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What are the different types of roof shingles?

There are 18 different types of roof shingles you can choose to replace or have installed on your home. Each one has different benefits, costs, materials, and style. We break down all shingled roof types below. Use our quick replacement roof cost chart to get an idea on how much you will spend for each. If you would like to get a local estimate, use our replacement roof cost calculator, or input your zip code below to get quotes from up to 4 local contractors for free.

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Types of Roof Shingles
Roof Shingle Type Installation Costs Lifespan
3 Tab Asphalt Shingles $5,000 - $12,500 20 years
Architectural Shingles $12,450 - $15,785 30 years
Metal Roof Shingles $5,000 - $28,000 80 years
Rubber Shingles $11,000 - $18,000 20 years
Solar Shingles $60,000 - $75,000 30 years
Tile Shingles $20,000 - $50,000 150 years
Wooden Shingles $10,000 - $15,645 30 years

Types of Roof Shingles

There are a few things to take into consideration when you are thinking of replacing your home’s roof with new shingles. A new shingled roof is a big investment, so you’ll want to take into consideration the cost to install certain roof shingle types as well as the lifespan you can expect from each

You’ll want to make sure your new roof will last for the amount of time you plan to own your home. The average life expectancy of a new asphalt shingle roof is 15 to 20 years.

architectural shingle colors

Here are the most common types of roof shingles homeowners choose to have installed on their home:

3 Tab Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingle roof costs are the most affordable as far as installation goes. They are the most common type of roof replacements or new home roof installations that homeowners choose. There are three main types of asphalt shingles: 3-tab asphalt, fiberglass asphalt, and architectural style asphalt shingles. 3 tab asphalt shingles are the most affordable shingle to install but they are thinner, have an organic-mat paper base, and wear out more quickly than fiberglass or architectural shingles.

The average price for a 3 tab asphalt shingle roof costs anywhere between $5,000 to $8,000 depending on the slope, pitch, and size of your roof. You can expect to pay as little as $.85 to $1.50 per sq. foot or $85 to $150 per square installed on a standard sized single story home. Architectural shingles are a bit more expensive to install at around $1.50 to $5.50 per square foot.

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3 tab asphalt shingles

Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles are more durable than asphalt shingle options in comparison to 3 tab asphalt shingles. The give off a sculpted look and have an extra laminate layer which contours them to look a bit more designed. Architectural shingles cost a bit more to install at $1.50 to $5.50 per square foot or $150 to $550 per square. They come in more luxurious looking styles that homeowners prefer and can even simulate wood shake designs. Though they are more expensive, they can last up to twice as long as 3-tab asphalt shingles. Architectural asphalt shingles can last from 30 to 50 years or more with proper maintenance. Though some homeowners choose to DIY install a new roof, we highly suggest hiring a local roof contractor to complete the job.

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architectural shingled roof

Metal Roof Shingles

Metal roof shingles are stylish in appearance and there are many different color options available to pick from. Metal roof shingles are relatively easily to install and they are very lightweight, making them a good option for homes with a roof system that simply can’t support heavier options. Metal roofing can last from 75 to 100 years and has one of the longest lifespans in comparison to other roof types. Metal roof installation costs near you may differ depending on the average price for labor in your neighborhood. On average metal roofing shingles cost $2.80 to $3.85 per square foot or $280 to $385 per square. Metal roofing also comes in sheet panels as well.  

Though some homeowners are handy enough when it comes to installing metal roofing, we highly suggest hiring a local professional to complete the job.

The 5 most common metal roofing materials include:

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metal roofing shingles

Wood Shingled Roofs

Wooden roof shingles are composed from several different types of wood that are split into thin sections. There are two style options of wooden roofs called wood shake or wood shingles. The difference between the two is that wood shingles are cut into perfect shapes while wood shakes are sawn off and hand split to give it a more rustic look. Wood shingle installation costs $4.25 to $9.50 per square foot or $425 to $950 per square. Wood shingles can last anywhere from 15 to 50 years depending on the type of wood that’s used and how it is treated before being installed on the home.

wooden shingle roof

Wood Shake Roofs

Wood shake roofing shingles are typically composed of cedar and they are created from cedar trees that are between 200 and 300 years old. To make the shingles, logs are split into sections known as shakes. This is what gives the shingles that characteristic rough look. The shingles are known for lasting longer than asphalt shingles when installed and maintained properly and they have a classy look to them, but they are more expensive and not environmentally sustainable.Wood shake is usually more expensive than wood shingles, they can cost around $6 to $10 per square foot. Wood shake can last from 30 to 40 years with regular maintenance.

wood shingles vs shakes

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Solar Shingles

Solar roofing shingles are one of the most modern types of roof shingles you can install today. They’re of course more expensive compared to other roofing options but they aren’t there just to keep water out of your home. Solar shingles are designed to generate electricity to power your home. Solar shingle installation on average costs $21 to $25 per square foot or $2,100 to $2,500 per square. Solar shingles are pleasing in appearance, but you won’t need to install them over the entirety of your home’s roof. You’ll need to decide what type of roofing you would want to install alongside your solar roof shingles. Solar shingles only function optimally on the south side of a roof, and that’s where they should be installed if at all possible. Eastern and western exposures are possible too, but they won’t be as efficient. Solar shingles can last from 20 to 25 years.

