If you are looking to replace your roof this year, you most likely have started to do your research as to what type of roofing shingle you want to have. There are many choices to choose from but two of the most popular choices for homeowners in Maryland are architectural and 3 tab asphalt shingles. The question is: what is the difference between architectural shingles and 3-tab shingles? 

At Roof Right, a roofing company in Maryland, we have helped homeowners across the state answer this question. Let’s take a look at traditional and architectural shingles and see which one works best for your home.

Traditional 3 Tab Asphalt Shingles 

A traditional asphalt shingle is one of the most common materials used for roofing. They’re easy to install and relatively inexpensive. Traditional asphalt shingles have a bottom layer made up of fiberglass or felt that protects your home from water leaks and supports the structural stability of the shingle. The actual asphalt is applied next, followed by a surface layer. To protect the shingles from the damaging effects of the sun, this substance is often composed of mineral granules that offer protection from sunlight. Traditional shingles come in 3 different tab styles, or small cutouts made in a shingle, to create the look of individual shingles. 3 tab shingles used to cost a little less than architectural shingles but post covid are actually more expensive and a lesser quality product.

Architectural Asphalt Shingles

Architectural shingles operate in a similar fashion as traditional shingles but what sets them apart are the variety of styles to choose from. While both architectural and traditional shingles offer primarily color varieties, architectural shingles have a lot more options in changing the overall appearance of the shingle itself. You have the choice of having it mimic the look of a wood shake or slate roofing to create a bold aesthetic look to your home. One interesting feature about architectural shingles is that some of them are made up of layers that are laminated together to create a more contoured look versus something that lays flat like a traditional shingle. This feature also makes the shingles more durable and have a higher resistance to wind damage.

Which Type of Shingle Should I Pick? 

Architectural shingles are the way to go.  They perform better, have a better warranty and cost less.


Architectural shingles cost less post covid than 3-tab shingles.  There are very few 3-tab shingles on the market as shingle manufacturers have shifted their focus.


There are many styles and forms of architectural shingles to consider that can complement your home.  Roof Right can show you photos and samples of shake-style laminate shingles, slate shingles as well as different styles of architectural shingles.


Most standard architectural shingles have a lifetime limited warranty and wind ratings that range from 90-160 mph.  The thicker and heavier the shingle, the less likely it will blow off and will last longer if installed properly.   Many shingle manufacturers have an entry-level, mid-grade and premium-level architectural shingles to choose from.

Ready to install new shingles On your roof? Contact Roof Right

We are sensitive to the fear many homeowners may have when selecting a roofing contractor and understand that trust is something that has to be earned. We work hard to earn the confidence of each and every customer every day. Our company is dedicated to homeowners and their service needs, and we offer one of the best warranties in the industry.

Call us today at 410-374-5923 or email us at info@roofright.com