Architectural vs 3 Tab Shingles

Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles are also called dimensional or laminate shingles. They have a different look from the traditional 3-tab shingles in that they come in various shapes and sizes.

Additionally, they have a more dimensional look to them much like a wooden shake or a tile has dimension. You could conceivably get the benefits of an asphalt shingle roof, which is fairly low-maintenance, with the look of a cedar shake roof with an architectural shingle.


  • Architectural shingles have longer warranties because they are thicker than most 3-tab shingles.
  • They have a minimum 30-year guarantee. Architectural shingles have a limited lifetime warranty.
  • They are rated to resist higher wind speeds than 3-tab shingles. Most Architectural shingles are rate for 130mph winds.
  • If they are correctly installed and maintained, they can raise a home’s value because they are preferred over 3-tab.
  • Architectural shingles have a wide variety of colors, shapes, and styles.
  • Qualify for insurance discount.


  • Architectural shingles weigh up to 50% more than 3-tab shingles.
  • They cost slightly more than 3-tab shingles.

3 Tab Shingles

Traditional shingles are the 3-tab variety. They are the shingles people most often associate with asphalt roofing. They come in a single tab shape and lie flat to the roof decking and create a clean shape with neat-looking lines on your roof.


  • 3-tab shingles weigh less than architectural shingles because they are composed of less material.
  • They are less expensive than architectural shingles.


  • 3-tab shingles are rated for 60-70 mph winds. This is a big difference from 130 mph architectural shingles.
  • 3-tab shingles are less thick than architectural shingles, so they need to be replaced sooner.
  • Typical life span is 10-20 years compared to architectural shingles 30-50 years.
  • They are outdated and on the decline in popularity.