What’s In A Look?

Architectural vs. 3-Tab Shingles

Angie Lewis, Writer
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Your home is your biggest investment — one you want to protect and preserve.

When it comes to protecting your home from the elements, your roof is the first line of defense. So whether you’re building a new house or replacing the roof on your current home, selecting the proper asphalt roof shingles is the most important part of the process. After all, the shingles you select today need to protect and enhance the look of your home for years to come.

Asphalt roofing shingles come in a variety of styles, which include architectural shingles and 3-tab shingles, but which type is right for your home?

3-Tab Shingles

Three-tab shingles, which are also known as traditional, flat shingles or strip shingles, are made of asphalt materials and feature a flat surface. They get their name because they’re supplied in individual rectangular pieces that are made to look like they’re divided into three squares.

As an industry standard since the 1930s, 3-tab shingles offer a traditional, classic look with strength and durability. Plus, they are a budget-friendly option.

Atlas Roofing offers two brands of 3-tab shingles:

GlassMaster® Performance Fiberglass Shingles

Tough-Glass® Original Fiberglass Shingles

  • Available in five colors
  • Feature a 20-Year Limited Warranty and 60-mph Wind Limited Warranty

Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles are a good choice for many homeowners. The shingles are known for their high performance and curb appeal. They fit into most budgets.

Also made of asphalt materials, architectural shingles are named for their distinctive appearance and are often referred to as dimensional or laminate shingles. They have a varied surface thickness that gives them a unique textured or multi-dimensional "raised" look, which traditional 3-tab shingles lack. 

The raised areas vary, so when the shingles are fitted together on a roof deck, they create a non-uniform appearance that gives the roof’s surface depth and dimension.

While the raised surface of an architectural shingle provides a unique and attractive look, it also improves the shingle’s performance. Constructed with a heavy base mat that consists of multiple layers of material, architectural shingles are thicker, stronger and more wind resistant. Because of their increased endurance, architectural shingles typically feature longer warranties and increased wind speed protection than 3-tab shingles.

Multi-dimensional architectural shingles also protect your roofing system from damage caused by wind, rain, hail, snow and flying debris. Homeowners who live in areas prone to extreme weather conditions would do well to consider the superior protection of architectural shingles.

Atlas Roofing offers three brands of architectural shingles:

StormMaster® Shake High Wind And Impact Resistant Shingles featuring Scotchgard™ Protector

  • Available in nine colors
  • Come with a Lifetime Limited Warranty, 130-mph Wind Limited Warranty, Class 4 Impact Resistance and Scotchgard™ Protector, which helps prevent ugly black streaks caused by algae
  • Eligible for the Atlas Signature Select® Roofing System

Pinnacle® Pristine High Performance Architectural Shingles featuring Scotchgard™ Protector

  • Available in 15 colors
  • Come with a Lifetime Limited Warranty, 130-mph Wind Limited Warranty and Scotchgard™ Protector, which helps prevent ugly black streaks caused by algae
  • Eligible for the Atlas Signature Select® Roofing System

ProLam™ Architectural Shingles

  • Available in five colors
  • Come with a Lifetime Limited Warranty, up to 130 mph Wind Limited Warranty and Algae Resistant durability

In addition to 3-tab and architectural shingles, Atlas offers a slate-style shingle.

StormMaster® Slate High Wind And Impact Resistant Shingles featuring Scotchgard™ Protector   

  • Available in six colors
  • Come with a Lifetime Limited Warranty, 130-mph Wind Limited Warranty, Class 4 Impact Resistance and Scotchgard™ Protector, which helps prevent ugly black streaks caused by algae
  • Eligible for the Atlas Signature Select® Roofing System

Invest Wisely

Roof shingles are not created equal. You have many options to choose from in terms of style, price, performance and color.

As is the case with most other consumer goods, “you get what you pay for.” So, do your research and talk to your roofing contractor to see which type of asphalt shingles will work best for your home.

For more information on Atlas Roofing’s 3-tab and architectural shingle options, visit AtlasRoofing.com.