Three-Tab vs. Architectural Shingles: Which One is For You?

Three Tab Shingles
Aug. 14 2017

When you’re shopping for an asphalt shingle roofing, you must understand the differences between three-tab and architectural shingles. They may be similar, but they’re nevertheless worlds apart.

Architectural Shingles

As one of America’s few GAF Master Elite™ roofing contractors, Vinylume wants to shed light on the differences of three-tab and architectural shingles:


Three-tab shingles don’t share the dimensionality of architectural ones. The former only has one tab size and shape, and consists of a flat layer. On the other hand, the latter’s tabs come in an array of profiles and are thicker.

Both types of asphalt roofing shingle try to masquerade as traditional materials, but the architectural variety does far better in this department. Premium architectural shingles deliver a convincing appearance of genuine wood shakes or slate tiles, making them indistinguishable from the real thing.


Since architectural shingles weigh about 50% more than three-tab ones on average, they have superior wind resistance and last longer. Architectural shingle products are protected by at least a 30-year guarantee across the board, which can’t be said about their three-tab counterparts.

Proper installation and routine maintenance, however, are essential. Apart from the optimized material content of architectural shingles, their overall performance also depends on the professionals that handle them.


By and large, three-tab shingles cost about $75 to $90 per square, while their architectural cousins are roughly $140 to $160 per square. Most budgets could afford either of the two, but experienced roofing contractors would recommend the latter for their long-term benefits. Architectural shingle products better increase curb appeal, which could boost your home’s market value for a long time. Plus, they delay the need for another replacement because they stay serviceable longer than three-tab shingles.

At Vinylume, we’ll guide you through GAF’s impressive selection of products to help you choose the right shingle for your needs. Call us now at (866) 244-8029 to schedule your FREE, no-obligation consultation in Fairfield, CT, White Plains, NY, or any nearby area.

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