What Are The Different Types Of Roof Shingles?

When you finally have to replace your roof, deciding which type of roof shingle is best for your home can be a monumental task.

Today there are so many types of shingles to choose from, with their pros and cons, cost differences, and unique styles.

It can get overwhelming, fast.

A new roof is a significant, substantial investment, so It's a good idea to know what you're dealing with and what to expect from the types of roof shingles you choose.

How To Choose The Best Shingles

From standard asphalt roofing shingles to metal shingles and everything in between, deciding which roof shingle is for you is a daunting task.

Roofing materials are available in numerous styles, colors, textures, and prices.

Some are individual shingles, and some are sold in strips.

The most important thing to think about when choosing the type of shingle you want is the look you want to achieve.

Do you prefer a traditional style, such as wood or cedar shakes?

Or do you like something modern, like copper or black metal? 

Do you want to be able to install solar panels?

Do you want something low maintenance, or are you okay with regular maintenance?

Hot climates also need different considerations than colder climates.

Next, choose your material based on how much wear it will receive.

Asphalt shingles are typically used on older homes because they are less expensive and easier to install.

However, asphalt shingles tend to fade over time and require replacement sooner than other options.

Composition shingles are usually found on newer homes because they offer better performance and longer lifespans.

They are generally sturdier and more durable than asphalt shingles.

Finally, consider the cost.

Premium shingles will last longer, but you will have a higher upfront cost.

Asphalt shingles come in a variety of price ranges.

You'll find cheaper versions of asphalt shingles that aren't nearly as durable as pricier brands.

Look for a brand name that offers warranties backed by reputable manufacturers. 

Now let's take a look at some of the most popular types of shingles you can choose from when researching your roofing options.

The Different Types Of Shingles


Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingle roofing is a very common type of shingle.

Asphalt is an excellent option for homeowners wanting something budget-friendly yet effective and reliable for their roofing upgrade.

Asphalt shingles come in a wide variety of shapes and designs, so homeowners with a specific idea or a unique home design are able to find a roof they love.

Asphalt shingles can even cool your home, and certain types of shingles can also lower your insurance cost.

3-tab asphalt shingles are the most basic form of shingle, made out of a single layer of asphalt and cut into strips.

They appear flat, offering a slate look to your roof upon installation.

3-tab shingles are lightweight since they are made from a single strip, so they are more affordable than many other asphalt shingle types

Asphalt shingles aren't your best option if you're looking for the most durable roofing material or one that will last the longest. Many other roofing types, like metal roofing, offer more durability and longevity.

Asphalt shingles are naturally fire-resistant but aren't as effective as some other roofing types against wind and severe storms.


Aluminum Shingles

Metal roofing is gaining popularity because it offers many benefits over traditional asphalt shingle roofs.

Aluminum shingles are durable, flexible, attractive, and offer a long lifespan.

They are lighter than steel, making them easier to install. And aluminum is recyclable, unlike asphalt.

Aluminum shingles are heavy compared to other types of roofing material.

For example, metal roofing weighs about 20% more than wood shakes.

This weight difference makes aluminum shingles harder to handle during installation.

However, there are ways to make installing aluminum shingles easier.

You can use a power auger to help you push the shingles into place. Or you can use a special tool called a "shaker."

A shaker works like a drill press and helps you push the shingled roof into place.

But the best way to have these installed is to use your local roofing company.


Wood Shingles

As the name implies, real wood shingles are made from wood.

Wood shingles are cut into perfect, identical shapes, so there isn't much flexibility in design.

Wood shingles are also susceptible to rot and mold if improperly maintained, though they do have a unique appearance that many homeowners fall in love with.

Wood shingles can last 15 to 50 years, similar to asphalt shingles.

It all depends on what type of wood is used for the shingles, how the wood is treated prior to installation, the quality of the installation job, and how well the roof is maintained. 

Wood Shake Shingles

Wood shakes are one of the most popular roofing materials because they are easy to install.

These come in different styles and colors and can even be installed over existing asphalt or tile concrete shingles.

If you want to go with wood shake shingles, you must know what type of wood you are getting.

Three types of wood are typically used to manufacture wood shake shingles; cedar, redwood and pine. Each type has its own pros and cons.

Cedar wood shake shingles are very durable and long-lasting. In addition, they are resistant to fire damage and termites.

Cedar wood shake shingles usually cost more than other types of wood shake shingles. However, they are also the best choice for those looking for a longer life span.

Redwood shake shingles are similar to cedar shake shingles but tend to be stronger and more resilient.

Pine shake shingles are the cheapest option and easier to install than redwood shake shingles.

But they do not resist termite damage or fire damage like cedar shake shingles.


Copper Shingles

Copper shingles are a great way to make your home look unique while adding extra value.

If you plan on selling your house one day, copper shingles could help increase the price.

However, if you don't intend on moving anytime soon, copper roofing might not be worth the money.

The average cost of installing a copper roof varies depending on the size of the area that needs to be covered.

