How to nail roofing felt

Written by brynne chandler | 13/05/2017
How to nail roofing felt
Fix roofing felt before installing roof tiles. (Jeff Dalton/iStock/Getty Images)

There are as many opinions on how to attach roofing felt as there are different brands. Many people will tell you that staples are enough because of the weight of the tiles that go on top of the felt, but it makes sense that nailing roofing felt will hold it more securely should the tiles come loose. It is quicker to nail roofing felt if you have a helper, and it’s always good to have someone nearby when you are working on the roof.

Have your helper start at the bottom edge of your roof and roll out the roofing felt. Make sure the side edge is lined up properly with the edge of the roof, and that there is at a 2.5 cm (1 inch) overhang at the bottom edge of the roof.

Use the nail gun to secure the far side of the roofing felt with nails placed every 22.5 cm (9 inches). Do the same along the bottom.

Place another row of roofing nails 45 cm (18 inches) apart, and 30 cm (12 inches) in from the seam where this roll of felt will meet the one next to it.

Follow the lines on the felt to make sure that the next roll vertically overlaps the first by one-third. Secure the top layer along the bottom with roofing nails spaced 22.5 cm (9 inches) apart.

Secure the rest of the roll the same way you did the first. Repeat until you reach the roof peak. Start back at the bottom, repeat until the roof is covered, and continue to the next side.

Cut around roof vents, heating vents and any other obstructions with your utility knife, as you go.


Always wear goggles when using a nail gun.


Never go up and down a ladder without someone steadying it.

Things you need

  • Ladder
  • Goggles
  • Leather gloves
  • # 30 roofing felt
  • Flat-topped roofing felt nails
  • Nail gun
  • Helper
  • Utility knife

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