Difference Wiki

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

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on January 1, 2024
Fiberglass insulation uses fine glass fibers for thermal insulation; spray foam insulation is a chemical mixture that expands into a foam for sealing and insulating.

Key Differences

Fiberglass insulation is made from fine strands of glass woven together, providing thermal and sound insulation. Spray foam insulation, on the other hand, is created from a chemical reaction that produces a foam, expanding to fill spaces and forming an air-sealing barrier.
Sara Rehman
Jan 01, 2024
The installation of fiberglass insulation typically involves fitting batts or rolls into spaces between studs or joists, while spray foam insulation is applied by spraying a liquid that expands into a foam, conforming to the shape of the space it fills.
Sara Rehman
Jan 01, 2024
Fiberglass insulation has a lower R-value per inch compared to spray foam insulation, meaning it is less effective per unit thickness. Spray foam insulation provides a higher R-value, making it more efficient in preventing heat transfer.
Huma Saeed
Jan 01, 2024
Generally, fiberglass insulation is more cost-effective and easier to install, making it a popular choice for budget-conscious projects. Spray foam insulation is more expensive but offers better air sealing and moisture resistance, which can lead to long-term energy savings.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 01, 2024
Fiberglass insulation is versatile and can be used in various parts of a building. Spray foam insulation is particularly effective for sealing gaps, cracks, and hard-to-reach areas, providing excellent air sealing properties.
Sara Rehman
Jan 01, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Comparison Chart

Material

Made from fine glass fibers
Composed of a chemical mixture that expands into foam
Sara Rehman
Jan 01, 2024

Installation

Involves fitting batts or rolls
Applied by spraying, expands to fill spaces
Sara Rehman
Jan 01, 2024

Insulating Ability

Lower R-value per inch
Higher R-value, more efficient
Sara Rehman
Jan 01, 2024

Cost

More affordable, budget-friendly
More expensive, but offers long-term savings
Huma Saeed
Jan 01, 2024

Use Cases

Versatile, suitable for various building parts
Ideal for sealing gaps and hard-to-reach areas
Harlon Moss
Jan 01, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Durability

Subject to settling over time, less durable
More durable, maintains shape and effectiveness over time
Janet White
Jan 01, 2024

Environmental Impact

Can be itchy and requires protective gear during installation, often contains recycled materials
Produces off-gassing during application, but provides better energy efficiency overall
Harlon Moss
Jan 01, 2024

Fiberglass Insulation and Spray Foam Insulation Definitions

Fiberglass Insulation

Fiberglass insulation refers to a lightweight, yet effective, insulating material made from glass.
Fiberglass insulation was chosen for the office building due to its lightweight nature.
Sara Rehman
Dec 10, 2023

Spray Foam Insulation

An insulation method involving the application of a rapidly expanding foam, sealing air leaks effectively.
To improve the home's air sealing, spray foam insulation was used around windows and doors.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 10, 2023

Fiberglass Insulation

A type of insulation featuring a fibrous texture, primarily used for heat and acoustic insulation.
The new construction project used fiberglass insulation for its sound-dampening properties.
Sara Rehman
Dec 10, 2023

Spray Foam Insulation

An insulating material that expands and hardens into a foam, providing an air-tight seal.
The contractor recommended spray foam insulation for the basement to prevent moisture intrusion.
Huma Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Fiberglass Insulation

An insulating material made from woven glass fibers, offering cost-effective thermal resistance.
Fiberglass insulation is commonly used in residential homes for its affordability.
Sara Rehman
Dec 10, 2023

Spray Foam Insulation

A foam created on-site from a liquid mixture, offering superior insulating properties.
They used spray foam insulation in the renovation project for its superior energy efficiency.
Sara Rehman
Dec 10, 2023

Fiberglass Insulation

A thermal insulation material consisting of extremely fine fibers of glass.
They installed fiberglass insulation in the walls to improve the home's thermal efficiency.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 10, 2023

Spray Foam Insulation

A chemical-based foam used for insulating buildings and sealing gaps against air and moisture.
Spray foam insulation was applied to the attic to prevent heat loss.
Sara Rehman
Dec 10, 2023

Fiberglass Insulation

A material composed of fine glass fibers used for thermal and sound insulation.
The attic was insulated with fiberglass insulation to enhance energy efficiency.
Sara Rehman
Dec 10, 2023

Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation refers to a polyurethane-based foam providing high R-value per inch.
Spray foam insulation was used in the walls for its high thermal resistance.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 10, 2023

FAQs

Which is more cost-effective, fiberglass or spray foam insulation?

Fiberglass is generally more affordable than spray foam.
Sara Rehman
Jan 01, 2024

What is fiberglass insulation?

It's an insulating material made from fine glass fibers, used for thermal and sound insulation.
Sara Rehman
Jan 01, 2024

How long do these insulations last?

Fiberglass can settle over time, while spray foam maintains its shape and effectiveness longer.
Harlon Moss
Jan 01, 2024

What is spray foam insulation?

A chemical mixture that expands into a foam, used for sealing and insulating buildings.
Huma Saeed
Jan 01, 2024

Can both insulations be used in all areas of a building?

Fiberglass is versatile for various areas, while spray foam is ideal for gaps and hard-to-reach spaces.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 01, 2024

How are fiberglass and spray foam insulation different in installation?

Fiberglass is installed as batts or rolls, while spray foam is sprayed into place.
Sara Rehman
Jan 01, 2024

Are there environmental concerns with either insulation type?

Fiberglass can be itchy and often contains recycled materials; spray foam produces off-gassing during application.
Sara Rehman
Jan 01, 2024

Can I install these insulations myself?

Fiberglass can be a DIY project, but spray foam typically requires professional installation.
Janet White
Jan 01, 2024

Does spray foam insulation expand after application?

Yes, it expands to fill and seal spaces.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 01, 2024

Can these insulations be combined in a single project?

Yes, they can be used together for optimal results in certain applications.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 01, 2024

Is spray foam insulation fire-resistant?

It generally has fire-retardant properties, but check specific product ratings.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 01, 2024

Can fiberglass insulation be recycled?

Yes, it often contains recycled materials and can be recycled.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 01, 2024

How do the R-values of fiberglass and spray foam insulation compare?

Spray foam has a higher R-value per inch, making it more efficient.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 01, 2024

Which insulation is better for soundproofing?

Fiberglass is commonly used for its sound-dampening properties.
Harlon Moss
Jan 01, 2024

Is either insulation type prone to mold or pests?

Spray foam resists moisture and pests better than fiberglass.
Janet White
Jan 01, 2024

Does the thickness of the insulation affect its performance?

Yes, thicker layers generally provide better insulation.
Sara Rehman
Jan 01, 2024

How do I choose the right insulation for my home?

Consider factors like climate, area of application, and budget.
Sara Rehman
Jan 01, 2024

How does weather affect the performance of these insulations?

Both perform well in various climates, but spray foam offers better moisture resistance.
Janet White
Jan 01, 2024

What safety precautions are needed when installing fiberglass insulation?

Protective gear is recommended to avoid irritation from the glass fibers.
Harlon Moss
Jan 01, 2024

Are there health concerns with either type of insulation?

Fiberglass can cause irritation; spray foam should be handled by professionals due to chemical exposure.
Harlon Moss
Jan 01, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons