License Number:

State: RC29027654

County: U22314

BBB Rating A+

Niks Roofing Logo

Best Roofing Shingles: Pros and Cons of Each One

Shingles are important details to consider when it comes to roofing. They provide weather protection and play a considerable role in the look of your home. However, with so many options available in different colors, materials, and styles, it can take time to decide which one to get.

In this blog post, we’ll give you all the information you need on each type of roofing shingle so that you can determine what is right for your home. Read on to learn more about the diverse range of asphalt, slate, metal, and other residential roof options!

What Are the Best Roofing Shingles

A house with orange brick roof and green windows

Asphalt Shingles

A common type of roofing material is asphalt shingles. They have grown in popularity due to their low cost, simplicity of installation, and availability in a wide range of colors and designs. Many homeowners select asphalt shingles because of their characteristics and advantages. For instance, they offer excellent defense against weather factors like rain, wind, and sunlight.

They make a safe solution for residential roofing because they are made to survive all climates and have good fire resistance. In addition, asphalt shingles are renowned for their longevity and durability, which translates to dependable performance for many years.

Some popular brands in the market that offer different asphalt shingle options include GAF, CertainTeed, and Owens Corning. These provide design, durability, and warranty choices, allowing homeowners to find the perfect option.

Disadvantages of Asphalt Shingles

  • Their lifespan is shorter than other roofing materials, typically around 20 to 30 years.
  • Asphalt shingles sometimes require more frequent repairs or replacements. 
  • They can be exposed to algae or moss growth in humid climates, affecting their appearance and longevity.
  • Asphalt shingles are less environmentally friendly than other options, as they are made from petroleum-based materials and are not easily recyclable.

Wood Shingles and Shakes

Wood shingles and shakes are known for their natural beauty, rustic charm, and timeless appeal. Typically made from cedar, redwood, or pine, these shingles offer distinct characteristics that make them practical and aesthetic roofing options. 

Wood shingles are precisely cut, providing a more uniform look, while shakes are hand-split, giving them a more textured and uneven appearance. Wood shingles and shakes offer excellent insulation properties, helping to balance temperature and reduce energy consumption. They also have great durability and can withstand various weather conditions. 

These roofing materials are often favored for their ability to blend with traditional and historical architectural styles. And they are highly resistant to UV rays, prolonging their lifespan and maintaining their aesthetic appeal over time.  

Disadvantages of Wood Shingles and Shakes

  • Susceptibility to decay, rot, and insect infestations if not properly maintained or treated. 
  • Wood shingles and shakes require regular inspections and treatments to prevent these issues and extend their lifespan. 
  • They are more expensive than asphalt shingles, making them less budget-friendly for some homeowners. 
  • Wood shingles and shakes may only be suitable for areas with high fire risk, as they are combustible if treated with fire-retardant coatings. 
  • Wood’s natural aging process can cause the shingles to change in color or appearance over time.

Metal Shingles

Metal shingles are among the best roofing shingles in this industry due to their exceptional durability and versatility. Made from aluminum, steel, or copper, these shingles offer great benefits for homeowners. Metal shingles are lightweight, making them easy to install and reducing the roof structure’s overall load. They resist extreme weather conditions, including high winds, heavy rain, and hail. 

Metal shingles are the best shingles for roof longevity, as they can last several decades with minimal maintenance. They also provide excellent energy efficiency by reflecting sunlight and reducing cooling costs. Different styles are available to purchase, including traditional shingle designs and replicating the appearance of slate or tile. 

Prominent manufacturers of metal shingles include Metal Sales, DECRA, and Classic Metal Roofing Systems. These manufacturers offer high-quality metal shingle options with different finishes and coatings, ensuring homeowners can find the perfect roofing solution.

Disadvantages of Metal Shingles

  • Higher upfront cost compared to some other roofing materials, making them less budget-friendly for some homeowners. 
  • Metal shingles can be noisier during heavy rain or hailstorms.
  • It can expand with temperature changes, which may require special installation techniques to prevent potential issues. 
  • Prone to denting from heavy impacts, such as falling branches or hail.
  • Not all roofing contractors are experienced in working with metal shingles.

Slate Shingles

Slate shingles offer a luxurious and elegant appearance to any home. With proper installation and maintenance, slate shingles can last for years, surpassing the lifespan of many other roofing materials. This exceptional durability makes slate a food choice in the long run, as it eliminates the need for frequent replacements. 

Slate shingles offer a timeless and elegant aesthetic appeal to any home. Their natural colors and unique textures create a visually striking roof that enhances the property’s overall curb appeal and value. 

In addition to their aesthetic appeal, slate shingles are fire-resistant, providing homeowners with an added layer of safety. This fire resistance can provide peace of mind and potentially reduce insurance premiums. 

Slate shingles require minimal maintenance, as they are resistant to mold, mildew, and pests. Their natural waterproof properties ensure excellent protection against moisture-related issues.

Also, slate is considered an environmentally friendly choice, as it is a natural material that does not deplete natural resources during production. Some slate shingles can also be recycled at the end of their lifespan, reducing their environmental impact. 

