3 Tab Asphalt Roofing Shingles
Drew Isenhour

Drew Isenhour

Owner of Gold Peak Roofing

15 Types of Roof Shingles: Which One is Best for You?

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You’re looking to install a new roof. But, as of yet, you’re unsure as to the type of shingle that you want to use. That’s why you’re reading this article: you want to learn about the different types of shingles available on the market today.

Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’re going to discuss 15 different types of roof shingles, showing you their pros, their cons, and their most key characteristics. Let’s get into it!

1. 3 Tab Asphalt Shingles

The most popular shingle in existence is the 3 tab asphalt shingle. This shingle inundates residential neighborhoods, covering just about every house you lay your eyes upon.

Why are 3 tab asphalt shingles so popular? Why, they’re affordable, of course, the most affordable shingles in existence. But that doesn’t mean that 3 tab asphalt shingles lack value. They still have quite a bit to offer.

Exceedingly low-maintenance, they scarcely ever need to be cleaned. This makes them an excellent set-it-and-forget-it option. It also ensures that their costs over time remain low.

Resistant to both water and sunlight, they possess good durability for their price. In most cases, they thrive for around 20 years.

Aesthetically speaking, they’re standard but various. You can find them in blue, black, red, brown, and just about every other color under the sun. You can also find them in a number of different shapes and styles.

If you’re looking for the basic residential roofing option, look no further than 3 tab asphalt shingles. They won’t help your home to stand out all that much, but they will get the job done and at a price that you can afford.

2. Architectural Asphalt Shingles

Next up are architectural asphalt shingles. These possess a look that is similar to that of 3 tab asphalt shingles but which is generally more refined overall. Coated with an extra layer of laminate, these shingles offer a good deal of depth to the roofs that they adorn.

They’re available in a number of styles as well, some of which are made to look like wood shakes or slate blocks. And that says nothing of their color options, which are more than various. You can find architectural asphalt shingles in all kinds of styles.

But they’re not just aesthetically superior to 3 tab asphalt shingles. They’re also functionally superior.

Architectural asphalt shingles are thicker than 3 tab asphalt shingles. This provides them with added protection against rain, sunlight, and standard physical trauma. So, whereas 3 tab shingles will last around 20 years, architectural shingles will last around 40 or 50 years.

The tradeoff, of course, is that architectural asphalt shingles are more expensive than 3 tab asphalt shingles. Whereas a typical 3 tab shingle installation will cost around $100 per square (100 square feet), a typical architectural shingle installation will cost around $150 per square.

3. Wood Shingles

Let’s move away from asphalt shingles and move onto wooden options, starting with wood shingles, in particular. These shingles have a sleek and precise look and are essentially just wooden versions of 3 tab asphalt shingles. They sit flush against their respective houses, providing a formal and symmetrical aesthetic.

Functionally speaking, wood shingles solid but not without their problems. They offer good durability, typically lasting around 40 years. Note, though, that if you want them to last this long, you have to provide them with ample maintenance.

Wood shingles not only need to be cleaned but sealed as well. If they’re not sealed, they can become prematurely destroyed by sunlight, rain, and even termites. Rest assured, maintenance for wood shingles is both costly and time-consuming.

Note, you’ll also find that wood shingles are fairly expensive. They’re about three times the price of 3 tab asphalt shingles and more than 2 times the price of architectural asphalt shingles. This cost combined with ongoing maintenance costs can make wood shingles some of the most expensive residential shingles on the market.

4. Cedar Shakes

Another wood roofing option to consider is cedar shakes. From a distance, these will appear similar to wood shingles. However, they differ in a few ways.

For one, cedar shakes possess a rougher appearance. For two, they’re installed in a sort of staggered manner. For three, they’re seemingly laid at random, giving a roof a sense of asymmetry.

Whether this is a good or a bad thing is completely up to the owner of the home. Cedar shakes tend to have a more laid-back feel, whereas wood shingles tend to be more formal and luxurious.

Curious as to the functional aspects of cedar shakes? They offer quite a bit of durability and are capable of lasting over 50 years. And while they’re fairly maintenance-intensive, they don’t tend to require as much maintenance as their wood shingle counterparts.

As far as price goes, they’re, well, pricey. When compared to wood shingles, they’re about $100 more per square (again, that’s 100 square feet). Note, though, that because they last longer and because they require less maintenance, they offer a similar bang for their buck.

5. Clay Tiles

Clay tiles are some of the most unique roofing shingles in existence. Hugely popular in the southwestern portion of the United States, they offer a staggered and textured aesthetic. Though they’re available in a variety of colors, you will most commonly find them to be orange.

But clay tiles aren’t just aesthetically pleasing. They’re also highly functional as well. Resistant to both sunlight and water, they thrive through all types of conditions.

