What Are the Types of Asphalt Roofing Shingles?

What Are the Types of Asphalt Roofing Shingles? post thumbnail

Asphalt shingle exists in three types. Do you find that surprising? It’s okay; you are not alone. Many others also do not know this, and it’s no coincidence that you are reading this.

Asphalt shingles are very popular for roofing homes because of their outstanding qualities and availability in different styles and colors. So, it is a wonder that many people do not know the types of asphalt shingles that have long existed.

By the end of this article, you will not only be familiar with the types of asphalt roofing shingles but also understand their unique advantages and disadvantages. This knowledge will empower you to make an informed decision about the best asphalt shingle type for your home.

Types of Asphalt Shingles

There are three types of asphalt shingles, which are uniquely different from one another. These types are:

  • Luxury
  • Architectural
  • 3-tab

Luxury Asphalt Shingles

Luxury asphalt shingle

Luxury asphalt shingles, also known as premium or designer shingles, are an elite type of asphalt shingles that have a similar appearance to actual slate tiles. Of the three types of asphalt shingles, this is the most functional and appealing. So it makes sense that it is also the most expensive one. 

This asphalt shingle costs about $8 per square foot. And like architectural asphalt shingles, it has a warranty of 30 years, which is prorated after 10 years. An upgrade to a non-prorated, improved warranty of 50 years with a full roof system is also possible.

Designer shingles are perfect for improving your home’s curb appeal and resale value.

Pros of Luxury Asphalt Shingles

  • It is durable and lasts a long time
  • Curb appeal is high
  • It is resistant to storms and harsh weather
  • It is stylish and exists in diverse colors

Cons of Luxury Asphalt Shingles

  • It is on the pricey side
  • Installation is a bit more complex
  • It needs regular maintenance

Architectural Asphalt Shingles

Architectural asphalt shingle

This type of asphalt roofing shingle is also known as dimensional or laminated shingles. It is prevalent in the roofing industry because it has the reputation of being one of the roofing materials with the best quality. 

Dimensional asphalt shingles are typically made of mineral granules that are ceramic-coated and dense fiberglass base material closely ingrained in water-resistant asphalt. This asphalt shingle type has a pattern that gives your roof the appearance of a wood shake roof or gives it dimension.

A square foot of architectural shingle roofing costs about $5.86 and has an estimated lifespan of 22–25 years. Manufacturers of this roof type usually offer a warranty of 30 years, which is prorated at the end of ten years. You can also upgrade to a non-prorated, improved warranty of 50 years with a full roof system.

Pros of Architectural Asphalt Shingles

  • Easy to install and repair
  • It is affordable
  • Available in a variety of colors 
  • It is resistant to fire and insects
  • Has warranties that go from 22 years to a lifetime
  • It is low-maintenance

Cons of Architectural Asphalt Shingles

  • Prone to damage from heavy hail
  • Too much friction can loosen the granules
  • In comparison to some materials, its curb appeal is low

3-Tab Asphalt Shingles

3-tab asphalt shingle

3-tab asphalt shingles have three tabs on every shingle strip, hence their name. Additionally, when you install them, they stay in place. Before the advent of architectural asphalt, an improved version of this shingle, 3-tab asphalt, used to be the star of the show in the residential roofing industry. 

The average lifespan of a 3-tab asphalt shingle is 20 years. They cost about $4 per square foot and usually have a material warranty of 25 years from the shingle manufacturer.

Pros of 3-Tab Asphalt Shingles

  • It is a very cheap material
  • Easy to install and repair
  • Available in different styles and colors

Cons of 3-Tab Asphalt Shingles

  • Low resistance to high winds and inclement weather
  • Can grow mold and decay easily when it traps moisture
  • It has a shorter lifespan and warranty than others
  • Curb appeal is low
  • It is gradually being eliminated from the roofing industry

Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Asphalt Shingles


The 3-tab shingle is the most regular when it comes to appearance. Its designs are basic, and its colors are limited. It is typically one layer of asphalt with a granulated surface. On the other hand, architectural shingles give your roof a more dimensional appearance. They imitate the appearance of natural roofing materials like slate and wood shake. Architectural shingles are available in a variety of colors and comprise at least two layers, which the manufacturers laminate together.

Luxury shingles beat the other two in appearance. They are more sophisticated, with textured exteriors and several layers. They also exist in a blend of elaborate colors. So, if you want something grand and luxurious for your home, luxury asphalt is the one to pick.


The different types of asphalt shingles have varying levels of durability. A 3-tab asphalt shingle has low resistance to inclement weather and a lifespan of about 15-20 years (in normal conditions). 

Architectural shingles have a lifespan of about 25–30 years and are more durable than 3-tab shingles. They can also endure high winds and hail better than 3-tabs. Then there’s the luxury shingle, which is more durable than the other two options. They have a lifespan of about five years to a lifetime and are resistant to high winds because of their dense weight.


Now, this is a huge deciding factor for many homeowners. The roofing project budget! When money isn’t exactly something to worry about, this might be a secondary factor to consider. 

3-tab shingles are the cheapest kind of asphalt shingles, while luxury shingles are the most expensive option. They are the most costly because of the extra layers, color blends, and textured exteriors. When making a choice based on budget, remember that the most affordable is not usually the best choice. Likewise, if your budget is tight, going for the most expensive option, which has the best quality, may be optional.

What Are the Warranties for the Types of Asphalt Shingles?

Every asphalt shingle comes with a typical material warranty from the manufacturer. A limited warranty of 25 years is the sole material warranty manufacturers offer for 3-tab asphalt shingles. However, luxury and architectural asphalt shingles have a prorated warranty of 30 years, which you can upgrade to a non-prorated, improved warranty of 50 years. 

All components of the asphalt roofing system must be from the same manufacturer to be eligible for an enhanced warranty. The warranty ensures that after installation, the manufacturer protects all roofing materials.

Without a doubt, luxury and architectural shingles are ideal if their additional protection and warranty are vital to you.


Now that we have reached the end of this article, we are confident that you have a clearer vision of what you want and which of the three options to go for. As a homeowner working with a budget, we won’t be surprised if you choose 3-tab or architectural shingles.  

When making your choices, it is essential to keep in mind that the long-term value is just as significant as the initial cost of materials. A superior-quality roof will give your property tighter security and outlive an inferior one, saving you the costs of repairs and replacement in the long run. So, while the initial cost of the best-quality material might be intimidating, we advise that you see the bigger picture to make the best choice for your roofing project.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best grade of asphalt shingles?

The best grade of asphalt shingles is the luxury shingle. It has a unique and sophisticated look. They are the most durable and usually last up to 30 years, with better resistance to wind and other conditions. 

What type of roof shingles are best?

Asphalt shingles are considered the best, as they are very popular among homeowners. They consist of an asphalt-coated fiberglass base material covered in granules. The granules act as protection against the elements.

Do asphalt shingles fade?

Yes! Asphalt shingles fade over time. However, the degree of fading depends on different factors. The most common factor is the shade of color. For instance, a darker shade will fade into a lighter one at a much faster rate. Therefore, we advise that you go for lighter shades for the color of your shingle to last.

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