3-Tab vs Architectural: The Great Shingle Debate

This article will go over the differences between 3-Tab (or classic) shingles and architectural (or laninated) shingles– and hopefully help you make the choice that makes the most sense for your own roofing project!

Let’s go back in time! The 3-tab shingle first made its appearance in the early 20th century and soon began to cover houses everywhere in North America. As time has gone by and mentalities have changed, we have all become more demanding when our homes are concerned. We want a beautiful house and we put much care an effort in maintaining it… It only makes sense that we would want a proper roof to protect it. The architectural shingle came about in the 1970’s as a response to those new expectations. More resistant and often deemed more attractive  than its 3-tab counterpart, it quickly took over North American roofs.

Asphalt shingles (3-tab and architectural combined) now account for more than 80% of the residential roofing market.

To provide our customers the most options in their roofing choices, we offers both types of shingles. Let’s take a moment to compare them.

3-Tab Shingles vs Architectural Shingles: Warranties

It is no coincidence that architectural shingles come with enhanced warranties! Simply put, architectural shingles offer greater resistance to time and weather than their 3-tab counterparts – it only makes sense that they would backed by a better warranty.

3-Tab Shingles vs Architectural Shingles: At a Glance

There is another, very important, aspect to consider along with warranty and performance: the look. Many homeowners prefer the textured appearance and character of architectural shingles to that of the simpler 3-tab shingles, but in the end, beauty is in the eye of the beholder indeed. The winner here is a matter of personal preference.

bardeaux 3 pattes   
On the left, you have classic shingles known as 3-tab shingles; and, on the right architectural (or laminate) shingles.


3-Tab Shingles vs Architectural Shingles: Price and Laying

Cost is where 3-tab shingles seem to have an edge with a price point traditionally lower than that of architectural shingles. Modern-day techniques, however have made architectural shingles faster to install. The combined cost (shingles + labour) can therefore end up being fairly similar to that of 3-tab shingles.
In addition, the greater lifespan of architectural shingles gives them a better quality/price ratio. It should also be noted that 3-tab shingles are commonly used for hip and ridge.

3-Tab Shingles vs Architectural Shingles: In Summary

When we look at the basic characteristics of classic and architectural shingles, it certainly looks like architectural shingles have the upper hand over their 3-tab colleagues. While many will argue that this is, in fact, true, there is no denying the relevance of the latter.

In order to allow our clients to truly choose according to their taste, budget, and requirements, BP is proud to offer a wide range of colours and models for both 3-tab shingles and architectural shingles.

So there you have it. Our 2 cents on the great “3-tab shingles vs architectural shingles” debate. It’s now up to you to decide which type of shingle will be the best-suited to YOUR roofing project!

Are you curious to see what your house would look like with a BP roof?

Use our Visualizer tool to preview the look of your roof with a wide selection of BP asphalt shingles!