What is better – Styrofoam or extruded polystyrene: characteristics, differences, comparisons

Selecting the appropriate insulation for your house is essential to preserving comfort and cutting down on energy expenses. Of the many options available, extruded polystyrene and Styrofoam are two popular options. Both materials have insulating qualities, but in order to make an informed choice, it is important to consider their differences.

Expanded polystyrene (EPS), commonly referred to as Styrofoam, is an inexpensive and lightweight insulating material. It is made up of tiny foam beads that are fused together to create stiff panels or boards by expanding them. Because it is inexpensive and simple to install, Styrofoam is frequently used in construction. It can aid in controlling indoor temperature and offers respectable thermal insulation.

Extruded polystyrene (XPS), on the other hand, is a denser and more resilient insulation material. It is produced using an alternative manufacturing method that involves melting pellets of polystyrene and extruding them into stiff boards. XPS insulation is better than Styrofoam in terms of compressive strength, which makes it appropriate for spaces where there is foot traffic or large loads.

There are a few things to consider when comparing extruded polystyrene and Styrofoam. These consist of cost-effectiveness, environmental impact, moisture resistance, and thermal performance. Comprehending these distinctions can assist homeowners in selecting the best option for their particular requirements and financial plan.

Thermal conductivity

Because PPP and EPPP have low values of thermal conductivity, they are good. In this regard, the extruder is marginally superior because of its denser structure. A 50 mm sheet insulates the space more effectively than a concrete wall that is half a meter thick. Comparable in efficiency to minwool, this material is effective.

Note: Adhesion and UV protection

Foam plastic is averse to UV radiation. If it is a facade, it must invariably have another material covering it on top: plaster; if the roof is insulated, it must have roofing combined with a waterproof membrane.

Because PPS and EPPS are extremely smooth, the top layer needs to be broken with very coarse sandpaper or scraped with a hacksaw before the adhesive is applied in order to improve the surface’s adherence. If not, the plaster will eventually become loose and fall off.

Plaster can already be applied on the insulation reinforced mesh, and a dependable alternative is to use alkaline glue to adhere it.

The field of application of foam plastic and polystyrene foam

Since foam plastic is just higher density polystyrene foam, its application in construction is primarily limited to insulating building and structure structural elements. For instance, non-pressed polymer material is frequently utilized for facade insulation due to its high thermal insulation qualities and adhesion.

Insulating roofs with polystyrene

Foam plexus insulation, however, is a good idea for building basements, foundations, and basement elements, as well as loggias and balconies. It still has all of the built-in thermal insulation qualities of thicker foam plastic despite its reduced thickness.

However, it is not advised to use these materials for interior insulation, particularly in residential buildings, as they are treated with compositions that are combustible and may be released into the surrounding air while the insulation is being produced. Foam plastic cannot be used as an insulating material in some European and American countries. The cause is the fire’s release of poisonous materials.

Putting basement insulation in place

Decorative interior products are made from extruded styrofoam.

Polystyrene tiles used as a room’s interior finishing material

Polystyrene foam, similar to Styrofoam, is utilized in the medical industry to make packaging materials.

These materials are used to make buoys, floats, life jackets, and industrial refrigerators. They are also used as insulators in household appliances and ship compartments, ensuring the ships’ ability to stay afloat.

Extruded Styrofoam is used in the food industry to package goods and breakable items.

The use of foam plastic in food packaging

Polymeric materials, which can be obtained through extrusion or pressing, find application in various fields. When making a decision, it is important to understand the differences between these materials and their characteristics.

Types, characteristics, properties

Penoplex is offered in a number of categories:

  • Comfort. For insulation of walls, balconies, loggias.
  • Foundation.
  • Pitched roofing.
  • Wall.

Penoplex insulation types and purposes

As you can see, the material’s areas of application are clearly marked out by the manufacturer. They are not the same density even with the same technology. The densest materials are used for floors and foundations because they must bear heavy loads over extended periods of time. Penoplex Foundation has a 50-year service life, according to the manufacturer.

