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16 Types of Roofing Shingles

Published on Friday June 25, 2021
houses with different shingle styles

When it comes time to replace your roof, figuring out which type of roof shingle is best for your home can be a mammoth task. There are so many different types of shingles to choose from, all with their own list of pros and cons, cost differences, and unique styles. It can get overwhelming, fast.

We’ve broken down 16 different types of roof shingles to help. A new roof is a big, important investment. It’s always a good idea to know what you’re dealing with and what to expect from the types of roof shingles you choose, so here are details on 16 different types of shingles you can consider for your roof replacement:

1. 3 Tab

three tab roof

3 tab asphalt shingles are one popular type of asphalt shingle (yes, there are different types of asphalt shingles) and the most affordable to install. 3 tab asphalt shingles typically cost between $350 to $450 per square to install, but where you live can have an impact on pricing, driving it either up or down.

While 3 tab asphalt shingle roofing is an affordable option, keep in mind that the shingle itself tends to be thin and has an organic-mat paper base. These types of shingles wear out more quickly than most other types of roof shingles, so you will likely need to get them replaced sooner.

2. Aluminum Shingles

Metal roofing has become increasingly popular over the last years, and metal roof shingles are often preferred due to their stylish appearance, durability, and flexibility in color and design. Aluminum shingles are easy to install since they are a lightweight material, and are therefore the perfect option for many older homes that don’t have the structure to support heavy shingles.

Metal roofing is becoming a popular choice for roof replacements due to its durability and long lifespan. Aluminum shingles can last up to 100 years when they are properly installed and maintained.

The downside when it comes to aluminum shingles is the price. Metal roofing shingles can cost anywhere from $5 to $13 per square foot—or $500 to $1,300 per square. That’s much higher than the $350-$450 of 3 tab asphalt shingles. 

3. Standing Seam Metal

standing seam roof

A standing seam metal roof is a type of roof that has raised seams—or vertical legs—that are raised above the flat area of the metal panel. While most homeowners aren’t aware of it, the standing seam system can be used to make a wall or a roof, the latter of which is most common.

The main advantage of standing seam metal roofs is that the fastener is protected by being hidden. The metal panel can be attached to your roof deck via a clip, or it can be directly fastened to the ducking material with a fastener flange underneath the vertical leg.

Standing seam roofs do come in a variety of colors, widths, shapes, thicknesses, and more, helping them become popular for their ability to suit different preferences. 

4. Corrugated Steel

This type of metal roofing is made from a metal sheet roll-formed into panels. The steel panes, which are traditionally wavy, are screwed directly to the roof. It’s a fairly low-cost way of getting a metal roof, and it’s also very lightweight, durable, long-lasting, and energy-efficient. 

The term “corrugated” can be a tricky term, but people in the roofing industry use it to refer to the wavy “S” shape of the panel. Anything that is rounded and wavy can be corrugated, so boxy, square shapes are excluded. The actual term, however, means a type of metal that is formed into ridges or grooves—which would include boxy, square shapes. Be sure to clarify when determining your roofing style.

The corrugating process is meant to increase the strength of the metal sheet, helping it be more resistant to breaking. Corrugating gives the steel panel a high strength-to-weight ratio, allowing it to hold up much better over time.

5. Wood Shingles

As the name implies, wood shingles are made from wood. Wood shingles are cut into perfect, identical shapes, so there isn’t a lot of flexibility in terms of 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 anywhere from 15 to 50 years. 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. 

6. Wood Shake Shingles

wood shakes

Wood shakes and wood shingles are very similar. The difference between the two is mostly about style. While wood shingles are cut into perfect shapes that all match each other, wood shakes are sawn off or hand split. Wood shake shingles are usually made out of cedar trees. Logs are split into shakes, which gives the roof a much more rustic appearance than wood shingles. 

Wood shake shingles tend to be more expensive than wood shingles and can last anywhere from 30 to 40 years depending on the quality of wood, installation, and maintenance. Like wood shingles, wood shake shingles are susceptible to rot and mold.

7. Clay Tiles

clay tiles

Clay roofing tiles are made exactly how they sound: with clay. Clay tiles can range slightly in color, from whites to yellow, to orange, and even to brown. The density of the tiles depends on how long they were heated and what the temperature was, but they are one of the most durable types of roof shingles.

While clay tiles do give your home a unique appearance, they can cost anywhere from two to three times as much as the standard asphalt shingle roof. They are a durable, long-lasting roofing option that is eco-friendly, low maintenance, and resistant to rot and mold, but they are expensive, difficult to install, brittle, unsuited to some roof slopes, and are heavy.

8. Concrete Tile

Concrete roofing tiles are a more budget-friendly alternative to traditional clay tiles. If you want the appearance of a clay tile roof and high durability but without the high cost, consider a concrete tile roof. 

Concrete tiles have a substantial lifespan of about 50 years, offer excellent fire protection, and don’t require a lot of maintenance. They are also very resistant to rot and mold. But just like clay tiles, concrete tile roofing can be very heavy and isn’t suitable for all roof slopes. Their color can also fade over time.

