What Is More Expensive TPO Or EPDM?

In the world of roofing materials, TPO and EPDM are two popular options that often leave homeowners wondering which one will cost them more. This article aims to shed light on the price difference between TPO and EPDM, providing clarity to those seeking an understanding of these roofing materials and their associated costs. By examining the factors that contribute to their pricing, this article will help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing between TPO and EPDM for your roofing needs.

What Is More Expensive TPO Or EPDM?

What is TPO Roofing?

TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin) roofing is a type of single-ply roofing membrane that is commonly used in commercial and industrial buildings. It is made from a combination of rubber, ethylene, and propylene, which gives it flexibility and durability. TPO roofing is known for its energy efficiency, durability, and ease of installation. It is an increasingly popular choice among building owners and contractors due to its numerous advantages.

Advantages of TPO Roofing

Energy Efficiency

One of the major advantages of TPO roofing is its energy efficiency. The white color of TPO reflects sunlight, reducing the amount of heat absorbed by the building. This helps to keep the interior cooler, reducing the need for air conditioning and ultimately lowering energy costs. TPO roofing can also help to decrease carbon footprint as it reduces energy consumption.


TPO roofing is highly durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions, including high winds, hail, and even fire. It has excellent resistance to tears, punctures, and impact damage, making it a reliable choice for buildings located in areas prone to extreme weather. Additionally, TPO roofing is resistant to chemicals and UV radiation, ensuring its longevity and maintaining its performance over time.

Ease of Installation

Another advantage of TPO roofing is its ease of installation. TPO membranes are available in large sheets, which can be easily rolled out and heat-welded together to create a seamless and watertight roofing system. This simplified installation process not only reduces labor costs but also minimizes the risk of leaks and ensures a longer lifespan for the roof. Furthermore, TPO roofing can be installed on various types of roof decks, making it a versatile option for different building structures.

What Is More Expensive TPO Or EPDM?

Disadvantages of TPO Roofing

Susceptibility to Punctures

While TPO roofing is generally durable, it can be susceptible to punctures if it is not properly installed or maintained. Sharp objects, such as falling branches or tools, can potentially cause punctures in the TPO membrane, leading to leaks and water damage. Regular inspections and prompt repairs are essential to prevent such issues and extend the lifespan of the TPO roof.


Although TPO roofing is resistant to UV radiation, over time, it may show signs of weathering. Exposure to the sun’s rays can lead to the fading of the TPO membrane, affecting its appearance. However, it is important to note that this cosmetic issue does not usually impact the performance or functionality of the roof. Regular cleaning and maintenance can help mitigate the effects of weathering and preserve the aesthetic appeal of the TPO roofing system.

Limited Color Options

Compared to other roofing materials, TPO has a relatively limited range of color options. While white is the most commonly chosen color due to its energy-saving properties, it may not fit every building’s aesthetic requirements. This limitation in color variety may be a drawback for those looking for more customization options for their roof.

What is EPDM Roofing?

EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) roofing is another popular choice for commercial and residential buildings. EPDM is a synthetic rubber membrane that provides exceptional durability, weather resistance, and long lifespan. It offers several advantages over other roofing materials and is widely used in the industry.

What Is More Expensive TPO Or EPDM?

Advantages of EPDM Roofing


EPDM roofing is known for its versatility. It can be installed on a variety of roof decks, including flat and sloped surfaces. This makes it suitable for different types of buildings, from commercial warehouses to residential homes. EPDM membranes can also adapt to changes in temperature and building movements, ensuring a tight and secure seal.

Resistance to Weathering

EPDM roofing is highly resistant to various weather conditions, including extreme temperatures, UV radiation, and ozone exposure. It does not crack or blister, even in freezing temperatures or under intense heat. This resistance to weathering ensures the longevity and performance of the roof, making it a reliable choice for areas with harsh climates.

Long Lifespan

EPDM roofing has a long lifespan, with some roofs lasting up to 50 years or more with proper maintenance. Its durability and resistance to environmental factors contribute to its extended lifespan. EPDM membranes are also easy to repair or replace if necessary, which further enhances the longevity of the roof. Building owners can have peace of mind knowing that their investment in the EPDM roofing system will last for decades.

Disadvantages of EPDM Roofing

Higher Maintenance

Compared to TPO roofing, EPDM requires more regular maintenance to ensure its performance and longevity. Although EPDM roofing is durable and resistant to damage, it is still susceptible to punctures, particularly from sharp objects. Additionally, debris, such as leaves and branches, can accumulate on the roof and cause drainage issues if not cleared regularly. Routine inspections, cleaning, and repairs are necessary to prevent any potential problems and maximize the lifespan of the EPDM roof.

Limited Color Options

Similar to TPO roofing, EPDM also has limited color options. Black is the most common color for EPDM membranes due to its natural heat-absorbing properties. However, for buildings where aesthetics are critical, the lack of color choices may be a disadvantage. It is important to consider the overall design and appearance of the building when selecting the roofing material.

