What type of shingle you choose for your roof will determine the look and lifetime expectancy of your roof? Both 3-tab and dimensional shingles are good choices for the average homeowner. If you like a clean simple look, then 3-tab shingles may be the right choice for you. If you like a more texture and variety, then dimensional shingles may be your choice. Knowing the differences in these two types of shingles will help you make the right choice for your home.

Look of 3-Tab and Dimensional Shingles

Since 3-tab shingles have only one tab size and shingle size the look you get from them is very uniform. The shingles all lie down flat and are lined up. Dimensional shingles have various sizes of tabs and shingle shapes. As the name implies, this can give your roof a lot of variance. Keep in mind that not all colors are available in your area, so if you like a specific color check with your roofer to be sure it can be ordered.


Since dimensional shingles are much thicker than 3-tab, they weigh more – up to 50 percent more. This is because 3-tab shingles are flat and made with less material. The difference in weight does add to the quality and durability.


Dimensional shingles cost more than 3-tab shingles because they are manufactured with more materials. They are much thicker than 3-tab and offer you a wide variety of looks for your roof. Dimensional shingles can raise the value of your home. However, 3-tab shingles are a good value if you want a durable clean looking roof, and are popular for rental properties.

Other Factors to Consider

One of the most obvious differences in 3-tab and dimensional shingle is their look. Dimensional shingles have no tabs but their lower level is laminated giving them a dimensional look. Since they are thicker, they have less tendency to curl. Dimensional shingles generally carry a warranty of 30-year to a lifetime warranty and up to 40 to 50 years.
As the name implies, 3-tab shingles have three separate tabs which fit under the previous layer of shingles. This makes them lay flat and are evenly spaced. While they are durable, they are usually rated for wind speeds of only 60 mph, and have a warranty of 20 or 25 years.
The type of shingle you choose depends upon the look you want and your budget. Both 3-tab and dimensional shingles, when properly installed, will last for many years and can be a cost effective choice. Call or contact Acura Roofing and ask our experts which type of shingle is best for your needs.