Structural differences

Several varieties of Foamflakes exhibit variations in their constructive scheme:

  • Foam boards Foam Wall have a rough surface, on the surface of the board milling cutter applied stripes. All this improves adhesion to the wall and/or finishing materials.
  • Foamflakes Comfort are characterized by L-shaped edge, which guarantees the absence of through seams during installation.
  • Penoplex Roofing has a U-shaped edge, which increases the reliability of the connection.

It is possible to tell apart based on outside indicators.

This relates to variations outside of oneself. Let’s now examine the technical features.

Let’s start by focusing on what all types have in common before moving on to what makes them unique.

General characteristics

Since Penoplexes are produced using a similar technology, they are similar in many aspects.

  • Water absorption is very low: when immersed in water for a day not more than 0.4% of the volume;
  • when immersed for 28 days 0,5% of volume.

As you can see, any type of Penoplex can be used anywhere in the nation, from the south to the north, in terms of temperature parameters. Moreover, nothing will happen to the material if it is left "winterized" in an exposed form. This is a characteristic of extrusion polystyrene foam in general rather than a strength of Penoplex.

What distinguishes the different types

The categories of use have been applied to Penoplex manufacturer types. For a specific application, their qualities are ideal. For instance, when it is installed on the plinth, the higher density of EPPS that is necessary beneath the screed will not be required. Considering the substantial price differences, it is illogical to use the "Fundament" brand for purposes other than those for which it was designed. However, in the presence of other similar traits, the distinction in locks can be disregarded. Here, we are discussing installation convenience.

However, it is still significant.

Parameter Comfort Foundation Roofing Wall
Density from 20 kg/m3 27-35 kg/m3 26-34 kg/m3 from 20 kg/m3
Modulus of elasticity 15 MPa 17 MPa 17 MPa 15 MPa
Thickness 20, 30, 40, 50, 100 mm 50, 100 mm 100 mm 50 mm
Static Bending Strength Limit 0.25 MPa 0.4 MPa 0.4 MPa 0.25 MPa

The table shows that Penoplex is more resilient, more dense, and better able to withstand bending loads for roofing and foundations. Less durable because they are meant to be used on walls and under the "Comfort" brand, where resistance to mechanical forces is not necessary.

Useful and harmful properties

Those who use penoplex or polystyrene foam for thermal insulation, are interested in the question of possible harm to human health. If the production technology is observed, the materials become safe. The installation does not require the use of personal protective equipment. When exceeding the lifetime of polystyrene foam can begin to decompose with the release of harmful substances, such as styrene, ammonia, benzene, which can adversely affect the surrounding community. The real threat is the use of low-quality material. In Moscow and other large cities, a large number of offers of insulators. In order not to make a mistake, it is necessary to carefully study the accompanying documentation, consumer feedback, price compliance.

Foam plastic is convenient and simple to work with. The materials are processed easily; even a novice can handle insulation.

It is crucial to remember that Penoplex and Styrofoam are both vulnerable to fire. Insulation materials that are smoldering release toxic compounds that are hazardous to people. Manufacturers are attempting to lower the combustibility level by treating materials further and including antiprene in their composition.

Insulators are obviously useful when it comes to having a warm and cozy home. Penoplex and foam plastic offer excellent heat retention and sound absorption. It is also user-friendly and convenient at the same time. Even those without experience can handle material processing and insulation.

Advantages and disadvantages of foam plastic

It is important to mention the following benefits of the insulator:

  • has a small weight, which makes it very convenient to use;
  • is not exposed to external influences, dampness and mold do not form on it, etc. д. ;
  • Easy to handle with cutting tools;
  • has good thermal insulation and soundproofing;
  • Penoplex is easy to install;
  • low cost and availability;
  • Penoplex does not react to sudden changes and temperature fluctuations.

This material has a few drawbacks, but they are not great:

  • it is easily ignitable in case of careless handling;
  • absorbs moisture;
  • when heated to a certain temperature, like any material of synthetic origin, emits toxic substances for the body;
  • when using foam plex, there is a probability that the house will be inhabited by mice.

Comparative table

Choosing between foam and foamlex for insulation is a decision that many people find challenging to make.

The comparative table of insulators will be determined in part by what is superior.

