A Beginner’s Guide to the Different Types of Roof Shingles

Types of roof shingles

Regardless of when or where you bought your home or commercial building, there’s going to come a time when you need a new roof. It’s inevitable.

While nobody looks forward to replacing a roof, it becomes an opportunity to upgrade your building. Most people stick with the standard asphalt shingle, which there is nothing wrong with.

But there are many other types of roof shingles you can install on your home or business that may look much better than asphalt shingles and can last much longer.

Wondering which type of shingles will work best for your home? Considering an upgrade from your old asphalt or tile roof? Keep reading to learn about the most popular, functional types of roofing materials available today. 


Asphalt roofing shingles are the most common and the most affordable choice for homes across America. Most replacement roofs continue to utilize asphalt.

Asphalt roofs commonly last up to 30 years. They work especially well for homes in colder climates that experience snow but are also common in many southern states as well

There are multiple types of asphalt shingles. Standard asphalt or 3-tab shingles are long shingles with cuts that make them look like 3 separate pieces.

These are the cheapest option, but also the thinnest. They won’t last as long as other options.

Architectural asphalt shingles don’t contain cutouts as 3-tab shingles do. Instead, they contain additional asphalt layers that work to create a contoured look. This adds style to your roof. They also resist water much more efficiently.

You can also use synthetic asphalt shingles, which can resemble the appearance of stone tile or wood. But the synthetic material is much more affordable than actual wood or stone roofs.

The affordability of most asphalt shingles makes it perfect for residential roofing in much of the country, particularly in colder climates. 


Installing a metal roof on your home can be one of the best long-term investments you make. They can boost the value of your home, making resale even easier.

Metal is resistant to harsh conditions, such as snow and ice, as well as fires. Metal roofs can usually last 50 years or longer, longer than most other types of roofing materials.

They offer homes and commercial buildings a modern look and come in many styles and color options. Common metal shingle choices include aluminum, copper, steel, tin, or corrugated metal.

And despite their extreme durability, metal shingles are actually very light. This makes them perfect for homes that can’t support heavier shingles made of stone.

While most metal roof shingles come in vertical panels, many options are made to look like tile or other types of shingles.

Metal roofs can also boost your home’s energy efficiency by reflecting sunlight away. You can save up to 40% on your utilities as a result.

Plus, most metal shingles are made from recycled material and are completely recyclable after their useful lifespan, making them a more eco-friendly choice.


There are two main types of wood roofing; wood shakes and wood shingles. They are very similar other than the final appearance of your roof.

Wood shingles are precision cut by machines for a perfect, uniform look. Wood shakes, on the other hand, are cut by hand, often sized a bit differently. This creates a more rustic appearance.

Other than appearance, the two options function the same. They can last anywhere from 15 to 50 years, depending on your local weather conditions. How wood is treated before installation is also critical concerning wood roof longevity.

Wood roofs have generally become unpopular due to the risk of fire. But newer wood materials are treated with fire retardant, lowering risk. Wood is also a lower-weight roofing material, meaning it can be installed without additional roof support.

Due to the natural, rustic appearance of wood, they are often perfect for historical or traditional-style homes. 

One of the main concerns of installing a wood roof is the need for regular maintenance. Wood will need to be cleaned regularly as well as treated with fire retardant and wood preservatives and fungicides. 

Stone Tile

Slate and other stone tile shingles make for some of the most beautiful roofs you can get. They provide a pleasing aesthetic as well as a long lifespan.

They are extremely durable and weather resistant. Properly installed slate tiles can last between 60 and 150 years. They are one of the most expensive roofing options but considering they will last a really long time, the cost is worth it.

Stone tiles don’t vary much in appearance and typically come in standard colors. The individual shingles are thin, but a roof made of stone tends to be very heavy.

Depending on the construction of your home, additional support may be needed in order to support the weight of a stone roof. 

Additional Roof Shingles

There are a number of other types of shingles available for both residential and commercial properties.

You can get an entire roof, or just a portion of it made up of solar roofing shingles. Why pay for a roof and solar panels separately, when they can be combined into one product?

Now your roof can really save you money, as it will work to generate electricity for your home. Typically, residents don’t install solar shingles on the entirety of the roof.

They are most effective on the south side. You’ll need to coordinate which type of roofing will look best alongside modern solar shingles.

Rubber or PVC roofing shingles are being used on more and more residences these days. The rubber is made to look very much like asphalt. They are energy efficient, working to lower your utilities cost each month.

It’s very lightweight and easy to install, making it affordable, though not quite as affordable as asphalt. Rubber roofs are also a very common solution for commercial roofing, as many commercial buildings have a flat or gently sloped roof.

What Types of Roof Shingles Will Work Best for Your Home?

There are tons of options when it comes to choosing between different types of roof shingles. They each have their own benefits and can vary widely in cost.

When it comes to homes in Florida, there are definitely materials that will perform much better than others due to moisture content and climate. 

If you need help deciding on the best option, our team is ready to answer questions and provide recommendations. 

You can also contact us today for a free estimate from Innovative Roofing, Florida’s most reliable residential and commercial roofing contractors.

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1254 SW 6th Street,
Pompano Beach FL 33069

(855) 455-6063

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“I work with a lot of contractors as a real estate broker. There are a few that stand out. It is very hard to find a company that does great work at a fair price – and – has outstanding communication and customer service. Brett and Innovative Roofing is one of those rare breeds. They have earned a reputation as being one of the best in the business as it has been earned through great work. I received a reply from them on a Saturday and that put them over the top in customer service – such a rarity.”

Doug L. Boca Raton, FL