best roof types

9 Best Types Of Roofs | Compare Materials, Styles, And Most Durable Designs

Learn about roof materials, styles, designs, pros/cons, and more. When choosing from the 9 best roof types for your residential or commercial property, this guide covers the advantages and disadvantage of the most common roofing systems!

Are your researching roof types, their commonality, and durability, longevity and affordability, climate capabilities? Compare quotes from roofers in your area and discover everything you need to know about roofing options.

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Best 9 Types of Roofing Materials

We begin with the basics by taking a look at the best types of roofing on the market.

1-Metal Roofing

Any type of metal roofing is available in a variety of vertice panels, shingle patterns, which are often used in tile, shake and slate. A metal roofing lasts about 60 years.

PROS

  • Extremely durable
  • Last longer
  • Resits high winds
  • Fire resistant

CONS

  • Can cost 2x-3x more
  • Expands
  • Noisy

It excels at mobilizing snow and rain and preventing a dampened roofing. It doesn’t burn and can resist great winds.

Metal-Roofing

Not to mention, that it is easily installed and very lightweight. However, during a rainstorm or hail – it can get pretty loud. But some people enjoy the sound, so keep it in mind.

Depending on the type of metal used, it can be very affordable. As corrosion susceptibility is variable on each type of metal.

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2-Stone-Coated Steel Roofing

A stone-coated steel roofing mimics shingles, clay, or slate, as it has an interlocking panel mechanism. It is very resistant to rain, and high winds, and practically any other weather condition.

stone coated roofs

In addition to this, it is quite economical and won’t break your budget. If you live in a wet, windy, or wildfire-prone area – a stone-coated steel roofing comes with a lifetime warranty, making sure you get the best service possible.

PROS

  • Built to last
  • Won’t break, split, or crack
  • Resistant to rain, snow, and wind uplift
  • Energy efficient
  • Low maintenance

CONS

  • Cost more
  • Loud (rain, hail, etc)

However, it is very rare that you will get to use the warranty.

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3-Solar Tile Roofing

Nowadays, solar tiles are also considered a type of roofing. An advanced solar collector can be implemented with your current shingles, and help generate over 1 kilowatt of energy per 100 square feet.

PROS

  • Alternative to solar panels
  • Sustainable
  • Can produce 4 KW of power capacity

CONS

  • Must remove part of existing roof to install
  • More expensive

Solar Tile Roofs

Brilliant for a sunny regional are, where a homeowner association does not allow regular solar panels. However, being from the realm of both worlds – they are less affordable than a typical solar option.

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4-Asphalt Shingles

One, if not the most common roofing type is the asphalt shingle. As they are effective in all environments. They pass a variety of durability tests, starting with wind, rain, and heat.

PROS

  • Very affordable
  • Many color options
  • Very versatile
  • Class A Fire rating
  • Withstand high winds

CONS

  • Damages easier in cold weather
  • Doesn’t hold up in extreme wind conditions

The upfront cost for an asphalt shingle roof is low, but they have to be replaced at least once every 20 years.

Asphalt Roofs

You can also purchase specialized asphalt shingles, which can have different ratings for impact-resistance and durability. Making it an interesting solution, covering many various locations.

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5-Slate Roofing

Slate roofing is incredible in terms of longevity. It can last over 100 years. It won’t burn. It is waterproof. It prevents fungus and mold build-up.

PROS

  • Highly resistant to mold
  • Fire resistant
  • Very attractive
  • Extremely durable

CONS

  • Tiles can spall and shed layers
  • Tiles can vary in thickness

Slate Roofs

It also effective in a wet climate. However, it can get expensive and easily broken with inconsiderate walking or heavy hails.

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6-Rubber Slate Roofing

A rubber slate roofing looks like any other roof, except it can be cut with a regular knife and fit any shape and size. These can last over 100 years but are easily damaged like a regular slate roofing.

PROS

  • Cost up to 50% less
  • Long lasting
  • Green roofing
  • Very attractive for curb appeal
  • Impact Resistant
  • UV resistant

CONS

  • Not fire resistant
  • Has a distinct odor

Rubber Slate Roofs

In any case, rubber slate roofing is hard to come by, because many professionals do not have the experience of the installation. Nonetheless, if you really want to find it, you will.

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7-Concrete and Clay Tiles

A concrete and clay tile can withstand all kinds of elemental damage, starting with high-speed winds, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other extreme weather conditions.

PROS

  • More energy efficient
  • Color retention
  • Low cost
  • Last up to 50 years
  • Good fire protection
  • Low maintenance
  • Impervious to rotting and insect damage

CONS

  • Heavy tiles require reinforcement
  • High cost
  • Difficult to install
  • Brittle tiles

Concrete and Clay Tile Roofs

They are great in dry and warm climates, sometimes requiring extra maintenance on the roof to help bear the weight, but when they are set up – they are very capable.

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8-Green Roofing

Probably the least popular of the 9 roofs listed here, Green roofing is an ecological solution, which basically plants nature on your home.

PROS

  • Ecologically friendly
  • Purifies air
  • Encourages bi0diversity
  • Absorbs rain water

CONS

  • Poor sound insulation
  • Poor temperature regulation
  • Increases weight load
  • Requires extra maintenance

It improves air quality, reduces water runoff, and helps insulate a home in an urban heat area.

Green Roofing

Nonetheless, they require many additional services, such as thermal insulation, waterproofing, drainage, water filtration, vapor barriers, structural supports. Not to mention, you got to get the right plants.

All of which can be done by finding the right local contractor for each job.

They can last up to 40 years.

