Ultimate Guide to Laminate Shingles

When it comes time to remove your shingles and install new shingles, you may be wondering which shingles to install on your new roof. While there are many kinds of shingles choices, laminate shingles are quickly becoming the go to choice for many homeowners. If you are trying to decide which shingles may be right for your home, here is your go-to guide for laminate shingles.

Ultimate Guide to Laminate ShinglesWhat Are Laminate Shingles?

Traditional shingles are made of asphalt. Usually, asphalt shingles have three tabs for roof placement, and look like gray flat plates with sprinkles attached. Laminate shingles are different from traditional asphalt shingles. Laminate shingles are thicker than traditional shingles. They have multiple layers, which makes them more durable. The basemat of laminate shingles is thicker and more durable as well, because it is made with thick fiberglass. The asphalt on top of the shingle is coated with a ceramic coating to make it more durable and more water-resistant. Laminated shingles are also called architectural shingles or dimensional shingles.

Are Laminate Shingles Better than Traditional Shingles?

There are several reasons why laminate shingles may be better than traditional shingles for your home. First, laminate shingles can make a roof last longer than traditional shingles. With traditional shingles, roofs can last for 15 to 20 years. Laminate shingles can make your roof last up to 30 years.

Also, laminate shingles allow for a more detailed, artistic look for your home. Many people call laminate shingles architectural shingles or designer shingles because they come in different colors and designs. Laminate shingles are more water resistant, and hold up better under severe weather conditions. There is a drawback to laminate shingles, however. Laminate shingles are more costly than traditional shingles, but many people believe the extended lifespan of the roof outweighs the cost of the shingles.

How Are Laminate Shingles Installed?

Unless you have professional roofing experience, it is better to have professional roofers install the laminate shingles. However, there is a process that all roofing companies use in order to install shingles. First, all the old shingles on your roof will be removed. To install new laminate shingles your roof deck–or the hardwood that lies underneath the shingles–must be flat and even. Sometimes, roof decks have to be replaced before new shingles can be installed.

After the roof decks are ready, underlayments are placed to make your roof as waterproof as possible. There may be two levels of waterproofing added–one vertically, and one horizontally–so that your roof’s surface is ready for laminate shingles.

Roofing contractors apply laminate shingles starting from the bottom of the roof, and laying the shingles horizontally. Once all of the laminate shingles are applied, then the roofers will add ridge caps. Ridge caps are special shingles that are added to all of the edges of the roof.

Are There Any Drawbacks to Laminate Shingles?

Laminate shingles are heavier, more durable, and longer lasting than traditional asphalt shingles. However, there are a few drawbacks to use laminate shingles. First, laminate shingles are more costly than asphalt shingles. However, you may be able to mitigate the cost of the laminate shingles over time because a roof with laminate shingles will last up to 10 years longer than a roof with traditional shingles. Your home’s resale value also rises with laminate shingles.

Another drawback to laminate shingles is because they are heavier, they may not be appropriate for every roof. That’s why a roof inspection is so important, because a roofing contractor will be able to tell you whether your roof is structurally sound.

Frequently Asked Questions about Laminate Shingles

Frequently Asked Questions about Laminate Shingles

How will I know which color of shingles will go with my house paint?

Laminate shingles come in a variety of colors: black, grays, blues, browns, and golds. When you are planning the color of shingles to purchase, choose complimentary colors. For example, if your home is painted white, you may want to choose gray or black shingles for your home. If your home is painted a warm light brown, you may want to find a darker warm brown for your roof. Be sure to ask your roofing contractor for color swatches so that you can find the perfect shade for your home.

What are reflective laminate shingles?

Because laminate shingles come in so many different colors, some shingles are more reflective than others. If you live in a warmer climate, such as the American South, you may want to reflect more sunlight to keep your home cooler during the summer. However, if you are in the Indianapolis area, you may want to choose less reflective shingles, which will help absorb sunlight and keep your home warmer, especially during the fall and winter months.

Can I tell by sight the difference between standard or traditional shingles and laminate shingles?

You can tell the difference between traditional asphalt shingles and laminate shingles quite easily. First, traditional shingles appear flat on your roof. Laminate shingles create a layered, textured look for your roof. Also, all traditional shingles lie flat on your roof the same way, and look at the exact same size, while laminate shingles appear to be more than one size. You may also be able to tell a laminate shingle roof from a traditional shingle roof because of the depth of color on the roof itself. Laminate roofs have a deeper color tone than traditional shingle roofs.


If you are looking to replace your roof, and you want it to last as long as possible, you may want to think about a laminate shingle roof. Your roof will be thicker, more durable, and will up the resale value of your home. You will also get to choose from different colors to really increase your curb appeal, which can only add to your home’s value. When you are ready for a new roof in the Indianapolis, we can help. Why not contact Stay Dry Roofing today, and let us help you plan for your new roof through a roof inspection today?