GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

Sourcing EPS Foam

vetitude | Posted in General Questions on

Just curious where folks tend to source EPS foam board. I set out to find some in the mid-coast Maine area and came up empty handed. Called three regional building supply organizations, checked local box store (Lowe’s) as well as White Cap. “Everyone uses blue board under slabs,” is what I am told. In fact, I am copying a monolithic pour concept for a garage from a 2016 Fine Home Building article and blue board was used. I was just hoping to use EPS instead if possible.

Any insight appreciated.


GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


  1. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #1

    XPS is a little better than EPS underground. If it's easier to find XPS in your area, I'd just use that. I'm not sure you'd actually save any money with EPS if EPS was a special order product.

    Have you tried any reclaimers? You might be able to find some on Craigslist in your area. Subslab is a good place for reclaimed insulation where it doesn't matter if it doesn't look new.


  2. Expert Member
    Michael Maines | | #2

    I design projects in Maine and tell my contractors to get new EPS from Branch River Plastics in Rhode Island. The delivered cost is usually the same or less than buying XPS locally; you just need to plan for a bit of lead time. EPS in 15 psi or higher densities works just fine underground. The difference in climate impact is significant and worth the slight bit of extra effort required to get it.

    1. charlie_sullivan | | #3

      As of Jan 2022, Maine has regulations banning high GWP XPS. The alternatives (e.g. Owens Corning NGX) aren't quite as low GWP as EPS, but it's no longer nearly as big a difference. Still best to use EPS, and worth it for a big job, but if you only need a modest amount, I think it's fine to buy NGX or the new gray Styrofoam. (And I went for years refusing to buy even one board of XPS.)

      And thanks to being surrounded by states with the regulations in place, I've been pleased to find that it's stocked in at least some stores here in NH too.

      1. Expert Member
        Michael Maines | | #15

        It's true that the low-GWP blowing agents in NGX reduce the overall climate impact of XPS. But it's still the highest-GWP rigid foam you can buy. The 100-year GWPs (global warming potentials), using a 75-year service life, of the common types of rigid foam are approximately:

        EPS: 2.79 kgCO2eq
        Polyiso: 4.29 kgCO2eq
        NGX: 9.77 kgCO2eq
        XPS: 58.1 kgCO2eq

        Those values are normalized to whatever thickness provides R-1 per inch (metric). NGX is about 3.5 times worse for climate change than EPS. But at least it's not 20 times worse, like conventional XPS!


        1. DavidDrake | | #16

          Hi Michael,
          Have you seen Soprema's Sopra XPS 30? EPD lists 2.06 kgCO2eq. According to Soprema's literature, it uses an HFO blowing agent with GWP less than 1.

          I used it to insulate the slab on a project I started summer 2021. WA State's ban on high GWP XPS went into effect that year.

  3. vetitude | | #4

    Thanks Michael.
    It is the lead time planning that I may have botched. I was hoping I could drive to the product, but RI is a bit out of the way. Still, I will reach out to see what my options are.

  4. vetitude | | #5

    Thanks for the info. I may have to take solace in using lower GWP XPS due to Maine's regulations for this 34 sheet garage project. I will plan better for the next phase of my remodel and energy retrofit.

  5. sterilecuckoo58 | | #6

    I found a "local" expander in E. Bridgewater, MA who was at that time willing to work with me. I had some reminisence of the bakery at Cropsey and Bay 17th with the "various white "breads" sliced to order".

    I think the key is to find a local "expander". You may need to search for an "expander" by thinking about packaging fabrication rather than insulation.

    Its a lot cheaper(and I'll wager a much smaller C'print) to haul PS beads by rail to Maine than to cart a whole lot of South Coast air from RI or MA.

    I was able pick up my foam in 2 loads of about 800 cubic feet each.
    2 lbs/cf 25 psi foam bundles gets heavy quick.
    Base cost was less than reclaimed foam.

    You may be able to get Silverboard and similar from Amvic (Canadian manufacturer) through a local supply / distributor. I tried, but failed.

    One advantage of XPS is that you can use it as your WRB - another may be that it is less appealing to rodents.

    1. Tim_O | | #8

      There did used to be a supplier alliance website to find local EPS manufacturers (for all things, not just insulation). Looks like it currently has a malware takeover, so don't go there at the moment...

  6. user-7124595 | | #7

    Try Branch River Plastics in Rhode Island. They will have Type IX

  7. maine_tyler | | #9

    I've ordered Type IX EPS from Kamco Supply in Portland, but they may stock other EPS

  8. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #10

    See if these folks in Hiram, ME might also deal in factory seconds EPS:

    Under basement or residential garage slabs Type VIII (1.5lbs nominal density) goods commonly used in roofing applications is just fine. (If you regularly operate an M777 parked on that slab it'll probably break. On the other hand Type-II goods won't do much better. :-) )

    For small quantities, small lots of used roofing EPS/XPS will almost certainly show up from time to time on Craigslist, if you have the time to wait. eg:

    Searching on the terms "rigid" + "insulation" usually works best, catching almost all relevant listings without copious non-useful stuff. See:

    Слава Україні!

  9. vetitude | | #11

    Thanks to everyone for all of your suggestions. I live in Vermont and the project is in Maine and I spend a fair amount of time surfing Craigslist for materials in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine since I travel through all of them regularly . The folks at Branch River Plastics were great, and I may be able to get product from them, if not for this garage project, then for the roof insulation project which will require much more foam board. I will call Kamco tomorrow. Worst case scenario, I will use some of the new reduced GWP Gray Styrofoam product that my local building supplier has in stock for this spur of the moment garage project, and I will celebrate my new found connections for EPS foam board in the region for the rest of my remodel.
    Oh, and I have no plans to store military equipment in the garage, but a 5000 lb tractor with implements could spend some time inside. So, I will likely play it safe with the type IX product.

    1. Expert Member
      Dana Dorsett | | #14

      >"I have no plans to store military equipment in the garage, but a 5000 lb tractor with implements could spend some time inside. So, I will likely play it safe with the type IX product."

      A 5000lb tractor isn't going to break a 4" reinforced slab, even if it had only Type-I goods under it. Type VIII or Type II is more than enough. Just parking an M777 on the slab with Type VIII foam under it wouldn't break it, but all bets are off if it's going to be used while on the slab, even with Type IX foam under it. VERY few slab applications really need Type IX foam. I don't believe it has to be that dense even under airport runways & taxiways (where there will be way more than 5000lbs per TIRE on a commercial airliner). Take your time to browse through GeoFoam's brochure:

      In residential applications there can sometimes be a need for Type-IX goods under foundation footings carrying the whole load of the entire house, but not under a garage or basement slabs.

  10. PAUL KUENN | | #12

    I use 90% recycled content EPS from Benchmark Foam inc in South Dakota. Excellent quality and rated 15 psi.

  11. steve41 | | #13


    I may be a little late to respond but Performance Building Supply in Portland, ME can supply EPS, as well as GPS. Also, if your still looking into options you may want to look into Glavel. They're in VT so it may work out for you.

    Good luck with your project.

  12. richmass62 | | #17

    Bridgewater MA EPS foam web site:

  13. Expert Member
    DCcontrarian | | #18

    I was able recently to get 1" faced EPS at a Home Depot in Massachusetts:

    My experience is usually if a product is in Home Depot's computer they can special order it for you.

Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |