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How Asphalt Shingle Thickness Affects Your Roof

Posted on March 10, 2024

asphalt shingle thickness

Shingles are meant to protect your roof for many years, and their thickness can have a lasting impact on their durability and the ability for them to do this. If you are a detail-oriented homeowner who needs a shingle replacement, then knowing the thickness of your chosen asphalt shingles will be important to you. So, if you want to know how shingle thickness affects your roof, this blog post is for you. In this blog post, we will cover why asphalt shingle thickness is a determining factor in their overall lifespan and the protection of your home. 

How Thick Are Roof Shingles?

Asphalt shingle thickness heavily depends on the type of shingle you purchase and the material composition. Different types of asphalt shingles have varied thicknesses and, thus, different durability levels. So if you are installing a new roof, then you’ll want to choose the shingles that benefit your home in the long run. Here is a quick overview of the various thicknesses found among shingles. 

1. 3-Tab Shingles

3-Tab Shingles

The most basic type of asphalt shingle is the 3-tab shingle. They aren’t as popular now as they once were, but they have an extensive history as the first choice for many home and commercial building owners across the country. First developed as an alternative to wood shakes or shingles, 3-tab asphalt shingles presented a more cohesive look and better fire resistance. 

However, their popularity has decreased as homeowners now prefer thicker and heavier options, such as architectural and luxury shingles. The composition of 3-tab shingles affects their thickness and appearance significantly, with a typical thickness of about 1/8 inch (approximately 0.48 centimeters).

2. Architectural or Dimensional Shingles

Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles are the most commonly used shingles on homes and commercial buildings. Because of their high level of durability and resistance to winds and storms, architectural shingles make a lasting impression on the buildings they are installed on. Unlike their countertype 3-tab shingles, which are generally composed of a single layer of asphalt, architectural shingles are 50% heavier and thicker. 

This makes them a go-to choice for homeowners installing a new roof or replacing existing shingles. While they’re more expensive up front, home and business owners have found that they are cost-effective in the long run due to their enhanced durability and longevity. 

Architectural shingles usually range from 3/10 to 1/2 inch in thickness (approximately 0.76 to 1.27 centimeters). They also provide a more dimensional and sturdier appearance than 3-tab shingles. 

3. Luxury Shingles

Luxury Shingles

Falling on the higher end of asphalt shingle products are luxury shingles. Also known as laminated or designer shingles, luxury shingles offer a premium look when installed by skilled professionals. 

Thicker, heavier, and more dimensional, luxury shingles are more durable, resilient, and energy efficient. They also come with enhanced impact resistance that helps preserve their integrity and aesthetic appeal over their lifespan. 

Overall, luxury shingles are the choice of homeowners desiring the look and durability of premium roofing products without paying the expensive price. By mimicking the look of slate tiles and wood shakes, these thick roof shingles offer a cost-effective roofing solution for homeowners on a tight budget. The thickness of luxury shingles can vary from 1/2 to 3/4 inches (approximately 1.27 to 1.91 centimeters).

Learn More: 10 Best Asphalt Shingles Of 2024 According To Roofers

The Impact Of Thicker Shingles On Your Roof 

As you’ve now learned, architectural and luxury shingles are more durable, heavier, and thicker than 3-tab shingles. Here is a more detailed explanation as to why you would want thicker roof shingles on your home. 

1. Durability and Longevity

One obvious way asphalt shingle thickness affects your roof is through its durability and longevity. Thicker shingles tend to handle harsh weather conditions better, such as strong winds, heavy rain, and hail. For example, architectural and luxury shingles can withstand the impact of debris better than thinner 3-tab shingles, reducing the chance of damage and the need for frequent repairs. 

2. Insulation and Energy Efficiency

The level of insulation and energy efficiency within your home are aspects influenced by the thickness of your asphalt shingles.  Thicker shingles provide better insulation, which prevents heat transfer between the interior of your home and outside, resulting in increased energy efficiency. 

Increased energy efficiency and lower utility bills, as a result, make thick roof shingles the most admirable roofing option for homeowners. By investing in thicker shingles, you can create a more comfortable living environment while lowering your utility bills.

3. Appearance and Curb Appeal

In addition to practical considerations, the thickness of the shingles also plays a role in the appearance and curb appeal of your home. Thicker shingles have a more substantial look and feel compared to thinner ones, adding depth and dimension to your roof. 

They can enhance the overall aesthetic of your home, making it stand out in the neighborhood. Whether you prefer a traditional or modern style, thicker shingles offer versatility and visual appeal that can complement any architectural design.

4. Structural Considerations

When planning your roofing project, consider the structural implications of asphalt shingle thickness. Thick roof shingles are heavier than thinner ones, which can impact the load-bearing capacity of your roof. 

Before installing thicker shingles, assess the strength and integrity of your roof’s structure to ensure it can support the additional weight. Consulting with a professional roofing contractor can help you determine the best course of action for your specific needs and circumstances.

5. Cost vs. Value

When choosing asphalt shingles, the cost is often a significant consideration for homeowners. While thicker shingles typically cost more upfront than thinner ones, they offer greater value in terms of durability, longevity, and energy efficiency. 

Thicker shingles may require a higher initial investment, but they can save you money in the long run by reducing maintenance and energy costs over time. By weighing the cost against the long-term benefits, you can make an informed decision that maximizes the value of your roofing investment.

Final Thoughts

The thickness of your asphalt shingles plays a crucial role in determining the performance, longevity, and overall quality of your roof. Thicker shingles offer greater durability, insulation, and aesthetic appeal compared to their thinner counterparts. By understanding the impact of asphalt shingle thickness, you can make an informed decision that enhances the comfort, beauty, and value of your home for years to come.

A Full-Service Roof Installation Company In Mississippi

If you are considering installing a new roof or replacing the existing shingles, contact the professional roofers at B&A Roofing. The roofers at our company are proficient at handling any roofing project, be it a new roof installation or a complete roof replacement. Contact us today at (601) 520-3183 and consult a roofing professional. 


A. Before installing thicker asphalt shingles, it’s essential to assess the structural integrity of your roof. Consult with a professional roofing contractor and determine whether your roof can support the additional weight and recommend appropriate measures if necessary.

A. As mentioned in this blog post, thicker asphalt roof shingles generally offer greater durability, insulation, and aesthetic appeal compared to thinner ones. However, the best choice for your roof depends on various factors, including your budget, climate, and structural considerations.

A. Asphalt shingle thickness is measured in inches or centimeters and can vary depending on the manufacturer and product. For precise measurements, check the product specifications provided by the manufacturer.

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