A Primer on Different Asphalt Shingle Types

There are many roofing options you can choose from, but asphalt shingles remain the supreme choice. Asphalt shingles typically use glass fibers as their base, which is then topped with a waterproof layer of asphalt. This, in turn, is coated with protective mineral granules for improved weather resistance. The enduring popularity of asphalt shingles is not unearned–this option offers a host of benefits that make it a worthy investment for every homeowner.

dark colored shingles
  • Asphalt shingles offer great weather protection and a life expectancy of up to 20 years, or longer with proper installation and maintenance.
  • They are incredibly versatile, closely resembling other premium materials, like wood shakes and slate, but at a fraction of the cost.
  • Asphalt shingles are lightweight, making them faster, easier, and cost-effective to install.
  • They can be fully recycled at the end of their lifespan, which means they won’t contribute to landfill waste.

Asphalt shingles come in different types–and you’ll want to learn more about them so you can decide which option works best for your home. The trusted roofing and exterior home improvement company in the area, Sterling Exteriors, shares a primer on different asphalt shingle types in this post.

Three-Tab, or Strip Shingles

They are the original and most basic type of asphalt shingles. Three-tab shingles consist only of a single layer of asphalt, allowing for a flat appearance that usually resembles slate. Because of this, they generally cost less than other asphalt shingles. And while three-tab shingles can offer good-enough weather protection, they’re not particularly durable and long-lasting. This is something to keep in mind if you’re actually considering them for your home.

Architectural Shingles

Developed in the 1980s as an upgrade to the standard three-tab option, architectural shingles are the most popular type of shingle available today. Because of the shadow lines they create, architectural shingles can give your home a more dimensional look–a huge contrast to the flat appearance of three-tab shingles. Some even mimic the natural beauty of wood shakes and slate. They have a thicker layer of asphalt so they are stronger and more resistant to inclement weather. Plus, they also come with better warranty coverage. Architectural shingles check all the boxes in what an excellent roofing system should be.

The Timberline® Lifetime Shingles from GAF®, North America’s largest roof manufacturer, are a prime example of quality architectural asphalt shingles. Here are some of your available options:

  • Timberline Ultra HD®, which offers the ultra-dimensional look of authentic wood shakes.
  • Timberline HD and Timberline Natural Shadow, which gives both value and performance with a genuine wood shake-look.
  • Timberline Cool Series, which comes with advanced reflective technology to help reduce heat attic heat buildup and air conditioning costs.
  • Timberline ArmorShield™ II, which are Class 4 impact-resistant shingles that can lower insurance premiums in select regions.

GAF architectural shingles come in a wide selection of colors, textures, and thicknesses, allowing for many design possibilities. This wealth in customization ensures that your new asphalt shingle roofing will beautifully match your home’s architectural style and exterior palette.

Designer, or Luxury Shingles

Their name suggests a premium look with a price to match–and you’ll be right. Designer asphalt shingles are thicker and heavier than their three-tab and architectural counterparts, allowing for even better weather performance and longer service life. In fact, most designer shingles come with the highest ratings in wind, fire, and impact resistance. They are also designed to provide the rich look and feel of slate, wood shake, and tile–only lighter. 

If you’re considering luxury asphalt shingles for your home, you should note that they’re costlier than three-tab and dimensional shingles. However, you’ll find that their high-definition appearance and lasting weather performance more than makeup for the initial costs. Some great examples include:

  • GAF Camelot®, which offers unmatched performance and timeless beauty of authentic slate and wood shakes.
  • GAF Country Mansion®, which is perfect for historic homes because they can provide the classic look of hand-crafted slate.
  • GAF Grand Canyon™, which is the ideal choice for those interested in the rustic charm of rugged wood shakes.

Exceptional Roof Installation Services by Sterling Exteriors

You can DIY small projects you can finish in a single weekend. But a roof installation–no way! Given the size and complexity of this particular home upgrade, it’s best to leave the work to a trained and experienced roofing company. For starters, they are already familiar with the applicable building codes and safety precautions involved with installing a roof. Plus, their expertise ensures the job will be done faster, leaving no room for errors that lead to additional expenses or unnecessary damage. In the Cincinnati, OH area, homeowners turn only to Sterling Exteriors for all their roofing needs. Here’s why:

  • Qualified. Sterling Exteriors is a fully licensed, bonded, and insured company, making us eligible to provide roofing and exterior renovation services in the area. We also carry the necessary liability coverage and workers’ compensation for your greater protection. 
  • Experienced. For over 15 years, Sterling Exteriors has provided Ohio homeowners with top-tier solutions to their roofing needs. We have always sought to deliver a smooth and worry-free experience, and high-quality results in every roofing project we take on. We continue to succeed in this goal through superior workmanship backed by decades of experience.
  • Certified. Sterling Exteriors is constantly looking for new ways to improve and streamline the roofing experience. That’s why we work hard to earn distinctions from top manufacturers and related industry organizations. We are, in fact, a GAF® Certified Weather Stopper® roofing contractor, offering access to some of the best asphalt shingle roofing systems available today, along with the extended warranty coverage included with them. We are also a James Hardie® Preferred Remodeler and a certified installer of Jeld Wen® and Polaris® replacement windows and doors.  
  • Proven Reliable. Sterling Exteriors combines professionalism, attention to detail, and friendly, customer-centric service. The 5-star reviews we’ve earned in Google, Yelp, and Facebook from pleased Ohio clients speak about the quality of our work. Our dedication to full customer satisfaction is also the reason we maintain an A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau®.

When in need of a tough and versatile roofing system for your home, you should consider the exceptional GAF asphalt shingles offered by Sterling Exteriors. You can also count on us to work on your roof installation in a timely and efficient manner while adhering to the manufacturer’s stringent quality specifications. Call us today at  (513) 685-8055 or fill out this contact form to schedule your roof evaluation. We proudly serve the areas in and around Cincinnati, Loveland, and Newtown, OH.