types of roofing materials

12 Types of Roofing Materials and Their Costs

When it comes to roofing, one size certainly does not fit all. A wide array of roofing materials is available, each with unique characteristics, costs, and advantages. Whether building a new home, replacing an existing roof, or simply exploring your options, understanding the different roofing materials and their prices is essential. This comprehensive guide will walk you through 12 types of roofing materials, shedding light on their features and what you can expect to pay.


Types of Roofing Materials:


1. Asphalt Shingles


Cost: $70 – $150 per square (100 sq. ft.)

Thanks to their affordability and ease of installation, asphalt shingles are the most common types of roofs material in the United States. They come in various styles and colors and are relatively durable, with a 20-30-year lifespan.

Details: Asphalt shingles comprise a fiberglass or organic mat coated with asphalt and granules. They are lightweight, making them suitable for many roof structures. The three primary roof types of asphalt shingles are 3-tab, architectural (dimensional), and luxury. 3-tab shingles are the most affordable but have a shorter lifespan. Architectural shingles are thicker and more durable, offering a textured appearance. Luxury shingles are high-end, mimicking the look of other materials like wood or slate.


2. Metal Roofing


Cost: $120 – $900 per square

Metal roofing is famous for its longevity and energy efficiency. It’s available in various materials like steel, aluminum, and copper, lasting 40-70 years. While it’s initially more expensive, the long-term savings on energy bills make it an attractive option.

Details: Metal roofs can be made from various metals, each with unique characteristics. Steel is the most common choice due to its affordability and durability. Aluminum is lightweight and corrosion-resistant, making it an excellent option for coastal areas. Copper is famous for its striking appearance and resistance to rust; however, it’s the most expensive option. Metal roofing is available in various styles, including standing seam, corrugated, and metal shingles.


3. Wood Shingles and Shakes


Cost: $300 – $600 per square

Wood shingles and shakes provide a charming, natural look. They are durable but require regular maintenance to prevent rot and insect infestations. Expect a lifespan of 20-40 years.

Details: Wood shingles are machine-cut, resulting in a smoother and more uniform appearance. Wood shakes are hand-split, giving them a more rustic and textured look. Both options are typically made from cedar, redwood, or pine. Proper maintenance, including regular staining and sealing, is crucial to extend their lifespan.


4. Slate Roofing


Cost: $600 – $1,800 per square

Slate is a premium roofing material famous for its elegance and longevity. It can last over a century, making it a worthwhile investment for historic or upscale homes.

Details: Slate is a natural stone product in various colors, including gray, green, purple, and red. It’s incredibly durable and resistant to fire, mold, and mildew. However, slate roofing is heavy and must be reinforced to support its weight. Installation by roof repair specialist is essential to ensure its longevity.


5. Clay Tiles


Cost: $600 – $800 per square

Clay tiles are associated with Mediterranean and Spanish-style architecture. They are durable, fire-resistant, and can last 50-100 years.

Details: Clay tiles are made from natural clay and are available in various shapes and colors. They provide excellent insulation and are energy-efficient. Clay tiles are famous for their distinctive appearance, with options like barrel tiles, mission tiles, and interlocking tiles. They are relatively low-maintenance but may require occasional cleaning to prevent moss and algae growth.


6. Concrete Tiles


Cost: $400 – $600 per square

Concrete tiles mimic the appearance of clay tiles but are more affordable. They are durable and low-maintenance, with a similar lifespan of 50-100 years.

Details: Concrete tiles are made from cement, sand, and pigment. They are available in various styles, including flat, low-profile, and high-profile. Concrete tiles are less prone to breakage during installation than clay tiles due to their lower weight. They are also resistant to fire and extreme weather conditions.


7. Composite Shingles


Cost: $100 – $400 per square

Composite shingles are a budget-friendly alternative to wood or slate. They offer good durability and a variety of styles.

Details: Composite shingles, or synthetic or composite slate or shake, are typically made from a blend of materials like plastic, rubber, and asphalt. They mimic the appearance of natural roof materials but are more affordable and easier to install. Composite shingles are lightweight and come in various styles and colors, making them a versatile option for homeowners on a budget.