Environmental Concerns

EPDM roofing is made from synthetic materials and may raise environmental concerns for some individuals. The production and disposal of EPDM roofing membranes can have an impact on the environment, including the potential release of chemicals. However, it should be noted that EPDM is generally considered an environmentally friendly roofing option compared to other materials, such as PVC.

What Is More Expensive TPO Or EPDM?

Factors Affecting the Cost

When comparing the cost of TPO and EPDM roofing, several factors come into play. These factors can greatly influence the overall cost of the roofing project.

Installation Labor

The cost of labor for installing TPO or EPDM roofing can vary depending on the complexity and size of the roof. More complex roof designs may require additional time and expertise, resulting in higher labor costs. It is essential to consider the skills and experience of the roofing contractor when estimating the installation labor cost.

Roof Size

The size of the roof is a significant factor in determining the cost of materials and labor. A larger roof will require more TPO or EPDM membranes, as well as additional time and manpower for installation. Building owners should accurately measure the roof size and take into account any additional features, such as skylights or ventilation systems, when calculating the cost.

TPO Thickness

The thickness of the TPO membrane can also affect the cost of the roofing project. Thicker TPO membranes generally have higher material costs but may offer increased durability and longevity. Building owners should consult with roofing professionals to determine the appropriate thickness based on their specific needs and budget.

EPDM Thickness

Similarly, the thickness of the EPDM membrane can impact the overall cost. Thicker EPDM membranes may provide better resistance to punctures and damage but can also be more expensive. It is important to find the right balance between cost and performance when choosing the thickness of the EPDM roofing material.

Accessories and Extras

Additional accessories and extras, such as flashing, adhesives, and insulation, can add to the overall cost of the roofing project. These components are necessary for a complete and well-functioning roof system but should be carefully budgeted for and included in the cost estimation.

Cost Comparison of TPO and EPDM

To determine which roofing option is more expensive, it is essential to compare the costs of materials, installation, and maintenance for both TPO and EPDM roofing systems.

Material Costs

TPO and EPDM membranes have similar material costs, with TPO being slightly more affordable in some cases. However, the overall material cost can vary depending on the specific brand, thickness, and quality of the membranes. It is recommended to obtain quotes from multiple suppliers and compare the pricing before making a decision.

Installation Costs

Installation costs for TPO and EPDM roofing can also vary depending on the complexity of the roof and the location. However, in general, TPO roofing tends to have lower installation costs due to its ease of installation and quicker installation process. EPDM roofing may require more labor and time, contributing to slightly higher installation costs.

Maintenance Costs

Both TPO and EPDM roofing systems require regular maintenance to ensure their performance and longevity. However, TPO roofing typically requires less maintenance and is less susceptible to damage than EPDM roofing. Therefore, the maintenance costs for TPO roofing are generally lower compared to EPDM roofing over the lifespan of the roof.

Overall Cost Comparison

Considering the material costs, installation costs, and maintenance costs, TPO roofing generally has a lower overall cost compared to EPDM roofing. However, it is important to assess the specific needs and requirements of the building, as well as the long-term budget, before making a final decision. Building owners should prioritize the performance, durability, and energy efficiency of the roofing system when considering the cost.

What Is More Expensive TPO Or EPDM?

Considerations When Choosing Between TPO and EPDM

When choosing between TPO and EPDM roofing, several factors should be considered to make an informed decision.


The budget is a crucial consideration when selecting a roofing system. Building owners should weigh the initial cost, long-term maintenance costs, and potential energy savings to determine the most cost-effective option. TPO roofing is generally more affordable upfront and requires less maintenance, making it a budget-friendly choice for many.


The climate of the building’s location plays a significant role in selecting the roofing material. TPO roofing performs well in hot climates due to its energy efficiency and ability to reflect sunlight. EPDM roofing, on the other hand, is highly resistant to extreme temperatures and can withstand cold climates without cracking. Understanding the climate factors and consulting with roofing professionals can help determine which option is best suited to the specific climate conditions.

Long-Term Plans

Consider the long-term plans for the building before choosing a roofing material. If the building is expected to undergo significant changes or renovations in the future, flexibility and adaptability become essential. EPDM roofing offers more versatility and can accommodate various modifications, making it a viable option for buildings with long-term plans or expected expansions.


Aesthetics should not be overlooked when choosing a roofing material, especially for buildings that prioritize visual appeal. TPO roofing’s limited color options may not meet the desired aesthetics for some buildings, whereas EPDM’s black color may be more suitable. It is essential to strike a balance between functionality and aesthetics to achieve the desired overall look of the building.


In conclusion, both TPO and EPDM roofing have their own advantages and disadvantages. TPO roofing offers energy efficiency, durability, and ease of installation, making it a popular choice for commercial buildings. EPDM roofing provides versatility, resistance to weathering, and a long lifespan, making it suitable for various applications. Factors such as budget, climate, long-term plans, and aesthetics should be carefully considered when choosing between the two options. Ultimately, the decision should be based on the specific needs and requirements of the building, as well as the desired performance and cost considerations. Consulting with roofing professionals can provide valuable insights and guidance in selecting the most appropriate roofing material for each individual project.

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