A Beginner’s Guide to the Different Types of Roof Shingles: How to Choose the Best Option for Your Home


Half the fun of making home improvements is picking out the materials for your various projects. If you’re planning to replace the roof, you’ll want to know what types of roof shingles are available and which ones will serve you best.

Years ago, if a homeowner needed a shingle roof replaced, there weren’t many choices. Today, you’re able to choose from a range of materials in a wide range of colors and textures.

To help you narrow down your options, we’ve put together a brief guide to shingles. We’re confident if you read today’s post, you’ll feel ready to get your roofing project started!

grey and black roof shingles
grey and black roof shingles

Two Popular Types of Roof Shingles

If you’re looking for industry-standard roofing materials, asphalt shingles are not only at the top, but they’re also the most popular. Homeowners love them because they’re durable, attractive, and cost-effective.

Asphalt shingles come in two types: 3-tab and architectural.

The roofing industry refers to both as asphalt shingles. Even so, each has specific features that separate one type from the other. Let’s look at 3-tab shingles first.

What Are 3-Tab Shingles?

You can easily distinguish 3-tab from other types of shingles by looking at them. Each shingle has 3 tabs, which are uniform cutouts made on the bottom edge.

Even though their design makes them look like they’re three separate pieces, they’re not!

If you decide on 3-tab shingles, you’ll enjoy several benefits, including a more cost-effective solution than what you’d get with architectural shingles. You’ll also get a shingle with a sleek, uniform look.

On the surface, the most significant difference between 3-tab and architectural shingles is the way they look. Dig deeper, and you’ll realize there is some substance to that idea, but there’s more to it than that.

Keeping Up Appearances

Both types of shingles come in a variety of colors designed to complement every home design. Architectural shingles come out ahead with a broader range of colors, shapes, and sizes. They also tend to be more durable.

One reason is they’re heavier than 3-tab shingles, which gives them better wind resistance.

If you prefer a dimensional look for your roof, go with architectural shingles. Manufacturers of these shingles laminate two shingles together, forming one, single, dimensional roofing material. Because they come in various shapes and sizes, homeowners often prefer them.

Living the Good Life

Another reason homeowners like architectural shingles is that they can mimic the look of wood shakes. They may look prettier, but they also have a longer life expectancy.

.Along with their other benefits, architectural shingles often come with enhanced waterproofing capabilities and longer-lasting manufacturer’s warranties.

Experts at Integrity Roofing suggest choosing shingles based on both budget and preferences. If you love the look of wood or tile shingles, you can get that without maxing out your budget by selecting architectural shingles.

If you prefer a more traditional look, go with 3-tab shingles. Do keep in mind that while you’ll pay a slightly lower upfront cost, you may not enjoy the longevity offered by architectural shingles. They may be better for overall value!

Ready to Start Your Roofing Project?

We hope our short guide to different types of roof shingles helps you better plan your next roof replacement. Whether you choose 3-tab asphalt or architectural shingles, a new roof enhances your home’s curb appeal.

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