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Common Roofing Materials: Comparing Asphalt Shingles, Tile, and Slate

Before handling a DIY roofing project or hiring a roofing contractor, there are a variety of materials to choose from. Three popular options are asphalt shingles, tile, and slate. Each of these materials has unique benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to consider your specific needs before deciding.

This piece will highlight these roofing materials and why they are used in roofing. Read on to learn.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material in the United States, and for a good reason. They are inexpensive, easy to install, and come in various colors and styles. They are also durable and can last up to 20-30 years. However, they are less stable than tile or slate and can become brittle in extreme heat or cold.


A tile is a popular option for those who want a more conventional aesthetic. It is available in various hues and styles and is made of clay or concrete. Tile is also incredibly resilient and can survive for at least 50 years. However, it is heavy and occasionally brittle, so it might only be appropriate for some roofing. Moreover, compared to other possibilities, it is very pricey.


Slate is a natural stone that is quarried from the earth. It is incredibly durable and can last up to 100 years or more. It is also very energy efficient and fire resistant. However, it is also cumbersome and can be brittle. Another downside is that it is relatively expensive compared to other options.

Factors To Help You Select The Best Out Of The Three

When choosing between asphalt shingles, tile, and slate, there are several factors to consider:

  • Climate: The climate in your area will play a role in determining which material is best for your home. For example, tile and slate may not be suitable for areas prone to heavy rain or extreme temperatures.
  • Budget: The cost of the materials and installation will also be a factor to consider when deciding. Asphalt shingles are generally the most cost-effective option, followed by tile and slate.
  • Durability: Asphalt shingles last for about 20-30 years, tile for nearly 50 years, and slate for almost 100 years or more. This can be an important factor to consider depending on the longevity of the roofing you are looking for.
  • Aesthetics: The appearance of the roofing material is also a necessary factor to consider. Asphalt shingles, tile, and slate come in various colors and styles, so you can choose the look that best suits your home.
  • Energy-efficiency: The roofing material’s ability to reflect the sun’s rays and reduce the heat absorbed by your home can lead to lower cooling costs in the summer and help prevent ice dams in the winter.
  • Maintenance: The maintenance required for the roofing material is also an important factor to consider. Asphalt shingles, tile, and slate require different maintenance levels, so choosing the option best suits your needs and lifestyle are essential.

Shingles, Tiles, or Slate?

A professional roofing contractor can help you weigh these factors and make an informed decision that best fits your home and budget.

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