Best Roofing Materials for Homes 2022: Material Costs, Plus Pros & Cons

This comprehensive guide to roofing materials is all the research you’ll need to evaluate the top choices for residential re-roofing and new construction projects in 2022.

What to Expect: In this guide, we’ll cover the following most common roofing options: asphalt shingles, cedar wood shingles and shakes, metal shingles and standing seam metal roofs, concrete, clay, and fiber-cement tiles, natural stone and faux slate/synthetic shingles, and the latest BiPV solar tile options.

A new asphalt shingle roof with PV solar panels

For each material, we cover the following topics:

  • An overview including how the roofing is made
  • Pros and cons including maintenance, repair, durability, options, home styles they work with and more
  • Cost for materials and installation
  • Choosing your roofing material: The “bottom line” summaries of each type
  • How to save money on a new roof

Types and Styles of Roofing Materials

The material options presented below cover more than 95 percent of all residential roofs in the United States. So, unless you’ve got something unusual in mind like BiPV solar tiles – oh, wait, we’ve included those – or a vegetative green roof, the options you’re considering are likely discussed below

1. Asphalt/Fiberglass Composition Shingles
2. Wood Shingles and Shakes
3. Metal Roofing
4. Concrete and Clay Roof Tiles
5. Natural and Synthetic Composite Slate Tiles
6. BiPV Solar Shingles and Tiles
7. Low-sloped and Flat Roof Options

Asphalt/Fiberglass Composition Shingles

More than 75 percent of all single-family homes in the US are covered with asphalt shingles, though that number is slowly shrinking thanks to the more energy-efficient and durable materials like metal.

Asphalt (composition) shingles dominate the market because they are affordable, offer a variety of attractive options, and do a good job protecting homes from the nature’s elements.

There are two main types of asphalt shingles:

  • Fiberglass shingles start with a fiberglass mesh mat that is covered in asphalt and topped with granules that provide color and reflect some of the sunlight. Shingles made with fiberglass are lightweight and resist tearing.
  • Old-school organic asphalt shingles (almost non-existent today) would normally have paper, an organic material, saturated in asphalt and covered with granules. The shingles are heavier and harder to work with than fiberglass, but they generally offer better stability in high winds. Although you can still see them on many roofs, organic shingles have been mostly phased out or discontinued over the course of last decade. Why? Manufactures have stopped making organic shingles due to their tendency to dry out, become less-waterproof and more prone to excess moisture absorption.

Pros and Cons

The advantages of asphalt shingles are:

  • Fiberglass shingles offer good fire protection
  • Look good on most any style home
  • Shingles are often the most affordable roof covering option, especially in good/better ranges
  • The best asphalt shingles are a 30-year roof solution installed on homes located in moderate climates
  • The cheapest 3-tab shingles are an affordable way to dress up a home before putting on the market
  • Broad selection of colors and styles including affordable three-tab and architectural shingles that mimic shakes and slate
  • DIY asphalt shingle installation is possible for those with good skills, experience, and equipment
  • No support beyond standard roof sheathing is required for shingles
  • 3-tab shingles are rated for 60-70 MPH wind uplift, while standard architectural shingles are rated for 110 MPH winds; high-wind shingles are rated for 130 MPH
  • High-impact shingles such as the ones manufactured by GAF should be used for heavily wooded locations and areas where large hail is possible
  • Some shingle repairs are easy and cost-effective

A few words of caution:

  • The lifetime cost of shingles is higher than metal, tile, or slate, because composition shingles must be replaced more frequently
  • Cheaper or low-end asphalt shingles like 3-tab or strip shingles may only last some 10-15 years in hot, sunny climates like Arizona and Texas
  • Rapid temperature changes can cause asphalt shingles to crack prematurely
  • A poorly vented attic will trap heat and significantly shorten asphalt shingles’ lifespan by cupping or cracking them
  • While the asphalt shingle industry boasts that its products can be recycled for paving, few recycling facilities take asphalt shingles, and they are among the least eco-friendly roofing options
  • After a second layer of shingles needs replacing, all layers must be torn off the roof, creating extra expense and a lot of potential landfill waste
  • Mold or algae can be a problem on shingles in shady areas, unless treated with anti-algae/anti-stain treatments
  • Organic/felt shingles are heavy; getting them to the roof in bundles can be a challenge
New Shingle Roof