Disadvantages of Slate Shingles

  • Slate shingles are considerably more expensive compared to other roofing materials. The cost of the slate itself, as well as the specialized installation techniques required, can significantly increase the overall expense of the roofing project. 
  • Slate shingles are heavy, so the roof structure needs to be properly reinforced to support the weight. This can lead to additional construction costs. 
  • Another disadvantage of slate shingles is their fragility. Slate can crack or break if walked on or if heavy objects fall onto the roof. 
  • Repairs or replacements of damaged slate shingles can be challenging and costly, requiring specialized expertise. 
  • Finding matching slate tiles for repairs or additions in the future can be difficult due to variations in color, thickness, and texture, which can affect the aesthetic uniformity of the roof.

Clay Tiles

Clay tiles are renowned for their distinctive Mediterranean or Spanish architectural style and longevity. They have a long lifespan, often lasting 50 years or more when properly installed. This longevity makes them a wise investment, reducing the need for frequent roof replacements. 

Their warm earthy tones and unique texture add character and charm to any home, complementing various architectural styles. Clay tiles also provide excellent natural insulation, helping to regulate indoor temperature and reduce energy consumption. 

Another advantage of clay tiles is their resistance to fire. They are non-combustible, offering an added layer of protection and peace of mind. And clay tiles are environmentally friendly, as they are made from natural materials. 

Disadvantages of Clay Tiles

  • One major drawback of clay tiles is their weight. Similar to slate shingles, clay tiles are heavy and require a sturdy roof structure to support their load. This may necessitate additional construction and reinforcement costs. 
  • Installing clay tiles can be labor-intensive and time-consuming due to their specific interlocking design and precise alignment requirements. 
  • The installation process can be more expensive compared to other roofing materials. 
  • Another disadvantage is their fragility. Like slate, clay tiles can break if walked on or subjected to heavy impacts, such as falling tree branches or hailstones. 
  • Repairing or replacing broken tiles can be challenging and may require professional expertise.
  • Clay tiles are not suitable for all climates. In colder climates with freeze-thaw cycles, clay tiles are exposed to cracking due to the expansion and contraction of moisture within the tiles. 

Factors to Consider when Selecting Roofing Shingles

Wooden houses covered with snow

Climate and Weather Conditions

The climate and weather of the area where the house is located are important considerations when choosing roofing shingles. In diverse climates, various shingle kinds perform differently. For instance, shingles with strong moisture resistance are suggested in areas with high humidity to avoid the spread of mold and mildew. Sealing shingles with high wind resistance ratings is important in regions vulnerable to severe winds or storms. In areas with intense heat or cold, you must choose shingles that resist temperature changes without cracking or warping. 

Aesthetics and Architectural Style

Another important detail when choosing roofing shingles is the home’s architectural design and aesthetic appeal. The roof significantly affects how the house is perceived as a whole. Whether their property is conventional, contemporary, rustic, or modern, homeowners should select shingles that go well with the architecture of the building. 

The siding, trim, and landscaping should all complement each other in terms of the color, texture, and shape of the shingles. The neighborhood’s architectural aesthetics can also be considered to ensure the roof fits well with the surroundings. 

Longevity and Durability

The longevity and durability of roofing shingles impact the long-term performance and maintenance requirements of the roof. Homeowners should assess the lifespan of different shingle materials and consider their resistance to UV radiation, moisture, and physical impact. Shingles with longer warranties and higher durability ratings offer better protection and require fewer repairs or replacements. It is important to choose shingles that can withstand local environmental conditions and provide reliable performance throughout their expected lifespan.

Energy Efficiency and Environmental Impact

Energy efficiency and environmental impact are increasingly important considerations when selecting roofing shingles. Shingles with high energy efficiency can help lower heating and cooling expenditures by reflecting sunlight and reducing heat transfer into the home. Shingles with cool roof ratings or those approved by green building programs are other options that homeowners may want to think about because they can lessen the house’s environmental impact. Also, choosing shingles made of recyclable or sustainable materials can promote eco-friendly practices and help the building sector cut waste. Homeowners can build a more sustainable and energy-efficient home by selecting eco-friendly shingles.

Budget Considerations

Any home repair job, including roofing, must consider the budget. When choosing roofing shingles, homeowners should decide their budget and consider the whole cost of supplies, installation, and prospective long-term maintenance. The cost of shingles varies depending on their composition, with copper being the most expensive and asphalt shingles often being the least expensive. It’s crucial to create a balance between the required characteristics—such as toughness and beauty—and the available spending power. To get the most return on their investment, homeowners can research various shingle options, evaluate prices, and speak with roofing experts. Homeowners can make well-informed decisions that align with their financial goals and aspirations by carefully analyzing their budgetary limits.


When choosing the best roofing shingles for your home, you should weigh the pros and cons of each option. Different materials offer different benefits that should be taken into consideration depending on your budget, climate, and aesthetic preferences. So take your time and research the most reliable roof shingles from reputable vendors today—and protect your home from future damage!


What makes asphalt shingles one of the best roof shingles? 

Asphalt shingles are affordable, easy to install, and come in various styles and colors. They also provide good weather resistance and require low maintenance.

What are the drawbacks of wood shingles and shakes? 

Wood shingles and shakes can be more expensive, require regular maintenance, and are susceptible to decay, rot, and insect infestation if not properly cared for.

What are the benefits of metal shingles? 

Metal shingles offer durability, longevity, and excellent resistance to fire, pests, and harsh weather conditions. They are also lightweight and environmentally friendly.

What are the disadvantages of slate shingles? 

While slate shingles are durable and visually appealing, they are more expensive, fragile, and require a strong roof structure to support their weight. Finding matching tiles for repairs can also be challenging.