They require very little maintenance, generally just a cleaning from time to time. And even with that little maintenance, they can last for well over 100 years.

The drawback to clay tiles? They’re expensive . . . really expensive. They’re about twice the price of wood shingles, in fact. But for their durability, they offer tremendous bang for their buck.

6. Concrete Tiles

Another form of tile roofing is concrete tile. This type of roofing isn’t quite as durable as clay tiles, but it’s still equipped to last for 75 to 100 years. Available for around half the price of clay tiles, concrete tiles offer a great deal of value.

Whereas clay tiles are generally orange, concrete tiles are generally gray. Note, though, that they come in a variety of colors and styles apart from the standard gray. Some concrete tiles are even made to look like wood shingles.

Concrete tiles require very little maintenance. Generally speaking, they get by with the occasional cleaning. A power washing every year or so will do the trick.

There is something that needs to be noted about concrete tiles, however, and it’s that they’re quite heavy. They’re so heavy, in fact, that some homes aren’t equipped to hold them. So, you should check with a seasoned roofing company before deciding to install them.

7. Steel Shingles

Now, we’re going to move on to the metal roofing materials. We’ll begin by discussing steel shingles. These can take on a variety of aesthetics and are available in a number of different colors.

Some steel shingles are designed to look like cedar shakes. Others are designed to look like asphalt shingles. Some even possess the look of slate. Regardless of the look that you’re hoping to achieve, steel shingles will probably help you to achieve it.

Functionally speaking, they’re superb. Built to thrive through rain, sunlight, and physical trauma, they generally thrive in excess of 60 years. This is longer than both wood and asphalt options.

In addition, they require almost nothing in the way of maintenance. In most cases, they just need to be cleaned on occasion. While rust may present itself eventually, it will be decades down the road.

Steel shingles are exceedingly lightweight, making them appropriate for houses of all builds. They’re also easy to install, helping to keep their overall costs down. In terms of price, they’re more expensive than asphalt shingles but less expensive than wood shingles.

8. Standing Seam Metal

Standing seam metal is a stylized metal consisting of ridges in certain places. These ridges lend depth to the metal, helping it to subtly improve the aesthetics of residential roofs. There are many different styles of standing seam metal roofing available, and they come in many colors.

Standing seam metal comes in large panels. These panels then connect to one another, overlapping and preventing the risk of moisture leakage.

Typically speaking, standing seam metal is very easy to maintain. It can generally get by with regular cleanings. Note, though, that after some time, it could take on rust, at which point it would require extensive attention.

As far as lifespan goes, standing seam usually lasts between 50 and 75 years. Its exact lifespan is highly dependent on surrounding weather conditions.

When it comes to price, standing seam metal is right in the middle of the spectrum. It’s around the same price as cedar shakes and concrete tiles, which is to say between $350 and $600 per square.

9. Copper

If you’re looking for something really luxurious, you should consider going with copper roofing. Copper has a glow and a shine to it and will instantly help your home to stand out among the others. Possessing an orangeish-brown appearance, it’s unique from every other roofing material in existence.

Most copper roofing is strategically shaped to provide dimension to a home. Some of it designed to look like a series of shingles, some of it is designed to look like a standing seam metal panel, and some of it is entirely flat.

One of the most unique things about copper is that it changes color over time. This is because, as it’s exposed to the elements, it will take on a patina finish. This is a green, weathered finish that is actually quite attractive in its own right.

As far as functionality goes, copper thrives. Resistant to water, sunlight, and general physical trauma, it will last between 75 and 100 years. And, in case you didn’t know, copper doesn’t rust!

Copper roofing maintenance is fairly straightforward. You generally just need to clean it every once in a while.

The big downside to copper is its price. Put simply, it’s the most expensive roofing material in existence, and it’s really not even close. But if you have the cash to spare, it can transform the look of your property.

10. Corrugated Steel

If you’re looking for a cheap metal roofing material, you should consider going with corrugated steel panels. These consist of evenly spaced ridges and will provide an earthy texture to your home. In most cases, they possess a silver color.

Corrugated steel offers good protection from water, insects, and the like. However, it lacks durability. Generally speaking, it will thrive for around 20 years, after which it will rapidly start to rust.

A problem with corrugated steel is that it’s noisy. Should rainfall onto this material, it will cause a fairly loud pattering sound. This can annoying to live with at times.

As far as maintenance goes, corrugated steel is a mixed bag. In the early years of its existence, it will just need to be cleaned from time to time. However, once it starts to rust, it will need to be de-rusted fairly regularly.

One of the big bright spots of corrugated steel is its price. It costs about the same as architectural asphalt shingles, making it one of the cheapest roofing materials in existence.

11. Solar Shingles

Growing progressively more popular are solar shingles. These shingles are equipped with PV panels and can transfer the energy of the sun into energy you can use in your home. Over time, they can help to save you quite a bit of money on energy costs.

