The 4 Different Types Of Asphalt Roof Shingles, Explained

The 4 Different Types of Asphalt Roof Shingles, Explained

By Angelina Zhuravleva  •  November 21, 2022  •  4 min
The 4 Different Types of Asphalt Roof Shingles, Explained

Asphalt roofing shingles are the most popular type of residential roofing material in North America due to their long-lasting durability and ease of maintenance.
When choosing a new roof, homeowners may opt for asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles come in wide varieties and can be confusing to shop for.
This post will describe the different types of asphalt shingles on the market and help you decide which would be best for your home.

There are four kinds of asphalt shingles:

  • 3-tab, 
  • architectural, 
  • luxury, 
  • and composite. 

All have unique benefits and drawbacks, so it's essential to weigh these factors when choosing the suitable roofing material for your home.

Here is a quick summary of the four kinds of asphalt shingles:

  • 3-tab shingles are the way to go if you want a cost-effective option. 
  • However, if you want a more long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing roof, you should consider architectural or luxury shingles.
  • And finally, there are composite shingles. These shingles combine the best of both worlds—affordability with the durability of luxury shingles.

Please review the following article for more information about the different types of asphalt shingles.  

1. 3-Tab Shingles 

A typical 3-tab asphalt shingle roof.


3-tab asphalt shingles have a flat appearance and are widely used in residential construction. They are lightweight and cost less than other roofing materials because they contain one layer of asphalt. These shingles last 15-20 years on average.
3-tab asphalt shingles are affordable, frequently manufactured, and easy to install. Still, they last less than other materials, have limited aesthetic options, and are more likely to be damaged in storms than heavier types of shingles.

2. Architectural Shingles 

A close-up of an asphalt laminated, dimensional, or architectural shingled roof.


The name "architectural shingles" applies to roofing materials that look like natural wood, stone, and other materials. You may also see this type of shingle called laminated shingles, dimensional shingles, or any combination like laminated architectural shingles.
Architectural shingles are durable and gorgeous roofing products that include two material layers. The multidimensional colors offer beautiful, eye-catching accents that significantly improve your home's curb appeal.

Laminated shingles are among the most popular and widely used roofing materials. And many sources cite dimensional asphalt shingles as the country's most commonly used roofing material.

Architectural shingles can last up to 25-28 years if you take good care of them. These shingles are more expensive and heavier than 3-tab shingles. Still, they're more durable and can be designed to replicate natural slate.

3. Luxury Shingles 

Luxury shingles, premium shingles, designer shingles.


The highest-quality asphalt shingles are called luxury or premium shingles. Luxury shingles are distinguished by their striking appearance and bold colors. They last up to 30+ years and are more durable than traditional 3-tab shingles, but they are a bit heavier.
The added weight may add pressure to your home's structure, but most well-built homes don't need to worry about that. Plus, the extra weight provides additional strength against impact from storms. However, they are the heaviest asphalt shingle on the market, twice the price of 3-tab shingles.

4. Composite Shingles 

Composite shingles


Composite shingles are a popular option among homeowners who want the look and feel of natural slate tiles without paying a hefty price.
Composite shingles are made of recycled materials and can last up to 50 years. They are made from a blend of materials, such as fiberglass, asphalt, recycled paper, and rubber tires. They are more robust than other roofing materials, rarely splitting, warping, or cracking when exposed to the elements. They are lightweight and sturdy and come in various colors, shapes, and designs. Composite shingles cost twice as much as standard 3-tab ones but don't last as long as the natural materials they mimic.

Free Roofing Estimates: Find The Best Roofer Near You On Directorii 

Replacing a roof can be time-consuming for even the most seasoned do-it-yourselfers. Hiring a professional roofer is much more cost-effective than attempting to replace the roof yourself. Directorii is a free service that connects homeowners with the best roofers in the area. Start browsing Directorii today to get free estimates and a $20,000 Guarantee when registering a project on the platform.

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