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Spray Foam Insulation vs. Fiberglass: What’s the Difference?

Attic insulation has been a hot topic in the industry, with the discussion centring around spray foam vs. fibreglass. Fibreglass has been a classic insulation method since its creation in the early 1900s, but spray foam has become more popular in recent years. 

The debate begs the question: is spray foam a viable alternative to fibreglass?

In this article, we go over the main differences between the two and which one is the best to use for you.

What Is Spray Foam Insulation?

Spray foam insulation is a pliable, 3D foam material that expands upon contact with air and liquid. Spray foam is known as an “expandable insulation.” The foam is applied under pressure, which causes the foam to form microscopic air bubbles and chemically reacts to form a solid mass.

Spray foam insulation is typically used to fill spaces and cavities in walls and roofs, insulating the area and creating an air barrier. Spray foam is typically used for residential applications due to its lower price and ease of installation.

What Is Fibreglass?

Fibreglass insulation is made from glass fibres and is often found in newer homes and office buildings. Fibreglass is made from spun glass fibre that is then woven into mats. After the mats are made, they are sent through a heating process, which causes the glass to expand and entrap the air in the fibres.

When the mats are installed into the wall cavity, the air trapped between the fibres provides an air barrier.

Fibreglass insulation is typically more expensive than spray foam insulation and has a higher installation cost. However, fibreglass has a lower R-Value per inch than spray foam.

Spray Foam Insulation vs. Fibreglass

1) R-Value

The R-Value measures how well an insulator resists heat flow. For example, if a material has an R-Value of 2, it stops 2 units of heat from flowing through it. The higher the number, the more insulating the material is.

Fibreglass insulation has a very low R-Value of about 1.6 per inch. In comparison, spray foam insulation has a much higher R-Value per inch than fibreglass insulation, around 3.6 per inch.

Fibreglass insulation typically has a lower R-Value per inch than other types of insulation, such as cellulose and rock wool.

2) Durability

Spray foam is more durable and has a longer lifespan than fibreglass fibre. Spray foam has a lifespan of about 30 years, whereas fibreglass has a lifespan of about 20 years.

Spray foam is also more durable than fibreglass due to its closed-cell structure. Spray foam is an interior sealant that can resist moisture, while fibreglass has an open cell structure that cannot.

3) Cost-Effectiveness

Fibreglass can be a very expensive material to use in comparison to spray foam insulation. Spray foam insulation is typically cheaper than fibreglass, making it a more cost-effective option.

Fibreglass is also more time-consuming to install than spray foam. A study done by the Department of Energy showed that it takes twice as much time to install fibreglass than it does spray foam.


Spray foam insulation is a viable alternative to fibreglass insulation. Although it can be a more expensive option, the benefits are worth it. Spray foam is a more durable, cost-effective, and time-saving option.

If you’re looking for a commercial insulation company in Saskatoon to help you out, look no further than PolarTech Spray Foam. We provide spray foam insulation installation and removal services. Contact us today to learn more.

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