What are the best roofing shingles?

When installing or replacing a shingle roof, it’s important to know what the best roofing shingles are and where to find them. Shingles are the most popular form of materials, therefore you can expect that there are countless different brands available, along with some different styles that you can choose within the realm of shingles themselves. 

Each of the brands and styles of shingles on the market comes with its own benefits and drawbacks, so we’ve put together this handy article to break some of them down, along with giving a list you some of the top-rated shingles that you can purchase today. 

best roofing shingles

The Different Types of Asphalt Shingles

While you can be sure that shingles are made from asphalt and different forms of granules, you may not be totally aware of the two primary forms of asphalt shingles that can be used when laying a roof. If you’re having shingles laid they can either come in the form of 3-tab or dimensional architectural shingles, but which are the best asphalt shingles?

Architectural Shingles

Dimensional architectural shingles are by far the most popular form of shingles used in roofing today, denoted by their variegated appearance, granular tops, and laying the style of tiles. These shingles are the thicker and sturdier option when it comes to asphalt roofing, being made from multiple layers of asphalt with a heavier layer of granules on their tops. 

While on many roofs, architectural shingles will appear very irregular in terms of color and texture, you can get shingles like this that have been made to look closer to traditional tiles, natural slate, or even cedar wood shakes, without the added cost of those materials. 

Schools of thought differ on this, depending on your home’s setting, along with the brand of shingles you use, but some argue that the best architectural shingles should last up to 50 years. On the other hand, many argue that a replacement will be necessary every 20-25 years. Either way, the easy maintenance of architectural shingles (they can be replaced one at a time), and their increased durability make them generally a longer-lasting choice than 3-tab shingles. 

3-Tab Shingles

3-tab shingles are considered the most traditional form of asphalt shingles, however, they’re far from the most popular in the modern day. They’re known for their uniform, flat-lying style, being made up of 3 tabs and laid directly on top of roof underlayment. 

3-tab shingles are sometimes chosen for their sleek and stylish look and feel, along with the fact that they’re cheaper than the architectural variety. However, along with this slim-profiled look comes a longer installation process, meaning a 3-tab shingle roof will take longer to put in place and cost the exact same to install as architectural shingles. The shingles themselves are also thinner and lighter than architectural shingles, meaning that they offer less protection and security than that variety. 

Other Materials

While the primary form of shingle is and probably always will be the asphalt format, there are other materials that shingle can be made out of, including: 

  • Slate
  • Wood
  • Metal 
  • Solar Panels
  • Composite Plastic
  • Rubber

Some of these options are considered stronger, sturdier, and more eco-friendly than the classic asphalt shingle, however, none of them are used anywhere near as commonly as the asphalt varieties.

What’s the Best Shingle Brand?

Now that you know the differences between the two primary forms of asphalt shingles, you’re probably wondering where to go to find the best of either. It’s indeed true that not all shingles are created equally, which is why we’ve put together this list of some of ours and the nation’s favorite brands of shingles, so you know where to look if doing some DIY maintenance or want to vet a roofer on the materials they use. 


GAF is one of the leading brands for roofing shingles in the US, with their range featuring a variety of different shingles in the two primary styles. Their Royal Sovereign shingles give a new lease to the classic 3-tab style, while their Timberline range is the highest-selling architectural shingle in America. Their shingles also come with a range of warranties available, great for fostering security and comfort in your home. 

IKO Roofing Shingles

The team at IKO are experts on everything roofing shingle, with a focus on both functionality and style. Within their range they stock architectural, 3-tab, performance, and designer shingles, generally made with a SuperWind Resistance with a warranty for winds up to 130mphs, along with high fire and impact resistance ratings, meaning you can rest easy and confidently under a roof of IKO shingles. 

Owen’s Corning

Owen’s is another widely popular brand in the USA, being the recipient of multiple awards and accolades. Within their options, you can choose from either their Duration range, which is a higher-performance selection of shingles, or their Oakridge range, which is considered to be a slightly more aesthetic choice. Either choice is noted for its capacity for holding nails in place, providing the shingles with stronger levels of wind resistance and lasting power. 

What Now? 

While you can of course attempt to get some roofing done in a DIY fashion, we would always recommend coming to professionals when it comes to replacement, a repair, or a start from scratch. 

At Agave Roofing in San Antonio we exclusively use the best roof shingles from Owen’s Corning shingles for their durability and overall quality, so if you’re in the Greater San Antonio or Austin area and your roof needs some attention, get in touch with us and we’ll get back to you in a flash!

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