Common Roof Materials

When it comes to choosing a roofing material, there are numerous options available, each with its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most common roof materials include clay tiles, metal shingles, and asphalt shingles. Depending on your specific needs and preferences, you may want to opt for a more durable or modern roofing material than what you currently have installed. 

To make the best decision, it’s important to consider factors such as durability, appearance, price, and structural concerns. With that in mind, here are 12 common roof materials to consider when it’s time to replace your roof.

What Is the Cost of Replacing a Roof?

A roof replacement price can vary greatly. It all depends on the type of roofing material that you choose, how much labor it takes, and the shape and size of your roof. The average roof replacement cost in the United States is $8,314. The average cost of a roof replacement in the United States is $8,314.


The average cost of rolled roofing is $1.50 – $2.00 per square foot. 

Low-slope residential roofs are primarily made of rolled roofing material. It is also used for outbuildings such as sheds, shops, and other utilitarian buildings. Rolls of mineral-impregnated or asphalt-impregnated roofing material are topped with mineral granules. Each roll has approximately 100 square feet of roofing material and is 3 feet in width.

Rolled roofing is one of the most affordable roofing materials. However, it has very little aesthetic value. These large, thin strips are fast and easy to use as a covering for a sloped roof building. You can apply it with roofing nails or torch-down. Roll roofing can last between 5 and 8 years before needing to be replaced.

Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

The average cost of building-up roofing is $2.50 – $6 per square foot

Built-up roofing (BUR) is one of the oldest types of flat roofing materials. BUR systems use several layers of roofing felt that have been infused with asphalt and are hot-applied. To create a barrier of two to four layers, the felt is applied in overlapping layers. To make the roof impervious and durable, a layer of finely crushed stone is added to the top.

A well-installed BUR roof can last between 20 and 30 years.

Membrane Roofing

The average cost of membrane roofing is $4 – $8 per square foot.

A membrane roof is another type of common roof materials that can be used for flat roofs or very low-pitch roofs. There are many types of membranes that you can use, including:

EPDM is one of the most popular membranes. It is a synthetic roofing material often called “rubber roofing”. EPDM is similar to rolled asphalt roofing, but it is applied in large sheets which limits water infiltration. If the roof is well-maintained, it can last for 20 to 35 years.

Asphalt Composite Shingles

The average cost of asphalt composite shingles is $1.50 – $4.50 per square foot.

Asphalt composite shingles are North America’s most popular roofing material. These three-tab shingles are made from a fiberglass base, topped with asphalt and mineral granules, or cellulose covered in asphalt. They can be used for all kinds of home roofing requirements. Fiberglass asphalt shingles are lightweight but durable roofing materials. Organic asphalt shingles are more durable but heavier than fiberglass asphalt shingles. Composite shingles are capable of adapting to roof movements through expansion and contraction.

These shingles typically come with a warranty of 20-30 years. Replacing damaged shingles is easy, and these shingles are also easy to install by almost every roofing company. The lifespan of a roof depends on its quality and conditions, and it can last between 12 and 30 years depending on how it is treated.

Standing Seam Metal Roofing

The average cost of standing seam metal roofing is $10 – $16 per square foot.

Standing seam roofs are a popular type of metal roof because aluminum or steel roofing panels join in raised seams that prevent moisture from getting in. Metal roofs are becoming more popular in areas with high snowfall and wildfire danger.

Metal roofs are durable and can be recycled when they wear out. However, installing a standing seam metal roof requires special skills and is not available to all roofing companies.

Metal roofs typically last between 30 and 50 years, although some can last up to 75 years.

Metal Shingles/Shakes

The average cost of metal shingles is $8 – $16 per square foot.

There are various options of aluminum or steel shingles and shakes available for homeowners who prefer the appearance of traditional and common roof materials but still want the benefits of metal.

Metal shingles are created by stamping metal into shape and can be finished with a high-quality baked-on coating or mineral grains. They can also be made to mimic the appearance of traditional asphalt shingles, wooden shakes, slate, or clay tiles. These shingles are a great choice for areas where aesthetics are important, but you still need a long-lasting and durable roofing material.

