When it comes to insulation, you have more options than you think.

In a previous blog, your insulation contractors at 360 Thermal did a side by side comparison of the three main types of insulation: spray foam, cellulose and fiberglass. Spray foam is a superior option for many reasons; it has a significantly higher R-value than cellulose or fiberglass, it’s mold resistant and it has better soundproofing abilities. But once you choose spray foam insulation, your job isn’t quite complete, because there are two types of spray foam insulation: open-cell and closed-cell.

Here at 360 Thermal, our goal is to provide you with the best insulation solution for your needs, and that means helping you find the right spray foam insulation. That’s why, we’ve set out to help you understand the what each type of insulation is, which one is best for different circumstances and the benefits of each. In Part 1 of this blog series, we’ll be focusing on open-cell spray foam insulation. To learn about closed-cell spray foam insulation, stay tuned for Part 2.

What is open-cell spray foam?

Of the two types of spray foam insulation, open-cell is the less common option. Water is the blowing agent that is used to install open-cell foam, which then becomes carbon dioxide after it has reacted with the air. The carbon dioxide quickly expands, and the bubbles it forms tend to burst before the plastic has set, which is why it’s called “open-cell.”

The Pros and Cons of Open-Cell Spray Foam


  • Open-cell is cheaper per inch than closed-cell.
  • Open-cell requires less material than closed-cell.
  • Open-cell is permeable to¬†moisture, which allows it to act as a moisture buffer, ensuring a more consistent moisture level in your home or building.
  • Open-cell is a more environmentally friendly option.
  • Open-cell provides superior sound absorption when compared to closed-cell.
  • Open-cell is resistant to mold.


  • Open-cell has a lower R-Value than closed-cell.
  • Closed-cell is more resistant to heat than open-cell.
  • Open-cell provides less structural support to walls.


When should you use open-cell foam over closed-cell?

Open-cell and closed-cell foams can both be an excellent choice, but the option you choose will largely depend on the project at hand. In some cases, closed-cell will be a better option, while others will require open-cell. So, when is open-cell foam the best option for you? Open-cell spray foam insulation is ideal for many different applications, including:

  • Attics – Vented or Unvented
  • Interior Walls
  • Sound Walls
  • Cold Floors
  • Cathedral or Vaulted Ceilings


For all of your spray foam insulation needs in Houston, turn to 360 Thermal.

Finding the right insulation option is your first step towards a more comfortable, efficient home, and we hope that this blog series will help you find the best option for your needs. However, if you are still unsure about which kind of spray foam is the right option for you, don’t hesitate to contact us. As your premier source for spray foam insulation in Houston, we’ve got what it takes to provide you with the information you need to make the right decisions about your home or commercial building. Contact us today!