3-Tab vs. Architectural Shingle: Which is Right for Your Project?

/ / Residential Roof, roof, Shingle, Uncategorized

If you look around just about any neighborhood in the New Orleans area, you have probably noticed that the most common type of shingle is the asphalt shingle.

Asphalt shingles are the largest player in residential roofing, outselling other types of shingles by a huge margin. This is mainly because of their cheap upfront cost, impressive functionality, and easy installation.


However, there are different types of asphalt shingles you can choose from, with the two main options being architectural and 3-tab. But how do you decide which is right for you?

Here’s a closer look at each of these popular shingles and how they compare to each other.

Architectural Shingles

First, let’s take a look at architectural shingles.

One of the main differences between architectural and 3-tab shingles is that architectural shingles are made with a more refined type of asphalt. They are composed of 2 strips of asphalt which are laminated together and as you might have guessed, they have tabs which vary in color and width in order to give a more dimensional look to the roof.

Because the shingles are reinforced, they are more resistant to turbulent weather such as hail and winds up to 135 miles per hour, and they also offer protection against stains from black algae.

This option is the more expensive one of the two, but it does offer more durability and typically comes with a warranty with a minimum of 30 years and up to a lifetime guarantee.

3 Tab

Three-tab shingles are named so because they are made of three individual tabs that are twelve inches wide. They come with a variety of warranties: 20-year, 25-year or 30-year, notably shorter than the 30 year minimum of the architectural shingles.

Their primary purpose is to protect a roof by shedding water onto the shingle below it, and eventually, off the roof.

This type of shingle is usually thinner and lighter than the architectural shingle and is typically less expensive. This can make them more prone to being damaged by high speed winds and so they are usually only recommended in areas with common wind speeds of up to 60 miles per hour.

Even straight-line winds have been known to knock off 3-tab shingles. Of course, this is one of the reasons for the shorter warranty and will likely result in the need to replace the roof sooner.

However, for some people, the price point makes these shingles worth opting for especially if you live in an area that is not prone to wind; the New Orleans area is not one of these places!

Which is Best for You?

As you can see, these two types of shingles each have their own unique benefits. If you are building a shed, perhaps, and see only mild weather most of the time, the 3 tab shingles might provide you with the coverage you need. If you select a manufacturer of good quality, it will last at least 12-15 years without breaking the bank.

However, if you need something you can rely on to keep your house safe and protected for the long run, architectural shingles are the way to go. These will last from 25 years to a lifetime and are known to be resilient; however, you will have to make a more hefty investment into them.

Every home and every project has it’s own unique needs which can result in different roofing suiting the situation. The type of shingles that you choose will depend on a variety of different factors such as your budget, the look that you prefer, how soon you’ll need to replace it in the future, the environment where you live, and the durability that you need.

If you are in the market for shingles and are not sure what to pick, our experienced roofing team will be glad to help you.

We’ve been leaders in the south Louisiana roofing industry since 1996 and will be glad to assist you in choosing the right shingles for your project, and can offer you a competitive quote to install them, too. Contact us today for all your roofing needs!