A Closer Look at 3-Tab Shingles and Dimensional Laminate Shingles

3-Tab Shingles and Dimensional Laminate Shingles

What roofing material should you choose for your home or business? Selecting a material from the various types of roofing available out there is tricky. You will need to understand your options to make the best decision for your home, budget, and aesthetic desires.

Keep reading for a closer look at two common roof shingle types: 3-tab and laminate. Once you’ve decided which type of shingle is best for your new roof, let our roofing team take care of you.

Is it time to replace your Central Illinois roof? Contact Sundown Exteriors, the best roofing company in Bloomington, about installing your new roof. As a five-star CertainTeed Select Shinglemaster and Owens Corning Preferred Contractor, our team proudly serves Bloomington, Normal, and Lincoln, Illinois.  Call today at (309) 275-6801 for a free estimate.

Read on to decide if 3-tab shingles or dimensional laminate shingles might be a good fit for your roofing needs and budget.

What Are 3-Tab Roofing Shingles?

3 Tab Shingles

Typical asphalt shingles are 3-tab shingles. This asphalt shingle is lightweight, flat, and uniform in size and shape.

What Are Laminate Shingles?

Dimensional Laminate Shingles

Laminate shingles are a subtype of asphalt shingles, also known as architectural or dimensional, that have a triple layer of fiberglass, so they are thicker and useful as design elements. They create a three-dimensional pattern using different shapes and sizes.

Comparing Architectural Shingles to 3-Tab Shingles

Three-tab and laminate (architectural) are different types of asphalt shingles. Although they are composed of similar materials, they differ in durability, cost, and other factors.

A simple asphalt shingle has three layers: the fiberglass backer, the asphalt adhesive, and the protective granules. When comparing 3-tab roofing shingles to dimensional laminate shingles, these same materials comprise both types of shingles. However, each type offers homeowners different drawbacks and benefits.

Structure and Composition

These two shingle types use the same general materials but in different ways. In general, laminate (architectural or dimensional) fiberglass shingles use higher quality asphalt, three layers of fiberglass to create a heavier backer, and more granules for a more robust shingle.

Wind Resistance

Roofing shingles contend with all types of weather, but wind can be one of the most significant when it comes to possible damage. Because they are heavier and sturdier, laminate shingles tend to hold up better to higher winds than 3-tab shingles do.

Laminates can typically withstand winds from 80 to 120 miles per hour, whereas the thinner, lighter 3-tab shingles rate up to 60 miles per hour. Because of this, 3-tab shingles are more likely to get ripped away by strong winds.

Durability and Lifespan

Laminate shingles are heavier and thicker, so they typically outlast 3-tab shingles. Under optimal conditions (minimal wind, rain, snow, ice, and sun), a laminate roof will last up to 30 years, which is twice the average lifespan of a 3-tab roof. A laminate roof will last up to 20 years in a climate prone to severe weather, whereas a 3-tab will only last about ten years.

Initial and Long-Term Costs

As you may expect, laminate shingles can be more expensive to install than their 3-tab counterparts, but 3-tabs will require more maintenance as the roof ages. These two options balance out with laminate shingles costing more upfront and 3-tab shingles costing more over time, as repairs and replacements become necessary.

Aesthetic Appearance

Which type of shingle you choose for your roof may depend more on the desired appearance than any other factors. If you’re looking for a flat, uniform aesthetic, a 3-tab roof will suit you better than laminate. On the other hand, laminate will provide you with a more dynamic, architectural look with shingles of varying sizes.

In general, laminate shingles offer a more durable, longer-lasting roof. They are thicker, heavier, and more resistant to wind and other weather conditions.

Professional Laminate and 3-Tab Roof Shingle Installation

We’ve covered the basics in this article, but if you have further questions about choosing 3-tab shingles versus dimensional laminate shingles, our tam at Sundown Exteriors can answer them to help you make an informed decision regarding what type of shingle to use on your new roof.

Contact our residential roofing professionals at Sundown Exteriors through our website or by calling us at (309) 275-6801 for a free estimate. We serve the roofing needs of property owners in Bloomington, Lincoln, and Normal, IL.