December 15, 2015 by Terry Reno

Slate, Tile, Wood, or Asphalt?

When it comes to your roof, do you have Slate, Tile, Wood or Asphalt shingles? What’s your preference, and why? We’ve heard so many different reasons why each of the above should be the answer to your shingle needs, but everyone has their own opinion on why?

In this post, we will examine each shingle independently, and give you the reasons for choosing each. We have been in contact with Centennial Best Roofers, which specialize in Roof Repair, to help us with our questions.

-Why is Slate a great shingle to invest in? Slate is by far the best looking of any shingle out there on the market. By far the classiest shingle that you can buy, slate gives off an appearance that is not only rich in nature, but elegant to look at. It’s longevity is also longer than any other shingle that you can buy and have installed. The typical lifespan of slate shingles, if properly constructed, can be up to 150 years! That’s a lot longer than the typical 15-20 years that asphalt or wood shingles live before needing to be replaced. Slate are also fire resistant, and they are environmentally friendly, which a lot of people love.

The con of slate shingles? First and foremost, the cost. Just one square of slate, fully installed, can cost anywhere from $1,000-$8,000. Most homeowners that earn even an upper-middle class income cannot afford to even think about slate shingles going up on their roofs. Depending on the square footage of your roof, you could be talking anywhere from $50-100k for a fully installed roof. Also, they are very fragile. If you are up walking on your roof trying to clean it, you could be in danger of breaking a few of the slate shingles, and that could be very expensive to fix.

-Why are Tile Shingles great to invest in? Tile shingles are very energy efficient, and can be manufactured to just about any color to match your house. They, like slate, are also very durable, lasting sometimes 150 years or more. We have seen some houses with tile roofs that have not had to be worked on in a number of decades because the tiles hold up so well against the elements. They are fire resistant, and hail resistant as well, making them better suited for battle against tough weather conditions. The wind resistance also makes these very good to buy in areas where the wind is normally high. Lastly, tile shingles are easy to install, and are given a green rating by builders.

Why should you stay away from Tile? The cons are pretty much the same as slate shingles. They are much more expensive than wood or asphalt shingles, and are also fragile to walk on if you are a homeowner trying to clean or repair your roof. Typical costs for squares of installed tile roofs can reach up to and over $2,000.

-Why is wood a good shingle to invest in? The overall look of a properly installed wood shingle (shake) roof is very appealing, and you can stain the wood any color you wish. Wood shakes are also durable (not as durable as slate or tile), and are resistant to hail and wind to an extent. They are not as durable as slate or tile shingles, but they are more durable than asphalt shingles, which will give you a longer life span than the typical 15-20 year asphalt life.

Why go against Wood Shakes? The cost is first and foremost. Wood shakes are not as expensive as slate or tile, but they will set you back more than a typical asphalt roof will. Also, they are (obviously) not fire resistant, and will not stand up as well in a hail storm as slate and tile will. Overall, we like shake roofs, but would rather go with tile, slate or asphalt.

-Finally, why would you go with an Asphalt shingle on your roof? Because it’s the most cost effective for homeowners. Sure, you will have to get your roof replaced once every 15-20 years in regular weather conditions, but asphalt roofs, per square, are the least expensive shingle on the market. The technology in asphalt shingles is also growing at a very good rate, making them more resistant to hail, wind, and weather than ever before. There is probably the best assortment of colors to choose from in asphalt shingles, and the ease of installation means that you should have a new roof in about 2 days once your roofer starts tearing off your old product. Also, once you are done with your asphalt roof, the product can be broken down and used as a byproduct for paving, so it’s recyclable.

The cons of asphalt shingles are that they don’t hold up against poor weather like wood, slate, and tile will, shingles should not be installed if the weather is below 40 degrees, and the wind is not good for asphalt.

The majority of homes have asphalt shingles installed in them because they are the best economic alternative for homeowners, and they will get even cheaper with time.

We hope that you have learned something from this post, and please come back to our blog for more updates on roofing and home inspection!

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