How Much Does It Cost to Install a Rubber Roof?

Average range: $11,000 - $14,000
Low
$6,750
Average Cost
$12,500
High
$19,500
(installation of an EPDM 1,500 sq.ft. reinforced rubber roof)

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How Much Does It Cost to Install a Rubber Roof?

Average range: $11,000 - $14,000
Low
$6,750
Average Cost
$12,500
High
$19,500
(installation of an EPDM 1,500 sq.ft. reinforced rubber roof)

Get free estimates from local contractors near you
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Reviewed by Paula Reguero. Written by Fixr.com.

Rubber roofs are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners because of their many advantages. For one, the cost of installing this type of roof is lower than installing asphalt or slate roofs. They are more durable and lower maintenance at the same time. Considering the high cost of installing and repairing a roof, investing in a low-maintenance, highly durable roof like a rubber one is often the right choice for many homeowners.

The national average cost for installing a rubber roof is between $11,000 and $14,000, with most people paying around $12,500 for an EPDM 1,500 sq.ft. reinforced rubber roof. At the low end of the spectrum, however, you can opt for an EPDM roof installation for $6,750 without any coatings or repairs. At the high end, you can pay up to $19,500 to have a colored, reinforced PVC rubber roofing installed along with an additional coating, a sealant, and having it foam sprayed for additional insulation.

Rubber Roof Cost

Rubber Roofing Installation Cost
National average cost$12,500
Average range$11,000 - $14,000
Minimum cost$6,750
Maximum cost$19,500


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Rubber Roof Cost by Project Range

Low
$6,750
EPDM roof without any coatings or repairs
Average Cost
$12,500
Installation of an EPDM 1,500 sq.ft. reinforced rubber roof
High
$19,500
Colored, reinforced PVC rubber roof additional coating, sealant, and foam sprayed insulation

What is a Rubber Roof?

Rubber roofs are still relatively unknown to many homeowners, but they are quickly gaining popularity across the U.S. This roof can be made of rubber, plastic polymers, or a combination of rubber and plastic polymers. The rubber used to make these roofs is made of recycled tires, slate dust, and sawdust, making them very eco-friendly and very durable.


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Rubber Roofing Cost per Square Foot

As mentioned above, rubber roofs can be made of EPDM, TPO, or PVC. The total cost depends on the exact type of material you will use and the shape of the roof, but the typical material cost is between $4.50 and $13 per square foot. The average roof size in the U.S. is around 1,700 square feet, which means homeowners pay around $8,500 to $21,250 to have a rubber roof installed.


Rubber Roofing Cost per Square Foot

Rubber Roofing Cost per Square Foot


Roof SizeCost (Materials and Labor)
1,300 sq.ft.$5,850-$16,900
1,500 sq.ft.$6,750-$19,500
1,700 sq.ft.$7,650-$22,100
2,000 sq.ft.$9,000-$26,000


Rubber Roofing Installation Cost by Type

Many homeowners have a common dilemma of whether to install a flat rubber roof or use shingles. Each of these types has its advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, flat roofs are less expensive, but aesthetically don’t look as good. This is because rubber shingles add texture and a visual impact, while a flat roof is made of a solid rubber roll and don’t have a shingle look to it.


Rubber Roofing Installation Cost by Type


Roof TypeCost per Sq.Ft. (Materials and Labor)
Shingles$4.50-$13
Flat Roof$5.50-$10


Rubber Roof Shingles Cost

Rubber shingles are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners. They are very energy-efficient, fire-resistant, and capable of withstanding high winds and harsh weather. However, they are not aesthetically pleasing and will probably require painting after 10 to 12 years. You can expect installing rubber shingles on your roof to cost $4.50 to $13 per square foot.

Rubber Flat Roofing Costs

The flat roofs are not actually flat but rather have a lower slope than other roofs. Depending on the size of your roof, the average rainfall in your area, and the style of the home, you can install four different flat roofs: single-ply membrane, modified bitumen, built-up roof (bur), or metal roof. Flat rubber roofing cost per roll typically ranges anywhere between $5.50 to $10 per square foot.

