A sturdy and stunning roof can make all the difference in your home’s value, safety, and curb appeal. When you finally decide to install new, better shingles, consider all the factors that affect the quality of the shingles. Instead of just picking one from a top ten list, which may only work for some homeowners, you should learn which features are relevant to you as a homeowner before making a choice.
So to help, we are here with some of the most crucial factors you should consider when trying to choose the best shingle type for your home in 2023. At Capital Roofing, we try our best to educate homeowners about the roofing options available to them, so they can make better, well-informed decisions
This article explains the following:
- Four types of asphalt shingles
- How to choose the best roofing shingles
- Two top-performing roofing shingles that are ideal for most U.S. homes
Types Of Asphalt Shingles
There is more to asphalt shingles than what meets the eye. These shingles are not just made of asphalt as their name refers to, they have different compositions that create a contrast in different types and their resistance powers, durability, cost, and appearance. Primarily, there are four categories of asphalt shingles.
Organic Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt is the first type of roofing material to become popularized in the U.S., which then gave rise to the traditional 3-tab profile. Organic asphalt shingles are made up of a tar and asphalt layer that has mineral granules embedded in their composition.
These shingles have a flat surface and a 3-tab design where you’ll see rectangular tabs in flat rows. Organic asphalt shingles last roughly 15 years before needing replacement, but this lifespan depends on their frequency of wear and tear.
Laminated Asphalt Shingles
Laminated shingles are made of fiberglass-reinforced asphalt material and a more refined granule layer. They are also known as dimensional shingles due to their enhanced appearance. Laminated shingles have two layers, which makes them stronger and more durable than organic asphalt shingles.
Architectural Asphalt Shingles
Architectural shingles are the most popular type of roofing shingles in 2023. They have a more varied and attractive appearance than the 3-tab look. They look like laminated shingles but have an added design element that makes them appear more natural and appealing. Architectural shingles mostly mimic the look and feel of wood shakes, but this ornamental pattern can range from three-dimensional shadows to geometric edges.
Designer Asphalt Shingles
Designer shingles give the impression of a luxurious roof similar to natural slate roofs. Designer or luxury shingles have the same ingredients as architectural shingles but are thicker and have a higher price range. If you’re looking for an upscale look or want the most distinctive, eye-catching feature for your home, you can choose designer shingles. They stand up better against harsh weather conditions than other types of shingles.
Due to so many variants of asphalt shingles, there are plenty of ‘top 10’ and ‘best 5′ blogs on the internet. However, making a decision based on others’ experience may only work for some homeowners. It would be best to learn why some shingles are rated better and whether those shingles fit your requirements.
How Do I Choose The Best Roofing Shingles?
Shingles have multiple manufacturing and installation requirements that affect the longevity and performance of your roof. To choose the best roof shingles, pay attention to the following features of the shingles: Thickness, size, wind & impact rating, warranty, and installation specifics. These criteria will help you evaluate which roofing shingles are the best fit for your home.
Architectural And Designer Asphalt Shingles Are Generally The Best Choice For U.S. Homeowners
Architectural and designer shingles are available in various colors and textures with good warranties. They are more fireproof, appealing, and weather-resistant than organic asphalt shingles. Fiberglass, architectural and luxury shingles also fall among long-lasting roofing material options. These shingles may be your best option for an aesthetically pleasing look, enhanced protection, and affordable cost.
Pay Attention To The Thickness And Size Of The Shingles
Thicker shingles are often more durable as they can withstand higher wind gusts, hail impact, and heavy snow accumulation. Most homeowners in the northeast prefer architectural and luxury shingles for this reason.
The size of each shingle also plays a significant role in roof coverage, cost, and installation accuracy. Large shingles offer bigger nailing areas that make it easy for the roofers to install. Additionally, you may only need a few bundles to cover the whole roof, which saves you some money.
Check The Condition Of Your Existing Roofing Material
If you are planning to put new shingles over an existing structure, it is vital to know the condition of the old roofing materials. Underlayment, rafters, and sheathing all play an essential part in protecting your home. If any of these materials are damaged or deteriorating, you must replace them too. Using old flashing is not always a good idea. The metal piece is already perforated, so any new holes created will make it prone to leaks. If this step is skipped, even the world’s best roofing shingles will only be able to hold for a little while.
Choose Shingles That Won’t Put Stress On Your Roof’s Structure
You may need to upgrade your existing OSB sheathing and rafters for slate and tile shingles. These types of shingles carry a lot of weight and can weaken thin planks and beams. If your roof is already built with a strong structure and is in good shape, you can safely choose thicker shingles. However, if your old system is built for asphalt shingles and you don’t want to change it, you will need to select shingles that won’t put additional strain on the framework. Consult your roofing contractor and compare the weight of different asphalt shingles. Fiberglass shingles are also lighter than organic asphalt shingles, and you have lots of colorful options with varying patterns and thicknesses to choose from.
