Laminate (also known as dimensional, architectural or composite shingles) shingles are constructed with a thicker base at which multiple layers of material are adhered to. This gives a layered or three-dimensional look, whereas the standard three-tab shingle contains a flat layer with no dimensional “thickness” to it. Typically, architectural shingles weight almost 50% more than the standard 3 tab shingles.


A Short History

Laminate shingles were developed in the 1970′s for the high-end home market. Homeowners desired an asphalt shingle product that had the architectural appearance of cedar shingles, slate and tile while providing the performance of asphalt. By using layered construction, the laminate shingle appears to have a texture similar to wood shakes. Laminated shingles do a much better job hiding imperfections in the roofing structure as well.

Performance Difference

Laminate shingles typically have a minimum of 30-50 year warranties whereas 3-tab carry a 20-25 year warranty. Because of the heavier construction, they are less likely to warp and they provide much better wind resistance. Standard three-tab shingles are typically rated for 60 mph winds while most laminate shingles are rated for 80 mph up to 120 mph.

Cost Difference

Typically, the cost of architectural shingles can range anywhere from 15-25% more than the traditional 3 tab shingles. Some of the higher-end 50-year products can be as much as twice as expensive to buy. Consider the increased value of your home, when determining the type of shingle to install. Laminated shingles help raise the overall look of a home and make it more valuable in an appraisal.

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