Do you need to have your roof replaced? Are you building a new home? Do you know what different roofing options you have available to choose from?

While there are more than a few options to choose from, two of the most popular types of shingles available for residential use include:

  • Laminate shingles
  • Asphalt shingles

To make an informed decision, be sure to understand the differences, which are highlighted here.

Laminate vs. Asphalt Shingles

The traditional asphalt shingles, which are used on the majority of homes today, are also referred to as 3-tab shingles. These are flat, have one shingle tab size and shape. While these have been a staple in the residential roofing industry for decades, there are other – perhaps better – options out there.

Laminate shingles are referred to as “architectural” or “laminated architectural” shingles. These are a type of asphalt shingle, but consist of a heavier base mat, as well as several material layers. This offers a more refined looking type of asphalt. Also, with these shingles, you will find several different sizes and shapes, providing a more dimensional appearance.

Laminated vs. 3-Tab Shingles: Features and Options

There’s no way to make an informed decision without learning more about each shingle type.

Short-Term Cost

The 3-tab shingle is about 50 percent lighter than the laminate counterparts. They are made up of much less material, too. While the materials are cheaper, they are much more time consuming to install than the laminate options. As a result, there are many roofing companies that are going to charge the same amount to install them.

Overall Durability

Since the laminated architectural shingles weight more than the 3-tab shingles and they have the strength of several shingles, they are able to withstand much stronger winds and more intense weather. The 3-tab shingles are weaker, which means they can’t stand up to the same high winds, and sometimes, they may be ripped off of your roof during adverse weather.

When it comes to appearance, laminated shingles last longer. This can help to extend your roof’s life up to 20 years.


It’s crucial to understand that warranties are always going to depend on the brand of shingles you are using.

However, generally, the 3-tab shingles are going to have a warranty that extends between 20 and 30 years. However, laminated shingles have warranties that range between 30 and 50 years, with some carrying a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty.

Long Term Cost

Now that you understand the differences in the warranties and durability factors between the two types of shingles, you need to think about the long-term costs. Laminate shingles last longer, which means they can help you save money over time.

Rather than having to invest in another roof replacement in a few decades with the 3-tab shingles, you can keep your roof in-tact with the architectural laminate shingles.

Based on the information, the clear winner in the battle of 3-tab vs. laminate shingles, is the laminate ones. However, you can still discuss these options with your roofing professional to find out what option is right for your home and your area.