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What Are Roof Shingles Made Of? | Comprehensive Guide

what are roof shingles made of

Shingles are a type of roofing material that can be found on many homes’ roofs.  In this blog post we show you What Are Roof Shingles Made Of.

They consist of thin materials that are either organic or synthetic and designed to resemble natural materials such as wood, slate, and stone.

Roof shingles installation is time-consuming and difficult due to their weight and the steepness of the roof. 

It’s important to give shingles proper care and maintenance if you want to keep your roof in good condition.

Roof shingles are made of organic or synthetic materials , such as asphalt, fiberglass, wood, clay, steel, slate, rubber and plastic

They resemble natural materials such as wood and stone.

What Are Roof Shingles Made Of?

Materials used to manufacture roof shingles are either organic or inorganic. Organic materials include wood, asphalt, fiberglass, and cork. 

Inorganic materials include clay, concrete, metal, stone or slate.

  • Concrete Roof Shingles are made of cement mixed with sand and gravel that have been baked into sheets at very high temperatures.
    • They are usually very thin, between 1/2 inch to 3 inches thick.
  • Metal Roof Shingles are made of bitumen-coated fiberglass or organic materials.
    • Since metal is a good conductor of heat, it’s not popular in cold climates unless an additional insulation layer is added.
    • Metal roofing shingles may either be organic or ceramic-based.
  • Organic Roof Shingles are made of wood, asphalt, fiberglass, cork, or slate.
    • They are relatively inexpensive but less durable than other types of roofing shingles.
  • Asphalt roof shingles are made from an organic material called bitumen that is mixed with gravel, sand, or wood fiber.
    • Asphalt Roof Shingles come in three grades: Extra-Coarse (fiberglass), Coarse (fiberglass), and Fine (Organic) Shingles have a high resistance to heat, water, salt spray, wind damage, aging and sunlight.
    • They are often covered with granules to enhance their durability and appearance.
  • Clay Roof Tile is a hard-fired ceramic material made from natural clay, shale, sand and gravel that is either extruded or molded into roof tiles that are then fired and treated with lime and other materials.
  • Concrete Roof Tile is a clay product produced from cement, sand, and gravel that is molded or extruded into roof tiles and then fired and treated with lime and other chemicals.
    • It can come in many colors but they cannot be painted; only stained. It is very durable and long-lasting.
  • Cork Roof Shingles are made from the bark of cork oak trees that have been compressed, processed and cut into shingles, tiles or even rolled roofing material.
    • Cork granules can be added to asphalt shingles for insulation and weatherproofing.
    • It is fire resistant and often used in roofing and insulation on green buildings.
  • Fiberglass Roof Shingles are made from shorn, melted glass combined with resin and coated onto asphalt.
    • Fiberglass is an inexpensive material that is fire-resistant, durable and lightweight.
    • It comes in a variety of colors and textures and can be painted or stained to appear like other materials.
  • Slate Roof Shingles are made from slate rock that has been split into even-sized rectangles, tiles or shingles.
    • It is extremely heavy, dense and impermeable making it very durable but also very expensive.
    • However, slate is a beautiful material that can last for decades if properly maintained.
  • Wood Roof Shingles or shakes are made from small pieces of wood that have been split and laid in a pattern.
    • Wood roof shingles have a natural, rustic appearance but can be expensive depending on the type of wood used.
  • Rubber Roof Shingles are made from recycled rubber tires that are heated, stretched and formed into shingles, tiles or rolled roofing material.
    • Rubber roofs are used as both water-resistant and noise reducing coverings.
    • They can be painted or stained to imitate other materials.
What Are the Components of Shingles?

Helpful tips about roof shingles

  • The best choice for flat roofs is rubber, concrete and clay tile.
  • Slate has a very steep learning curve as it can be difficult to work with and requires regular maintenance.
  • Fiberglass roof shingles are now made from 85% recycled materials.
  • Cork roof shingles come in both tiles and rolls.
  • Wood roof shingles are available in red cedar, cyprus and pine.
  • Fiberglass roof shingles are made of 15% recycled materials.
  • Metal roofs should be carefully considered as they can be significantly more expensive than other types of roofs; metal over wood is the least popular replacement option.


As you can see there are many different types of roof shingles available on the market to suit any budget or building. 

As a homeowner, you will need to choose a roofing material for your home. 

You can research the benefits of each material and decide which one is best for you.

The best type of roof shingles for you will depend on your geographical location, needs and desires. 

For this reason, it is important that you talk to your roofing contractor about all the options available so they can help guide you through the decision-making process.

Roofing Shingles' Composition?