$7,500
Average price
New Metal Roof

$14,500
Average price
New Flat Roof

$8,225
Average price

See costs in your area Enter Your Zip Code

Wood Shingles and Shakes

Wood delivers a natural dose of beauty to any roof. Cedar, redwood, cypress, and pressure-treated pine shingles and shakes are available.

How are wood shingles and shakes different?

  • Wood shingles are machine-cut and feature cleaner edges and a smooth surface to produce a more uniform appearance.
  • Wood shakes are hand-cut from blocks of wood, so have a more rustic appearance. They’re thicker too, so slightly more expensive than wood shingles.

Pros and Cons

The advantages of wood shingles and shakes are:

  • Wood has natural beauty that ranges from rustic shakes to handsome, neat shingles
  • Cedar and redwood contain oils that make them naturally resistant to moisture and insects
  • Treated wood shingles have a Class A fire rating
  • Cedar shingles and shakes can last 5 to 10 years longer than asphalt when properly maintained, which makes them competitively priced with asphalt over their lifespan
  • Wood has an insulation value twice that of asphalt shingles. However, your home’s insulation levels including walls and attic are far more important than the R-value of the roof covering
  • Many shakes and shingles are made from salvaged trees – those that have fallen over from age or were toppled by storm
  • Wood is recyclable into wood chips, mulch, or compost
  • They enhance a range of architectural styles including Tudor, Victorian, Cape Cod, bungalow and cabin/cottage

Keep these potential disadvantages in mind:

  • Non-treated materials have a Class C fire rating, but wood can cedar shingles and shakes are also available as a more-costly treated option
  • Wood roofing is prohibited in some areas prone to wildfire, so be sure to check with your building department first
  • Untreated wood shakes and shingles are high maintenance – they need to be cleaned consistently to prevent the growth of algae or moss, and debris needs to be cleared to allow the wood to breathe
  • While DIY installation is possible if you have good experience, faults in the installation can lead to quick deterioration of the roof which often includes serious leaks
  • Staining of the shingles and shakes might occur as natural factors cause tannins to be released from the wood
  • While wood is quite durable, but repairs will be expensive if they are required

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Pros & Cons of IKO Shingles – Costs – Unbiased IKO Roofing Reviews

IKO asphalt shingles enjoy moderate sales volume across the US and have been one of Canada’s top brands. Most IKO shingles are sold directly to roofing contractors through building materials suppliers and distributors like Bradco, ABC Supply, Beacon Supply, and Harvey’s Industries. IKO products are generally not sold retail to the public.

IKO asphalt shingles roof

Did you know? Some IKO shingles consumer ratings are poor, dragged down by the widespread failures of organic shingles that are no longer being produced. Similar failures associated with the organic-base mat used in shingles (since replaced by the fiberglass base mat industry-wide) had also impacted other large brands in the roofing industry. Like GAF and CertainTeed, IKO was the target of class action lawsuits in the US and Canada.

However, the defective shingle lines are no longer produced and IKO has been working on improving their roofing shingle formulations across the board. It’s worth noting that reviews of IKO shingles in the past few years have been more favorable.

We mention this upfront because the lawsuits appear in online search results for IKO shingles. Homeowners who had the defective shingles installed despise the company. The remaining reviews and ratings from homeowners are about average compared with other top brands. Warranties are slightly above average, as discussed below.

Are IKO Shingles the Right Choice for Your Home?

This guide provides a critical look at the current lineup of IKO shingles from the perspective of homeowners, home inspectors, and roofing contractors.

