R-Panels and U-Panels are types of steel panels that are commonly used to protect structures and maintain their integrity. R-Panels are long, narrow panels with a ribbed profile that runs along the length of the panel. U-Panels, on the other hand, have a flat surface but feature vertical ribs running up and down the sheet.

Both R-Panels and U-Panels are available in different gauges and sizes to meet various needs. They are generally made from galvalume-coated steel and designed to provide a high level of protection against the elements. R-Panels are often used for roofs, while U-Panels may be used as sidings or in other applications where they need to protect an area from moisture and wind. Choosing between the panels can be challenging because they share many similarities, so let’s review some of the key differences. 


R-Panels are made of 36″ metal panels with raised ribs and a flat area in between. They are most used in residential and commercial applications, as well as siding. U-Panel roofing is an exposed fastener roofing system with 36″ wide panels and 3/4″ ribs. The economical design makes it ideal for light commercial and industrial roofing.




R-Panel ribs are different heights and panel thickness typically ranges from 26 to 29 gauge. U-Panel ribs are the same height and thickness has less variation, as most come in 26 gauge.




R-Panels are more textured as they have more gauges and less flattened space.

U-Panels are less textured with fewer gauges and more interconnected flattened surfaces.




R-Panels are generally stronger and have a greater life expectancy because they are made of multiple gauges. U-Panels are more lightweight and have a shorter life expectancy because they are made of thinner gauges. However, U-Panels are still considered durable and resilient against the Elements.




R-Panels have more time-consuming and costly Installation because  they must be screwed onto the Structure.  U-Panels are easier to install because they can be put in without a frame. The panels are interlocked and then nailed in place for secure installation.




The price of an R-Panel is typically similar to that of a u-panel. A u-panel may be 5% cheaper depending on the supplier.


A Note On Standing Seam Panel


Standing seam metal panels are a concealed fastener metal system with raised seams or vertical legs, and a flat area in between. These panels are most commonly used for roofing. Standing seam panels are a higher quality, isolated panel that is run and installed on site.

R-Panels and U-panels are two of the most common types of metal roofing panels. They share many similarities, but there are some key differences that set them apart. R-panels have raised ribs and a flat area in between, while U-panels have 3/4″ ribs and are more economical. R-panels are stronger and have a greater life expectancy than u-panels, but u-panels are easier to install. The price is similar for both types of panel. Standing seam panels are a higher quality option that is commonly used for metal roofing.

If you have any questions about the panel we offer or which panel you should use, please contact us today. If you would like to see our panel offerings, check out our eBook on our panel and color options.

R Panel


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