Rubber Roofing Membrane Cost

There are three types of materials used for rubber roofs: EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer), PVC (polyvinyl chloride), and TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin). The materials used to install roofs of these materials are typically called membranes. Membrane roofing is used to create a watertight covering that protects the interior from leaks and reinforces the roof construction at the same time.

Each of the materials used to install a rubber roof has pros and cons, making them adequate for different roofs and in various settings. Your roofing consultant can advise you on the cost of this type of roofing and what might work best for your particular needs. Knowing some information upfront will help you with the decision.


Rubber Roofing Membrane Cost


Membrane TypeCost per Sq.Ft. (Materials and Labor)
EPDM$4.50-$10.50
TPO$5.50-$13
PVC$6.50-$13


EPDM Roofing Costs

EPDM rubber roofs have been used for over 60 years and are among the most cost-efficient roofing materials. EPDM membranes don’t require a torch for the installation, making the installation simpler and cheaper than other materials. EPDM roof membranes are very durable. Roofs made of this material can last over 60 years while providing resistance to water, heat, and fire. However, they only come in a black color, which may not be aesthetically pleasing for many homeowners. Installing EPDM roofing costs between $4.50 and $10.50 per square foot.

Cost to Install TPO Roof

A TPO roof is the most energy-saving roof type that requires contractors to install fully adhered or attach it mechanically to the roof. Unlike EPDM, TPO roofs come in multiple colors, which gives homeowners the freedom to choose whichever color matches the facade of the house. The materials adhere to ASTM requirements, which guarantees that it’s capable of withstanding rough weather and hailstorms.

However, they are a relatively new technology. Their durability is not fully tested yet, but typically the roof lasts between 15 to 20 years. The TPO roofing cost per square foot is higher than EPDM roofing because of how the membranes are made and the installation process. Prices run between $5.50 and $13 per square foot.

PVC Roofing Cost

PVC roofing compensates where EPDM and TPO roofs lack, which is resistance. PVC roofs are fire-resistant, wind-resistant, watertight, and can withstand heavy foot traffic, making them one of the sturdiest roof materials out there. Because the seams are sealed with hot air, the roofs are very energy efficient. Due to their composition, PVC membranes are environmentally friendly. They can be produced in a variety of colors.

The typical lifespan of PVC roofs is around 20 years, but repairs are required after ten years. Because the seams are sealed with hot air, the repairs can only be done in warmer weather to be effective. In addition to this, you would need to remove the old roof to install a PVC roof, which adds to the installation costs. Typically, installing a PVC roof costs between $6.50 and $13 per square foot.


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Rubber Roof Installation Cost

Roofing is a dangerous job. Climbing on roofs, handling chemicals, adhesives, and heat, and using tools such as hammers and nails can all lead to accidents. Professional roofers have had training and experience dealing with all of these and more, so homeowners will want to choose a trusted company to perform the work.

In most cases, installing a 1,500 square feet roof would take one to two days if no replacement or repairs are required, and 2 to 4 days if some replacements are required. Roofers typically charge $45 to $75 per hour on average. However, for larger projects, they may charge a flat rate by the “square,” which depends on the size of the project. Typically, the labor comprises around half of the total roof installation cost, which means that out of the $12,500 average cost to install a 1,500 square foot rubber roof, around $6,000 would be labor costs.

Roof Attachment

Roofs are attached in three distinct ways: mechanically, fully adhered, or ballasted. Each attachment type fits a different roof thickness and type, which ultimately determines the overall cost of the roof installation. The cost is around the same for each type and ranges between $1.80 and $3.50 per sq.ft., depending on thickness and the type of rubber roof you choose. The most common membrane thickness is 045 mils, which is 0.045 inches thick. In recent years, 65 mils thick membranes have become popular as well (0.065 inches thickness). Ballasted Roof

Ballasted roofing does not adhere in any way. While there are a few plates and fasteners used, the main anchoring method is the gravel or pavers put on top of the roofing. Installation can be performed quickly as no glue is required. It is easy to repair and has tested well in wind studies. It’s also fireproof, waterproof, recyclable, and very energy-efficient because the stones absorb heat but don’t pass it to the roof underneath. Stone pavers have become a more popular choice than gravel as they are safer in wind and create a beautiful look to the roof.

