Spray Insulation vs Thermal Insulation

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Spray foam insulation is used by both the do-it-yourselfer and the established professional whole-house insulator. Spray foam is used to cover and insulate small areas, just as much as it is used in large full-scale walls. Below are several different considerations that compare spray foam insulation to that of thermal insulation.

Understanding Thermal Insulation

Thermal insulation is basically a type of insulation that is used specifically to reduce the amount of heat that is transferred from one location to the other. Heat can be transferred from one location to the other through conduction, radiation or convection. In addition, heat can be transferred as material moves from one area to the next area.

Thermal insulation is used to keep a home or commercial building warm, and it can also be used to keep the inside cool from outside sunlight and heat.

Thermal Insulation Barriers

A barrier of thermal insulation is applied to a home insulation process when you want to make sure that you keep a room at a specific temperature. The thermal insulation barrier can and is often used in conjunction with other forms of insulation, such as foam spray insulation.

Application Differences

Spray foam insulation is usually used where you want to fill a crevice of a small location inside your home. It helps to reduce the amount of draft from one location to the other. You do not find spray foam used in many other applications, aside from home insulation. Thermal insulation is used in a variety of different applications. It is used in everything from homes to clothing, to goods you purchase off the shelf.

Energy Efficiency

Thermal insulation is much more energy-efficient than spray foam insulation. The barrier used in thermal insulation helps to maintain temperatures and keep the heat in. Spray foam does this in a much more limited capacity. Thermal insulation increases the R-value of the insulation used in the home and therefore can much better reduce the electricity utilization and the costs associated with the energy you use.


Thermal insulation is more expensive than spray insulation. Again, thermal insulation is usually installed as a protective barrier on top of the insulation used in the home (spray insulation or fiberglass, as examples). Thermal insulation will add to the amount of money you spend on your insulation solution for your home.


Spray foam insulation can also cause a lot of extra mess in places you would rather keep neat and tidy. Thermal insulation is usually available in sheets, much like fiberglass insulation. It is definitely not as messy as spray foam.

Fitting around Small Spaces

Spray foam insulation is a great product to use when you need to insulate small areas and holes. It is much harder to use fiberglass insulation in little crevices and nooks or crannies.

Controlling Sound

Both spray foam insulation and thermal insulation are used as barriers to control sound from one room to the other.