3-Tab vs Architectural Shingles: Which One Is Better for Your Home

3-Tab vs Architectural Shingles: Which One Is Better for Your Home


Your home’s roof can be one of the most important, and costly, investments as a homeowner. Working on a budget can be difficult when dealing with our roof, so below we will compare two of the more cost-effective roofing materials so you don’t have to. 

What Are 3-Tab Shingles?

3-tab shingles are a type of roofing material made from asphalt, adhesives, granular coating, as well as fiberglass for the backing. They get their name from the 3 tabs that are used to secure the shingle to the roof. They are all the same in shape and color, giving a uniform appearance. 

What Are Architectural Shingles?

Architectural shingles are asphalt shingles as well, so they are comprised of the same basic material. The main difference between these two shingle styles is how the shingles are made. This type of shingle has a heavier backing, as well as a more three-dimensional look. With these factors, these shingles are heavier and more substantial than the 3-tab shingles. 


asphalt shingle roofing

Main Differences Between 3-Tab and Architectural Shingles

Just because these two types of shingles are composed of the same materials doesn’t mean they are the same! Let’s take a closer look at the differences, especially regarding what may be a better choice for a Kansas homeowner. 

Durability and Lifespan

Architectural shingles may be made of the same material as 3-tab shingles, but they are going to win out in a test of durability. Their more robust design lends itself to a longer average lifespan of 18-25 years, vs. a 3-tab lifespan of 7-12 years. 


There is a pretty noticeable difference between these two shingle types when it comes to exterior appearance. 3-tab shingles are all the same size, shape, and shade, which leads to a flat, uniform look. A set of architectural shingles look staggered and layered, as well as differ in shade and color. This creates a more 3D look, which could help build a more interesting exterior to your home. 

Wind & Water Ratings

Architectural shingles are going to be better in both wind and water. For climates like Kansas, if you can afford it, architectural shingles will be the way to go. With the extra waterproof coating and granules, to the heavier shingle construction, the advantages of the architectural shingle should be factored into any Kansas homeowner’s roof replacement decision. 


It will probably not come as a surprise that 3-tab shingles are going to come out ahead in this area, as they are one of the cheapest roofing material on the market. If you are needing to stick to a smaller budget, 3-tab shingles will be your best bet. 


asphalt shingle roofing, asphalt shingle comparison

Factors When Deciding

Making a final choice on a new roof is a big decision. Here are a few things to consider when locking in your final choices. 

  • Budget – make sure you have a clear vision of what your budget is. This will help you get rid of some options right off the bat, keeping you focused on the options that are feasible for your family. 
  • Weather – take your local weather patterns into account when choosing your roof. If you are prone to severe weather, look closely at architectural shingles.
  • Neighborhood – you will want to look around and see what others in your general area are doing with their roofs. It would not be a good idea to do either too expensive or too cheap of a roof choice, to keep your home resale prices comparable.

Call Shull Roofing Today!

The last thing you can do to ensure you are making the right choice for your home and family is to get a local roofer to come out and take a look at your specific situation. Call Shull Roofing today, to get a professional’s recommendation on your next roof!