We believe this is the best approach to getting a well-rounded view of any shingle brand. It’s how we structured our reviews of GAF and Malarkey shingles among others.

Pros

Here are the advantages offered by this brand from various perspectives.

There are two reasons roofers suggest IKO products:

1. IKO PROFORMAX™ Integrated Roofing Accessories

A roof is far more than the outer covering of shingles. It’s built from the deck up using multiple components that work together to effectively shed rainwater and keep your home protected from nature’s elements.

IKO-PROFORMAX
IKO PROFORMAX Integrated Roofing System

IKO’s PROFORMAX™ system is comprised of four integrated roofing accessories designed to provide a multilayered roof protection that starts underneath the shingles, working from the outer edges of the roof deck upward.

IKO Integrated Roofing System
IKO Integrated Roofing System via All State Remodeling

IKO recommended accessories are designed to address some of the most vulnerable areas of the roof, such as the edges (eaves and rakes) where the roof’s deck and fascia or rake boards meet.

IKO PROFORMAX™ Integrated Roofing accessories include:

  1. Deck Protection – GoldShield™, ArmourGard™, IKO StormShield® Ice & Water Protectors, and IKO GoldSeam™ Roof Sealing Tape
  2. Underlayments – RoofGard-Cool Grey® or Stormtite® Non-Breathable Synthetic Underlayments
  3. Starter Shingles – Leading Edge Plus™ or EdgeSeal® Roof Starters
  4. Ridge Cap Shingles – Hip & Ridge Series or IKO Ultra HP® Cap Shingles

Deck Protection: Ice & Water Protectors

Many areas require a prescribed zone of Ice and Water protection under shingled roofs to prevent water infiltration due to ice dams and wind-driven rain. Check your local building codes to determine what is needed in your region.

IKO recommends Ice & Water protection for the roof deck at the eaves, rakes, hips, valleys, and around protrusions like vents and vent pipes, chimneys, dormers, and skylights.

  • GoldShield™ – A premium Ice & Water membrane that forms a protective seal around each nail or fastener leaving no space where water can drip through.
  • ArmourGard™ – A midrange product comprised of modified bitumen membrane that is applied as a protective layer under shingled roofs.
  • StormShield® – An economical Ice & Water membrane comprised of modified bitumen for protection from wind-driven rain and ice dams.

Fascia and Eaves: Roof Sealing Tape

  • IKO GoldSeam™ – IKO recommends applying roof sealing tape where the fascia and eaves meet, and over the seams of plywood sheets or OSB boards comprising the roof deck, before installing synthetic underlayment.

Our view is that applying the roof sealing tape over the gap where the eave and fascia board meet will deliver solid value and aid in extending the longevity of the eave and fascia board by blocking moisture and wind-driven rain, thus helping prevent rot.

Applying roof sealing tape over the seams of the plywood might also deliver some incremental value, especially if there are uneven surfaces (different heights) in between the sheets of plywood or OSB board. That said, in many ways, this step can be seen as redundant, especially on steeper roofs with smooth deck surfaces. Very few contractors actually install a roof sealing tape over plywood/OSB board seams, but it definitely won’t hurt. 😊

Synthetic Underlayments

Underlayment serves a purpose of providing a secondary level of protection aka “roof underneath the roof”. It also helps prevent asphalt shingles from getting baked onto (or “glued”) to the roof deck in the sweltering heat of summer, when the sun can literally bake asphalt shingle onto the roof deck by melting the asphalt above the deck, especially on poorly vented roofs/attics.

  • RoofGard-Cool Grey™ – In addition to providing convenient reference lines to keep shingle courses straight, the synthetic material adds a layer of protection between the deck and the shingles. This non-breathable synthetic underlayment provides a superior slip-resistant surface on which to work.
  • Stormtite™ – IKO’s economical non-breathable synthetic underlayment option. It’s significantly stronger than traditional roofing felt and easy to install.

