Going through the asphalt roof replacement process is a stressful situation. Part of that process involves choosing which asphalt shingle is to choose. 

But did you know there's more than one option? There are actually 3 types of asphalt shingles. But do you know how to tell the difference between them all?  

Always eager to educate on important buying decisions, 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. We work with you to get the best roof possible. 

By the end of this article, you'll know key information about the 3 types of asphalt shingles and a few things you need to know about replacing your asphalt shingle roof.

And if you want to spend less time researching, grab the Asphalt Roof Replacement Cheat Sheet at the end to give you the key information you need all in one place. 

What are the 3 types of asphalt shingles?

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. Continue reading to learn how the types of asphalt shingles match up on key factors such as cost, warranties, and lifespan. 

3-tab asphalt shingles 

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

3 tab asphalt shingle

  • Cost: 3-tab shingles are the cheapest of the asphalt shingles
  • Warranty: They come out of the package with a 25-year warranty from the manufacturer.
  • Lifespan: With adequate attic ventilation and proper roof installation, up to 25 years

Dimensional asphalt shingles

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

dimensional asphalt shingle

  • Cost: Around 15% more than a 3-tab shingle 
  • Warranty: They come out of the package with a 30-year warranty (prorated after 10 years) from the manufacturer. You’ll also have the opportunity to register your dimensional asphalt shingle roof with the manufacturer to get the 50-year non-prorated enhanced warranty. 
  • Lifespan: With adequate attic ventilation and proper roof installation, up to 30 years

Luxury asphalt shingles

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

luxury asphalt shingles

  • Cost: Almost double the cost of a dimensional asphalt shingle. 
  • Warranty: They come out of the package with a 30-year prorated warranty from the manufacturer. Just like dimensional shingles, you have the opportunity to get the 50-year non-prorated enhanced warranty. 
  • Lifespan: With adequate attic ventilation and proper roof installation, up to 50 years

You probably noticed that I didn’t include exact prices for the shingles. The reason for this is because the price of roofing materials fluctuate. To learn more about the other factors that affect your new roof’s price, check out this article on how much a new asphalt roof costs

3 things to know about replacing your asphalt shingle roof

Now you know the 3 types of asphalt shingles and how they compare on cost, warranties, and lifespan. However, there are a few things you need to know about replacing your asphalt shingle roof. 

Continue reading to learn the 3 things you should know about getting a new asphalt shingle roof.

1. How long the 3 types of asphalt shingles actually last

You learned the lifespan of each of the types of asphalt shingles earlier in this article. But will your asphalt shingle roof actually live that long? 

As long as your asphalt roof is properly installed and your attic is adequately ventilated, it’s going to get as close as possible to the manufacturer’s specified lifespan. While these 2 factors are crucial to every roof’s life, they aren’t the only things that affect how long your asphalt roof will live. 

To learn more about what affects the life of your asphalt shingle roof, read this article on how long you can expect your asphalt roof to last

2. Getting the enhanced roofing material warranty

I mentioned above that you’d have an opportunity to the enhanced warranty on dimensional and luxury asphalt shingles. But how do you get actually get the enhanced warranty? 

When your local roofing contractor recommends a roof replacement, your old roof will be torn off down to its decking, and all new roofing components (including your asphalt shingles) will be installed. 

To get the enhanced warranty, all of these roofing components have to come from one specific manufacturer to form a complete roof system. Once your new asphalt roof has been installed, you’ll be able to register it with the manufacturer to get the 50-year non-prorated enhanced warranty. 

This means all your roofing materials will be covered for their lifetime by the manufacturer. Be aware, improper roof installation and inadequate attic ventilation will void the enhanced warranty. This leaves only your contractor’s workmanship warranty to rely on if there’s ever a problem with your asphalt roof.  

Be aware, the roofing contractor you hire must be certified from the manufacturer to offer the enhanced warranty. To learn more about your warranty options for your asphalt roof, read this article on what roof warranties cover

3. Invest in a quality asphalt roof over going cheap

Getting a new asphalt shingle roof isn’t going to be cheap. That’s why we call replacing your asphalt roof an investment. 

To get the most out of asphalt shingle roof, you have to invest in quality over trying to get the cheapest roof possible. If you decide to go cheap, you’re going to get the cheapest materials and the cheapest labor possible. 

When you pay for this cheap labor and materials, it shows in the finished quality of your roof, which will cost you more money in the long run with repairs and eventually a full asphalt roof replacement. You also won’t qualify for the enhanced warranty even if you get dimensional or luxury shingles. 

To learn more about why it’s crucial to invest in a quality asphalt roof replacement, read this article on 3 ways "cheap" roof systems cost more in the long run

Struggling to decide which asphalt shingle is right for you?

Now you know the 3 types of asphalt shingles and how they match up on the key factors of cost, lifespan, and warranties. 

But are you still struggling with the decision of which one to choose? If so, there are some things you need to keep in mind when choosing between the 3. 

To help you even further, we're going to tell you how to choose the right asphalt shingle for you. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided the residents of Nashville with high-quality asphalt roof replacements since 1990. Our strong history of workmanship ensures you get a new roof that lasts for decades. That’s why we offer a lifetime warranty. 

Check out this article on Which Asphalt Shingle is Right for You to find the one that fits your situation. 

asphalt roof replacement cheat sheet