Different Types Of Underlayment & The Best Products Of 2024

Posted on June 5, 2024

Roof Underlayment

Underlayment is crucial for a roofing system, positioned between the roof deck and primary roofing material. Its role is to shield against water infiltration, preventing leaks and moisture damage. Choosing the right product tailored to your roofing material and climate is essential for the overall durability of your roof.

In this blog post, we will explore different types of roof underlayment. Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions for your roof.

What Is The Best Roof Underlayment For Baton Rouge Homeowners?

#1. Felt Underlayment

Known by many as roofing felt or tar paper, felt underlayment is a trusted option that has been widely used in the industry for many years. Its main component is an organic paper or fiberglass mat saturated with asphalt that gives it remarkable moisture resistance.

This asphalt-infused material serves as a protective barrier by insulating and protecting the roof decking from potential water damage. Felt underlayment, available in varying thicknesses and strengths, provides a range of options to suit different roofing requirements.

The two primary weights are #30 and #15. Because #30 felt can withstand weather conditions longer and resist tearing better, it is often preferred by roofers for safeguarding the roof structure.

Best For: This is a cost-effective option frequently used under asphalt shingles, wood shakes, slate, and tile or for any roofing projects where affordability is a priority.

Product Option

> Gorilla Guard® 30 Engineered Felt Underlayment by Atlas
Gorilla guard® 30 engineered felt underlayment by atlas

This high-performance roof underlayment is engineered to outperform conventional felt. Its many benefits include a substrate that is 28% stronger but 36% lighter than traditional options, meaning less work is needed during installation. Unlike organic felt, Gorilla Guard® lays flatter and has better water-shedding capabilities. This product offers superior protection for almost any type of roof covering and is compatible with the Atlas Signature Select® Roofing System.

> FeltBuster® Synthetic Roofing Felt by GAF
Feltbuster® synthetic roofing felt by gaf

To prevent wrinkles that could take away from the roof’s aesthetic appeal, FeltBuster® Synthetic Roofing Felt is made of a sturdy, synthetic material resistant to tearing and moisture absorption. Along with being competitively priced compared to standard asphalt felts, it provides improved walkability with a unique surface texture and qualifies for GAF’s lifetime limited warranty when installed as part of Lifetime Shingle roofing systems.

#2. Rubberized Asphalt Underlayment

Made up of rubber polymers and asphalt, rubberized asphalt underlayment is well-known for its exceptional waterproofing and durability. It is self-adhering and self-healing, forming a waterproof seal between the roof deck and the underlayment. This makes it especially useful in leak-prone areas like eaves, valleys, vents, chimneys, and skylights, where it effectively prevents water damage. 

It is enhanced with materials such as polyester or polyethylene, which improves weather resistance and leak prevention. Its combination of rubber and asphalt polymers provides excellent flexibility and waterproofing, while its resistance to UV rays, high temperatures, and water infiltration makes it ideal for high-demand roofing applications.

Its non-skid surface promotes safer installation procedures, lowering the risk of accidents on flat or low-slope roofs.

Best For: This roofing underlayment is ideal for flat or low-slope roofs needing weather resistance and waterproofing, and is commonly used in residential and commercial projects.

Product Option

> Henry® Eaveguard® Self-Adhered Shingle Underlayment

The Eaveguard® Self-Adhered Shingle Underlayment from Henry protects your roof from water infiltration, ensuring its longevity. It protects vulnerable steep-slope roof areas from wind-driven rain and damage caused by ice dams. Eaveguard seals around nails and has a sand-surfaced finish to improve safety during installation and a split-back release liner for ease of use. It meets ASTM D1970 and UL 790 Class A fire resistance standards.

> Titanium® PSU30 by Owens Corning
Titanium® psu30 by owens corning

Featuring patented Sure-Foot® slip-resistant technology, Titanium PSU30 is a rubberized asphalt peel-and-stick underlayment designed for safer walkability on steep slopes. Suitable for various roofing materials, it’s made for 2:12 or greater sloped roofs to protect against ice dam damage and wind-driven rain. Manufactured by Owens Corning, it offers easy installation and durability.

