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During a home build or a roof replacement, you need to make many decisions as a homeowner. There are several different roofing types, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed in a sea of information if you don’t know what to look for.

Asphalt shingle roofs remain the most popular choice for homeowners in the United States, with up to 80% of homes having this material on their roof. When compared to other options, asphalt shingles are affordable, durable, and aesthetically pleasing. However, there are different kinds of asphalt shingles, and this can become confusing.

Asphalt shingles come in organic or fiberglass variants. Organic asphalt shingles are made with felt paper coated in asphalt, and fiberglass shingles are made with a woven fiberglass mat that is covered in asphalt. Beyond this distinction, asphalt shingles come in two types: 3-Tab, or laminated, also known as architectural shingles.

Though both are good choices in different applications, there are a few key differences.


What are 3-Tab Shingles?

Budget-friendly and durable, 3-tab shingles are the most widely used option. In the manufacturing process, one long shingle is made and then cut into three tabs of equal size. There is uniformity here, as every shingle is the same shape and thickness. These shingles are also lightweight and easy to install.


What Are Laminated Shingles?

Laminated (or architectural) shingles offer distinctiveness. These shingles can give your home’s roof a unique and more sophisticated appearance. Instead of being cut into tabs, laminated shingles have additional pieces of asphalt laminated to the shingle with an asphalt sealant. Instead of having a uniform appearance, these vary in thickness and color, which can give the look of a slate or shake roof for a lower cost. Laminated shingles are twice as heavy as 3-tab shingles, and they also cost a bit more.


Comparing the Options

When taking on a roof replacement, you should consider the cost, appearance, and durability of the materials.

Cost: When it comes to affordability, 3-tab shingles win out. Often, you can find 3-tab shingles on lower-end homes purely for budgetary reasons. Laminated shingles can cost up to 25% more than 3-tab shingles so are more commonly found on higher-end homes. Laminated shingles can also increase the value of your home.

Appearance: Both 3-tab and laminated shingles are manufactured in a variety of colors, therefore finding something to match your home should be straightforward. Laminated shingles come in more shading and texture styles and can even mimic the look of high-end materials like slate. 3-tab shingles, on the other hand, can look dull.

Durability: Laminated shingles are thicker and heavier, making them more durable than 3-tab shingles. Laminated shingles are rated for winds up to 110mph while 3-tab shingles are rated for 60mph winds. 3-tab shingle roofs will need replacing after 20 years while a roof with laminated shingles can last about 30 years all being well.

If cost is no concern, then there are many more advantages to laminated shingles.

No matter which shingle type you choose, we can help. Call Port Orchard Roofing LLP today for your free estimate.

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