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EPDM vs TPO: Which Roof Membrane Is The Best Option?

Choosing the right roof membrane for your commercial property is a big decision, and it can be challenging to determine which option is best suited to your needs. We’re here to break down the differences between EPDM and TPO membranes, so you can make an informed decision for your building. Let the battle begin!

Inside this blog:

  • A breakdown of EPDM and TPO roofing
  • Features + benefits of both types of roof membranes
  • A detailed comparison between the two

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about EPDM vs TPO so you can make an informed decision for your commercial property!



First up in our epic battle is EPDM, also known as ethylene propylene diene monomer. This synthetic rubber membrane has been a staple in the roofing industry for decades, and for good reason. Here’s what makes EPDM a contender:

  • Durability: EPDM roofing membranes are known for their exceptional durability, with a proven track record of withstanding harsh weather conditions, UV exposure, and temperature extremes.
  • Flexibility: EPDM roofing systems are highly flexible, allowing them to adapt to building movement and temperature changes without cracking or splitting.
  • Low maintenance: Once installed, EPDM roofs require minimal maintenance, saving you time and money over the life of your roof.



Next up is TPO, or thermoplastic polyolefin. This single-ply roofing membrane has gained popularity in recent years for its energy-efficient properties and ease of installation. Here’s why TPO is a contender in the EPDM vs TPO showdown:

  • Energy efficiency: TPO membranes are typically white or light-colored, reflecting sunlight and reducing cooling costs for your building. This can result in significant energy savings over time.
  • Ease of installation: TPO membranes are lightweight and easy to install, making them a cost-effective option for commercial roofing projects. They can be installed using various methods, including fully adhered, mechanically attached, or ballasted.
  • Resistance to chemicals and punctures: TPO membranes are highly resistant to chemical exposure and punctures, ensuring long-term durability and performance for your roof.

EPDM vs TPO: How Do They Compare?

Now that we’ve introduced our contenders, let’s break down how EPDM and TPO stack up against each other in key areas:


When it comes to durability, EPDM and TPO membranes are like the superheroes of the roofing world – tough, resilient, and ready to take on whatever challenges come their way. EPDM, also known as rubber roofing, has been around for decades and has earned a solid reputation for its ability to withstand the elements. It’s like the wise old sage, with a long track record of proven performance in the field.

On the other hand, TPO membranes are the young upstarts, bursting onto the scene with their innovative technology and modern design. While they may not have been around as long as EPDM, they’re no slouch when it comes to durability. In fact, TPO membranes are highly durable and can provide excellent protection for your building, even in the face of harsh weather conditions and extreme temperatures.

Energy Efficiency

In the battle of EPDM vs TPO, energy efficiency is a hot topic – literally! TPO membranes have the edge in this department, thanks to their reflective properties. Like a mirror reflecting sunlight, TPO membranes bounce solar radiation away from your building, keeping it cooler and reducing the need for air conditioning. It’s like having built-in sunblock for your roof! But don’t count EPDM out just yet.

While it may not be as reflective as TPO, EPDM can still offer energy savings when paired with a white or light-colored coating. By reflecting more sunlight and absorbing less heat, these coatings help to keep your building cool and reduce your energy bills.


When it comes to installation, TPO membranes have a reputation for being the speed demons of the roofing world. Thanks to their lightweight nature and various installation methods, TPO membranes are generally easier and faster to install than EPDM.

However, that’s not to say that EPDM is a slouch when it comes to installation. With the right techniques and a skilled roofing contractor, EPDM can be installed quickly and efficiently, ensuring a watertight seal and long-lasting performance.


Last but not least, let’s talk about everyone’s favorite topic – cost. When it comes to EPDM vs TPO, the cost can vary depending on factors such as material quality, installation method, and market conditions. In general, TPO membranes may be slightly more affordable than EPDM, but the price difference is not significant. It’s like comparing apples to oranges – both are delicious fruits, but one might be a bit cheaper at the grocery store.

But it’s essential to consider the long-term value of your investment. While TPO may be cheaper upfront, EPDM’s proven track record of durability and performance could save you money in the long run by reducing maintenance and repair costs.

So, whether you choose EPDM or TPO, consider the overall value and benefits that each membrane offers for your building.

🏢 EPDM vs TPO: Which One Will You Choose?

So, which roof membrane is the best option for your commercial property: EPDM or TPO? The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Both membranes have their strengths and weaknesses, and the best choice for your building will depend on factors such as climate, budget, and personal preference.

Ultimately, the winner of the EPDM vs TPO showdown is the one that meets your specific needs and requirements. Whether you prioritize durability, energy efficiency, ease of installation, or cost-effectiveness, both EPDM and TPO membranes can provide reliable protection and performance for your commercial roof.

Contact our team of expert contractors at Kornerstone Roofing today and we’ll answer any questions you have about your next roofing project. We guarantee you’ll get responsive communication and top tier results when you work with our roofers!

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