How to Cut Rigid Foam Insulation Panels

Written by bob white
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How to Cut Rigid Foam Insulation Panels
Cutting rigid foam insulation is important in the installation process. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Rigid foam insulation panels are used to insulate foundations, slab floors and wall systems. They typically have a higher R-value per inch than fibreglass batts or loose fill insulation. R-value is a measure of an object's resistance to the transfer of energy. The higher the R-value, the better the insulator. When installing the foam panels, you need to cut them to size and also around outlets and plumbing. Doing this correctly is important to make the insulation as continuous as possible.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Straight edge
  • Utility knife

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  1. 1

    Lay the rigid foam insulation on a flat surface. Measure the size you need the insulation to be with the measuring tape.

  2. 2

    Lay the straight edge along the line you want to cut. Double-check your measurement to avoid wasting product.

  3. 3

    Press gently down on the straight edge and run the blade of the utility knife along its leading edge and into the foam.

  4. 4

    Make several passes through the foam board until you are at least 50 per cent of the way through its width.

  5. 5

    Lift the foam board off the ground and position the cut side away from your body. Apply your body against the opposite side of the cut and pull back with your hands on either side of the board. This will snap the board along the line.

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