Jacksonville: (904) 528-0188 | Palm Coast: (386) 356-5020  | Denver: (720) 599-8050 | Melbourne: (321) 294-4887
Jacksonville: (904) 528-0188 | Palm Coast: (386) 356-5020   Denver: (720) 599-8050| Melbourne: (321) 294-4887

Architectural Shingles vs. 3-Tab Shingles: What’s Best for Your Roof?

When deciding on what type of roofing to use for your home, it is important to consider all the options. There are several different types available, and they each have their benefits and drawbacks, which you should be aware of before choosing one so that you can make an informed choice.

Asphalt shingles remain the most popular choice for homeowners in the United States, with up to 80% of homes having this material on their rooftops. 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 are available in an organic or fiberglass material variation. The organic asphalt shingles consist of felt paper made with organic materials coated in asphalt. The fiberglass variations are made up of a woven fiberglass mat topped with asphalt and ceramic granules. The asphalt shingle design also comes in two types, 3-Tab, or 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 shingle roofing option. One long shingle is made and then cut into three tabs of equal size during the manufacturing process. There is uniformity here as every single tab has been neatly cut with precision. The uniformity in the production process makes them lightweight and easy to install on just about every home.

What Are Architectural Shingles?

Architectural shingles offer distinctiveness. These shingles can give your home’s roof a unique and more sophisticated appearance. Instead of being cut into tabs, architectural 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, giving them the look of a slate or shake roof for a lower cost. Architectural shingles are twice as heavy as 3-tab shingles, and they also cost a bit more.

Comparing the Options

When deciding on the direction of your roof replacement project, one should consider the cost, versatility, and durability of the roofing materials.


Regarding affordability, 3-tab shingles come out on top. You’re likely to find 3-tab shingles on lower-end homes purely for budgetary reasons. Architectural shingles can cost up to 25% more than 3-tab shingles, thus more commonly found on higher-end homes. Architectural shingles can also increase the value of your home.


3-Tab and architectural shingles are available in a wide variety of shades and colors. However, architectural shingles can be made to mimic the look of more high-end materials like metal and cedar, giving you a premium-looking roof without paying the hefty price.


Architectural shingles are thicker and heavier, making them more durable than 3-tab shingles. Architectural 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 coupled with a thorough maintenance plan.

If cost is no concern, there are many more advantages to architectural shingles, making them the better choice for your home.

No matter which shingle type you choose, we can help. Call Elo Roofing today for your free shingle roofing estimate.


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