In This Article
Did you know that over 80% of American homes have shingle roofs? These are mostly asphalt shingles—a protective base layer covered with asphalt and coated with mineral granules. But while asphalt shingles are popular, there is a surprising amount of variety between types of asphalt roof shingles. So how do you know which is right for your home?
We’re Classic Roofing & Construction, and we’ve got 20 years of experience with installing and maintaining asphalt shingle roofs in Florida. And today, we’re using that experience to explain the different types of asphalt roof shingles so you can decide which roofing material is right for your home. But first, let’s start with some background on asphalt roof shingles.
Why Are Asphalt Roof Shingles So Popular?
Asphalt shingles have been used in American homes since 1903. And even when they first entered the mark, they quickly exploded in popularity thanks to the many benefits of asphalt roof shingles. Specifically, customers have long appreciated that asphalt shingles:
- Are versatile and can fit on a variety of different roof slopes and angles
- Come with a wide variety of types of asphalt roof shingles in terms of composition and aesthetics
- Have a very reasonable price point
- Are wind-, fire-, and impact-resistant
- Resist the development of algae and mold
Clearly, there’s a lot to love about asphalt roof shingles. But ultimately, which type of asphalt roof shingle is right for your home will depend on a lot of factors specific to your home, local Florida zoning laws, and what you want to get out of your roof.
Types of Asphalt Roof Shingles
Which type of asphalt roof shingles is best for you will come down to your unique needs as a homeowner. But there are three distinct types of asphalt roof shingles that dominate the current market—three-tab shingles, architectural shingles, and luxury shingles.
To get started, let’s talk about what you can expect from a roof made of three-tab shingles.
1. Three-Tab Shingles
Also known as strip shingles, three-tab shingles are the oldest form of shingle still on the market. They’re made of a single layer of asphalt and have a one-dimensional look that closely resembles the look of slate. And in comparison to the other types of asphalt roof shingles, it’s by far the most affordable option, both because of its simpler composition and its remarkably easy installation.
However, that great cost comes at, well, a cost. To start, three-tab asphalt roof shingles generally only last 15 to 20 years, by far the shortest lifespan of any shingle roofing option. They’re also more prone to damage and less weather-resistant due to their thinner composition. And this can be a problem in Florida, which has weather that’s famously tough on roughs. This can increase the cost of a three-tab shingle roof over time, since they may need more repairs than other types of asphalt roof shingles.
Three-tab shingles also have a specific aesthetic appeal. Unlike other asphalt shingles, they do not create dimension on a roof. So while they’re available in a variety of colors and do create a clean, finished look, they are not the most visually stunning roofing option.
In short, three-tab shingles can be a good option if you’re on a tight budget and don’t need the strongest roof. This makes them popular with companies that construct inexpensive homes. But in most cases, you can find another asphalt roof shingle option that is still affordable while adding better protection than three-tab shingles.
2. Architectural Shingles
Architectural shingles, sometimes called laminate or dimensional shingles, are one of the most common types of asphalt roof shingles. Unlike three-tab shingles, these are made from two or more layers of asphalt, which gives them increased protection and durability. This has the secondary effect of creating a richer, multi-dimensional appearance, which can add a lot of visual interest to your roof and increase curb appeal. It also provides increased protection and durability for your new roof.
But architectural shingles have cons of their own, too. For instance, they’re heavier than three-tab shingles, which can make them too heavy for some homes (although most can still support architectural shingles). They’re also more expensive than three-tab shingles, but they’re still an affordable roofing option for the majority of homeowners. And they’re especially affordable when you consider that they can last up to 30 years—much more than three-tab shingles.
Like three-tab shingles, architectural shingles come in a variety of colors to match your vision. And while they can achieve a variety of finishes, the most popular styles of architectural shingles look like wood shake or natural slate, two classic roofing styles.
3. Luxury Shingles
As the name implies, luxury shingles are the gold standard among different types of asphalt roof shingles. These are the largest and thickest tiles on the market, which makes them both heavier and substantially more durable than either three-tab or architectural shingles.
When it comes to standing up to Florida’s rain, winds, and sun exposure, luxury shingles are second to none. And of all the types of asphalt shingles, luxury shingles will last the longest—up to 40 years in some cases! And they’re also industry leaders in aesthetics. With richer, bolder colors and even better dimensionality than architectural shingles, luxury shingles create the most realistic-looking wood shake and slate effects. As a result, homes with luxury shingles often have much more curb appeal.
Of course, luxury shingles are the most expensive asphalt roof shingle option. However, among high-end roofing materials, these still come in as the most affordable, so the price can still certainly fit within many budgets. So whether you’re planning to stay in your current home for decades or planning to sell it, luxury shingles can be a fantastic option.
Find the Best Florida Roofing Company for Your New Roof
At the end of the day, different types of asphalt roof shingles work best in different situations. But one thing is constant: Only an experienced, professional roofer can give your home a quality roofing system. And while picking out the right type of asphalt shingle roof is important, who installs that roof matters just as much.
To start, you want a roofer with experience and a great reputation. Classic has been helping communities all over Greater Tampa Bay for 20 years, and in that time we’ve earned a lot of trust. That’s clear from our hundreds of reviews and average 4.8-star rating on Google. This shows you that we don’t just talk a big game—we live by our 100% happiness guarantee.
And part of looking out for our clients includes installing the highest quality asphalt roof shingles on the market. And as GAF Master Elite-certified roofers, we have access to both the best roofing materials and the best warranties. This means that your home isn’t protected just by strong, durable asphalt shingles, but also by manufacturer-backed warranties.
If you’re ready to discuss which types of asphalt roof shingles could work for your roof, we’re ready to help. Schedule your free estimate online and one of our roofing experts will inspect your roof and discuss your options for your new shingle roof. We’re one of Florida’s favorite shingle roofing companies, so give us a try and see why people love our Classic way of doing things.