How Much Does It Cost to Install Rubber Roofing?

Andy Sparhawk
Written by Andy Sparhawk
Updated January 11, 2022
a roof covered in rubber tiles
Photo: tum2282 / Adobe Stock

The typical cost of installing rubber roofing is between $6,000 and $18,000

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Few things are more important than keeping a roof over you and the things you love. If you have a flat or low-sloped roof then single-ply membrane rubber roofing is the way to go. Rubber roofing installation can be costly upfront compared to other roofing materials, but can offer durability and a host of other benefits. See why rubber roofing might be the perfect upgrade for your home.

How Much Does Rubber Roofing Cost per Square?

The average cost of a 1,500-square-foot roof is $7,500 or $500 per square (100 square feet each). Roofers commonly install rubber roofing on flat-roofed buildings in commercial and residential spaces. 

Low-sloped roofs with a rise of fewer than 4 inches also benefit from rubber roofing. Drainage is difficult with these styles of roofs, making leaking a common issue. Rubber roofing effectively seals out water and can last up to 50 years, double that of other roofing materials.

How Much Rubber Roofing Can I Get on My Budget?

Rubber roofing carries a higher than average upfront cost to install. However, the protection and increased lifespan of membrane roofing make the investment in your home worth it. Take a look at these set budgets to see how much roofing you can afford.

$2,000

On average, a $2,000 budget will cover the cost to install 400 square feet of roofing. This budget might not cover the cost of a standard roof; however, many garages, sheds, and other smaller, flat-roof structures benefit from rubber roofing.

$5,000

A $5,000 budget is equivalent to 1,000 square feet of roofing coverage. 

$7,500

The average home roof size is 1,700 square feet or 17 squares. A budget of $7,500 covers just under that amount at 1,500 square feet. 

$10,000

On average, $10,000 will supply the amount of rubber roofing needed to cover 2,000 square feet of a roof.

$12,000

You can install 2,400 square feet of rubber roofing on a budget of $12,000

How Much Does It Cost to Install Rubber Roofing Yourself?

You can save thousands on labor costs by installing a rubber roof yourself, but this is no easy task. Hiring a local rubber roofing contractor will free up your time and potentially save you money if you fail to install your roof correctly. Still, for those who are more experienced DIY pros and looking for a challenge, expect to pay between $0.75 and $5 per square foot for materials, saving the DIY roofer on average roughly $3 per square foot of roof.

Rubber Roofing Cost Breakdown

Many factors will go into your final rubber roofing cost, including materials, labor, and insulation. Below, we’ve broken down some additional costs you can expect. But just like your home, every roofing project is unique, so be sure to ask your roofing contractor questions so you can understand the whole process and quote.

Additional CostPrice
Existing Roofing Removal$1 – $2 per sq. ft.
Insulation$1.50 – $3.50 per sq. ft.
Membrane Material and Installation$3.25 – $14.00 per sq. ft.
Flashing$5 – $50 total

How Much Does Rubber Roofing Cost by Type?

Single-ply membrane roofing is produced with a few different materials. You don’t have to memorize the names, but knowing the benefits of each type, as well as what each rubber roofing costs will help you make an educated decision to protect your home or building.

TPO

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) is a plastic that becomes more flexible when heated. TPO installation costs between $4.50 and $14.00 per square foot. It comes in white, which is helpful for energy savings. However, it also comes in thinner rolls compared to other single-ply membranes, so there will be more seams to seal in addition to simply needing more rolls. 

TPO roofing lasts between 7 and 20 years. Like other rubber roofing, the lifespan of TPO makes it an attractive choice compared to the cost to replace a roof with other types of roofing materials.

EPDM

Petroleum-based Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) is a popular single-ply membrane and comes in two thickness sizes. The cost to install EPDM is between $4.25 and $12.00 per square foot. It only comes in the color black, which is best for a cooler climate where heat absorption is welcome. A well-maintained EPDM roof has a lifespan of up to 15 years.

PVC

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is another popular rubber roofing option. The product stands up well in extreme weather and received high marks for its welded seams. The cost to install PVC runs between $5.25 and $12.50, with a lifespan of up to 20 years.

How Much Does Rubber Roofing Cost by Style?

While membrane roofing is used primarily on flat roofs, rubber roofing offers styles that fit other types of buildings. While different, each style offers similar toughness that is backed by long warranties.

Single-Ply Membrane

Offering exceptional waterproofing, fire-resistance, energy-saving, and durability, single-ply rubber roofing like TPO, EPDM, and PVC is standard roofing for flat and low-sloped roofs. They cost roughly between $5 and $15.00 per square foot

Rubber Shingles

Rubber shingles are an alternative to traditional asphalt and slate shingles. They are durable and different styles can match the aesthetics of your home as well as traditional shingles. Rubber shingles cost between $25 and $40 per square foot.

Composite Shingles

Another substitute for slate shingles, composite shingles cost between $35 and $40 per square foot. Composite shingles are an alternative to slate shingles and rival the durability and beauty of slate.

closeup view of flat black roofing
Photo: sommersby / Adobe Stock

FAQs About Rubber Roofing

Do I need to remove the original roof?

If your roof has aggregate or multiple roofing layers, removing it before installing rubber roofing will be necessary. Double-check your area's regulations and codes. In most cases, a single layer of roofing does not require removal, and roofers may install rubber roofing on top of the existing roof.

Note: Review your rubber roofing warranty. They may insist that the roof be removed from the plywood before installation to retain the product's warranty.

Is rubber roofing green?

Rubber roofing is commonly marketed as environmentally conscious due to its use of recycled materials and the product's ability to save on energy costs. However, it is important to research the individual product you consider if you were hoping to tout the greener aspects of your roof. 

Why should I pick rubber roofing for my roof?

Rubber roofing offers durability, longevity, and effective roof coverage for buildings with flat or low-sloped roofs. Single-ply membrane roofing has a high cost compared to roofing materials like asphalt shingles. Still, it has an expected lifespan that is often two times that of traditional roofing materials.

Is rubber roofing fire resistant?

If you live on the West Coast or anywhere with the threat of wildfires, you likely want to take steps to fireproof your home. Besides waterproofing and lifespan, rubber roofing also is noted for being fire resistant. Consult a professional roofer for details on what type of roofing would be best for you if fire resistance is a priority.

What should I consider when choosing the color of my rubber roof?

While black is the standard color for rubber roofs, you can have them painted white for an additional charge. White roofs reflect the sun in hot climates, keeping the home cool. The color is significant, as rubber roofing rates highly for energy efficiency. The color black absorbs the sun's heat, while white reflects it. Thus, color is crucial if you live in a climate that is known for extreme temperatures.

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