As you might expect, however, solar shingles are expensive. They’re about twice the cost of copper roofing, which is the second costliest residential roofing material in existence. So, though they may save you money over time, they can set you back substantially upon initial purchase and installation.

Aesthetically speaking, solar shingles are quite different from anything else out there. They’re shiny in nature and will undoubtedly bring a fresh look to your home. Note, however, that they’re only available in black.

They remain at the height of their power for 25 to 30 years, after which they become less efficient, and do a poorer and poorer job of converting solar energy. As such, they generally need to be replaced every 30 years or so.

In truth, the only reason you should install solar shingles is if you’re truly interested in saving money long-term and/or helping the environment. They’re quite a large investment and shouldn’t be purchased by those who aren’t going to take them seriously.

12. Rubber Shingles

Another roofing material to consider is rubber shingles. These shingles look similar to asphalt shingles, with just small aesthetic differences overall. Note, however, that they’re generally only available in black.

Rubber shingles are lauded for their durability. Capable of lasting for 40 to 50 years, they far outmatch their asphalt counterparts.

As far as maintenance goes, they’re terrific. In most cases, they require nothing more than the occasional cleaning. Note, however, that they can fall off, and might need to be spot replaced from time to time.

On average, they cost around $200 per square. This makes them a bit more expensive than architectural asphalt shingles, yet still quite a bit cheaper than wood shingles.

There aren’t many downsides to rubber shingles, apart from the fact that they’re aesthetically limited. But if you’re alright with their look, they can provide you with a great deal of value, and at a relatively low price to boot.

13. Green Roofing

Perhaps the most unique form of roofing is green roofing. This is essentially roofing that consists of plants. These plants not only lend to the aesthetic and atmosphere of a home but also help in aiding the environment.

Green roofs offer a range of functional benefits. In addition to providing protection from water and other elements, they also help to insulate their respective homes. As such, they keep residential energy costs to a minimum.

The big problem with green roofing is probably obvious: it requires tons of maintenance. After all, it’s akin to a garden. And if you have a garden, you have to take care of that garden on an almost daily basis.

In addition, the costs associated with maintaining a green roof can be very expensive. If you don’t have substantial amounts of disposable income on hand, you’re likely to run into problems.

For this reason, green roofing is best left to those with an extreme interest in it. It’s not something to take on lightly. In truth, you should only implement green roofing if you’re a serious fan of gardening.

14. Stone Coated Metal

Looking for a stone roof? If so, there are a few different options available to you. The first of these is stone coated metal roofing.

This is exactly what it sounds like it is: chunks of stone attached to a metal sheet. This metal sheet is nailed down into the roof, holding everything in place.

Stone-coated metal roofing is quite durable, capable of lasting for up to 75 years. It’s highly resistant to moisture as well as sunlight and direct physical trauma. Note, though, that in the end, it typically deteriorates due to rusting.

This material comes in a variety of styles and colors. Whether you want it with stone shingles, irregularly sized stones, or otherwise, there will be something available to you. And whether you want it with brown stone, tan stone, black stone, or gray stone, you will be accommodated.

The price of stone coated metal roofing? It’s usually around $300 per square, but can be as low as $185 per square and as high as $400 per square.

This is a respectable price when compared to other materials. It costs around the same price as wood roofing but tends to last much longer. In other words, it provides a good amount of bang for its buck.

15. Slate Tiles

The last roofing materials we’re going to discuss is slate tiles. Slate tiles are essentially just blocks of stone that are shaped to fit together on top of a roof. They’re incredibly visually striking and are available in a variety of styles, from asymmetrical styles to clean and precise styles and everything in between.

The biggest upside of slate tiles is their durability. These can last in excess of 200 years. This is because they’re highly resistant to rain, sunlight, and direct physical trauma.

Curious about maintenance? There isn’t much. You just have to clean them from time to time. And once in a blue moon, you might have to replace a fallen tile.

Note, though, that there are some downsides to slate tiles. For one, they’re heavy, and can’t be supported by all houses.

In addition, they’re expensive, some of the most expensive roofing materials on the market. Slate tiles cost just a little more than clay tiles but are nowhere near as expensive as copper roofing.

So, when you consider their long lifespans and small maintenance needs, you start to see that slate tiles are some of the most cost-effective roofing materials in existence. Yes, they’re expensive in the short-term, but they’re priced very reasonably in the long-term.

Which Types of Shingles Would You Like to Install?

And there they are, 15 types of shingles for you to consider for your home. Which of these shingles is at the top of your list? Regardless, we here at Gold Peak Roofing can install it for you.

We’re the top roofing company in the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area. Regardless of the shingles that you’re hoping to use, we can supply and install them for you.

Contact us today to get the process started!

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