3Tab Shingles vs Laminate Shingles: Which Is Better?

3-Tab Shingles vs Laminate Shingles: Which Is Better?

If you’re on the market for a new roof, chances are you are inundated with options for materials, contractors, schedules, even price. One choice you will have to make is whether to go with 3-tab, known as an asphalt shingle, versus laminate shingles. In Lawrenceville, the asphalt shingle versus laminate shingle debate is not as important as if you lived in a hurricane-prone area like South Florida, but the weather in and around Atlanta can be severe enough to make it worthwhile knowing the pros and cons of each option. Here is a brief rundown.


3-tab asphalt shingles are made of asphalt, are flat and have a single tab shape and size. Laminate shingles, or “laminated architectural” shingles, are made of a more refined asphalt, have a heavier base mat and multiple material layers. They come in different shapes and sizes, which adds to the overall look of a home’s roofing.

Installation and Materials Cost

3-tab asphalt shingles are lighter than laminate shingles, but more difficult to install. Laminate shingles are more expensive as a product. That makes the installation cost of both similar, but generally, laminate shingles run a slight bit more expensive for installation.


Laminate shingles are heavier and have the strength of multiple shingles, which means they can withstand stronger winds and extremely adverse weather conditions. 3-tab roofing is susceptible to high winds and can be ripped off in very severe weather. Additionally, laminate shingles generally last longer and retain their appearance longer, although the difference over time is negligible.

Long-Term Cost

There’s an upfront investment in laminate shingles, but they tend to last longer than 3-tab, under ideal conditions. Generally, a roof will need a shingle replacement every couple of decades, which makes the long-term savings of laminate over 3-tab less pronounced. Other materials, such as nails for shingles, wear out on either type at about the same rate.


This is subjective. Laminate shingles bring a dimensional look to a roof, which some people find more aesthetically pleasing. 3-tab shingles bring a more uniform look, which other people prefer. Laminate shingles can be styled to imitate slate or cedar roofing, which also can enhance the appearance of a home. 3-tab shingles are cut and dried as it pertains to looks. The downside to the specialized look of a laminate shingle is the cost although the extra cost of that type of roofing is much less than actually installing slate roofing or a cedar roof.

There are benefits and detriments to each type of roofing. If you’re looking for roofing in Lawrenceville, the asphalt shingle versus laminate shingle debate comes down to a comparison of upfront costs, durability and appearance over time. While there is no “wrong” answer, what you choose should be based on what you think you will need in terms of resilience in weather and long-term costs. Contact Preferred Roofing right away to learn more.