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Architectural Shingles VS. 3-Tab

architectural shingles vs 3 tab shingles

If you’re looking for asphalt shingles, you should know that there are several varieties to choose from. 3 tab shingles, architectural shingles, and even premium shingles are available. This article is going to break down architectural shingles vs 3 tab shingles so you’ll know which is better for you.

3 tab and architectural shingles are the most prevalent types of asphalt shingles. 3 tab shingles are uniform in size and spacing, whereas architectural shingles are available in a range of three-dimensional sizes and spacings.

Because your new roof should last for many years, selecting the proper materials is critical. The types of materials used should be better suited for your needs and expectations in terms of durability, warranty, pricing, and aesthetics.

Asphalt shingles have several advantages. They are available in a variety of colors, textures, and styles, and they are also reasonably priced, making them a viable option for a large number of homes.

Before making a purchasing decision, consider the benefits of 3-tab shingles versus architectural shingles. Both are types of asphalt shingles, and each has its own set of advantages. Let’s take a look at 3-tab shingles vs architectural shingles.

Architectural Shingles VS 3 Tab Shingles


Because 3-tab shingles and architectural shingles are both asphalt shingles, their compositions are comparable. Both are constructed from asphalt and adhesives, as well as granules for the outermost layer and fiberglass for the backing.

The major distinctions between the two are the amount of material utilized and the overall quality of each product. Architectural shingles are, in essence, more robust than 3-tab shingles. In fact, they are almost 50% heavier than the other 3-tab variety. An architectural shingle’s base mat is thicker than that of a 3-tab shingle. As a result, the architectural shingle is more durable roofing material.

Architectural shingles feature stronger adhesives and larger granules on their top surface. They are also composed of higher-quality asphalt than 3-tab shingles.

Because three-tab shingles are composed of a single layer of materials, they are quite thin. Architectural shingles, on the other hand, are made up of two asphalt shingle stripes bonded together. This layering results in a shingle that is more resistant to the elements.

Architectural Shingles VS. 3-Tab


The look of these two varieties of asphalt shingles is also different. 3-tab shingles have a single tab form and size and are flat. They are uniform, giving them a flat appearance.

Dimensional shingles are another name for architectural shingles. This is due to the fact that they give the roof a more dimensional appearance. Because numerous layers of materials are attached to the foundation, each shingle seems more dimensional. 

These shingles may be designed to seem like cedar shakes, which can greatly improve a home’s curb appeal. They may also be built to appear like slate but without the extra weight, that slate would bring to a roof.

While a roof serves a functional purpose, it can also be an opportunity to add a personal touch to your house. That is why, when it comes to roofing materials, homeowners want to consider a wide range of aesthetic alternatives. In this sense, the three-tab shingle is limited. It only exists in one form and size, and it has a flat complexion.

The layered appearance of the architectural shingle, on the other hand, allows for a variety of forms and sizes. Homeowners may select from a variety of dimensional appearances, as well as colors and textures. The adaptability of architectural shingles is an appealing aspect of this choice.

Wind Ratings

The wind resistance ratings of the two shingle kinds differ. While there may be some slight differences, 3-tab shingles are typically certified for winds of up to 60 miles per hour (mph). Architectural shingles have better wind ratings than 3-tab shingles because they are thicker and of higher quality. They are generally rated for winds ranging from 80 to 120 miles per hour.

Life Expectancy

Architectural shingles have a longer lifespan than 3-tab shingles due to their resilience and high-quality composition. They are more resistant to extreme weather conditions such as heat, snow, ice, rain, and high winds. Their typical lifetime ranges between 18 and 20 years. 

However, under ideal conditions, they can survive up to 30 years. When 3-tab shingles are routinely exposed to harsh weather, they can endure for 7 to 10 years. They can survive as long as 12 to 15 years in moderate conditions.


Architectural shingles are an all-around product in every way, which is why more homeowners prefer them over three-tab shingles. Architectural shingles are generally priced between $35 and $45 per bundle. Three-tab shingles typically cost between $25 and $30 per bundle.

On the surface, architectural shingles appear to be 40% to 50% more expensive. Nonetheless, it is a superior investment because the three-tab shingles have a life expectancy that is, at most, half that of architectural shingles. Homeowners who spend less money at the first wind up spending a lot more to install and replace three-tab alternatives.

The overall cost of both types of shingles varies. Although 3-tab shingles are less expensive to install, they often require more repairs and replacement than architectural shingles.


Three-tab shingles have a life expectancy of 25 years, whereas architectural shingles have a life expectancy of 40 to 50 years.

So, is less expensive better? The answer is dependent on how you look at it. Three-tab shingles are less expensive upfront, but architectural shingles might be less expensive throughout the life of your roof.

The warranties that come with these shingles are commensurate with their total worth. Because 3-tab shingles have a shorter lifespan, their warranties are shorter. 3-tab shingles often have warranties ranging from 25 to 30 years. Architectural shingles generally have 50-year guarantees, and some may even have lifetime warranties.

Architectural Shingles VS. 3-Tab

Final Thoughts

Each form of shingle has different advantages and disadvantages. However, if a homeowner is on a restricted budget, we here at believe the three-tab shingle should be considered. Otherwise, the extra money spent on architectural shingles is money well spent. 

Even better, the customizable nature of architectural shingles allows you considerably more leeway in making aesthetic selections for your home’s exterior.

Each of these shingle types is also related in terms of applicability. 3-tab shingles are less expensive in the short run, making them excellent for rental houses and low-cost residences.

Architectural shingles may be a preferable alternative for high-end houses, as well as homeowners that prioritize beauty and longevity above early cost savings. Good luck!