If you decide to go with copper roofing, you'll need to check with your local building department to see what permits you need to install the material.

You'll also need to ensure that the roof meets code requirements. 


Rubber Roof Shingles

Rubber roof shingles are a great choice for homeowners looking for a long-lasting alternative to traditional asphalt roofing products.

This type of material is easy to install and maintain, making them ideal for both residential and commercial applications.

Rubber roof shingles come in a variety of styles, including flat, standing seam, and modified lap joint.


Composite Shingles

Composite shingles are popular for homeowners looking for a less expensive roof replacement.

They are often made of recycled materials like cardboard, paper, plastic bottles, wood, glass, and even aluminum foil.

While composite shingles may cost more than traditional asphalt shingles, they offer many benefits over asphalt roofs.


Grass (Green) Roof

Grass roofs are suitable for homes in areas where it gets hot during summer and cold during winter.

These roofs are popular because they reduce energy usage and keep homes cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Grass roofs don't just look pretty; they're actually quite useful.

Here's why grass roofs are great for homeowners.

1. A green roof looks beautiful.

2. Grass roofs help reduce heating and cooling costs.

3. Grass roofs are low maintenance.

4. Grass roofs are easy to install.

5. Grass roofs add value to homes.

6. Grass roofs are environmentally friendly.


Architectural Shingles

Also known as laminate shingles or dimensional shingles, this option is often designed to resemble cedar or slate. 

Architectural shingles look like real wood and add a unique design element to your roof.

They're much more expensive than standard asphalt shingles, so you'll want to ensure you know what you're getting into before making the purchase. 

Metal Roof Shingles

Many types of metal roofing are available, including aluminum, copper, galvanized steel, zinc, and stainless steel.

Each type of metal roofing offers advantages over the others.

Aluminum, for example, is lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to work with. Copper is strong and resistant to corrosion.

Galvanized steel looks like regular asphalt shingles, making it attractive for homeowners looking for something familiar.

Zinc is a good choice for homes with high humidity because it resists mold growth better than most metals.

Stainless steel is often used for commercial applications because it lasts longer than other materials.


Tile Shingles

A tile roof offers excellent value and long-lasting performance.

Tile roofs offer several advantages over traditional asphalt shingle roofs.

They are much easier to install, maintain, and repair.

They provide better insulation and energy efficiency and look beautiful while adding curb appeal to your house.

Tile roofs come in many shapes and sizes, including flat, pitched, and curved. Flat roofs are typically used for commercial buildings, such as warehouses, factories, and retail stores.

Pitched roofs are usually found on residential properties, like single-family houses and multi-family apartment complexes.

Curved roofs are often seen on modern structures, like condominiums and office buildings.


Slate Shingles

Slate shingles are incredibly sturdy and can last for many generations.

Slate tile roof shingles are expensive, making it difficult for most homeowners to afford them.

Slate roofs are also very heavy and require special equipment to install.

Many homeowners simply cannot afford to have an entire slate roof put on their homes because of the expense.

Synthetic slate shingles often come in different colors and patterns.

Synthetic slate shingling can be installed quickly and cheaply.

This type of shingle is typically less expensive than an entire slate roof.

However, synthetic slate shingles do not last nearly as long as a real slate roof.

A typical slate roof weighs about 50 pounds per square foot.

A slate roof's weight allows it to withstand extreme weather conditions without leaking.


Solar Shingles

The sun is always shining, so why don't we use it to power our houses?

This is what solar shingles do.

These roof tiles are covered with solar cells, which convert sunlight into energy.

And since they're installed on top of existing roofs, you won't have to tear off old shingles or pay extra money to install a unique roof system.

But while these tiles might seem like a no-brainer, some significant issues need to be resolved before they become mainstream.

First, there's the cost. Second, there's the durability of the materials.

While most people assume that these tiles will last forever, they actually degrade over time.

Third, there's the question of how much energy each panel produces.

Some estimates say that a typical home could save up to 10% of its annual energy bill.


Struggling To Decide Which Shingle Is Right For You?

There are tons of options when it comes to choosing between different types of roof shingles.

They each have their own benefits and can vary widely in cost.

Choice is good and bad.

We're fortunate to have so many great roofing options, yet it isn't easy to make a decision when faced with so many options.

The best way to figure out what's best for your roof is to speak to a professional roofing company.

For over 15 years, the roofing contractors with TK Roofing and Gutters have provided Northeast Ohio residents with the highest quality roofing services available. 

With our customer-first approach, we treat your home as our own and ensure that it gets the care and attention it deserves. 

As a CertainTeed certified roofing company, we can offer the most extended warranties in the industry. 

That includes a 50-year no questions asked warranty on your asphalt shingles if that's what we determine is best for your roof.

That warranty will help your asphalt shingle roof last as long as some metal roofs.

We are also insurance specialists.

We can start the insurance process for you if your home was damaged due to a storm, high winds, or heavy snowfall.

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