What are 3-tab shingles and are they the best option?

by robbinsroofinginc on March 8, 2012

For decades, the standard in roofing has been 3-tab shingles. Offering a standard life of 20 to 30 years, they come in a full rainbow of different colors and are a good option for your home. While they are still the least expensive option among roofing choices, they are no longer the best option when it’s time for a roof replacement.


Traditional 3-tab shingles are constructed from asphalt and designed with three equally sized tabs. The tabs are staggered, creating a look similar to brickwork on the roofline. The shingles consist of two layers of asphalt that wrap around a fiberglass mat core. Most 3-tab shingles come with a 20 or 25 year warranty, and they continue to be the least expensive option when it’s time for a new roof.


However, 3-tab shingles are gradually giving way to heavier architectural shingles. Also known as dimensional, composite or laminated shingles, they have a 3-dimensional appearance to them. These shingles are also made of asphalt, but rather than giving the appearance of brickwork, they resemble wood shakes. They are also available in a full rainbow of different colors, so you can match them to your home perfectly. Here are some of the benefits of architectural shingles and why they are a better choice than 3-tab shingles.


The Test of Time: Both types of shingles have been around for decades. Architectural shingles were introduced in the 1970s and have gained in popularity ever since.


Hide Imperfections: Most roof decks are not perfect. They have slight dips and other imperfections. While 3-tab shingles will protect the roof, dimensional shingles will both protect it and hide those imperfections.


Weight: Architectural shingles are heavier, making them less likely to blow off during Oklahoma City storms. They are rated for 80 mph to 120 mph, versus only 60 mph ratings for most 3-tab shingles. The weight also makes them less prone to warping.


Appearance: The wood shake look creates an updated, attractive look for any home, increasing your home’s curb appeal.


Warranty: Most architectural shingles come with longer warranties, so you will save money a few years down the road.


The only downside to architectural shingles is that they do cost a little more. However, the cost difference is actually quite low. There is no cost difference in the labor involved with installation, and most homeowners are surprised to learn just how small the difference really is when they are having a new roof installed.


Here at Robbins Roofing, Inc., we offer both 3-tab and architectural shingles. We are happy to install either one on your home and our experienced roofers will answer any other questions you may have about the differences between them. Visit us today on Facebook or Twitter to learn more about the different roofing options we offer.

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