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solar shingles

Slate Tile Roofing Shingles

Slate roofing shingles are a stone roofing material that is installed as a shingle. Slate shingles are thin but very heavy when the whole roof is made out of them. Slate has a natural beauty to it that many people appreciate, but slate roof shingles do not really vary in color or looks. Slate roofing shingles cost on average $8 to $14 per square foot or $800 to $1,400 per square to install. Slate tiles are more difficult to install but when done properly they will give you one of the longest-lasting roof options available. Slate shingles come with an expensive price tag, but that doesn’t mean that slate isn’t a great roof type option if you can afford it. Many people decide slate roofs are worth the cost to install since they will last more than a lifetime. Slate tile roofs can last from 60 to 150 years. 

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slate roofing tiles

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Rubber Roof Shingles

Rubber roof shingles are a unique product and when the rubber is formed into shingles it looks very similar to asphalt shingles that are used on many homes today. Rubber shingles are simple to install and doesn’t require much maintenance, but it is a bit more expensive than asphalt shingles. Rubber roof shingles costs anywhere from $4.00 to $8.25 per square foot or $400 to $825 per square. However,  rubber roofing can last from 15 to 25 years on your home. Rubber roof shingles also can help with your energy bills and save you money on yearly utility costs. The type of rubber membrane you install will also affect costs. Rubber roofs come in the most affordable TPO, PVC , and most expensive EPDM roof.

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rubber shingle roofing

Composite Plastic Roof Shingles

Composite plastic shingles are generally produced from recycled plastic materials. They’re a way to get more life out of plastics and other materials that would simply be tossed out in most instances so they are a great environmentally friendly roof replacement option. You can expect to pay $4 to $6 per sq. foot for plastic shingles or $400 to $600 per square installed on a standard sized single story home.Composite plastic shingles can be designed to imitate stone slate tiles or even wood shakes. They are much lighter than slate or other roofing types which make them easy to install. Composite plastic shingles are relatively affordable, but they aren’t as long lasting as most other shingle types. Plastic roofing lasts from 7 to 20 years depending on the type of plastic you choose to install. Composite plastic roofs come in

composite plastic shingles

Tile Roofing Shingles

Tile roofing shingles are one of the most durable roofing types you can install, but that’s only the case when the tiles are installed properly. When placed on a mortar bed, the tiles are known to slip off after just a decade or so. Tiles aren’t very expensive to purchase depending on the type of tile you choose, but the installation will cost you a premium. You also may have to pay to have your roof strengthened to handle the weight of a new tile roof before it’s installed. Some tile roof is in line with metal roofing as far as lifespan goes and can lasts up to 100 years with proper maintenance. There are 8 different types of roofing tiles that you will see installed, the most common are:

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tile roof shingles

Average Roof Shingle Lifespan

Depending on the roof shingle type you have installed on your home and the extremities of the climate in your area you should be able to determine exactly how long your new roof replacement will last. Here is a list of all roof types and the lifespan you can expect for it to have before needing to be replaced:

Average Roof Shingle Lifespan
Roof Shingle TypesLifespan
Aluminum Coated3 to 7 years
Asphalt 3 Tab Shingles20 years
Asphalt Architectural Shingles30 years
Built Up Roofing (BUR)30 years
Clay Roofing Shingles100 years
Coal and Tar30 years
Copper Roofing70 years
Concrete Tile Roofing100 years
EPDM Rubber15 to 25 years
Fiber Cement25 years
Green Vegetation Roof5 to 40 years
Imitation Slate Tiles10 to 35 years
Metal Roofs40 to 80 years
Modified Bitumen20 years
Slate Stone Tiles60 to 150 years
TPO Rubber Roof7 to 20 years
Wooden Shingles25 years

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most affordable roof shingle type?
If you are looking to replace your roof, your most affordable option would be to install asphalt roofing shingles. Asphalt shingles have a few options with different price points you can expect depending on the quality of shingles and durability you are looking for.
  • Asphalt Organic Mat Shingles ($0.80 - $1.50 per square ft.)
  • Architectural Shingles $4.50 per square ft.)
  • Premium or Luxury Asphalt Shingles ( $6 - $9.50 per square ft.)

Asphalt shingles are much cheaper than luxury roof shingles such as slate or tile roofing, and cheaper than metal roof shingles. However, those high priced roof shingle types boast other benefits that asphalt shingles can't compete with in durability, aesthetics, and overall lifespan.
Are metal roof shingles better than asphalt?
While the initial cost to install a metal roof is more expensive than asphalt shingled roofs, a metal roof can last up to 60 years compared to an asphalt roof's lifespan being around 20 years.

If you plan to stay in your home for a long period of time, metal roofing may be a better investment for you. There are also different types of metal roof shingles that price out at different points which may give you some leeway in total installation costs.
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