Shingle Types

With so many different types of shingles to choose from, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. Learn about the different types of shingles and their characteristics before you decide.

Asphalt Shingles

Probably the most well known shingle type, three-tab asphalt shingles contain fiberglass or paper for reinforcement. They have a flat tile look. These types of shingles typically carry warranties from 20 to 30 years that are year pro rated. They are much less expensive than other shingle types. But be careful: studies show these roofs only last 10 to 15 years on average. And they only have single layer coverage protection.

Laminated Shingles

Usually made from asphalt, laminated shingles are becoming more popular due to their aesthetics. They can often mimic more expensive shingles, such as slate or shake, and are designed to last longer than three-tab shingles. They carry warranties from 50 to lifetime. Usually they have double layer coverage.

Wood Shake Shingles

Typically a wood shake roof will last upward of 30 years. These types of shingles are usually made of treated pine, most popular and durable is cedar wood. They are brown when installed but will age to a nice, silvery gray over their first year.


Slate shingles are the most durable of the bunch, coming in with a life expectancy of over 100 years. Being the most durable also makes it the most expensive shingle type, but many feel the aesthetics of slate roofing is worth it.


When choosing a shingle type, you will want to take into account the life expectancy of your roof as well as your return on investment. A slate roof is beautiful, but if you plan to only live in that home for five years you may want to consider if it is worth the higher cost. When choosing a shingle type, consider reading the manufacturer’s warranty and have your contractor explain the limitations. Good roofing contractors that are certified are able to provide you with better warranties that are not pro rated.

Roofing materials, along with roof ventilation, must be strictly adhered to and installed exactly as per the manufacturer’s written installation instructions. If these requirements are not met, your warranty will be void.

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