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3-tab vs. Dimensional vs. Luxury Asphalt Shingles (Aesthetic, Cost, & More)

December 23rd, 2020 | 5 min. read

3-tab vs. Dimensional vs. Luxury Asphalt Shingles (Aesthetic, Cost, & More)

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Are you ready for a new asphalt roof? Are you trying to decide which asphalt shingle to choose for your roof replacement? 

If so, you need to know how the 3 types of asphalt shingles compare on key factors. Always eager to help your decision-making process, we’re going to break it down for you. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has been replacing asphalt roofs in the Nashville area since 1990. Whether you need repairs or a full roof replacement, our workmanship ensures you get the most of your asphalt roof. When you work with us, you’ll never worry about your roof again. 

So, how do 3-tab, dimensional, and luxury asphalt shingles compare to each other? To help you understand the key differences between the asphalt shingles, I’m going to answer that question and more. 

What are the 3 types of asphalt shingles?

An asphalt shingle roof is the most common type of roof you see on homes today. It’s a roof system made primarily out of asphalt shingles and other asphalt roofing components.

Before we get to the comparisons of the different asphalt shingles, you need to know what they are. The three types of asphalt shingles are 3-tab, dimensional, and luxury. 

While 3-tab used to dominate the market, dimensional shingles are the most common type installed on roofs today. Luxury style shingles are just as heavily marketed as dimensional but are almost double the price. 


3-tab vs. dimensional vs. luxury asphalt shingles

Now that you know the 3 types of asphalt shingles, you’re ready to see how they compare on key factors. Factors like lifespan, the look they give you, and more help you understand which one is right for your asphalt roof replacement. 

How long do the 3 types of asphalt shingles last?

The lifespan of your roof is how many years you get out of it. Each of the 3 types of asphalt shingles come with a specified lifespan from the manufacturer. 

3-tab shingles have a lifespan of 25 years and live the shortest of the three types. Dimensional and luxury shingles both have a lifespan of 30 years, but the luxury style has the possibility to go over 30 years and up to 50 under the right conditions.

As long as your asphalt shingles are properly installed and your attic is adequately ventilated, they’re all going to get as close as possible to their manufacturer’s specified lifespan. However, there are other factors that impact the life of your asphalt shingle roof. 

To learn about these factors and how they impact the life of your shingles, read this article on how long your asphalt roof will last.  

Do the 3 types of asphalt shingles all look the same?

All 3 types of asphalt shingles perform the same function, protecting you and your family from the elements. However, they each have a different design to give your roof the look you want. 

3-tab asphalt shingles lay flat and get their name from the 3 tabs on each shingle strip.

3 tab asphalt shingles

Dimensional shingles give you a good looking random pattern or simulate the look of a wood shake roof.

dimensional asphalt shingles

Luxury or premium shingles are actually larger than the other asphalt shingles and are made to look like slate.

luxury asphalt shingles

While 3-tab shingles still make good looking roofs, dimensional and luxury shingles mimic other roof types to give you a distinct look. Dimensional shingles give you a cedar shake roof look and luxury shingles give you a beautiful slate tile look. 

All 3 types of asphalt shingles make good looking roofs. But if you want your roof to really stand out, dimensional or luxury asphalt shingles are the way to go.

Do the 3 types of asphalt shingles all come with the same warranty?

A material warranty is from the manufacturer of your asphalt shingles. This warranty is crucial to protect your roof investment if there’s ever a problem with the shingles (roofing materials) themselves. 

Each of the asphalt shingles come out of the package with a warranty from the manufacturer. 3-tab shingles come with a 25-year warranty, while dimensional and luxury shingles come with a 30-year prorated warranty. 

However, dimensional and luxury shingles come with the opportunity to get the 50-year non-prorated enhanced warranty. To get the enhanced warranty, all of your asphalt roofing components (including your asphalt shingles) have to come from one specific manufacturer to form a complete roof system. 

After your new asphalt shingle roof is installed, this warranty ensures the manufacturer covers all of your roofing materials for the life of the roof. Be aware, improper roof installation and inadequate attic ventilation will void the enhanced warranty. 

That’s why it’s crucial to hire a high-quality roofing contractor to install your asphalt shingles.

How much do the asphalt shingles cost?

The 3 types of asphalt shingles come in at different price points to fit your budget. 

3-tab shingles are the cheapest of the 3 types and are a great option if you’re on a tight budget. Dimensional shingles are about 15% more than 3-tab shingles, but give you more life and better warranty options. 

Luxury shingles are the most expensive option of the 3 types. They’re going to be almost double the cost of dimensional shingles, but they’re one of the most aesthetically pleasing roofs you’ll see.  

It’s hard to give you an exact price on the shingles themselves because the prices of roofing materials fluctuate. To learn more about the cost of your new asphalt shingle roof as a whole, read this article on how much your asphalt roof replacement will cost

The other roofing materials included in your asphalt roof replacement 

Now you know the 3 types of asphalt shingles and how they match up on key factors. Knowing how they compare on lifespan, warranties, and cost helps you understand what you’re getting out of your asphalt shingle roof investment. 

After reading this, you should be able to decide which asphalt shingle is right for your roof replacement. 

But be aware, your asphalt roof is more than just the shingles you see from the street. Your asphalt roof is a combination of different key roofing components and materials to ensure your home stays leak-free. 

But what are the other roofing materials that are part of your roof replacement? To help you understand your upcoming asphalt roof replacement, we’ve already answered that. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided the residents of Nashville with high-quality asphalt roof replacements since 1990. We take extreme pride in our workmanship and are proud to offer you a lifetime warranty.

Check out 9 Materials Included With Your Roof Replacement to help you better understand the other important roofing materials that are part of your roof replacement.

the complete guide to purchasing a roof

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