#3. Synthetic Underlayment

Synthetic underlayment, which is made of woven or spun polyethylene or polypropylene, provides superior protection against water penetration and environmental elements due to its durability, flexibility, and mold and fungus resistance. Unlike traditional felt underlayments, synthetic underlayments are lightweight and easy to install. 

They are tear-resistant and non-absorbent, preventing fungal and bacterial growth. They are also designed as a secondary weather barrier, shielding the roof deck from wind-driven rain and harsh conditions, making them ideal for high risk areas and low-slope roofs. Furthermore, because of their UV resistance, they can be exposed to the elements for extended periods of time without losing their durability.

Best For: Synthetic underlayments are ideal for residential and commercial roofs due to their weather resistance and durability compared to traditional felt underlayments, making them especially suitable for areas with extreme weather.

Product Option

> RoofRunner® Synthetic Underlayment by CertainTeed
Roofrunner® synthetic underlayment by certainteed

The RoofRunner Synthetic Underlayment, made of high-quality synthetic polymers, acts as a long-lasting water-resistant layer beneath asphalt roofing shingles. Its specialized top layer and adhesive backing effectively repel water and seal out moisture, resulting in a dry and secure roof. 

Its top surface has excellent slip resistance, making application easier even in wet conditions. Unlike standard asphalt felt underlayment, this product retains its shape and size when wet, avoiding moisture-related expansion wrinkles.

> Tyvek® Roof Protector™ Underlayment by DuPont
Tyvek® roof protector™ underlayment by dupont

Made with a high strength-to-weight ratio, Tyvek Roof Protector by DuPont is a synthetic roofing underlayment featuring a four-layer construction for superior grip, tear resistance, and slip resistance. Designed to lay flat and stay flat, it has easier installation with 2-inch chalk mark guidelines, providing enhanced coverage per roll. Ideal for steep-slope commercial and residential roofs, it preserves the roof deck during installation and serves as an effective secondary moisture barrier, backed by a 20-year limited warranty.

How To Choose The Right Underlayment For Your Roof

When choosing the right type of roof underlayment for your home, there are many aspects to keep in mind:

Climate and Location

  • Temperature and Humidity: Choose underlayments suitable for your area’s climate, such as rubberized asphalt for temperature extremes and synthetic underlayment for high humidity.
  • Ice Protection: Use an ice barrier in regions prone to ice formation.

Compatibility with Your Roofing Material

  • Shingle Compatibility: Ensure the underlayment matches the type of shingles you are installing.
  • Manufacturer Guidelines: Follow manufacturer instructions for proper installation.

Installation and Durability

  • Fastener-Free Options: Consider self-adhering underlayment to minimize damage during installation.
  • Weight and Strength: Choose a lightweight yet durable underlayment for easy handling and lasting protection against wind, water, and UV exposure.

Fire Resistance and Insulation

  • Fire Safety: Check the underlayment’s fire rating to ensure it meets building codes in your area.
  • Insulation Enhancement: Look for underlayment that adds insulation to your roof.

Cost-Effectiveness and Quality

  • Balancing Cost and Performance: Consider synthetic underlayment for its long-term benefits despite higher initial costs.
  • Quality Assurance: Opt for underlayment with an ASTM rating label for assured quality.


Choosing the best roof underlayment matters greatly to the longevity and performance of your roofing system. You can select the right underlayment by taking a look at the list of quality roof underlayments we have mentioned above. While cost is important, investing in a high-quality underlayment can help you avoid expensive future repairs and replacements. It is always advisable to seek expert advice and proper installation from professional roofing contractors.

Trust Empire Roofing & Exteriors to provide the best protection and durability for your roofing system. Our expert team carefully considers factors such as your roofing material, climate, and project specifications before recommending the best underlayment options for your needs. With a dedication to quality, we ensure that every installation is executed with precision, giving you long-term performance and peace of mind. By choosing us, you not only protect your investment from future repairs but also improve your roof’s overall resilience and efficiency. Consult our experienced professionals today for exceptional roof underlayment solutions. Give us a call at (225) 347-8877.