Ballasted roofing is also the most affordable type of roof attachment, with the typical cost of 045 mils thickness going between $1.80 to $2.50 per sq.ft., while a 065 mils thickness costs between $2.00 to $2.50 per sq.ft.

Mechanically Attached Roof

Mechanically attached roofs are the most common roof attachment type that comprises about 80% of the roofs done. They are easier and quicker to install than some other attachment types, so they are very popular among homeowners. Because of the way they are set up, mechanically attached roofs are easily inspected. This type of attachment is done with screws through the layers and then sealed with heat-welding. You can expect to pay $2.00 to $2.25 per sq.ft. for a 045 mils mechanically attached roof and $2.20 to $2.70 per sq.ft. for a 065 mils mechanically attached roof.

Fully Adhered Roof

Fully adhered roofs are more expensive than other attachment types as they take more time to install. Your roof installer must place the roofing materials very precisely and then use glue to affix it to the decking. The glue used to fix the roofing material needs to reach just the right consistency without drying too much so the roof can be durable and sturdy. Some contractors like fully adhered roofs because they believe them to be more leak-resistant.

Fully adhered roof cost between $2.80 and $3.20 per sq.ft. for a 045 mils thickness and between $3.00 and $3.50 per sq.ft. for a 065 mils thickness.

Rubber Roof Replacement Cost

When a roof needs to be replaced, the shingles, flashing, and underlayment are stripped down to the roof deck. Afterward, the deck is examined and, if necessary, repaired or replaced. With roof replacement, decking is rotted, soffits and fascia need to be replaced, or rafters need to be reinforced. These repairs add to build times. Roof replacement can be either done by roofing-over or having the whole roof replaced.

Roofing-over costs around $2 to $3 per square foot with installation cost, instead of the average full replacement cost of $4.50 per square foot. If additional repairs are needed, the cost increases. You can expect a replacement to take 2 to 5 days to complete depending on the number of repairs needed. On the other hand, installing a new roof may take one to two days as there are no repairs. The average cost to install a new roof is between $4.50 and $13 per sq.ft.

Rubber Roof vs Metal Roof

Metal roofs can be installed over existing roofs, require little maintenance, and last 40 to 100 years. Rubber roofs are similar to metal roofs because they are low maintenance and provide the same durability. However, they last around 60 years, less than metal roofs. Metal roofs cost $5 to $20 per square foot, while rubber ones cost between $4.50 and $13 per square foot depending on the type of material used.


Rubber Roof vs Metal Roof


Roof TypeCost per Sq.Ft.
Rubber$4.50-$13
Metal$5-$20


Rubber Shingles vs Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are considered the classic type of roof shingles. The most common asphalt shingle is made with a fiberglass mat with asphalt and a layer of stone granules on top. On the other hand, organic asphalt shingles are made of a mat made of paper or felt. Asphalt shingles are durable, less flammable, and capable of withstanding harsh weather. Fiberglass asphalt shingles cost $3 per square foot. Organic asphalt shingles come at a cost of $9 per square foot.

On the other hand, rubber shingles require almost no maintenance over time but may require painting after 10 to 12 years. While they aren't the most aesthetically pleasing, rubber shingles are fire-resistant and can withstand high temperatures, winds, heavy rainfall, and other harsh weather. Installing rubber shingles on your roof costs anywhere between $4.50 per square foot and $13 per square foot.


Rubber Shingles vs Asphalt Shingles


Roof TypeCost per Sq.Ft.
Asphalt Shingles$3-$9
Rubber Shingles$4.50-$13


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Rubber Roof Maintenance

Rubber roofing is known for its easy maintenance and is not as likely to develop cracks or leaks as other types of roofing. However, there are some tasks that a homeowner can do to increase the longevity of the roof. Keep in mind that removing debris before washing makes cleaning easier. Regular roof cleaning should be done yearly with dish detergent and water. However, you can also opt to hire a professional roof cleaning service. The typical cost to hire a professional cleaning company to water blast a 1,500 square foot roof is around $612.

