Best Material for a Gazebo Roof

Best Material for a Gazebo Roof

In this post, we will answer these questions and go over some of your options. We will break this article into two main sections based on the type of gazebo you plan to buy or build: hard-roofed gazebos, and soft-roofed gazebos.

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If you are putting up a gazebo, naturally, the roof is one of its most important features. The main purpose of a gazebo is to provide you with shelter from sunlight and precipitation. So, naturally, you need to choose a material for the roof that is going to stand up to the elements, provide you with excellent protection, and stand the test of time.

You might feel overwhelmed at first as you explore your options. Polyester or vinyl? Metal or asphalt? What is a denier rating? These are just a few of the questions you might have.

In this post, we will answer these questions and go over some of your options. We will break this article into two main sections based on the type of gazebo you plan to buy or build: hard-roofed gazebos, and soft-roofed gazebos.

Hard-Roofed Gazebos

To begin, let’s discuss some common materials used for hard-roofed gazebos.

1. Metal

Materials like steel and aluminum are used to manufacture metal roofs for gazebos. Unlike wood, metal is not prone to rot, nor is it targeted by pests. It isn’t flammable, and it offers impressive durability and longevity. It is also virtually maintenance-free. The look can be modern or traditional. All of these features make it the best overall choice for a hard-roofed gazebo.

2. Wood

The roof of a gazebo could consist of panels of wood or shingles (i.e. cedar shake shingles). Wood can be treated so it does not rot, and is often a more affordable option than metal. Many people also appreciate the warm, inviting appearance of wood, and the beauty of its grain.

4. Asphalt

If you want your gazebo to have the same classic suburban appeal as traditional homes, then consider one with an asphalt shingle roof. This material weathers the elements admirably, and has an iconic look.

Top recommendation: Metal

For a hard-roofed gazebo, we suggest that you go with a metal roof if possible. This type of roof will give you the best durability. Even though it may cost more than wood or asphalt initially, it provides the best value over time. But if you are on a budget, wood or asphalt are just fine.

Soft-Roofed Gazebos

Are you getting a soft-roofed gazebo, also known as a pop-up canopy tent? Then you will have different considerations when selecting a material for the roof, as it will be made out of flexible fabric rather than a hard material like wood or metal. Here are some key features to look for when selecting a material for a pop-up tent roof.

  • High denier rating: Whatever type of fabric you go with, make sure it has a high denier rating. Denier tells you how thick each thread is that was used to create the fabric. The higher this rating is, the sturdier those individual threads will be, and the stronger the fabric will be overall.
  • Fire-resistance: A fire-retardant canopy tent is always a good idea for obvious safety reasons.
  • Fade-resistance: If your canopy tent roof is any color other than white, it could fade with exposure to the sun. Get a gazebo with a fade-resistant roof. That way, it will retain its bold hue as long as possible. This is especially important if you live in a really sunny climate.
  • UV protection: Look for a gazebo that has a roof which blocks up to 99% of harmful UV rays. A tent with a roof that offers UV protection will not just increase your comfort, but also safeguard your health.
  • Water-resistance: If you intend to use your tent in rainy conditions, be sure that the roof is water-resistant, and that the structure of the tent prevents pooling. A well-designed roof lets you enjoy your canopy tent leak-free.
  • Vents: Ideally, the roof of your canopy tent should include vents to prevent the material from billowing in windy conditions. It will be less likely to tear as a result.

Now that you understand the features that are important for the material and structure of your gazebo’s roof, let’s take a look at the most popular materials for pop-up canopy tent roofs.

1. Polyester

Many pop-up canopy tents on the market are made out of polyester. This material can be strong and durable, making it suitable in windy conditions (up to a point, of course). With a dense enough weave, water will not pool or leak through, making it weather-resistant. While it does offer a little protection from UV rays, it is not a lot unless it includes a PU coating.

2. Vinyl

Most pop-up canopy tents that are not made out of polyester are made out of vinyl. This material is coated with PVC or PE for extra protection, making it weather-resistant and flame-retardant, while also offering protection from UV rays.

The main drawback of vinyl is that it is heavy. So, if you need to move your canopy tent around, it may be fatiguing to carry it and set it up.

3. Nylon

Nylon is not as popular as polyester or vinyl, because it is not as strong or durable. Its main advantage is that it is lightweight. So, if you only will use your gazebo in calm weather conditions, and you need something that is portable and easy to carry, nylon might be suitable.

Top Recommendation: Polyester or Vinyl

While nylon makes sense in certain scenarios, most buyers will be happiest with a pop-up canopy tent that sports a roof made out of polyester or vinyl.

Remember, not all polyester or vinyl tents are equal. Shop around to make sure you are getting a material that has a high denier rating and offers the kinds of protection you need.


Gazebos can be made out of a wide variety of materials. Whether you are shopping for a pop-up canopy tent or a different type of gazebo, choosing a product with a durable, beautiful roof is essential to getting a gazebo that will offer you long-lasting performance in all weather conditions.

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