December 13, 2019

Duro-Last vs TPO Roofing Systems

There are a few different types of single ply roofing membrane that are used for commercial roofing purposes: TPO and PVC roofs are two of the most widely used roofing systems in the United States. Duro-Last is a leading manufacturer of PVC roofing systems, and many industrial building owners have questions about whether to use Duro Last roofing systems or TPO roofing systems.

In this article, we’ll compare Duro-Last vs TPO and answer your frequently asked questions including differences in cost, thickness, and more.

What are Duro-Last Roofs?

Duro-Last is a leading manufacturer of single ply PVC roofing systems – PVC stands for Polyvinyl Chloride. Duro-Last makes other durable roofing types including metal roofs and KEE membranes, however PVC membranes are their bread and butter. Duro-Last has been in business since 1978, and as an authorized Michigan Duro-Last roofing contractor, we are well aware of their reputation for producing high quality PVC roofs that are custom fabricated to fit buildings to exact specifications.

What are TPO Roofs?

TPO stands for thermoplastic olefin, and TPO roofs refer to single ply TPO roofing membranes. There are multiple companies that make TPO roofs, and each company typically offers several TPO membrane options, so the properties of TPO roofs can vary widely based on who makes it and the product model that is offered.

How are they installed?

Both Duro-Last PVC membranes and TPO roofs are thermoplastic membranes. These are applied to the top of a roof, heated to soften the material and then adhere as they cool. This makes both TPO and Duro-Last versatile options as the membranes can be welded together using solvents or heat, and create durable exteriors that do well against the elements.

The key difference is that Duro-Last PVC roofs use polyvinyl chloride (PVC) blends while TPO roofs use blends of PVC and thermoplastic olefins (TPO). PVC and TPO are two of the most popular types of roofing systems for both new installations and reroofs.


While you may assume that thicker layers provide more protection, it is important to know that roofing membranes are made up of multiple layers, which will vary in thickness.

The outer most layer, known as the “performance” layer, is the layer that is exposed to the elements and needs to hold up well against rain, snow, UV rays, and people walking on the surface of the roof. The “Scrim” is below the performance layer and helps reinforce the top layer. It provides puncture resistance and gives the membrane strength from being torn apart. The bottom layer is attached to your roof and is designed to remain attached to your roof despite wind, rain, hail, and other elements trying to tear it off.

Duro-Last membranes are available in 40, 50 and 60 mil thicknesses. Their popular 50 mil Duro-Last PVC membrane has a thickness above scrim of 28 mil and has a scrim type of 18 x 14 weld inserted polyester with anti-wicking properties. TPO thicknesses will vary by manufacturer, but most have a thickness above scrim of 21-27 mil and have a polyester scrim type.


While there are many different types of TPO products, the initial purchase price of Duro-Last will typically be a little more expensive than TPO. However, you can generally expect a Duro-Last roofing system to last longer than TPO and install in less time. Again, not all TPO membranes are the same – some offer great longevity at a fair price, while others do not offer comparable levels of performance. The differences in cost may also depend on where you live, your roofing contractor, and your roofing requirements.

Which is best for me?

While cost should be a major consideration when weighing Duro-Last vs. TPO systems, your decision should include other important factors. Wind exposure, building height, aesthetics, roof traffic, and other conditions should come into play. Consider warranties offered along with the reputations of Duro-Last vs the TPO manufacturer.

Having trouble deciding? Superior Services has helped Michigan area businesses find the right roofing solution for commercial and industrial buildings for over 45 years. Give us a call at (517) 321-8222.