Learn how much it costs to Install a Rubber Roof. (2022)

Updated July 26, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

On average, rubber roofing costs between $6,400 and $12,400 for 1,500 square feet with a range of $6,000 to $18,000. Costs may vary due to the complexity of the installation, type and thickness of insulation, roof pitch, location, accessibility, and old roof removal.

The roofing membrane type and thickness will be two significant cost factors that impact how much you’ll spend on the project. It is less expensive to install an EPDM membrane, as labor costs between $3.25 and $8 per square foot, while TPO and PVC membranes are more expensive. Let’s walk through the cost to install or replace a rubber roof, including the range of options to thoroughly cover your home’s roof or addition.

2022 Notice: Material Prices are Surging

Demand for roofing has grown over the past year. And, as a result, manufacturers are increasing the price of materials. Prices have gone up 5% to 10% in the past year, and many parts of the country are experiencing long delivery times. If you're planning a roofing project, we recommend starting as early as possible, preparing for potential price fluctuations, and allowing extra time to order materials.

What Does “Rubber” Roofing Mean?

"Rubber" roofing refers to single-ply roofing membrane types that include EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer), TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin), and PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride). Although rubber roofing costs slightly more than asphalt shingles, it’s a popular choice for many homeowners because of its durability, weather resistance, and projected lifespan. It is also an eco-friendly option because it’s often made from recycled materials and won’t pollute run-off rainwater. Rubber roofing is found on low slopes, usually in commercial settings; sometimes, it's used on residential additions like a flat-topped garage, patio, or sunroom.

Rubber Roofing Cost Factors

Various factors impact rubber roofing project pricing, from the membrane type and performance needs to the size and slope of your roof.

Membrane Type

Your cost will vary a bit depending on the type of membrane material you choose. EPDM is a thermoset, while TPO and PVC membranes are thermoplastics. EPDM, TPO, and PVC single-ply roofing membrane types have differing characteristics, but they each function similarly on your roof. Rubber roofing is generally sold by a "square" (or 100 square feet); square-foot pricing is common with rolls and sheets.

Labor

It is less expensive to install an EPDM membrane, as labor costs between $3.25 and $8 per square foot. TPO and PVC membranes are more expensive to install. Rubber roofing contractors tend to charge between $2.50 and $9 per square foot to install a TPO membrane and $4 and $11 per square foot for a PVC membrane.

Roof Size

The larger the roof, the more expensive the installation. A roof with higher square footage will require more roofing material. Also, the number of corners might impact your cost, as roof installers custom-cut shingles to fit spaces. Cut shingles cannot be reused, so some of these materials may be thrown away, and you’ll still have to pay the full price for the material.

Roof Height or Pitch

The pitch on a residential building is typically high. A higher pitch can increase a rubber roof replacement by 15% to 50% because of special equipment needed for installation. Larger home additions with flat or low slopes are better suited for sheet roofing. However, overall, residential applications only use a very small percent of flat roofing.

Roof Color

Roof color can help with energy savings, but this is dependent on your location. To keep costs at a minimum, use black EPDM covered with a white ballast material, which costs between $4 and $5 per square foot (plus labor). Black rubber tends to soak up the sun, getting very hot; therefore, many roll types are white or have a white coating.

Climate

Climate often determines the type of material used. A roof is subject to extreme temperature changes, wind, hail, and moisture. Some materials perform better in differing climates. Local roofing contractorsare the best place to get information about what works in your area.

Accessibility

Accessibility determines labor costs, so contractors may increase their hourly fees for hard-to-reach areas.

Roof Penetrations

Vents, skylights, A/C units, and architectural protrusions, such asdormer windows, add to an installation’s complexity. Dormers and slope changes require extra time to install and seal correctly.

Insulation

About 25% of your roofing costs will go to insulation. There are various types from which to choose—the climate where you live and recommended R-values will be the deciding factor in insulation materials. The most common is PolyISO (Polyisocyanurate), which costs about $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot. PolyISO can be easily cut to fit and maintains its R-value longer than other types; it comes in sheets of 1-inch to 3-inches thick.

Thickness

Your cost can depend on the thickness of the rubber roofing material you choose. The thicker the material, the stronger the installation system or attachment method needed to secure it.

Thickness is sometimes secondary to the type of material you choose, depending on your climate and application. Thickness is measured in mils (one mil equals one-thousandth of an inch) and ranges anywhere from 40 to 90 mils thickness.

