Foam Board Vs Reflective Garage Door Insulation

If you want to insulate your garage door and are confused between the foam board and the reflective garage door insulation material then you are in the right place. 

Both materials are popular and have their own area of interest. Let’s have a look at what are the differences between them and what features are identical in both materials. 

This article is going to straight forward and help you to decide which material is best for insulating your garage door between Reflective Garage door insulation and Foam Board. 

So without further ado…

Let’s begin the comparison…

Foam Board Vs. Reflective Garage Door Insulation: [Comparison Table]

If you don’t have much time to go through the whole article, this brief comparison table will give complete detail about the foam board and the reflective garage door insulation in a nutshell.

Reflective Garage Door InsulationFoam Board Insulation
1. The main ingredient of reflective garage door insulation is polyethylene bubbles, plastic film, or foil-based craft paper. 1. Unlike reflective insulation Foam board insulation has a rigid foam that is made of any one of them which are polyisocyanurate,  polystyrene, Phenolic, or polyurethane.
2. Reflective garage door insulation comes in one or two layers of reflective foil baked on plastic or paper. It is available in rolls of different sizes. 2. Foam board insulation comes in a variety of lengths, thicknesses, and faces. You can cut it down to fit it on your garage door. 
3. Reflective garage door insulation is best to prevent radiant heat. This is the best choice if you live in an area where the weather remains hot for most of the months. 3. . Foam board insulation is best for insulating your garage’s unfinished wall, ceiling, floor, door, etc.
4. Reflective garage door insulation is better than foam board insulation that is made of synthetic polyurethane. 4. If you are willing to install a synthetic polyurethane-based foam board on your garage door then it is not as effective as reflective garage door insulation.
5. The installation of reflective garage door insulation is much easier than foam board insulation. You just need a staple gun to do so. 5. The installation of foam board insulation is difficult as compared to reflective garage door insulation and requires expertise.
6. Reflective garage door insulation is waterproof and prevents mold buildup on its surface. 6. Foam board insulation comes with a coating of white foil over it that prevent mold buildup and also prevent water vapor penetration. 

Reflective Garage Door Insulation Vs Foam Board [Differences & Similarities]

Let’s have a look at what are some differences and similarities between foam board insulation and reflective garage door insulation:


Foam Board Insulation comes in mainly three types of materials which are Polystyrene, Polyisocyanurate, and Polyurethane. Some manufacturers also use Phenolic to manufacture foam board insulation. 

foam board insulation material
Foam Board Insulation

On the other hand, Reflective Garage Door Insulation is made of Polyethylene bubbles, Plastic Film, or Foil-based Craft Paper

Look And Feel

Foam board insulation comes in different lengths, thicknesses, and faces. Foam board is a rigid structure that helps to fill the gap of the garage door metal brackets which are different in size. 

reflective garage door insulation
Reflective Garage Door Insulation

On the other hand, Reflective garage door insulation comes in rolls of various sizes. Reflective foil is a thin layer that is baked on paper or plastic to provide a structure. 

Also Read: Garage Door Insulation Foam Vs Fiberglass [Differences & Similarities]


If we compare the price of Reflective garage door insulation with foam board insulation then foam board insulation will cost you more because of its size, material, and structure. 

For example, a single piece of foam board insulation of size of 1 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft will cost you $17 in home depot, and you will need 6 or more such pieces to cover the entire garage door but it varies as per the size of your garage door. 

On the other hand, a roll of reflective garage door insulation of size 48 in. x 25 ft will cost you around $51 in home depot, which is cheaper than the total cost of foam board insulation.  


R-value describes how heat resistant an insulation material is. But the heat resistivity depends on many other factors other than the number of R-values. The R-value of a foam board insulation depends on the type of material. 

In our case, the Foam board insulation that I previously used, for example, comes with an R-value of R-3.85. Here is a small table that gives you more detail about the R-value of different foam board materials.

Foam Board TypeR-Value
1. PolyurethaneR-3.5 (open cell spray) and R-6 (Closed cell spray) / inch thickness.
2. Polyisocyanurate( R-7.0 to R-8.0 ) per inch thickness.
3. Polystyrene Foam(R-3.5 to R-5.0) per inch thickness

Temperature Differences 

You will experience a huge temperature drop in summer and a comfortable temperature in winter inside your garage.  

Here, we are talking about the resultant temperature differences after installing the foam board insulation and a layer of reflective insulation over it. 

In my case, after installing the R-Tech R-3.85 Insulating Sheathing and a layer of double Reflective Insulation over it, I noticed a 20 to 22° temperature drop in my garage. That is insane. 

How Easy Or Difficult To Install

Foam Board Insulation comes in a rectangular shape with different lengths. You have to cut it into the required size, which takes time and effort. 

On the other hand, Reflective Garage Door insulation comes in rolls. Due to its thin and flexible form factor, it is much easier to install than foam board insulation. 

Also Read: Sealing Gap Between Garage Floor And Wall [Solved]

Suitable For Which Climate

Foam board insulation is best suited for insulating unfinished walls, garage doors, floor, and ceiling, and is the best suit for all weather. 

On the other hand, Reflective garage door insulation is the best choice for reducing downward heat flow.  It performs better against radiant heat and it could be a great choice for summer if your garage temperature goes high. 

Type Of Garage Door

Usually, people have three types of garage doors which are:

  1. Steel Garage Door
  2. Wood Garage Door
  3. Flate Garage Door

Steel garage doors are versatile and you can use any kind of insulation material to insulate them. You can also use a combination of rigid foam board insulation material and reflective insulation if the weather gets too cold in winter. 

You should use foam board insulation if your garage door is made of wood panels. If your garage door has a flat panel then reflective insulation gives you a better result. 


Insulating a garage is very important, especially if you have to spend hours in the garage for woodworking, tinkering, or other stuff. First, know what type of garage door is. 

If your garage door has steel panels then you can use any of the insulation material between foam board and reflective foil. Wood penal-based garage doors should be insulated using foam board insulation material. Flat panel garage doors should be insulated using reflective insulation. 


Q.1: Can You Use Foam Board To Insulate The Garage Door?

Ans: Yes, you can use foam board insulation to insulate your garage. Foam board insulations come with a high R-value, are water resistant, and prevent heat conduction from your garage door that is made of steel, wood, etc. 

Q.2 Does Reflective Insulation Work On Garage?

Ans: Yes, definitely reflective garage door insulation works best against radiant heat and prevents your garage to become toasty in summer and keep warm in winter. It regulates the temperature of your garage and also reduces the intensity of external noise inside your garage. 


About The Author


Adam is here, I'm an Editor and writer on guidingpapa. I love to share home improvement tips and new ideas in this blog. I have been doing this from couple of years and I'm very passionate about it.

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