In addition to regular cleaning, the roof should be regularly inspected for cracked caulking or loose sealant. A homeowner can replace these areas after carefully removing the damaged product with a bristle brush. If you opt to paint your rubber roof, you need to repaint every 10 to 12 years.

Rubber Roof Pros and Cons

Rubber roofs are one of the easiest roof types to install, one of the most low-cost ones, and the easiest to maintain, making them a very popular choice among homeowners. However, as they are a cheaper material, they can sometimes crack and heat up easier than other materials, which may lead to changes in the temperature of the home. In addition to this, any mistake in the installation of EPDM, TPO, or PVC shingles can result in leaks and expensive roof damage.

Rubber roofing is one of the most sustainable and environmentally-friendly roofing products available. It is made of up to 95% recycled materials. This means that not only are contractors reusing materials but in 20 to 40 years, when the roof needs to be replaced, the debris will be recyclable. The white on black option is the most UV-resistant. This type of roofing insulates well so that less energy will be consumed.

Some rubber roof types come in a variety of colors, particularly TPO and PVC roofs. This makes them a popular choice as homeowners can pick between white, black, and gray rubber shingles. Manufacturers can add more customized colors to come up with a complementary shade to almost any home color. They can be made to look like cedar shingles in a brown or clay red. They come in white on black shingles, which lends contrast to your roof. The shingles also come in a 3-tab style, just like regular shingles.


Rubber roof shingles installed


Rubber Roof Seams

The roof’s seams are important. Your roof is only as watertight as the seams. Seams can be glued, taped, or heat welded, depending on the type of roof you choose. EPDM roofs are glued or taped. TPO uses a mixture of glue and welding. PVC is heat welded. The pricing for sealing the seams is included in the price of the roof. If the seams are coated after installation, this makes them stronger and less susceptible to leakage. Additional coating is $1 to $2.50 per square foot.

Rubber Roof Installation Prep Work

Getting ready to have a roof installed is vital to the safety of your family, pets, and personal belongings. A professional roofer will want you to prepare in advance to save time on installation day. Most roofing companies do not offer prep work as part of the package. You will want to make sure the following tasks are completed before the dumpster is dropped off for the job to start.

One of the first things you should do is remove any vehicles, grills, play equipment, lawn ornaments, patio furniture, potted plants, and any movable outside items that may get damaged if something falls off the roof. Relocate all of them before the new roof application. If you have any items hanging outside of your house, take those down and store them away safely.

Inside items should be protected. Wall hangings or items on shelves inside need to be removed or secured to prevent damage. Tighten them up or take them off the walls if they are fragile. While installing the rubber roof, the roofers will create strong vibrations and movement that could cause breakable items to fall. Before they start working, take them to a secure place.

If you have items stored in the attic, cover or relocate those as dust and debris may fall while the roof is being replaced. In addition to this, any antennae or satellite dishes on your roof should be removed before roof installation and stored in a safe area.

Make sure you take care of your yard as well to facilitate the roofer’s job. Tree branches should be pruned for easy access and make the clean-up process easier and more thorough. Grass should be freshly cut so that any nails that are dropped may be located easily. High grass hides nails or other debris. Well-groomed grass is important to prevent injury and damage to lawn equipment.

During the roof replacement, installation, or repair, children and pets are recommended to stay indoors or be taken to a friend or family’s home. Their regular outside area may be dangerous. The noise may be difficult for them, as well, so consider that as well.

Rubber Roof Installation Cost Factors

The basic cost of purchasing and installing a rubber roof does not consider all scenarios that impact the overall price. While the size, shape, and type of roofing material you choose influence the cost, a few other things add to or subtract from the average. Make sure you consider the following before starting your roofing project.

First, the roofing company may want to remove the old shingles if they are lifting or in bad shape. They will inspect the roof before starting and let you know if this is needed. If the old shingles need to be replaced, the cost of your rubber roof may increase, but removal is most often included in the pricing. If the roofer charges for this service, the cost is usually $1 to $2 per square foot.

You may decide to have foam sprayed for additional insulation. There are two types of spray foam: open-cell that costs $0.50 to $1 per board foot and closed-cell that costs between $1 to $2 per board foot. The average additional expense of installing spray foam is $2,700. However, the total cost varies according to how much insulation your roof requires.