Shingles With Longer Warranty Periods Have A Higher Chance Of Being More Durable
The product warranty period indicates how long you can expect the shingles to perform flawlessly. The longer the warranty, the higher the product’s durability. However, manufacturers typically offer an extended warranty when your local weather conditions and installation quality justify it.
Choose A Shingle Manufacturer That Offers Training And Certification Programs To Roofing Contractors
Installation quality is one of the most critical factors affecting your warranty period. Make sure that the shingle manufacturer provides training and certification programs to the roofing contractor you hire to install them. This will ensure they are properly trained in installation techniques and help to avoid mistakes like improper flashing, poor ventilation, or an incorrect installation sequence. This also helps in the approval of an insurance claim as the company will consider your efforts to maintain the quality of your roof.
Choose A Shingle With A Class 4 Impact Rating
A Class 4 rating means that the shingle has a high resistance to damage from hail, pests, tree branches, and other causes. It is the highest impact rating for roofing shingles. If you live in an area where hail is expected every year, ensure you have shingles-rated class 4. If you’re not satisfied with how basic asphalt shingles hold up in hail, you can opt for slate tiles or luxury shingles instead of 3-tab or architectural shingles. Slate tiles and luxury shingles can resist much higher impacts and protect your home for many more years.
Select Shingles That Pass 110 MPH Wind Rating
A wind rating is a measurement that describes the wind speed at which the shingle will hold before beginning to uplift, and potentially rip off. The higher the wind rating, the stronger it is. For example, a 110 mph wind-rated shingle may hold up well against 110 mph winds but will start failing at 111 mph. Similarly, a 130 mph rated shingle can be expected to resist 70 to 130 mph winds, which is a speed range of a moderate tornado.
Look For Shingles With Vast Color Options And A Good Algae Protection Warranty
Since your roof sets the tone for the curb appeal of your house, you would want it to match your home’s exterior, and don’t want to see black streaks caused by mold and algae occur. Compare different shades and check the shingles’ algae-resistance technology to prevent this. Choose a shingle brand that offers a wide range of color options and also offers at least 15 years of warranty against stains of this type. This type of warranty will also cover the shingles fading for years to come due to sun exposure!
Below are two of the most popular, and highest-rated shingles based on their performance and customer reviews.
Best Roof Shingles Of 2023
Almost 70% of U.S. homes have architectural asphalt shingles, and GAF and Owens Corning shingles are swiftly taking over the industry in popularity. Here are the two best roof shingles offered by these brands:
#1 GAF Timberline HDZ Shingles
GAF is the leading and most refined shingle manufacturer that has been innovating roofing products since 1886. Their Timberline HDZ architectural shingles are America’s #1 selling shingle in 2023. Their Timberline Solar shingles are also the world’s first nailable solar shingles.
- Product Warranty: Warranty periods range from 10 to 30 and 50-year periods. Longer warranty periods are applicable with essential GAF shingle accessories and installation by a GAF-certified roofing contractor.
- Shingle thickness and size: Their StrikeZone nailing zone is the industry’s largest nailing area.
- Wind rating: Infinite GAF’s Wind Speed Protection Warranty is the industry’s highest. Wind Warranty. It is a 15-year wind warranty with no maximum wind speed limits.
- Impact rating: Class 4
- Color options: 20 shades
- Algae protection technology: StainGuard Plus™ Algae Protection technology with a 25-year warranty
- Contractor training programs: Yes
- Average installation cost: $6,000 to $8,000
#2 Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration Shingles
Owens Corning has earned the 2023 Women’s Choice Award® in the category of America’s Most Recommended™ Roofing Products. The Duration shingle is currently their most preferred style on the market.
- Product Warranty: 10-year and 50-year warranty periods, applicable with Owens Corning shingle accessories and installation by an Owens Corning-certified roofing contractor.
- Shingle Dimensions: The shingles come with Owens Corning SureNail® technology. It has unique fabric in the nailing area, enhancing the shingle grip.
- Wind rating: 130 mph wind resistance
- Impact rating: Class 4
- Color options: 15 shades.
- Algae protection technology: StreakGuard™ Algae Protection with a 10-year warranty
- Contractor training programs: Yes
- Average installation cost: $6,000 to $12,000
We hope this article helped you weigh your options in a simple and more effective way. If you live in Oklahoma, or the surrounding area, let our team help you!
Are You Looking For The Best Roof Shingles?
At Capital Roofing, we are proud to be GAF and Owens Corning-certified contractors. Our skilled and licensed team has been improving homes for over a decade! We can help you choose the finest roofing shingles that enhance your home’s value, curb appeal, and safety. Hundreds of homeowners trust our honest and friendly team, and we would be happy to help you too. Contact us at, (716)-600-7663 for a free consultation and estimate.