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What Are the Three Types of Asphalt Shingles?

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Next time you walk through your neighborhood, you should look at some of the different roofs in your area. You’ll probably notice that they all have different styles, colors, and textures. Chances are, despite their differences, almost all of them are asphalt roofs.

Featuring a durable asphalt coating that is resistant to moisture, inclement weather, and fire hazards, asphalt shingles are designed to protect your home with minimal maintenance.

Their durability and longevity make them the roofing material of choice for the vast majority of homes throughout North Carolina. However, one of the biggest reasons homeowners tend to choose asphalt shingles is because of their versatility. 

There are three major categories of asphalt shingles used for roofing a house: 3-tab, dimensional, and luxury. Each type comes with its own unique aesthetic, price point, and lifespan. Keep reading to find out which asphalt shingle could be a good fit for you.

3-Tab (or Strip Shingles)

three-tab shinglesHouse with three-tab shingles

Single-layer 3-tab shingles are the original and most basic of the three types. In the right conditions, they’re designed to withstand the elements for about 15- 20 years.

You can identify 3-tab shingles by their relatively simple, consistent appearance.  All of the individual shingles are the same shape, perfectly rectangular, and lay flat next to each other. They are popular among national builders of new economy homes.

  • Pros: Since they are made from a single layer, they’re affordable and easy to install. They also have multiple color options available.
  • Cons: Unfortunately, 3-tab’s lack some of the aesthetic qualities of dimensional and luxury shingles.  


Dimensional (or Architectural Shingles)

pasted image 0_WebP-2House with Architectural Shingles

Dimensional shingles feature two layers of asphalt that are bonded together. These shingles are much more durable than 3-tab and boast a multi-dimensional texture and appearance that can last 30 years or longer.  

It’s reported that dimensional shingles are the most popular asphalt shingle, making up three-quarters of all roofing sales.  

  • Pros: Typically, heavier than strip shingles and have improved warranty protection.  Multi-dimensional appearance to replicate wood shake.  The real appeal is they look great as you ride through a neighborhood.
  • Cons: You’re going to pay somewhere in the range of 25% more than the 3-tab shingle


Luxury (or Premium Shingles)

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Luxury Shingles are the highest-quality asphalt shingle available offering a differentiated appearance that outclasses that of dimensional shingles. 

Apart from being shingle “heavyweights” that offer protection for weathering they offer the most realistic representation of old-world shake and quarried slate. Shakes and slate are expensive to purchase and extremely laborious to install and can cost as much as 10 times that of dimensional.

  • Pros: Stunning to look at, presenting the highest quality, coloration, and dimensionality. Maximum durability makes them more affordable than natural slate or cedar.
  • Cons: More expensive than 3-tab and dimensional shingles.


Ready to Choose Your Shingles?

With a durable design that comes in a wide variety of styles and price points, it is no wonder that homeowners throughout North Carolina consistently choose asphalt shingles for their homes.

Before we get you too excited about the world of asphalt roofing, it’s important to note that asphalt shingles may not work for every home. Choosing the right shingles can greatly impact the aesthetic value and longevity of your roof.

We here at On Tops Roofing are dedicated to helping homeowners figure out the best roofing solutions for their homes. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for help choosing the right asphalt shingles for your home, a free roofing estimate, or to simply learn more about our roofing process.

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