9. Slate Tile

This prestigious roofing material is popular for its beautiful appearance. Made from metamorphic rock, it can have a weak bond between its layers. That’s why slate tile is usually split right along those planes. While individual tiles can have a tendency to crack, a full roof made out of slate tile can last for 50 years without needing a replacement.

The installation process for slate tiles can be complicated since it requires a solid mortar surface and a skilled hand. A disadvantage to slate tile roofing is definitely the softness of the tile and their tendency to split, but they do have a lot of longevity. 

10. Impact-Resistant Shingles

If you’re looking through different types of shingles in search of something that’s going to withstand high winds and hail, this is a great choice. An “impact-resistant shingle” is a type of shingle designed to withstand hail damage and high winds. They come in a variety of material types, including copper, aluminum, plastic, and resin. 

For a shingle to be approved as impact-resistant, it must first pass testing classes. Four different sizes of steel balls (ranging from an inch and a quarter to two inches) are dropped at varying heights (12 to 20 feet). This process is meant to mimic falling hail at high speeds. In addition to the hail test, an impact-resistant shingle roof must also be able to withstand high winds up to 110 miles per hour.

If you live in an area with severe storms or if you’d like your home to be protected from a rare storm like this, impact-resistant shingles may be perfect for you. Thousands of homeowners unfortunately lose their homes to wind damage or hail storms. Impact-resistant shingles can help protect you from such a catastrophe.

11. Composition Shingles

Composition shingle roofing is a variant of asphalt shingles and can be made to mimic different types of shingle styles. They are manufactured using a blend of roofing materials (fiberglass, asphalt, and even recycled paper) to help make them more eco-friendly and durable.

Composition shingles have a 25-50 year warranty and come in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and designs to suit the preferences of your home and unique roof. They are lightweight and aren’t easily damaged. They don’t split, peel, warp, or crack when exposed to weather elements and can be made out of lots of recyclable materials like plastics, tires, or wood shavings.

12. Architectural (Dimensional) Shingles

If you like the idea of asphalt shingle roofing but want something a bit more durable, architectural shingles may be the type of roof shingles you choose. Architectural (or dimensional) shingle roofs have an extra layer of laminate to help contour the shingles and give them a classy appearance.

Architectural shingles are more costly than standard asphalt shingles when it comes to installation, but they come in more designs and can mimic other material types. Expect an architectural shingle roof to last twice as long as a 3 tab asphalt roof—up to 50 years or even more with good maintenance. 

13. Luxury Asphalt Shingles

Luxury shingle roofing is made out of a blend of materials, including asphalt. Due to the blend of materials, luxury asphalt shingles are heavier and stronger than normal asphalt shingles. They stand up much better to severe storms, winds, and hail than traditional asphalt shingle roofing. 

Luxury asphalt shingles can be designed to mimic other material types without the extra cost. They have a multi-dimensional texture and appearance, giving them a luxurious appearance without the cost of paying for wood or clay materials or having to deal with any of the maintenance worries.

14. Solar Panels

If you’re looking through the different types of roof shingles for something that can help you go off-grid, then check out solar panel shingles. Solar shingles are a modern design that is essentially made up of solar panels designed to function and appear like conventional roofing material. They do this all while generating electricity for your home.

If you want your roof to retain the appearance and aesthetics of a traditional roof but want to gain the energy advantage of solar panels, then solar shingles may be the perfect option for you. They can help make your home eco-friendly and budget-friendly, helping you save on your energy bills in the long run.

A downside to solar panel shingles is the installation cost, and it can be difficult to find a professional skilled in that particular roofing installation.

15. Copper Shingles

Copper roofing is one of the most durable, long-lasting roofing types you can find on the market today, right alongside clay, concrete, and slate tiles. That being said, it can be an expensive roofing type since the material itself is so valuable.

While copper roofs are usually installed as panels, they can be installed as shingles. A copper roof will increase the value of your home and may even give you lower insurance rates due to its fire resistance. It’s also naturally resistant to mold and algae growth.

A con to copper roofing is that it can be loud. It doesn’t do a great job at soundproofing rain or winds, so storms can get pretty noisy.

16. Rubber Roof Shingles

Rubber roof shingles are typically up to 95 percent recycled materials. They can be made of recycled rubber, plastic, and slate dust—or old shingles. Rubber roof shingles can be melted down and recycled into a fully new product after being used on your home as a roof.

Since they’re mostly rubber, this shingle type is resistant to mold and mildew growth, is fairly durable and weather-resistant, and you’ll be surprised at how little maintenance is required to obtain a long lifespan. On the downside, they can have an unpleasant smell—especially when freshly installed—and they aren’t on the cheap side of roofing material types.

Which Type of Shingle is Right For Your Roof?

Long Roofing has many different types of roof shingles to choose from, including  3-tab, dimensional, and standing seam metal roofs. Our expert team can not only help you in your installation project, but we can help you narrow down the types of shingles that will work well for your particular roof. Contact our team today to schedule your appointment.

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