3-Tab Shingles vs. Architectural Shingles | Asphalt Shingle Roofing

july 20TH, 2020 UPDATED 3:00PM CT
Residential Certainteed Architectual roof shingles installation contractors - San Antonio, TX - 02
When it comes to roofing in San Antonio, there are lots of different shingle options available. Whether you are looking for metal roofing shingles, wood shingles, solar shingles, or slate tile shingles, these are all great options. But the two most common shingles that homeowners debate about are 3-tabbed shingles and architectural shingles. The question is – which is the better option? First off, let us start by saying that 3-tabbed shingles and architectural shingles are both a type of Asphalt shingle. Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular types of shingles used in North America. In fact, they’re currently the most popular shingle type of all in the roofing market. Not only that, but their popularity trumps other shingle types by a highly significant margin. But why are asphalt shingles so popular?

They are incredibly versatile.

Asphalt shingles come in a variety of different shapes, forms, and angles, and look good with any home. They are usable on almost any roof type, no matter how large or complicated it may be.

There are a lot of color options.

When it comes to roofing in San Antonio, asphalt shingles offer a lot of different options for color. Most other roofing materials do not offer the same color palette options.

They are cost-effective.

The most significant factor for the popularity of asphalt shingles is their affordability. Asphalt shingles are some of the cheapest that you can buy, yet still offer high performance and quality. Few other roofing material types can provide the same value.

They are energy efficient.

Asphalt shingles are available in light, medium, or dark tones to reflect the desired amount of the sun’s rays, reducing the temperature of the surface.

You can buy asphalt shingles for extreme weather conditions.

In areas like San Antonio that frequently experience strong storms like hurricanes and hail storms, specifically designed shingles can be very useful.

Asphalt shingles can withstand high winds.

When maintained properly, they have a good chance of withstanding hurricane weather.

They have a high roofing Fire Rating.

Depending on what type of asphalt shingle you buy, their fire rating can be a Class A. This means that they offer superior protection against fire hazards.

They provide insulation against sound.

This means that they can help to protect your home from outdoor noise. By design, they are significantly quieter than metal roofs, meaning rain and hail storms will not be as distracting.

They are resistant to Algae.

When it comes to roofing in San Antonio, algae is a significant problem. This is especially true for wooden roofs. Many asphalt shingles are algae resistant.

They are easy to install.

The easier a shingle is to install, the quicker it can be installed. And the quicker it can be installed by roofing companies, the lower the cost will be to you.

They are easy to repair.

Not every roofing contractor knows how to repair every type of roofing. Some types of roofing are more difficult to repair than others. But asphalt shingles are so common that pretty much any roofing contractor will be able to do repairs for you.

They come in a variety of different styles.

These styles include 3-tab and architectural.

What are 3-tabbed Shingles?

Three-tabbed shingles are asphalt shingles that have distinguished tabs (or cutouts) along their lower edge. When installed, each shingle actually looks like three different shingles (even though this isn’t the case). They first came to the market in the early 20th century and quickly became very popular throughout North America. When it comes to roofing in San Antonio, 3-tab shingles are thought to be some of the most basic and least expensive types of shingles. People often call them “entry-level.”

What are Architectural Shingles?

In the world of roofing in San Antonio, Architectural Shingles are laminated with an additional layer of asphalt. Unlike 3-tabbed shingles, they do not contain any cutouts along the lower edge. Rather, the extra layer of asphalt gives them a more dimensional appearance. They were originally introduced to the market in the 1970s in response to growing expectations surrounding the attractiveness of homes in North America.

What are the differences between 3-tabbed shingles and Architectural Shingles?


3-tabbed shingles generally have a 30-year warranty, depending on the model Architectural shingles usually have a lifetime warranty

Wind rating

3-tabbed shingles can withstand winds up to 220 km/hr Architectural shingles can withstand winds higher than 220km/hr


Architectural shingles are twice as thick as 3-tabbed shingles and are much more durable.


Architectural shingles come in more premium options and can have the appearance of cedar and slate. They are also better at hiding imperfections.


3-tabbed shingles are the cheaper/more affordable option Architectural shingles are the more high-end option

So what’s the better option?

In the world of San Antonio roofing, architectural shingles are thought of as the better option. Not only are they better able to withstand harsh weather conditions, but they are also more aesthetically pleasing and easier to install. Because they are the more durable option, architectural shingles also come with a longer warranty. With that being said, everyone is different in their preferences. Three-tabbed shingles are definitely the more affordable option. Exactly how much money can you save with 3-tabbed shingles? Architectural shingles cost approximately 20-40% more than 3-tabbed shingles. In return, using 3-tabbed shingles can save you a significant amount of money. For larger San Antonio roofing jobs, 3-tabbed shingles can save you upward of $1500 or more. And even though they aren’t considered as high-end as architectural shingles, they are still good quality and provide excellent value.

How do I know what the right option is for you?

Choosing the right roof shingles really comes down to your personal preferences. Do you prefer something that is more durable and longer-lasting that will save you money in the long term? Or do you prefer something that won’t last quite as long but will save you money now? There is no right or wrong answer to this question; it comes down to personal preference. There’s also one other type of asphalt shingle known as “premium style shingles.” These are well known for their unique appearance and come with a lifetime warranty. They are, however, much more expensive than the other two types of asphalt shingles. If you are having a difficult time making a decision and would like to learn more about the different options, speak to a local San Antonio roofing contractor about the different types of asphalt shingles available. Not only will they be able to tell you about the different kinds of asphalt shingles available, but they will also be able to tell you about different types of shingles that could suit your needs and budget. If you wish, you can request for them to bring you a sample to take a look at the different options. If you’re going with asphalt shingles, architectural shingles are best, but you can save some money by going with 3-tabbed shingles.

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McAllen Valley Roofing Co.

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5828 Sebastian Pl, Suite 102 San Antonio, TX 78249

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