a surface. It’s used to rate insulation materials as well as windows, walls, and ceilings. The higher the R-value, the better that surface is at resisting heat flow. In other words, a higher R-value means better insulation and less heat loss.
With open cell foams, the R-value falls between 3.5 and 3.6, which is fairly high. This is about the same level of heat insulation you can expect from traditional insulation types such as batts and blankets.
With closed cell foams, the R-value is significantly higher, at 6.5. This makes closed cell spray insulation significantly better at resisting heat loss than open cell foams, or traditional insulation types.
The only other insulation type that insulates against heat loss, as well as closed cell foam, are polyisocyanurate structural insulation panels.
As you’d imagine, closed cell insulation is typically significantly more expensive than open cell insulation.
Costs can vary widely depending on how thick the foam is, but open cell insulation typically costs around $1 to $1.25 per square foot to install, whereas closed cell foam can cost around $1.75-$3 per square foot.
Compared to traditional insulation types, both open and closed cell foams are more expensive, with closed cell foams being significantly more expensive.
When it comes to installing any kind of insulation, safety needs to be a high priority. You should always use protective gloves, eyewear, and ventilation equipment when dealing with insulation, especially closed cell insulation which contains chemicals that are critical to the curing process. A good pair of coveralls can come in handy, too.
While spray foam kits include everything you need to use the product, they usually don’t include ventilation protection or protective eyewear. Always make sure you have these safety products at the ready before you get started on your project.
Q: Is spray foam insulation a better option than fiberglass or cotton?
Both types of spray insulation do a significantly better job of reducing air-flow and heat loss when compared to traditional insulation methods. Only certain SIPs provide higher R-values than spray insulation, and it’s generally safer to use than traditional insulation types as well.
Q: Should I install open or closed cell insulation?
The answer will depend largely on how you weigh the different pros and cons of each insulation type.
Open cell foam is cheaper, easier to work with, doesn’t use chemicals, and it absorbs moisture, which can help you identify leaks in the future.
Closed cell foam is more expensive and harder to work with; it uses chemicals when it’s sprayed and releases potentially harmful gases. But it provides a much higher R-value, and virtually nothing on the market provides as much insulation as closed cell. Plus, it can increase the structural integrity of the building.
Q: Do I need to hire a professional?
Most people choose to have a professional handle their insulation project. Open cell insulation is the easier of the two to install, and if you’re ready to take that leap as a DIYer, you’ll probably achieve pretty solid results. Meanwhile, closed cell foam is harder to work with, it involves chemicals, and it’s probably best to leave it to the pros.
When it comes down to the best spray foam insulation, all five of the products we covered do a great job of insulating your project. However, there can only be one winner, and we believe that one product stands above the rest as the best spray foam insulation kit on the market.
Our choice is DOW Froth-Pak 650. This foam provides impressive coverage, a high R-value, and includes everything you’ll need to get started in one convenient package.
If you’re looking instead for an open cell insulation option, we’d recommend FOAM IT 1202, which provides incredible value and high coverage for a single kit.
Keep in mind that each kit we’ve covered is fairly similar when it comes to value and coverage, so you should feel confident selecting any kit from our list. If you prefer to go with a kit we haven’t covered, be sure to evaluate each product you look at based on our buying guide above, which will help you make a smart selection.