Properties Styrofoam Penoplex
Density (kg/m³) 11-40 25-47
Compressive strength (MPa) 0,05-0,16 0,2
Flexural strength (MPa) 0,7 0,5
Water absorption (%) 1-2 0,5
Thermal conductivity (W/m°C) 0,029-0,032 0,039
Fire resistance G3-G4 G1-G4

Depending on the type of insulation selected, the values change. The technical documentation contains precise details about the properties of the insulation material that was purchased.

What is the difference

Upon initial examination, there appears to be no discernible distinction between extruded polystyrene foam and foam plastic when compared side by side. Although the material used in their construction is the same, the density and method of production differ. And the area of application is where they diverge most from one another. Polystyrene with a width of 20–30 mm is acceptable for use as basement insulation; however, the foam’s thickness must be 50 mm. Additionally, you can read the article’s pros and cons regarding ceiling tiles made of polystyrene foam.

The distinction between extruded polystyrene and Styrofoam is shown in the video.

The characteristics of foam plastic that make it a good thermal insulator might also be of interest to you.

What this article describes is the cost of Penoplex insulation for exterior house walls, as well as locations for its application.

You can watch the video in this article to see how the foam ceiling skirting board is glued.

This article describes the features of Penoplex, a type of extruded polystyrene foam that is currently available.

You might also find it interesting to find out what decorative insulation is used on interior walls in homes.

Myths about the use of insulation materials

  1. We breathe poison. There is an opinion that at long-term use of polystyrene foam decomposition occurs with release of toxic substances. If to understand, foam plastic, for example, consists of 98% air. There was a study where scientists tested an insulated 30-year-old home and recognized that samples of the material showed no signs of styrene decomposition at all. This means that this claim that from the insulated surface will emanate poison – another fiction.
  2. These are rapidly deteriorating materials. Probably everyone has heard that polystyrene foam products spoil quickly. Laboratory studies have shown that Styrofoam boards can withstand more than 80 years of use. To premature destruction of foamlex can lead to mechanical impact and ultraviolet light. Therefore, the better you hide the foam plastic from the sun, the longer it will last you.

By combining everything mentioned above, one can draw a conclusion and receive a plausible response to the challenging query: Which is better, extruded polystyrene or Styrofoam?

A detailed analysis of foam as an insulator can be found in the video below. I doubt you will have any more questions concerning Styrofoam if you watch it through to the very end.

It is preferable to use polystyrene foam for facade insulation because it outperforms even the highest grade foamlex in every way. It costs more, though.

How to choose the best type of insulation material?

Manufacturing methods

The same raw material is used to produce both polystyrene foam and foams, but the production processes are very different:

  • "steaming" of polymer microgranules is used to produce Styrofoam,
  • extrusion – a method of foaming polystyrene with the stages of melting granules and adding a reagent for foaming.

Extrusion is the process of working with the mass using a special tool to create foamed polystyrene. To create fireproof insulation with a more even structure, cells are filled with carbon dioxide or natural gas.

Technical characteristics

The two insulators have a very different appearance despite having the same thermal insulation coefficient. The benefits of extrusion polystyrene are substantial:

  • durable,
  • does not deform,
  • absorbs sounds.

Boards made of extruded polystyrene exhibit excellent performance (specification):

  • Compressive strength levels up to 80 kpa,
  • thermal conductivity coefficient is 0.028-0.033 W/(m-K),
  • density – about 35 kg/m3.

Expanded polystyrene is superior to foam plastic in certain aspects.

  • in strength – only 450-750 kpa,
  • heat conductivity coefficient, which reaches 0.07 W/(m-K),
  • on the maximum density, which is less than 155 kg/m3.

Experts occasionally advise combining foam and extrusion polystyrene because the insulated object’s properties are greatly enhanced in this situation. In actual use, insulation made of twenty millimeter polystyrene foam cannot be substituted by four millimeter foam.

When the granules are divided into fractions, suspension technology produces foaming polystyrene PSV. Insulation panels, boards, blocks, decorative elements, building fittings, and industrial packaging are all made with this material.

What is the difference between expanded polystyrene and polystyrene foam?