Metal shakes and shingles typically last between 30 and 50 years.

Wood Shingles/Shakes

The average cost of wood shingles/shakes is $4.50 – $9 per square foot (shingles); $6.50 – $14 per square foot (shakes).

Although wood roofs look great, they can be expensive and are limited in functionality. They don’t last as long as other roofing materials and are less suitable for areas with a high risk of wildfires or moisture. However, they can still be an attractive choice for luxury homes.

Wood can be used to make both shakes and shingles, with cedar being a common material for both (especially on Cape Cod homes). Shingles are thin and wedge-shaped, made by precise sawing. In contrast, shakes are thicker wedges of wood with a rougher texture, created by splitting the wood.

The lifespan of a wood shake or shingle roof depends on the conditions and maintenance. In dry conditions, it can last for up to 60 years. In more humid climates, it might only last for 20-30 years.

Clay Tile

The average cost of clay tile is $10 to $18 per square foot (though rarer ceramic tiles can be as high as $30 per sq foot).

Clay tile consists of earthen clays that have been molded into interlocking or rolled shapes and fired to harden them. It is often left unglazed to retain its characteristic reddish-orange hue. It can also be glazed and fired to make ceramic roofing tiles.

Clay tile makes a great roofing material in hot climates or areas where salt air is present. These roofs can be found in desert areas and along the Southern coast. Clay roofs are the most long-lasting because they are one of the most durable roofing materials. A clay tile roof can last for more than 100 years.

Concrete Tile

The average cost of concrete tile is $10-20 per square foot.

Concrete tile can be used as an alternative to clay tiles, offering similar installation methods and benefits. However, concrete tile roofs may cost slightly more than clay tile roofs.

Concrete tiles can be made from standard sand-mixed concrete in any color of your choosing. There are many profiles available, some of which resemble rolled clay tiles while others look more like wood shakes. Additionally, concrete tiles can be finished with a decorative coat.

Concrete tile is a durable and heavy roofing material that can withstand high winds. Its life expectancy is at least 50 years.

Slate Shingles

The average cost of slate roofing shingles is $10 to $30 per square foot, depending on whether you use hard or soft slate.

Slate roofing is a beautiful and common roof materials that can be found in luxurious homes. It is also the most durable. Slate roofs that have been in use for hundreds of years are still functional.

True slate roofing sounds exactly like it is: thin, authentic sheets of genuine stone. It is easy to quarry slate, which makes it great for roofing. However, installing slate requires a high level of skill, and skilled installers are difficult to find.

A slate roof is likely to be your last roof replacement. It can last 75 to 150 years.

Synthetic (Rubber) Slate Tile

The average cost of synthetic (rubber) slate tile is $9 to $12 per square foot.

Synthetic slate shingles can be used as a convincing substitute for natural slate. This is a lighter roofing material made from engineered polymers and recycled plastics. It can be difficult to tell the engineered roofing from natural slate from the ground. The lighter synthetic material can be used for houses that are unable to support natural slate’s heavyweight. Synthetic slate is not as durable as real stone but usually comes with a 50-year warranty.

Living Roof

The average cost of a living roof varies widely.

When moss is found on your roof, it’s usually considered a sign of trouble. However, if properly managed, moss and other plant materials can be effective roofing material that is eco-friendly and biodegradable.

Although they are a unique type of roofing material, green or living roofs hold great promise. They can absorb water, remove pollutants and provide thermal insulation for your home. To create a green roof, you must first lay a waterproof membrane and provide drainage. You can make a green roof “intensive,” which means it can support large plants or even people, or you can make it “extensive,” which is meant to only support light growth like moss. However, regular maintenance will be required to keep living roofs healthy and long-lasting.

Contact All Star Roofing for a Free Estimate on Quality Roofing Materials

Are you in need of a new roof but not sure which material to choose? All Star Roofing has you covered. We offer a wide variety of high-quality common roof materials at competitive prices. Contact us today for a free estimate on your roofing needs and let us help you make the best decision for your home. With All Star Roofing, you can trust that you’re getting durable and reliable roofing materials installed by experienced professionals.

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