Pros and Cons of Different Types of Shingles

Choosing your roof’s shingles can be a big task. Your roof is one of the most aspects of your home. Not only does it provide protection, but it creates curb appeal for your home. While you probably want shingles that match what everyone around you has, there are many types of shingles to choose from, each with different pros and cons.

Top Types of Asphalt Shingles

We’ve narrowed down the top types of asphalt shingles here with pros and cons for each to help you choose.

Asphalt shingles are the most popular types of shingles because they are the most affordable. Over 80% of homes have asphalt shingles on their home. They are available in many shapes and sizes to help you get the look you want.

They help keep your home cool or warm, resist algae when treated, and protect it from hail damage.

Here are the top types of asphalt shingles.

3-Tab Shingles

3-tab shingles are the most common of the types of shingles. They are the least expensive and most basic option. They are cut strips of asphalt that look flat on your roof. They are lightweight because they are made from one strip and are expected to last 18 – 20 years.


  • The most affordable option
  • It can last up to 20 years with proper inspections


  • It can look basic
  • It may not withstand extreme temperatures

Luxury Shingles

As the name suggests, luxury or premium shingles are of higher quality and cost more. In addition, these asphalt shingles are laminated, giving your home an upgraded look while protecting your home from bad weather.

Luxury shingles are dimensional and can mimic the look of wood shake or slate roofs. They are also great in high winds, including tornadoes and hurricanes.


  • Available in a large number of colors
  • It can last up to 30 years


  • Higher cost
  • Heavyweight

Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles are an upgrade from 3-tab shingles. They have two layers, giving your roof a multi-dimensional appearance. Architectural shingles can mimic other roofing types, like slate or wood shake, and increase your home’s curb appeal.

Architectural shingles give your home some depth without the added weight of heavier roofing materials that require support. They last for an average of 30 years and can increase your home’s value due to the protection it provides, along with the curb appeal.


  • High wind and snow load resistance
  • Customizable to mimic most looks


  • More expensive than 3-tab shingles
  • Heavier than 3-tab shingles

Wood Shingles

Wood shingles are obviously made of wood. The design is the same from roof to roof, and they provide a rustic look. They are weather resistant, but only in the right temperatures. If you live in an area that’s too wet, they could be prone to rotting or mod.


  • Depending on the type of wood, they can last up to 50 years
  • Provides dimension


  • Must be treated to prevent rotting or mold
  • There isn’t a lot of customization available

Aluminum Shingles

Metal roofing is increasing in popularity because of its stamina. They last long, and aluminum shingles offer more flexibility than most metal roofs. In addition, aluminum shingles don’t require a lot of support, so they work well on older homes that may not have the support to withstand heavier roofing.


  • It can last up to 100 years
  • Offers many options for color and design


  • Much higher cost
  • Noisy in rain and other weather elements

Wood Shake Shingles

Wood shake shingles are similar to wood shingles, but they are hand sawed or split instead of a uniform cut. Wood shake shingles have a much more rustic appearance because of the lack of uniformity, but it’s a look many homeowners prefer.

But because they are made of wood, they only work in certain areas. If your area is too wet, the roof could be susceptible to rot and mold quickly.


  • Provides a unique look
  • It can last up to 40 years when treated properly


  • More expensive than wood shingles
  • Can rot or mold easily

Slate Tile

Slate tile is a metamorphic stone and is common in custom home markets. It has an architectural design you won’t find in any other roof and is highly resistant to most weather elements, including high winds.

Slate roofs are also fire-proof, which is a selling point for most homeowners. In addition, they often increase a home’s value because of their durability and beauty, making it a good investment in your home.


  • It can last as long as 75 years
  • Low maintenance


  • Much more expensive than other options
  • A very heavy material

Clay Tiles

Clay roof tiles are ceramic tiles that take on any shape or style you want for your roof. They are most commonly found in a red terra cotta color and are baked into individual tiles. They often include other materials to give them durability and a longer lifespan.


  • Requires little maintenance
  • Lasts as long as 100 years


  • Made from a heavy material
  • One of the most expensive types of shingles

Standing Seam Metal

Standing seam metal roofs have concealed fasteners, so you can’t see them, giving the roof an attractive appearance. They last 40+ years, making them a good investment in your home. Standing seam roofs are available in many colors and styles to give homeowners options.


  • It’s a maintenance-free option
  • Has incredible curb appeal


  • One of the most expensive options for shingled roofs
  • It can be noisy in bad weather

Corrugated Steel

Corrugated steel roofs are made from sheets of steel shaped into roofing with ridges and grooves. It’s not incredibly common for homes, but it is often used on barns and other areas of the home.


  • Reflects the sun away, keeping the area cool
  • It may last up to 45 years


  • Fasteners may be exposed, which isn’t aesthetically pleasing
  • The final appearance isn’t great for curb appeal on a residential home

Composite Plastic Shingles

Composite plastic shingles are made from recycled materials, including plastic. They can imitate most roof styles and are a lighter option, making them suitable for most homes. Because they are plastic, though, their lifespan is much shorter than other options.


  • An eco-friendly option
  • Inexpensive


  • Short lifespan
  • Not good in extreme weather conditions

Copper Shingles

Copper shingles are one of the longest-lasting roofing options. They are installed in panels, not shingles, and because of their fire resistance, they can help you save money on home insurance. In addition, copper shingles are mold- and algae-resistant, unlike many other shingle choices.


  • Long-lasting
  • It may increase your home’s value


  • Loud in bad weather (rain, etc.)
  • Much higher cost than most options

Rubber Roof Shingles

Rubber roof shingles mimic the look of asphalt shingles but with rubber. They are very low maintenance but cost more because of the materials used. Rubber roof shingles are made from recycled rubber and other materials, including plastic.


  • Mold and mildew resistant
  • Low maintenance


  • It can have an unpleasant odor
  • Can be costly


What is the most common type of shingle?

Asphalt shingles are found on most homes. They are the most affordable and the most flexible for home types. You can find asphalt shingles in various colors and designs to create the look you desire on your home.

What shingles last the longest?

Luxury shingles last the longest asphalt shingle because of their dimension. They are comprised of layers rather than a single layer like 3-tab shingles. They can withstand bad weather because they are thicker and require less maintenance.

If you’re looking for a different material, clay and copper shingles last the longest but are much more expensive than asphalt shingles.

What is the best type of shingle for roofing?

There isn’t a single best shingle for roofing. The best shingle for your home depends on the weather and temperature in your area, the lifespan you desire, and the amount of maintenance you can handle.

Final Thoughts

When choosing the types of shingles for your roof, consider what you want from it. Are you looking for a certain style? Do you want a roof that will last 40+ years? Do you worry about noise, weather, or fire resistance?

Talk to your roofing contractor about the most popular options in your area and see how they stack up against your budget. Together you can choose the best types of shingles for your home.