What are Laminated Shingles?

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  • Written By: Jessica Reed
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2019
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Laminated shingles, also known as architectural shingles, are a type of shingle that provides more support than the traditional, 3-tab strip shingle and gives the illusion of a slate or wooden roof for only a fraction of the cost. Laminated shingles are created by attaching two shingles together instead of using only one. This process adds to their overall strength and durability.

The original strip shingle is created by attaching asphalt to paper matting and adding granules to add the color and desired look of the shingle. Fiberglass may be used to strengthen the shingle. Though these shingles are cheap and are common for roofing, their life span varies dramatically based on the amount of harsh weather they are subjected to. The wear and tear of the elements can fade or tear the shingles.

Laminated asphalt shingles are created using the same approach, but combine the strength of two shingles for better quality. Laminated shingles are formed by attaching two shingles to each other and creating a pattern to mimic the look of a wood or slate roof. This is desirable both for its stability against the elements and its expensive look. The laminate shingle may also use fiberglass for reinforcement.


Laminated shingles hold up well against damage from falling objects and are less likely to blow away in the wind. The look of the shingles is convincing as well. From a distance, the viewer sees a wood or slate roof instead of mere asphalt shingles. Though traditional 3-tab asphalt shingles tried to give this desired appearance, they were too flat and did not create the illusion. The laminate shingles use both their thickness and rounded tabs and fake lines of shadow to give them their appearance.

Though the term usually refers to two shingles stuck together, triple laminated shingles do exist. These shingles are even thicker due to the two extra layers. Actual shadows and depth are created from the thickness, and the illusion of a high-end roof is increased. The triple laminate shingles are more durable and hold up better to wind and weather due to their third layer of protection.

Laminated shingles do weigh more than strip shingles. When installing laminated shingles, it is important to remove the old shingles first, as the extra weight may be too much for the roof. For both the double and triple laminate shingles, a homeowner should keep in mind that he or she may need longer roofing nails to properly install the shingles on the roof.


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Post 3

I live in an area where we are almost certain to get more than a couple of hurricanes each year. That makes looking for a good and solid roof even more important for us.

We used to have the regular, single layer shingles at our old home and we thought they were fine until we got a storm. Several of them blew off, and the rain was actually blown up under the others. This leaked down my walls and caused a lot of damage!

Now, we have been blessed that that is the worst we’ve had happen during any hurricane. And thank goodness for homeowners insurance!

But, now we live in another house, which needs a new roof. We are clear that we don't want the single layer, but we had entertained cedar shingles; the cost is what is holding us up.

Post 2

So, in comparison to the newer kind of metal roofing, how does the price for these roofing materials figure in?

We are looking for a roof that is going to look really nice while at the same time being very affordable. Although I like the look of these laminated shingles, I’m not sure if they are actually going to hold their color and illusion for a long amount of time.

All of my research this far suggests that a metal roof will hold up well and that they are incredibly affordable at the same time.

If anyone has any comparison prices or suggestions, that would be great. Thanks!

Post 1

I've been using laminated, or architectural, shingles since the 1970's and I will never go back to the old kind, standard three tab shingles. It's the durability that got me hooked. The architectural shingles last 30 to 40 years, easily twice as long as the three tab shingles. And they aren't much more expensive.

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