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Which is better? Felt Underlayment vs.

Synthetic Underlayment

Discover the key roofing materials that make up your roof, including the crucial underlayment, at All Performance Roofing. Learn about the two common types of underlayment used for residential roofing and compare their costs to make an informed investment in your roof.

What is roof underlayment?

Roof underlayment between your roof decking and shingles is crucial for additional protection from the elements. There are two main types: felt and synthetic. Felt underlayment, available in 15-lb and 30-lb rolls, offers varying levels of thickness and strength, with the 30-lb option being more durable and tear-resistant than the 15-lb variety.

Synthetic underlayment, made of woven/spun polyethylene or polypropylene, has been around for about 20 years. Both types of underlayment do their job and have their place in the roofing industry.  However, there are some significant comparisons to remember when deciding which one you want on your roof.

Which roof underlayment weighs more?

Felt underlayment weighs more than synthetic underlayment. You probably don’t think the weight of the material is a meaningful comparison.

However, the weight of your roof underlayment will impact the labor cost of your roof replacement. There’s one main reason the heavier product adds to the labor cost.

Because felt underlayment is a heavy roofing material, it doesn’t have as much material per roll as synthetic. This means you need more of it, which takes more time and manpower to get up the ladder and install on your roof.

While this will not significantly increase your labor costs, it’s something to consider.

Which roof underlayment is safer to work on?

Once your underlayment is laid down, your roofing contractor will start installing the rest of your roofing materials. They’ll have to walk on it while doing this.

Synthetic underlayment is made to be non-skid, so it’s much safer to work on. This means that even as they’re walking on it and installing your roofing materials, they’ll feel safe and won’t have to worry about slipping like they would on felt underlayment.

Which roof underlayment is more durable?

Anytime you get a new roof, you expect it to stand up to the elements and last for years to come. Synthetic underlayment is more durable than felt underlayment.

Felt underlayment is much more prone to rip from high winds and during installation. Synthetic underlayment also holds nails better and repels water instead of absorbing it.

If the felt underlayment is exposed to moisture or water, it can absorb and cause the felt to wrinkle. That’s why shingles must be installed as soon as the felt underlayment is laid down.

If there’s anything to take away from this section, synthetic underlayment provides added strength and better protects your roof from weather.

Which roof underlayment costs more?

Cost is always the first thing homeowners think of when they hear it’s time for a new roof. Because a roof replacement is an expensive purchase, it’s understandable that pricing is their biggest concern.

While underlayment doesn’t add to the cost much as other roofing materials, the two types come at different price points. Felt underlayment costs around $5.00 per square (100 square feet), while synthetic underlayment costs around $7.00-$10.00 per square.

The cost difference between the two isn’t far apart. However, it’s up to you and your budget to decide which is right for you.

Is felt underlayment or synthetic underlayment better?

We hope this FAQ on felt underlayment vs. synthetic underlayment will help you understand which roof underlayment is better. Synthetic underlayment might cost more, but it’s worth its extra durability and protection.

However, if you’re on a tight budget, felt underlayment might be proper. The important thing is to talk to your local roofing contractor about your underlayment options and how they’ll ultimately impact the cost of your roof.


Are there any other crucial materials that make up the roof?

Your roof’s underlayment is just one crucial roofing material that’s part of your entire roof system. Every homeowner probably thinks they don’t need to know all the different types of roofing materials. But the truth is, they make up a lot of the cost of your new roof.

All Performance Roofing and Restoration has provided high-quality roof repairs, roof replacements, and other roofing services to homeowners in the greater Tulsa area. We take pride in everything we do, from answering tough questions about the industry to installing a roof with the attention to detail required.

roof repair

Are you missing shingles? Do you have stains on your ceiling and are not sure where they are coming from? These are typical indicators that you may need a roof repair. Call Oklahoma’s roof repair specialists for speedy response time and quality service at 918-520-8957.