Comparing Shingle Materials | Types Of Shingles
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Comparing Shingle Materials

Published by Andrew Schmidt

There are a variety of shingle options for your roof, and your budget, the climate you live in, and the environmental impact may lead you one way or the other. Here is a short rundown of what is available, from least to most expensive.


We have already mentioned that asphalt is the most common kind of shingle, and what is great about it are the variety of styles and price points available. They are appropriate for any climate, and are wind-resistant and easy to maintain. Architectural shingles are laminated asphalt, which brings depth of color and texture to create a more natural appearance.

When comparing asphalt shingles, you can differentiate between those reinforced with organic materials and those reinforced with fiberglass materials. Organic shingles have a felt base covered with asphalt and mineral granules. Fiberglass shingles have a fiberglass mat between layers of asphalt and mineral granules.

If you are looking for a shingle with higher fire resistance, fiberglass shingles are a better choice than organic. If you are interested in eco-friendly options, look to asphalt shingles with reflective granules reduce heat transfer from the roof to the attic – many are made with recycled materials.


Synthetic shingles are made to look like other materials like slate, wood and tile. They are pricier than asphalt shingles, but are available in many colors and styles and work well in any climate. Many are produced with recycled materials and may be recycled after use. Since this type of shingle is relatively new to the market, the durability of its material and color is still being determined.


Metal is now available for residential applications as well as commercial buildings. The shingles are made to look like other materials and panels and offer clean lines, making them an excellent choice for a farmhouse or a house in an urban area. Metal roofing is durable in harsher weather conditions, and is resistant to fire, hail, moisture and fungal growth. It is low-maintenance, but is also one of the more expensive roofing materials. It is fully recyclable.


In order to have high-quality wood shingles, you must have a high-end budget. They are aesthetically beautiful, but require a lot of maintenance since they are susceptible to rot and insect damage. Depending on how the material is pretreated, the fire rating on wood shingles is generally poor. If you are willing to spend the money, be sure to look for a wood shingle that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which guarantees that the wood is from a well-managed forest.


Whether your home is new or historic, slate is an elegant choice in roofing. It is incredibly durable, withstanding just about any weather, is low-maintenance and long-lasting. Slate is expensive, and since it is a heavier material, chances are if you are re-roofing you will have to reinforce your roof trusses so they are able to hold up its weight. Slate is a natural resource that can be recycled, however, it leaves a large environmental footprint when you consider the energy expended to get it from quarry to roof.

When you compare roofing shingles, regardless if you are re-roofing or starting from scratch, it is important to explore all of your options to find the best fit for your home.




Courtesy of Roofing Networks

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