Synthetic vs. Regular Felt Paper – Know the Difference

Remodeling your home? With so many choices, homeowners tend to overlook the choices that they cannot see, such as roof underlayment. Roof underlayment is typically unseen and hence, omitted, but it makes a huge difference to the overall performance of a roofing system, as well as, the longevity of a home. The underlayment acts as an added layer of protection that keeps the wrath of Mother Nature out of the house.

Typically, there are two types of underlayment to choose from – regular and synthetic felt paper. Take a look at each of their features to make an informed decision.

  • Regular felt paper: Regular or traditional felt is also known as tar paper and has been used on roofs for a very long time. For over a century, traditional felt was seen as the standard. However, it has started to be used less and less on modern homes of today. Its bitumen or asphalt component helps to create a waterproofing quality that shields homes. Even though this component is affordable, it has its downsides. Regular felt is permeable and its water-resistance is only temporary. It also leaves the roof vulnerable to tearing, which is why contractors need to be extra careful when they are walking across regular felt.


  • Synthetic felt paper: Synthetic felt underlayment is where traditional felt meets technology. It is created from a woven polypropylene fabric and provides homes the strength it needs to stay protected against harsh weather conditions. It even provides protection from UV rays of the sun and water-resistant coating. Synthetic felt costs more than regular felt, but it offers lasting protection.

So, if you are still confused, the best option is to seek the opinion of a professional roof contractor. Ultimately, the choice depends on your budget and the specific requirements of your roof.