8. Rubber Roofing


Cost: $300 – $600 per square

Rubber roofing, or EPDM, is cost-effective for flat or low-slope roofs. It’s durable and resistant to weather and UV rays, with a 30-50-year lifespan.

Details: EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) rubber roofing is a single-ply membrane highly resistant to tears, punctures, and ultraviolet radiation. It’s an excellent choice for flat roofing on commercial buildings and residential structures. EPDM is typically black, but you can coat it with a white reflective material to improve energy efficiency. Proper installation and regular inspections are essential to maximize its lifespan.


9. TPO Roofing


Cost: $300 – $700 per square

Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO) roofing is another choice for flat roofs. It’s energy-efficient, reflects heat, and has a lifespan of 20-30 years.

Details: TPO roofing is a single-ply membrane made from rubber and plastic. It’s famous for its energy-efficient properties, reflecting heat and UV rays, helping keep buildings more relaxed and reducing energy costs. TPO roofing is available in various thicknesses and colors. It’s a popular choice for commercial and industrial buildings.


10. Green Roofing


Cost: $10 – $25 per square foot

Green roofing involves growing vegetation on the roof’s surface. It offers natural insulation and improves air quality but requires significant structural support.

Details: Green roofs, also known as living roofs, consist of multiple layers, including a waterproof membrane, a drainage system, a growing medium, and vegetation. They provide numerous environmental benefits, such as reducing stormwater runoff, improving air quality, and enhancing insulation. However, they are complex to install and require ongoing maintenance to ensure the health of the plants.


11. Built-Up Roofing (BUR)


Cost: $350 – $600 per square

BUR consists of layers of tar and gravel, providing durability and waterproofing. It’s commonly used on flat or low-slope roofs, with 20-30 years of lifespan.

Details: Built-up roofing, known as tar and gravel, consists of alternating layers of asphalt or tar and roofing felt. A top layer of gravel or mineral granules is added for UV protection and durability. BUR is famous for its waterproofing properties and ability to withstand foot traffic. It’s often used on commercial buildings and can be cost-effective for flat roofs.


12. Solar Tiles


Cost: $20 – $50 per square foot

Solar tiles integrate solar panels into the roofing material. While expensive upfront, they can generate electricity and save on energy bills over time.

Details: Solar tiles blend seamlessly with traditional roofing materials, providing a clean and integrated look. They are made of photovoltaic cells that capture sunlight and convert it into electricity. Solar tiles are an environmentally friendly option that can help offset energy costs. However, the initial investment is higher than traditional roofing materials, and the energy savings may take several years to recoup.


Factors Influencing Roofing Costs

Several factors can influence the installation and roofing materials cost:

  • Roof Type: Flat roofs often require specialized materials, impacting the overall cost.
  • Location: Prices can vary depending on your geographic location and climate.
  • Labor Costs: Installation costs can differ based on the project’s complexity and local labor rates.
  • Additional Features: Roofing accessories like flashing, vents, and underlayment will add to the total cost.
  • Warranty: High-quality materials often come with more extended warranties, which may affect pricing.

Before choosing a roofing material, consider these factors and obtain quotes from reputable contractors.


Making an Informed Decision

Selecting the best types of roofing material for your home involves weighing factors like cost, durability, aesthetics, and maintenance requirements. Choosing a material that fits your budget and suits your climate and architectural style is essential.

For instance, asphalt shingles might be your best bet if you need a cost-effective roofing solution. On the other hand, if longevity and energy efficiency are your top priorities, metal roofing could be the way to go.


RSH Commercial Roofing Experts offers various roofing supplies and services, from metal roofing materials to roof repair specialists. Our experts can help you decide based on your needs and budget.

Investing in suitable roofing material now can save you money and headaches. Whether you’re looking for the timeless beauty of slate, the durability of metal, or the affordability of asphalt, there’s a roofing material that’s perfect for your home. Make the right choice; your roof will protect your home and enhance its curb appeal for years.

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