Many things are shared by both materials. Despite the fact that foam plastic and polystyrene foam are practically the same, their production processes have led to some notable differences. First, let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages of foam plastic. The advantages of this content are as follows:

  • Low cost of finished products, which can be one and a half times lower than the price of extrusion material.
  • Long service life under observance of installation and operation conditions.
  • A high degree of thermal insulation with proper installation and further operation. Low weight, which facilitates transportation and installation.
  • Fungus, mold and other microorganisms do not develop in the structure of the material, if it is used in dry conditions.
  • It is easily processed (cut, sawed, broken) by any improvised tools and even by hands. Does not require protective equipment for the worker, as it is an environmentally safe material – it does not emit harmful odors and dust, does not pierce. The production of disposable dishes and toys for children from polystyrene can serve as a confirmation of this fact.

Application of foam plastic

  • It can be used as soundproofing, when a three-centimeter slab of polymer material can completely muffle sounds.
  • Temperature range of polystyrene use, without loss of thermal insulation properties and mechanical strength, from -60°Ϲ to +95°C . Practically does not absorb moisture.
  • Does not support combustion. Extinguishes within 4-5 seconds after contact with an open flame.

Foam plastic’s relative fragility and lack of solvent contact are factors contributing to its undesirable qualities. People may perish from the toxic smoke in the event that the room containing the foam plastic catches fire. Home rats frequently settle in the porous material.

Mice do not find foam plastic to be an obstacle.

Comparison of foam and polystyrene escutcheon material

When choosing insulation, customers are frequently asked which is better—foam or polystyrene—and what the differences are. They also want to know which is warmer, easier to install, and more cost-effective. You must take into account the technical properties of both materials in order to comprehend:

  • Thermal conductivity of foam plastic – 0,04 W/mK, at foamlex -0,032 W/mK.
  • Mechanical strength of foam loses to extrusion material.
  • Density of foam plastic 20-30 kg/cm3, foamlex 30-45kg/cm3.
  • Vapor permeability 0,022 and 0,005 mg/mhPa, respectively, in foam plastic and foamlex.
  • Due to the higher density, which is achieved by a better molecular connection, the mechanical strength in compression and bending of extruded polystyrene insulation is higher, as well as the ability to withstand a greater range of temperature fluctuations.
  • Styrofoam can absorb no more than 3% of water from its mass, penoplex – no more than 0,4%. If you choose a material for insulation of the bath, it is better to stop at the second option.
  • Shrinkage of foam plastic is much greater than that of polystyrene. The first is afraid of sunlight and large mechanical loads. The second is more resistant to both UV radiation and stresses. Therefore, polystyrene foam products can be used for insulation of facades with subsequent plastering, when installing a warm floor, which can not be said about the usual foam plastic.

Although neither foam nor extruded polystyrene can support open burning, they are both equally flammable when added during the production process to the mixture of styrene flame retardants. If they are not directly in the center of the fire, both have the ability to self-extinguish.

Consider every aspect of the materials if you are choosing insulation and are unsure whether to purchase extruded polystyrene foam or settle for a less expensive option.

Comparison of polystyrene and foam plastic manufacturing methods

Although the same material is used to make both types of polystyrene foam, the production processes are very different. The "steaming" method is the process used to produce conventional polystyrene foam. Polymer material micropellets are inserted into the mold and exposed to water vapor. The surface of the granules increases and larger-sized micropores form when exposed to high temperatures. Until the foam completely fills the block mold, exposure is maintained.

Extrusion is the method used to make Penoplex. In this instance, the material is melted first and then a foaming agent is added before extrusion. Subsequently, the mass can be extruded by feeding it through a specific molding tool. In the event that a refractory polystyrene foam is created, natural gas or carbon dioxide is simultaneously pumped into the cells. Because the cells stay closed during this polymer extrusion process, you can obtain a more uniform structure for the final product.

Optimal use of insulation materials

Many Russian consumers prefer extrusion polystyrene over outdated foam plastic, even though the latter is a soundproof insulation with clear advantages. This results from a failure to recognize the distinctions between materials. The cost of penoplex, which can occasionally be multiple times more expensive than foam plastic with the same volume, influences the master’s selection. Even so, the performance metrics of insulation materials heavily rely on the precise adherence to technological guidelines during installation.

