How does one select the best shingle material? We all want a secure roof over our heads that withstands the elements, lasts for years and improves the overall aesthetic of our property. So how do we know which roof shingles material is best? Every shingle roof is not alike. There are many types such as:

  • Asphalt
  • Luxury Asphalt
  • Wood
  • Wood Shake
  • Clay Tile
  • Concrete Tile

This article will explain the components, maintenance needs, and cost of each specific roof shingle type.


Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt roof shingles have either an organic thick paper or fiberglass base, both of which are given an asphalt coat to repel water and a granular mineral topcoat to add color and extend wear. Asphalt shingles come in a flat strip with cutout notches, or with dimensional laminated layers that create texture. Asphalt shingles are very affordable but are more prone to fire and less environmentally-friendly than other shingles.

Initially, asphalt shingles need little maintenance, but as they age they curl and crack. Shady roof areas may grow algae or mold and will need cleaning.

Asphalt shingles should last 15-20 years, and cost $80-$150 installed per 100 square feet of coverage.


Luxury Asphalt Shingles

Luxury asphalt shingles have thick fiberglass layers that resemble natural slate shingles, yet are a more affordable roofing option.

Luxury shingles hold up well to the elements and require low maintenance. Luxury asphalt shingles should last 40-50 years and cost $300-$650 installed per 100 square feet of coverage.


Wood Shingles

Natural wood makes a striking shingle roof. Each wood shingle is cut to size for installation. Most are made of rot-resistant red cedar. Other species include:

  • Redwood
  • White cedar
  • Cypress (yellow cedar)
  • Treated pine

Wood shingles work on roof pitches from 5:12 to 12:12, but are not ideal for damp or heavily wooded locations. Maintaining a wood shingle roof requires replacement of shingle damage as necessary.

Cedar and redwood shingles should last 20-30 years and cost between $350-$500 installed per 100 square feet of coverage.


Wood Shake Shingles

Wood shake shingles are typically red cedar that is split by hand or machine giving them a rustic appearance. Wood shakes can be straight-split, taper-sawn, hand-split, or taper-split into random widths, that are 18 to 24-inches long. Wood shake shingles require a special underlayment and corrosion-resistant fasteners.

Wood shakes need little maintenance and using a sealant will slow down the aging process.

Expect a wood shake roof to last 25-50 years and range from $350-$600 installed per 100 square feet of coverage.


Clay Tile Shingles

Clay tile or “Spanish” shingles are baked into fluted, flat, or curved shapes. Flat clay tiles resemble a wood-shake look but provide a lifetime of durability. Tile weighs four times more than asphalt shingles, so installation requires a strong roof structure.

Clay tiles require no maintenance, are recyclable, resistant to fire, extreme weather, insects, and rot.

Clay tiles last 50-100 years. Expect to pay $500-$850 installed per 100 square foot of coverage.


Concrete Tile Shingles

Concrete tile roofing is durable, fire-resistant, interlocking, and a more affordable option than clay. Concrete allows for a wide variety of color and style options, suitable for any home design.

Concrete tiles require zero maintenance. With proper installation, a tile roof is made to withstand up to 150 MPH hurricane-force winds.  Concrete tile roofs can last 50-100 years and range from $450-$650 installed per 100 square feet of coverage.

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