Decking is the plywood located under the roofing material. If the roof has been leaking, this plywood may have become rotten and needs to be replaced. Most roofing professionals include the cost of replacing one to two pieces of decking but will probably charge for anything above that. The typical charge is an additional $70 to $100 per 32 sq.ft. of roof area.

You should consider adding a sealant. This is required for flat roofs but optional for angled roofs. Applying a sealant offers better protection against rain and moisture, and UV rays, makes the roof more fire-resistant, prevents mold, and keeps the roof cooler, thus lowering your electric bill. While the expense of a sealant varies according to the type of sealant you request and the difficulty of application, most roofing companies will charge $1.00 to $2.50 per square foot.

The slope, pitch, and size of your roof create cost fluctuations. Roofers charge more for roofs that contain varying slopes or pitches, as these require more work. Obviously, the size of a roof increases both the amount of time needed to finish the roof and the volume of materials needed.


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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Gutters Installation Cost

Gutters are added to the roof to direct the rain away from the foundation. They also trap the water and prevent it from sticking on the roof and causing leaks. Gutters are sold and installed by the linear foot. This means that the larger your home, the more gutters you have to install, and the higher the cost of installing them. The average cost to install gutters ranges between $3 and $30 per linear foot,depending on the type of gutter you will have.

Rubber Roof Sealing

Roof sealants make a roof waterproof, prevent leaks, and extend the roof’s lifespan. While they are not designed for all types of roofs, they are a must for some roof types that collect debris and water, such as flat roofs, so make sure to add a roof sealant if you have one. Sealants cost anywhere from $40 to $500, depending on the type of sealant and application method. As it’s a complicated job, make sure that you hire a professional to do it. The wrong application leads to leaks and roof damage that could’ve been avoided.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Roofing contractors should always be licensed and insured. This is for the homeowner’s benefit as well as the contractor’s. Contractors should have the appropriate training and experience to install a rubber roof.
  • A permit needs to be pulled to comply with building inspection requirements. The average cost for pulling a roof building permit is between $400 and $1,000. However, keep in mind that the cost varies from state to state.
  • Remember that a dumpster will be parked on your driveway for the duration of the job, blocking your garage if you have one. Some dumpsters prove to be too heavy and may cause concrete to crack.
  • It may be less expensive to DIY this job, but then you are left with the mess, maybe injured, and will not have a warranty. Also, you cannot be certain that as a non-professional, you can do the job properly.
  • Roof reinforcement is a way to make the roof stronger and more durable. This is usually done using polyester scrim, mat, or fabric mesh directly from the factory, but that’s not always the case. Check with the manufacturer to make sure your rubber roofing is reinforced or consult your roofer to find out how and if you can reinforce it.

FAQs

  • How much does rubber roofing cost?

Homeowners typically pay between $11,000 and $14,000 to have a rubber roof installed.

  • Can you paint a rubber roof?

Yes, rubber roofs can be painted. Most of them require painting after 10 to 12 years.

  • How long does a rubber roof last?

Rubber roofs last 50 years or more. Due to their resistance to heat, wind, hail, and other weather-related issues, they are extremely long-lasting.

  • How much does EPDM rubber roofing cost?

EPDM roofing costs $4.50 to $10.50 per square foot.

  • Does a rubber roof need to be coated?

Most roofing contractors advise that a coating be applied. The coating protects against moisture and leakage.

  • Can you walk on a rubber roof?

It is not advisable to walk on the roof. In the case of rubber roofs, however, it depends on the exact type of material used. EPDM and TPO roofs can be made for light foot traffic, but PVC rubber roofs can be designed to withstand heavy foot traffic.

  • Can you put a rubber roof over a metal roof?

While installing a rubber roof over a metal roof can be done, trapped water vapor can cause moisture followed by mold and rot. This situation causes a lot of problems afterward. To prevent this from happening, roofers install a vented metal roof or provide a venting air pocket between the layers that eliminates the chance of this happening.

Cost to install a rubber roof varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources
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Cost to install a rubber roof varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources