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Composite Shingles vs Asphalt Shingles: Which Provides the Best Value to Homeowners?

Posted on April 19, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 6 Min.

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Composite Shingles vs Asphalt Shingles: Which Provides the Best Value to Homeowners?

Welcome homeowners! Are you in the market for new roofing shingles? Then it’s crucial to learn more about asphalt and composite shingles, which are both widely popular options. However, your choice of shingle will depend on a couple of specific factors. 

If you’re tired of reading confusing facts on composite shingles vs. asphalt shingles, fear not. We’re here to provide you with a simplified comparison. At Excel Renovation, we do our best to help homeowners make the best roofing decisions. From the science behind shingle composition to the cost-effectiveness of each type, we’ll give you an inside look at what makes these shingles great roofing options. 

Get ready to take your roofing knowledge to the next level!

What Are Asphalt Shingles Made Of?

At their core, asphalt shingles are composed of a base layer that is coated with a layer of asphalt. Initially, the base layer was made of organic materials like cellulose, paper, and wood fibers. But present-day shingles have a more promising base mat made of fiberglass. This combination of asphalt and fiberglass gives the shingles their distinct look and strength.

But it’s not just the base layer that matters. There are also mineral granules, pigments, other filler materials, and adhesives that play a crucial role in the performance of the shingles. The amount of asphalt used, and the quality of the other ingredients affect the shingle’s durability and resistance to weathering.

It’s helpful to know about the different types of shingles available when discussing composite vs. asphalt shingles. There are several different types of asphalt shingles on the market, each with its own unique features and benefits.

Types Of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are divided into three primary categories according to their design, price range, composition, and benefits. These categories include 3-tab, architectural shingles, and luxury shingles.

3-Tab Shingles

Excel hail damage asphalt shingles 9

These are the most basic type of asphalt shingles, consisting of a single layer of material with three tabs cut into the bottom edge. They are lightweight, affordable, and easy to install, making them a popular choice for homeowners on a budget.

Architectural Shingles

Architectural Shingles

You may also come across the debate on composite vs. architectural shingles and wonder whether they are the same. Also known as dimensional shingles, architectural asphalt shingles are not the same as composite shingles. These shingles are made of multiple layers of material, giving them a three-dimensional appearance. They are thicker and more durable than 3-tab shingles, which makes them a good choice for homeowners who want a more beautiful and long-lasting roof. 

Luxury Asphalt Shingles

Luxury Asphalt Shingles

For those who want top-tier durability and style, luxury asphalt shingles offer a premium option. These shingles are thicker and heavier than the other two versions, and they come in various high-end designs resembling slate and wood shake. While they come at a higher price point, they can last for decades and add significant value to your home. Brands like Malarkey and CertainTeed provide the best type of luxury shingles on the market.

Now, let’s move on to composite shingles, which are made up of completely different materials and provide more benefits than asphalt shingles.

Synthetic or Composite Shingles: Types & Composition

If you’re looking for a roof that offers the beauty and durability of slate and wood without the high cost, composite shingles might be just what you need. Synthetic shingles don’t have an asphalt-based formula. Instead, they are made from a blend of materials like recycled plastic, rubber, and other engineered materials. But just like with asphalt shingles, you can choose from a number of synthetic shingle designs!

Types of Composite Shingles

Composite shingles are carefully designed to simulate the strength and look of wood shakes, slate tiles, or clay tiles while providing high levels of durability.

Synthetic Slate Shingles

Synthetic Slate Shingles

As the name suggests, these shingles are designed to look like luxurious slate shingles. They come in different slate patterns that look strikingly similar to natural slate roofing tiles. F-Wave’s shingles are an excellent example, as the brand offers the most durable and appealing composite shingle line, REVIA®. One added advantage of REVIA shingles is their design, which provides superior wind resistance and reduces the risk of shingle blow-off.

Composite Wood Shingles

Composite Wood Shingles

Do you want to replace your cedar shake roof with a better option? Many homeowners love the natural look of wood but want a more low-maintenance and cost-effective roofing material. In that case, synthetic cedar shingles are a great choice. They are made from a blend of recycled materials and can be treated to resist rot, insects, and fire. This makes them highly weatherproof and durable.

Composite Clay Tile Shingles

Composite Clay Tile Shingles

These shingles are designed to look like traditional clay or concrete tiles but are much lighter, and easier to install. Apart from the red terracotta and sand shades, you can find these shingles in exotic colors and styles.

Now we’ll compare the features of composite and asphalt shingles, so you can make a more informed decision on which option is best suited for your home.

Composite Shingles vs. Asphalt Shingles

While asphalt shingles are the more traditional choice, composite shingles offer several advantages, including durability and eco-friendliness. In each section below, we compare these two types of shingles based on the given categories.


Composite shingles are a highly durable option for roofing, with advanced materials and design that provide resistance to harsh weather such as high winds, hail, rain, snow, and UV rays. They can last up to 50 years or more, depending on quality, installation, and local climate. This makes them an excellent choice for homeowners seeking a reliable, long-lasting roofing solution.

On the other hand, asphalt shingles have a simpler design that only allows them to withstand harsh weather conditions for a shorter period of time compared to composite shingles. 

While 3-tab shingles last 15 to 20 years, architectural shingles last 30 to 40 years, and luxury shingles last 40 to 50 years. The overall longevity of asphalt shingles may be lower due to their susceptibility to damage from extreme weather. 


Roofing costs are a significant concern for homeowners. Composite shingles, while pricier than asphalt options, use advanced technology and materials that make them a popular choice. While comparable in price to luxury asphalt shingles, composite shingles offer long-term savings due to their lower maintenance requirements and fewer necessary repairs compared to 3-tab and architectural shingles.

On the other hand, asphalt shingles are a cost-effective option with a lower upfront cost. Due to their simplicity, they’re a more affordable option for homeowners. However, while the initial cost may be lower, the maintenance cost of asphalt shingles may be higher over time. Homeowners should consider both the upfront cost and long-term maintenance requirements when deciding on a roofing option.

Curb Appeal

Composite shingles offer incredible curb appeal as they closely resemble luxurious natural roofing materials. As for asphalt shingles, they are more suitable for homeowners looking for a classic, traditional look.

Insurance Coverage

Asphalt shingles are more susceptible to damage caused by storms and natural disasters. So, most versions may not qualify for lower insurance rates, and it can also be difficult to obtain storm damage claims for 3-tab shingles. On the other hand, composite shingles from renowned brands may qualify for some insurance claims.

Tax Benefits

Composite shingles increase the value of a home, which may result in a higher property tax. But the good news is, they are also energy-efficient and eco-friendly. This means homes with composite shingles may qualify for local tax credits and incentives.

However, only a few brands of asphalt shingles help you get these benefits. Plus, asphalt shingles may not increase a home’s value as much as composite shingles.

In terms of overall value, composite shingles, and luxury asphalt shingles may be the best long-term investment for homeowners. Although they are more expensive up front, their benefits, durability, and resistance to the elements make up for it. This can help you save money in the long run, especially if you plan on living in your home for many years.

We hope we were able to provide you with better insights into the debate between composite shingles vs. asphalt shingles. If you want to learn more about roofing shingles, feel free to discuss your options with our experts.

Free Consultation & Estimate on Roofing Shingles

At Excel Renovation, our experts can evaluate your roof’s unique characteristics and provide personalized recommendations based on your preferences, budget, and long-term goals. Remember, your home’s roof is a critical investment, and it’s essential to make an informed decision that protects your family and enhances your property’s value. Call us at (612) 439-5005 for a free consultation and estimate on your roofing project. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about the best shingle options for your home and invest confidently!