Note: IKO Roofgard-cool grey brochure mentions that “this product is a vapor retarder, so the air space beneath the roof deck should be properly and thoroughly ventilated to avoid risk of moisture condensation”.

Pro Tip: Use a breathable synthetic underlayment whenever possible!

Our view is that you should try to avoid using synthetic underlayments that are non-breathable vapor barriers (unless your roof’s deck and attic space are very well vented) because non-breathable underlayments can trap moisture between the roof deck and the space underneath the underlayment.

The trapped moisture can eventually cause the roof deck to rot underneath the underlayment, especially in poorly vented attic spaces. Imagine a roof deck or substrate failing due to moisture-induced rotting while the outer roofing system is still in good shape. 😉

Starter Shingles

IKO recommends the use of roof starter shingles designed to be used with the first course of shingles.

Double-sided starter rolls that use high-strength sealant are a newer option that provides enhanced protection from wind uplift at the critical first course of shingles along eaves, as well as on rake edges.

Ridge Cap Shingles

IKO’s specially constructed ridge cap shingles are designed to provide a high-quality alternative to using cut-up roof shingles to protect hips and ridges. The precut cap shingles include pre-tapered headlaps and add dimension, depth, and texture to a roofline (ridges and hips).

The above listed product components and accessories are compatible with most IKO shingle lines, but there are some exceptions like the ridge cap product that is specific to Nordic shingles.

Did you know? In order to be covered by IKO’s ROOFPRO Extended Iron Clad Protection warranty, IKO shingles must be used and installed together with at least three IKO PROFORMAX Integrated Roofing Accessories. See warranty documents for details.

The above requirement is standard for most brands. For example, manufacturers like GAF, require that at least three other qualifying GAF components to be used in conjunction with GAF shingles to make your roof eligible for the extended warranty coverage.

While it could be argued that these requirements help a roofing manufacturer maximize material sales per re-roofing job, our view is that the use of the manufacturer recommended, compatible accessories can help ensure a longer lifespan of the new roof, which helps justify the extended warranty coverage from the manufacturer.

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Pros & Cons of CertainTeed Shingles – Costs – Unbiased CertainTeed Roofing Reviews

It is generally agreed that CertainTeed’s shingle quality is at or near the top of all fiberglass (fiberglass-reinforced mat that serves as a base for asphalt composition shingle) shingle brands.

Certainteed Grand Manor Shingles Roof in Colonial Slate
via Pro Home 1

CertainTeed’s large selection of available asphalt shingle products includes the most luxury roofing shingle lines of any brand, plus the mid-grade architectural or dimensional shingles, and the basic 3-tab or strip shingles.

CertainTeed’s Grand Manor and Presidential Shake products are prime examples of Premium roofing shingles that have enhanced depth and differentiated appearance.

CertainTeed’s Landmark PRO roofing shingles are an example of a traditional architectural shingle designed to appear fuller and more dimensional compared to the flattish-looking 3-tab shingle. Dimensional shingles are also thicker and heavier than the basic 3-tab strip shingles.

Did you know? CertainTeed is a heavyweight brand – literally. Its shingles contain more asphalt than most.

CertainTeed shingles, even the 3-tab strip shingles, weigh 200-plus pounds per square. Most weigh 250-480lbs per square. More weight means better durability (and impact resistance).

Other brands’ shingles weigh 160-280lbs per roofing square.

But what about the price? It’s not a secret that all, CertainTeed is the most expensive brand overall. It sometimes denies warranty claims, though that’s a common complaint about all shingle brands.

Are CertainTeed Shingles Your Best Shingle Option?

Anyone researching shingles will find a lot of praise for CertainTeed roofing, along with a few horror stories.

This in-depth review provides unbiased information to help you make a well-educated buying decision.

Information in this guide is based on the perspectives of roofing contractors who install a wide range of products from different asphalt shingle brands, home inspectors that regularly check CertainTeed shingle and other roofs for potential problems, and homeowners who have lived beneath these shingles for years.

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