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3-Tab Shingles vs. Architectural Shingles

3-Tab shingles vs. Architectural shingles

3-tab shingles vs. architectural shingles, which is best for your roof? When deciding between 3 tab shingles vs architectural shingles for your roofing project, it’s important to consider both the practical and aesthetic aspects. These two types of shingles offer distinct advantages and characteristics that cater to different preferences and requirements. Remember that the roof you choose should last many years. That’s why you should be satisfied with the materials you consider, in terms of cost, durability, warranty, as well as aesthetics.

Asphalt shingles offer many benefits. There are many styles, colors, and textures available. Aside from that, they are affordable and can be used by many homeowners in Florida.

It may be helpful to compare 3 tab shingles vs architectural shingles before you make your buying decision. These are the two types of asphalt shingles and each type has its own benefits.

Physical Composition

They are identical in their composition because 3-tab shingles as well as architectural shingles are asphalt shingles. Both are made from asphalt and adhesives. They also include granules for their outer layer and fiberglass for their backing.

There are two main differences between them: the material used and the quality of the product. Architectural shingles are generally heavier than 3-tab shingles. They are actually about 50% heavier than 3-tab shingles. An architectural shingle’s base mat is thicker than a 3-tab shingle’s. However, the architectural shingle is a stronger roofing material. They also have stronger adhesives and more granules at the top. They are also made of asphalt with higher quality than 3-tab shingles.


These roofing materials also have different appearances. 3-tab shingles are flat and have one tab size and shape. They have a uniform appearance due to their flat shape.

Architectural shingles can also be called dimensional shingles. Because they give the roof a more dimensional appearance; because multiple layers of materials are attached to the base, each shingle looks more dimensional than it actually is. These shingles can look like cedar shakes and could be a great addition to curb appeal. They can also be made to look like slate but without the extra weight.

Wind Ratings

There are two types of shingles. They have different wind resistance ratings. Although there are subtle differences, 3-tab shingles can withstand winds up to 60 mph. Architectural shingles have higher wind ratings because they are thicker and more durable than 3-tab shingles. They are usually rated for wind speeds between 80 mph to 120 mph.


Architectural shingles have a much longer life span than 3-tab varieties due to their durability and superior quality. They are more resistant to extreme weather conditions like rain, snow, ice, and strong winds. Architectural shingles live an average of 18 to 20 years. Architectural shingles can last as long as 30 years if they are kept in good condition. They can last up to 7-10 years if 3-tab shingles are regularly exposed to severe weather. On the other hand, they can last up to 12-15 years in areas with milder climates.


These shingles have warranties that reflect their overall value. Because 3-tab shingles are shorter in life expectancy, their warranties are shorter. The warranties for 3-tab shingles are typically between 25 and 30 years. Most architectural shingles come with warranties between 50 and 30 years. Some may even be guaranteed for life.


Both types of shingles are comparable in cost. While 3-tab shingles are less expensive to install than architectural shingles, they will need to be replaced and repaired more often than shingles with architectural designs.

Find the Right Match for Your Home

Each shingle variety is different. 3-tab shingles tend to be more affordable in the short term, making them ideal for budget homes and rental properties. Architectural shingles are a good choice for homes with high-end features and homeowners who value beauty and durability over initial costs.

Call Expert Roofers

Are you looking for 3-tab shingles vs. architectural shingles? If you are, then Old Time Roofing is here to help! At Old Time Roofing, we’ve been providing our customers throughout Clearwater FL with top-quality roofing products and expert installation and repair services for years. Our goal is to make sure your home is protected with a roof that performs beautifully and complements your family environment at the same time. Call us today for a free estimate.