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3-Tab vs. Architectural Shingles

Updated: Feb 24, 2022

When you are looking to redo your roof you have to decide between 3-tab shingles and architectural shingles. It can be a difficult task to do. Here are some things to consider when picking between the two:


Both 3-tab and architectural shingles are made of asphalt but they are completely different in appearance.

3-tab shingles are flat with the same uniform rectangular shape that are separated by “slots”. It requires great care on the roofing contractor to insure that shingles are straight.

Architectural shingles are completely different. They are called the dimensional shingles because there are two layers of shingle pieces laminated together to provide a dimensional look. Roofs with this style have great curb appeal due to the variation of shingle size and shapes.

Physical Composition

As we just went over what each shingle looks like and they are made of asphalt. Let's compare them. Architectural shingles are more substantial than 3-tab shingles. Architectural shingles are actually 50 percent heavier than 3-tab. The base mat on architectural shingles are thicker which makes them a sturdier roofing material. 3-tab shingles are made of a finer asphalt whereas architectural shingles are made of stronger adhesive and have more granules on their top surface.

Wind Rating

Not surprisingly both the shingles yield different wind resistance ratings. 3-tab shingles are generally rated for wind up to approximately 60 mph. Where Architectural shingles are typically rated for wind up to 80 to 120 mph. It is no surprise that architectural shingles can stand stronger stronger winds when they are thicker and higher quality then 3-tab

Life Span

Architectural shingles generally have a longer lifespan because of their durability and high-quality. They can stand up better to wind, heat, snow, ice and rain. Architectural shingles are considered the 30 year shingles and have an average lifespan of 20 to 25 years with the best conditions. 3-tab shingles on the other hand only last 7 to 10 years with only up to 15 years with the best conditions.

Our conclusion

At Nailed Right Roofing & Construction we automatically upgrade to Architectural shingles with no charge to you. We believe that they are the better choice for your roof and we stand by it completely.

Contact Nailed Right Roofing & Construction

Live in Dallas, Fort Worth or anywhere in-between? Contact us at 817-805-5260, to learn more about our roofing services and to get a free quote.

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