Installation System

The cost of an installation system for your rubber roof will vary by the three attachment methods: ballasted, fastened, and fully adhered.

Ballasting

Ballasting costs between $1.50 and $2.50 per square foot, depending on the material’s thickness and not including labor. This installation method involves weighing down the roof membrane with rock, gravel, or pavers.

Fully Adhered

The fully adhered method, where sheets of material are glued, costs between $2.50 and $3.50. You'll need about a 5-gallon bucket per square (100 square feet) of roofing—though different types of glue provide different coverage areas. This is typically the most expensive form of attachment but creates the fewest holes.

Fastened

The fastened method runs about $2.00 to $3.00 per square foot and varies by equipment costs, time, and labor. This involves mechanically attaching the membrane to the roof with metal screws and plates under overlapping sections. A box of 100 screws and plates will cost about $40. Seams, protrusions, and edges will vary equipment costs considerably and add to time and labor.

Old Roof Removal

Old roof removal adds $1 to $2 per square foot. Codes vary from place to place, but if there is only one layer of old roofing, new installation doesn't require the removal of the old roof. Two or more layers require the removal of the old roof.

Ongoing Maintenance

While a rubber roof can last anywhere from 7 to 50 years, you'll need to schedule routine maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape and well-insulated. Common issues include patching tears and rips and scheduling an annual roof inspection and cleaning. Roof repair costs vary, but large objects and impacts like a tree branch or hail need repairs to stop further damage to underlying materials like insulation and wood.

Rubber Roof Costs by Membrane Type

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO)

TPO membrane material costs between $4.50 and $14 per square foot, including installation. Expect this membrane type to last between 7 to 20 years.

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM)

EPDM is the least expensive rubber roof to install, with materials and labor costing between $4.25 and $12 per square foot to install. An EPDM roof can last up to 15 years with proper installation.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

It costs between $5.25 and $12.50 per square foot to install a PVC membrane roof. These rubber roofs can last more than 20 years.

Other Thermoset Types

Other common types include Chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CSPE), Epichlorohydrin (ECH), Neoprene (CR), and Polyisobutylene (PIB). Vulcanized (or set) thermoset can only be bonded to other thermoset types.

Hire a Roofing Pro for Installation

Rubber Roof Alternatives

Rubber Shingles

Composite and rubber shingles are an ecologically friendly alternative to asphalt for residential purposes. Rubber shingles cost between $7.50 and $15 per square foot to install. Composite shingles are designed from synthetic materials to mimic the appearance of slate and wood but are about 50% to 60% less expensive. Composite shingles cost between $1 to $16 per square footor about $22,000 for a 2,400-square-foot house.

Built-Up Roof (BUR)

Built-up roof (BUR), which costs between $4 and $10 per square foot to install, includes various layers of insulation, glue, and waterproof materials applied separately. BUR is a time-tested roofing type but requires a more labor-intensive installation.

Modified Bitumen

Modified bitumen, also known as modified asphalt roll, costs between $4 and $8 per square foot to install. A modified asphalt roll with stabilizers and fiberglass or polyester fiber matting for reinforcement.

Sprayed Polyurethane Foam (SPF)

Sprayed Polyurethane Foam (SPF) or spray foam roofing costs between $2.00 and $4.00 per square foot. This liquid is sprayed directly over an existing roof and coated after the foam hardens. There’s no need for roof removal. A membrane can also be applied to it as well using the SPF as insulation and sealant.

Compare Quotes From Roofing Pros

DIY vs. Hire a Roofer

Although you could potentially save thousands on labor fees, hiring a roofing contractor ensures an efficient, well-installed rubber roof. The quality of a roof is a combination of the materials used and the installation. In addition, getting a professional to inspect your home's current condition will help you decide on the best materials needed to meet your quality standards and budget needs. Plus, working in high locations with high-temperature equipment like a propane roofing blowtorch requires special training and safety gear.

FAQs

How much does a roll of rubber roof cost?

A roll of flat rubber roofing costs between $4.50 and $10 per square foot. Typically, ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) roll roofing is among the least expensive to install and repair.

How long does a rubber roof last?

Rubber roofing can last between 25 and 50 years when installed by an experienced professional. The roof’s rubber is durable and can withstand extreme weather conditions, ranging from wind and rain to hail and snow.

Which is the best membrane for flat roofs?

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) roofing membrane is a popular membrane for flat roofs. This material is durable, sturdy, waterproof, and weather resistant. PVC membrane can last up to 30 years when installed properly.

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