Shingles are a style of roofing material that consist of small panels that are laid overlapping each other to ensure that water flows off of your roof without seeping inside where it can cause water damage. Shingles can come in a variety of different materials, and though each type of shingle is installed in exactly the same manner, the material differences between each type of shingle can provide a different set of advantages and considerations to your property's roof. Understanding what the three most common types of materials used as roofing shingles are, and what they have to offer, makes it easier for you to pick the best option based on your needs and requirements.


Asphalt roofing shingles are the most common type of residential roofing shingle available. They are extremely affordable, can be installed quickly, and have a clean, black aesthetic that goes with any household design. It is very easy to repair missing or damaged asphalt shingles. The major downsides associated with asphalt are their susceptibility to damage, especially in hotter climates, which can cause the asphalt to soften and split more easily.


Cedar is a type of hardwood that possesses natural oils that make it moisture and pest resistant. This makes it ideal for use on your roof. Cedar can come in either shingles or shakes — with shakes being slightly thicker, rougher cut shingles that create a more rustic appearance — and can be used to create a seamless roof and siding aesthetic on your home. However, cedar shingles and shakes will require regular care to ensure that they do not rot or become damaged due to moisture, as while they are resistant to water damage, they are not completely immune. They also come at a higher price point than asphalt shingles, which makes them harder to fit into a tight budget.


Clay shingles are baked at a high temperature, which makes them highly durable and resistant to the heat. They are immune to moisture damage and can come in a huge range of different colors and shading, giving you the ability to customize the appearance of your roof. They also come in various shapes and styles, which can give a degree of texture to your home. However, clay tiles are on the more expensive side, and their heavy weight means that your home has to have the necessary roofing supports in place to hold them up — and the installation of these supports if they are not in place already can drive the cost up even higher.