Roofing Basics: Shingle Types

shingle types

Roofing Basics: Shingle Types

roofing terms

J. A. Edwards of America has featured a lot of posts about shingles, from potential sources of  damage to the history of asphalt shingles. This time we’ll take a step back and address a more basic question: What are the different types of shingles? While we won’t be exhaustive in our coverage of the topic, we hope that this introduction to shingle types will help as you consider your options for roof replacement or repair.


You can read more about the history of asphalt shingles here. The most common choice for roof covering around Orlando, asphalt shingles can be further divided into different types.

3 Tab

Three tab shingles are so called because of their design: a a single shingle with slits that create 3 distinct, equal-size tabs. This traditional design creates an even, uniform look across a roof. Usually the least expensive shingle type, the 3 tab sits atop most North American homes.


Also called architectural or laminated, dimensional shingles are manufactured with multiple layers that give more depth than the 3 tab design. The dimensional shingle’s design allows for variation in size and pattern across a roof. They also last longer because they are thicker than the 3 tab. This added thickness also allows the dimensional shingle to resist some impact damage and higher winds.


Although the thicker dimensional shingles are slightly more resistant to impact damage than the 3 tab, impact-resistant shingles have been designed specifically for that feature. Several methods are used to create shingles that will take less damage from hail or other debris.

Manufactured Tile

Tile shingles are typically made of either concrete or terra cotta. These shingles are quite heavy, and so require roof reinforcement for installation.

Slate Tiles

These tiles are crafted from slate, a layered stone that can be split into thin sheets suitable for roofing shingles. As with the manufactured tiles, the slate tiles’ weight means building a reinforced roof. Both the manufactured and the slate tiles last much longer than the 3 tab shingle.


Roof covering made from wood come in either a shingle or a shake. Both are typically crafted from redwood or cedar, both of which resist rot. Wood shingles are more precisely cut and uniform than the wood shake. Shakes are less precise and offer a more rustic look. Both the wood shingle and the shake are, being made of wood, not fire resistant.


Most metal shingles come in the form of standing seam panels. These panels overlap slightly along seams that run vertically down the roof. A long-lasting shingle type, the metal shingle an be manufactured from a wide variety of metals.

Contact Us

When you’re ready to choose a shingle type for your home, contact us at J. A. Edwards of America. We can help you narrow your options and choose a shingle that is right for your home.