The use of the common, readily available foam plastic for construction and repair has already been outlawed in several European nations. This decision is related to the release of substances that are toxic and extremely harmful to human health during the insulation material fire. Construction industry experts advise using dependable extruded polystyrene because of its long track record of high quality. Even so, it does not fall under the category of products that are completely safe and eco-friendly.

Its superiority over numerous comparable products and membership in the category of long-lasting, premium insulation materials can be argued for. Although Styrofoam circumvents it in many ways, there are circumstances in which it is the only viable option. These boards, for instance, are perfect indicators of air permeability and moisture absorption and are used to finish home facades. Extruded polymer insulation is not appropriate for exterior building finishing due to its low level of adhesion. You can purchase monolithic polycarbonate from our company.

An expert in the field of construction compares the characteristics of foam and polystyrene foam:

Pros and cons

On the surface, both insulators appear to be identical. Expanded polystyrene foam is used in the materials, but through a different process. Modifying the production process has a significant impact on the final raw materials’ properties.


The material is produced when steam interacts with polystyrene granules. The components enlarge fifty times because of the moderate temperature; they adhere but do not melt. There are still tiny spaces in between the components. The raw material is airy and light because the plastic balls inside are empty.

The user purchases Penoplex or Styrofoam in search of a useful insulator. The version that uses foamed spheres is used in highly humid environments. It is possible to install the building material without a vapor barrier. The raw material allows for good air exchange, and fungi and mold do not grow on the surface due to the gaps in the structure.

The insulation material used in frame structures is lightweight. The building material lasts for 20 to 30 years and has a low thermal conductivity coefficient. The raw materials are made as flat blocks, or sheets, that are easily shaped into the required shape. When assembled correctly, parts retain their geometric properties. The product’s low cost and soundproof qualities are additional benefits.

The primary drawback of the building material is its high combustibility. Because Styrofoam allows for smoldering, flames can spread to other parts of the material and start a fire. Temperature can cause the release of hazardous substances into the atmosphere that are harmful to living things.

Sheets of foam are very brittle. Foam should only be applied to perfectly level surfaces. The building material will crack if the requirements are not followed. Rodents that nest inside the blocks frequently cause damage to the insulation.


Extrusion is the process used in special equipment to produce raw materials. Polystyrene granules melt and adhere to one another when exposed to extreme pressure and temperature. Consequently, a dense, homogeneous insulation with exceptional strength is achieved.

When deciding between foam and penoplex, users tend to favor dependable and useful options. Low weight and strong load resistance characterize extruded polystyrene foam. The blocks won’t flex under the weight of people and furniture if the sheets are put on the floor.

Penoplex is a versatile building material that is applied to both interior and external surfaces to provide thermal insulation. Finished blocks are thinner than foam plastic, which frees up valuable space in small spaces. There is a minimum moisture absorption coefficient for the raw material. The insulating substance is fearless:

  • insects;
  • rodents;
  • mold;
  • fungi.

Penoplex features straightforward processing and easy-to-install technology. The ends take on a unique shape during installation, which makes it feasible to achieve the maximum joint tightness. The material offers the best possible noise absorption. 50 years of guaranteed service life.

Combustibility is foamlex’s primary drawback. The raw material ignites right away rather than smoldering like foam plastic does. Under focused UV light, extruded polystyrene foam weakens and disintegrates.

How extruded polystyrene differs from conventional polystyrene – comparison of indicators

Let us now compare the technical indicators of various kinds of insulators. One of the main benefits of foam plastic is its composition, as the amount of polymer in it is limited to no more than 2 percent. The remainder of the material is made up of regular air. It is totally immobilized since the cells are hermetically sealed. The fixed air layer that is left over has superior thermal insulation qualities.

For instance, expanded polystyrene has a thermal conductivity that is 17 times higher than that of regular bricks and 3 times higher than that of wood. This means that relatively thin boards must be mounted in order to insulate the room from the cold and outside noise. For instance, a 21-centimeter wall will have a high degree of insulation from a sheet of foam plastic that is 12 cm thick.

