For decades, insulation has been primarily installed inside walls between framing members. That is, until smart people (scientists) pointed out that it is far better to wear your coat on the outside of your body than it would be to try and put it on the inside. Buildings are the same way. When insulation is split up between framing members, the framing members themselves (especially metal framing) can provide substantial pathways for energy to flow into, and out of the structure. This process is called thermal bridging. When we install a continuous layer of insulation on the inside or outside of the framing, it prevents thermal bridging. 

While codes are trying to move most insulation to the outside of a building, CI is rapidly growing in use on the insides of buildings as well. From tilt-up concrete warehouses to block and metal wall buildings to basements, continuous insulation is a great solution that is rapidly gaining in popularity and performance. 


The biggest reasons are because people want it and it works. More architects are designing with it and, as more designers realize the benefits, they are seeking out the trades that install it in their area. So who installs it? On new construction, installers can be insulators, masons, drywallers, framers, or anyone willing to set up scaffolding and install the product. When it comes to retrofit, it’s normally insulators, general contractors or building envelope specialists. CI can raise the level of comfort in a basement or old warehouse and create a finished space at the same time. If you’re looking to get into products that are growing their share of the market, you owe it to yourself to consider getting into continuous insulation. 


Because continuous insulation is growing in popularity and ease of use, it’s a great place to start when getting into insulation. IDI will help guide you through the best products and methods as a beginner to continuous insulation.

Interior Continuous Insulation

  • Interior CI is made with facers that comply with the need for a 15-minute thermal barrier and can be left exposed as a fire-rated interior finish
  • These facers are often white to create a bright finished look and are installed with tapes or other joint sealing systems to match. The white facer is a great way to brighten the space and is strong enough to be cleaned.

Exterior CI

  • Being the largest category of CI, exterior continuous insulation can be made of Mineral Wool, Polyiso, XPS, EPS, and some other specialized materials. 
  • While the use of exterior CI has been growing for several years in commercial construction, it is now being used in residential construction across the country. As cities and states adopt the new codes, we see houses popping up everywhere with insulation on the outside of them.

Nailbase and Structural CI

  • Nailbase and structural CI are products that eliminate the extra step of installing plywood or OSB on the exterior of a building. These products have foam boards already laminated to some form of structural sheathing and can be installed directly to the framing members. This saves time and places the insulation layer to the inside of the sheathing. 
  • Another benefit to structural products is that they give a solid surface to attach cladding to, eliminating any need for additional furring strips or attachment systems. 


Whatever the project, no matter how complex, IDI’s team is ready to help you make every project a success. We work with the best manufacturers, tool suppliers, and fastener companies in order to get you the right training that makes installing continuous insulation a profitable venture for your company. Check out our continuous insulation videos and for more information, reach out to your local branch or here at our MN headquarters today. 

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