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Roofing Tips, Tricks and Ideas

Are Composition Shingles and Asphalt Shingles The Same Thing?

Published by Pickard Roofing at

As a homeowner, you may not be familiar with all the roofing jargon thrown around by contractors. This can be especially confusing when different contractors use different terms to mean the same thing.

A common question we get is, “Are composition shingles and asphalt shingles the same thing?” The short answer is yes.

Composition shingles are also known as asphalt shingles.

Both terms refer to a type of roofing material that is made of fiberglass or organic felt matting that is impregnated with asphalt and covered with mineral granules. So if you hear either term used, you can rest assured that they are referring to the same thing.

Composition Shingles

Composition shingles are also known as composite shingles. They are made from a variety of materials, including asphalt, ceramic, glass fiber, paper, slate, and wood fiber.

One of the benefits of composition shingles is that they are very durable and can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance. They are also fire resistant and easy to install.

Three Types of Composition Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most popular type of roofing material in the United States, and for good reason. They're durable, relatively inexpensive, and easy to install.

Asphalt shingles come in three different types: 3-tab, architectural (dimensional or laminate), and luxury.

3-tab shingles are the most basic and least expensive type of asphalt shingle. They are made of a fiberglass mat that is coated with asphalt and then embedded with mineral granules.

Architectural shingles are also made of a fiberglass mat, but they are thicker and have a more textured surface.

Luxury shingles are the most expensive type of asphalt shingle. They are made to mimic the look of more expensive roofing materials like wood shakes or slate tiles. No matter what type of asphalt shingle you choose, you can be sure that your roof will be durable and long-lasting.

The Shingle Is Just One Part of Your Roof

While the type of shingles you choose is certainly an important decision, there are other factors that play a role in your roofing system.

The underlying structure of your roof is just as important as the shingles you see from the street. In fact, the composition of your roof is much more than just the shingles. It's a combination of key roofing components and materials that come together to form a complete roof system.

The right mix of materials will ensure that your roof can stand up to the elements and last for years to come.

The main materials and components that make up a roof system are:

  • Roof decking
  • Roof flashing
  • Underlayment
  • Shingles
  • Ridge capping
  • Roof vents
  • Pipe boots

These components and materials come together to form a complete roof system that will protect your home from the elements.

If you're not sure where to start, contact us today and we'll be happy to help you find the right roofing system for your home.

How Long Will a Composition Shingle Roof Last?

A composition roof is a popular choice for homeowners because it is durable and has a long lifespan. However, the lifespan of a composition roof depends on a number of factors, including the type of shingle used and the installation process. I

3-Tab Shingles

The least expensive and most common type of composition shingle is the 3-tab shingle. These shingles are thin and have a shorter lifespan than other types of composition shingles. 3-tab shingles typically have a lifespan of 20-25 years. 

Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles are thicker and more durable than 3-tab shingles. They are also more expensive. Architectural shingles typically have a lifespan of 30 years. 

Luxury Shingles

Luxury shingles are the most expensive and most durable type of composition shingle. Luxury shingles typically have a lifespan of 30-50 years. 

Repair or Replace?

If your composition roof is starting to show signs of wear and tear, you may be wondering if you should repair or replace it. The answer depends on the extent of the damage and your budget.

If the damage is isolated to a few shingles, you may be able to have them repaired or replaced without having to replace the entire roof. However, if the damage is widespread, it may be more cost-effective to replace the entire roof.


Contractors can use lingo that is confusing to homeowners. One example is composition shingles. Asphalt shingles and composition shingles are the same thing. There are three types of asphalt shingles: 3-tab, architectural (dimensional or laminate), and luxury. The type of shingle you choose will affect the cost and lifespan of your roof. Just as important as the shingle is the roofing system. Pickard Roofing can help you determine the best roofing system for your home.

For more information about composition shingles or to schedule a free roof consultation, contact us today.

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At Pickard Roofing, we think Design. Craft. Renew. We are experienced in all types of roofing systems- and provide the right roofing design and selective craftsmanship for renewing our customer’s assets. We invite sustainable building customers to give us a call for your free evaluation. For over 90 years Pickard Roofing Company has installed countless metal, tile, slate, TPO, EPDM, and all types of shingle roofing in the Triangle. Our services include residential, commercial, custom architectural metal fabrication, and historical renovation.