Foamlex has even higher sound and thermal insulation ratings than expanded foam plastic.

When it comes to sound and thermal insulation, Penoplex exhibits even better indicators than expanded foam plastic. The material’s dense, homogeneous structure is mostly to blame for this. For instance, a 20 cm polystyrene slab that is extruded during the production process offers the same degree of protection for the room from outside stimuli as a 25 cm thick sheet of foam plastic. Naturally, depending on the manufacturer of the goods, the difference may vary both significantly and slightly.

By selecting foam to insulate buildings and premises, you are investing in a high-quality material that is resistant to moisture’s damaging effects. As only 3% of the mass of polystyrene is absorbed by liquid, the material is nearly impermeable. However, moisture has no effect whatsoever on the material’s ability to perform. Extruded polystyrene, however, has even better indicators in this area. A substance’s weight cannot be increased by more than 0.4% in terms of moisture absorption.

Utilizing this composition to insulate building and structure facades allows for the possibility of saving money on vapor barrier since extruded polymer is well-suited to fulfill these roles. However, due to its somewhat lower level of moisture resistance, conventional foam plastic is unable to achieve this. As a result, saving money on the vapor barrier purchase won’t be feasible.

Another indicator of great importance for buyers is durability. But here, too, Styrofoam beats its competitor. This is due to the high density of the structure of the material. Cells of foam plastic are not so tightly bound to each other, so they can begin to crumble even with a slight impact. If we talk directly about the numbers, to compress polystyrene foam will need to apply a force with a pressure of at least 0.5 MPa, whereas foam plastic requires a pressure of only 0 MPa.2 MPa. However, even this strength is more than enough if the material is used solely as a wall insulator to improve the quality of sound and thermal insulation.

Selection of material by area of use

Quite often modern builders ask themselves the question of what is better – penoplex or Styrofoam for insulation. To solve this problem, it is necessary to determine on which part of the building the material will be installed. For example, for the facade, it is best to prefer foam plastic, as it is cheaper and able to transmit air. This choice will reduce the cost of vapor barrier, because the wall will not lose its ability to breathe. For internal insulation of the house is best not to use such materials, although they are environmentally friendly, but can be impregnated with special solutions. The latter in the process of operation emit toxic substances.

If you’re debating whether foam or foam is a better option for insulating your home, the latter is preferable for balconies or loggias. It reduces the internal space slightly but has a lower thermal conductivity. However, both solutions work well if you need to insulate a flat roof. You can use any type of material to insulate the ceiling. But if you don’t intend to go for a walk in the attic afterward, then this choice makes sense. Penoplex is the better option in any other case. Although the rough surface works better on the lags, both materials are appropriate for floor insulation.

Foam plastic aka polystyrene foam as an insulator

You don’t need to set up any extra ventilation if the facade is insulated with foam plastic or extruded polystyrene. These materials have a fairly dense structure, which makes ventilation difficult. They also have vapor permeability, which is comparable to stone’s vapor permeability without risk. This indicates that extruded polystyrene and foam plastic do not require ventilation because they do not interfere with the building’s natural ventilation system.

This may sound contradictory—how can a substance that doesn’t blow be able to breathe? And that is the point: the material breathes because of vapor permeability, not air permeability. Building physics research has demonstrated that walls should be constructed so that the wall’s resistance to vapor permeability increases from the outer to the inner layers. It is different with heat transfer resistance, which should decrease from the outer to the inner layers.

Use of foam plastic

Styrofoam for insulating walls

Foam plastic is used almost everywhere as an insulator. It is regarded as one of the most widely used materials for thermal insulation, used in both individual and large-scale construction.

The only external insulation used in houses is foam insulation. But because the material is so brittle—this also holds true for its high-density varieties—the boards must be externally insulated.

  • has low weight;
  • No mold or fungus forms on its surface;
  • indifferent to the effects of moisture, does not absorb it;
  • is easy to cut;
  • time-limited service life;
  • has good thermal insulation properties;
  • this material is easy to install;
  • has an affordable cost;
  • has excellent sound insulation properties;
  • withstands heat, frost and temperature fluctuations.
  • mice breed in Styrofoam;
  • Whatever the manufacturer wrote on the package, it melts and burns;
  • emits hazardous substances;
  • it attracts moisture.

