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Open and Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation: A Comparison

Spray foam is a better home insulation material after contrasting its advantages with fibreglass. Your home’s temperature can be controlled by spray foam by keeping it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. 

However, people often face a slight challenge regarding spray foams: Should I get closed- or open-cell spray foam insulation?

Yes, there are two different kinds of spray foam, each with a different purpose. The differences are based on how the foam performs after spraying onto a surface. If you want to learn more, read on!

Difference between Open Cell vs Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation

1. Cells

Based on the tiny bubbles (cells) that make up the foam, spray insulation can either be open or closed cells.

Unencapsulated cells can be found in open cell spray foam. As a result, the foam softens and becomes more malleable.

On the other hand, closed cell foam is made up of cells that are, as the name implies, entirely closed. This means that neither air nor moisture can pass through the foam. As a result, closed cell foam is much more stable and rigid compared to open cell foam.

2. Density

Foam with closed cells is significantly denser than foam with open cells. Open-cell foam has an average density of roughly 0.5 pounds per cubic foot. With a minimum density of 1.75 pounds per cubic foot, closed-cell foam can be three times as dense as open-cell foam.

3. Expansion

One of the essential application-specific variations is this. When sprayed, closed-cell foam is intended to expand to a thickness of roughly 1 inch. With an r-value of 7 per inch, multiple applications can be used to obtain higher overall R-values. Only one application is feasible because the open-cell foam expands to a thickness of 3″ in the majority of standard walls.

4. R-Value

The capacity of foam to resist heat flow, or its R-value, can also differ, depending on the type. Closed cell foam has an R-value of roughly 6.0 per inch higher than open cell foam. However, some closed-cell foams have even higher densities, approaching 7 per inch, like Tiger Foam’s E84 Closed Cell formula. 

Because of this higher rating, closed-cell foam is better at retaining or releasing heat from a structure. Open-cell foams have roughly 3.5 per inch R-values. Compared to closed-cell foams, which can reduce the effectiveness of open-cell insulation in freezing temperatures, this is significantly less. 

Benefits of Open and Closed Cell Spray Foam

Advantages of Closed Cell Spray Foam

It is the best choice for effectively insulating small spaces because it can achieve twice the R-Value of open cell foam within a typical wall. Its rigidity aids in maintaining the building’s structural stability, and versions with an E84 fire rating are available. 

Additionally, as a vapour barrier, the closed cell foam minimizes the likelihood that water and moisture will enter the house and is resistant to water damage.

Advantages of Open Cell Spray Foam

Open cell foam can insulate hard-to-reach areas of a home because it expands significantly after application. It can be challenging to use closed-cell foam as insulation in these places. Because it can fill the space between studs with just one application, open-cell foam is excellent for soundproofing.

Although open cell foam is more cost-effective than closed cell foam, it is not as effective at insulating a home and is, therefore, unsuitable for areas with harsh weather.


Using spray foam insulation of any kind will insulate the house and produce an airtight seal.

The best option for your home may not be as simple as choosing one over the other. Once you have all the information, comparing the benefits and drawbacks of each type of spray foam insulation is simple.

If you’re searching for a foam spray insulation contractor in Saskatoon, whether 

open or closed cell, PolarTech Spray Foam is the best for you! Our company provides professional spray foam insulation installation and removal services! Get in touch with us now!

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