3 Tab vs. Architectural Shingles

Three-tab and Architectural shingles are two types of asphalt shingles that are common in home construction throughout the U.S. and Canada. Considered the “Industry Standard”, Three-tab shingles are the most economical. Architectural shingles are built to be sturdier and are considered a “high-quality” roofing product. Both types are common, yet the demand for Architectural shingle is on the rise while the three-tab shingles are decreasing in popularity. Click on photos for a better peek

  • 3tab1

    3-Tab Shingle

  • archit2

    Architectural Shingle

  • 3tab

    3-Tab Shingle

  • Architectual

    Architectural Shingle

  • 3tab2

    3-Tab Shingle

  • archit3

    Architectural Shingle

3-Tab Shingles

  • Three-tab shingles are constructed like other asphalt shingles.
    They are made of multiple layers of asphalt placed on top of fiberglass, cellulose fibers or another organic material.
  • Minerals are then embedded into the shingles, which are flat and one-dimensional.
  • These shingles are a basic, versatile and easy-to-use type of asphalt shingle.
  • The weight of a three-tab shingle is much less than an architectural shingle (approx 240lbs per square)

Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles are considered high end asphalt shingles due to their quality and distinctive textured look. Architectural shingles are also known as three dimensional shingles or laminate shingles. Architectural shingles were introduced to the home construction market in the 1970’s in the continued effort to produce an asphalt shingle product that had the higher end quality look of slate or cedar wood shake shingles, without the negatives of breakage, insect damage or weight. Today architectural shingles come in a wide variety of colors, styles, and warranties.

  • Architectural shingles have a unique visual appearance. Instead of a running row pattern that is observed with 3-tab shingles, architectural shingles have a cedar shake texture appearance that give a more dramatic look to a home.
  • Architectural shingles tend to hide roof imperfections due to their textured look.
  • Used for more complicated and higher end roof lines, such as hip roofs, or roofs that include turrets and gables.
  • Some architectural shingles are designed to replicate the look of slate shingles or cedar wood shakes, but without the same high cost, heavy weight or susceptibility to insect damage.
  • Due to the heavier mat base, architectural shingles are heavier than standard 3-tab shingles, thus making them less susceptible to curling and wind damage. Some higher end architectural shingles are rated for winds up to130mph.
  • Architectural shingle weight between 340 – 440 lbs per square.
  • Architectural shingles that have heavy coats of granules are also highly fire resistant.