The use of extruded polystyrene foam

The applications for extruded polystyrene foam as an insulator are quite broad. When installing foundations, it serves as thermal insulation quite well.

In the construction industry, extruded polystyrene foam is already the most widely used material.

  • low thermal conductivity;
  • watertightness;
  • polystyrene foam lasts more than 100 years;
  • resistant to deformations;
  • withstands all temperature fluctuations;
  • resistant to inorganic solvents;
  • good, durable, unpretentious;
  • lightweight.
  • has high fire hazard indicators;
  • creates a thermos effect;
  • mold and moss may form in corners and at joints;
  • in addition to fixing on glue, it is necessary to fix each panel with mushrooms.
Characteristic Styrofoam
Density Lightweight, lower density
Insulation Good insulation properties, but can absorb moisture over time
Cost Usually cheaper than extruded polystyrene
Installation Easy to cut and shape, suitable for DIY projects
Durability Less durable, can degrade over time with exposure to sunlight
Environment Less environmentally friendly, may emit harmful gases during production
Usage Commonly used in interior insulation and packaging
Characteristic Extruded Polystyrene
Density Higher density, more rigid
Insulation Excellent insulation, resistant to moisture
Cost Usually more expensive due to manufacturing process
Installation Requires more effort to cut and shape, often done by professionals
Durability Highly durable, resistant to weathering and degradation
Environment More environmentally friendly, emits fewer harmful gases
Usage Preferred for exterior insulation and areas prone to moisture

Many homeowners must decide between Styrofoam and extruded polystyrene (XPS) for insulation. Both materials have advantages and disadvantages, but it’s important to know what makes them different.

Expanded polystyrene (EPS), commonly referred to as Styrofoam, is an affordable and lightweight insulating material. It is frequently used to insulate foundations, roofs, and walls. Well-known for its superior thermal performance, EPS insulation effectively insulates against heat gain or loss. It’s crucial to remember that Styrofoam absorbs moisture easily, which over time may lessen the material’s insulating power.

Conversely, when it comes to moisture resistance and compressive strength, extruded polystyrene (XPS) outperforms Styrofoam. A distinct method is used to create XPS insulation, which produces a denser and more rigid end product. Because of this, XPS is appropriate for uses like below-grade insulation and locations that are vulnerable to moisture intrusion, where longevity and moisture resistance are crucial considerations.

It’s important to compare extruded polystyrene and Styrofoam taking into account aspects like cost, moisture resistance, and thermal performance. Although Styrofoam may seem more cost-effective at first, homeowners should consider the long-term effects of possible moisture damage. On the other hand, XPS insulation is frequently more expensive even though it might provide better moisture and durability.

In conclusion, the homeowner’s particular needs and priorities will determine which option—Styrofoam or extruded polystyrene—to choose. Styrofoam might be an appropriate choice for projects where the main consideration is cost and there is little to no exposure to moisture. However, extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation might offer a more dependable option in settings where moisture infiltration poses a serious risk or where long-term durability is crucial. Ultimately, homeowners can make an informed choice by speaking with an expert and taking into account the particular needs of the project.

When it comes to insulating your home, choosing between Styrofoam and extruded polystyrene can make a big difference. Both materials have their own characteristics and benefits, but understanding the differences is key to making the right choice for your needs. Styrofoam, also known as expanded polystyrene, is lightweight and easy to install. It"s great for adding insulation to walls and ceilings, but it can be less durable than extruded polystyrene. On the other hand, extruded polystyrene offers better moisture resistance and higher strength, making it ideal for areas prone to dampness or heavy loads. While Styrofoam may be more budget-friendly initially, extruded polystyrene tends to offer better long-term performance and energy savings. Ultimately, the choice depends on your specific requirements and budget, but understanding these characteristics can help you make an informed decision for a more comfortable and energy-efficient home.

Video on the topic

Comparison of extruded polystyrene foam

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Sergey Ivanov

I like to help people create comfort and comfort in their homes. I share my experience and knowledge in articles so that you can make the right choice of a heating and insulation system for your home.

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