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9-Built-Up Roofing

Built-up roofing is very heavy and consists of tar, asphalt, and adhesive. It can only be used on flat roofs and can be commonly seen on a roof-top deck, which has a lot of foot traffic.

PROS

  • Handles surface punishment very well
  • Top of the line protection from leaks
  • Very low maintenance
  • Fire resistant

CONS

  • Hazardous fumes during installation
  • Cost more to install
  • UV rays breakdown membrane

Built-Up Roof

It will help cool down the sun for a rooftop summer area but can be difficult to maintain in the winter due to the friction. They last anywhere from 25 to 30 years on average.

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Most Common Roof Types

The 5 most common roof types are:

  • Asphalt shingle roofs
  • Metal roofs
  • Ceramic roofing tiles
  • Slate roofs
  • Wood shake roofs

Now that we’ve covered the roof types, let’s take a look at some more specialized roof considerations – starting with the most common roof type.

Perhaps, you already knew that asphalt shingles are in fact the most common roofing material used in the US and many other countries.

Most Popular Roof Type

This is pertinent to the fact that they are highly resistant, and durable in all environmental conditions. And the quality of the roofing is variable, based on ratings and material.

Meaning they can be purchased by anyone with any budget. The costs are low, however, they do need to be replaced every 20 years, which can become a hassle.

But 20 years is a long time, so do what you must. Impact-resistant asphalt shingles can also help you lower the price of your insurance and homeowners’ premium.

All of which are highly valuable to a new homeowner: quality, price, and benefits.

Most Durable Roof Types

Moving on to the next category, let’s take a look at the most durable roof type.

Oddly enough – the most durable type of roofing is slate. It has been popular around the world for hundreds of years, and some of the earliest examples of it are still in great condition.

Most Durable Roof Type

Slate is a form of stone. Meaning it cannot deteriorate, corrode, be burnt, or get damaged by water. It does not attract insects and is basically impenetrable.

It is unsurpassed in terms of durability and longevity, looks great, and can really improve the look of your luxurious home.

In simple words, slate roofing will outlast any other roof in rough conditions.

What Type of Roofing Lasts the Longest?

One would think that slate roofing would take this place, as well – but slate roofing is not suitable for some environment.

And clay and concrete roofing is. On average, clay and concrete roofing can hold up for a minimum of 50 years. However, it can really extend the top-end, going over 150 years in some cases.

clay and concrete roof types

The technology keeps advancing, making the tiles lighter and tougher and practically indestructible in regular roofing conditions.

Depending on maintenance and installation, you can either get a minimum of 50 or a minimum of 120 years out of this roof. Which is on par with slate roofing.

What Is the Cheapest Type of Roof?

Another category in which asphalt shingles wins is cost. In any case, asphalt shingles are the cheapest roof type to install.

Cheapest Roof Types

This is also based on the fact that a coated asphalt shingle meets EnergyStar pre-requisites for the tax rebates, making the overall cost even lower.

Installing asphalt shingles can be as low as $8000, and this has to be done only once every 20 to 30 years. However, laminated or architectural roofing will cost a bit more.

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What Is the Best Roof for High Winds?

What the best for winds speeds ranging from 50 mph to 150 mph?  No problem with metal roofing. If installed correctly, metal does an exemplary job at keeping water out, and the wind away. A metal roof has a limited amount of seams and overlaps, making wind practically incapacitated when trying to get in.

Best Roof for High Winds

A metal roofing lasts about 60 years. It excels at mobilizing snow and rain and preventing a dampened roofing. This is only possible if the roofing was installed correctly, so an experienced specialist is more important than a quality metal roofing.

Depending on the type of metal used, it can be very affordable. As corrosion susceptibility is variable on each type of metal.

Which Roof Is Best for Hot Climates?

Hot climates can become the bane of existence for some roofs, but not for these two: Terra-cotta/ceramic and metal roofing.

1-Ceramic and Terra-Cotta Roofing

Unmentioned anywhere in this article, the terra-cotta/ceramic roofing is very rare in North America, but can be found in the Southwest.

However, this material is very popular in other areas of the world. For example, the terra-cotta roofing is known for being extremely heat-resisting. These tiles have stood up to heat for centuries, all over Central and South America, and even the Asian continent.

Best Roof For Hot Climates

This type of roofing can last over 50 years, making it a very lucrative opportunity for generational homes in foreign countries.

Not to mention that a terra-cotta/ceramic roofing is specifically designed for maximum air circulation. The tiles are curved and help keep the inside of a home cooler.

One downside of this type of roofing his the weight and cost. Terra-cotta roofing weighs almost 2 to 4 times as much as a regular asphalt roof. Many people have to reinforce their current structures to support this type of roofing. In the US, this material is quite expensive at $700 per 100 square feet. But it can be bought for very cheap on the Southern continents.

However, considering their longevity – it can be a worthwhile investment.

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2-Metal Roofing – More Applicable to North America

We’ve decided to include another roof type for heat climates. It is the metal roofing.

Steel, copper, and aluminum roofing are often made with recycled materials, which is a benefit to environmental-thinkers.

Best Roof For Hot Climates

But we are here to talk about the heat. In hot climates, cooling expenses make up a large chunk of an energy bill. Therefore an energy-efficient aluminum roofing often comes with specially-crafted airspace, between the metal panels and decking.

This is called a dead-space and is the thermal barrier – that helps distribute equally and slowly into the interior below. By preventing heat-strokes, it also reduces cooling costs within your home by up to 20%. Not bad for some recycled cans.

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What Are the Top Rated Roofing Shingles?

In some cases, top-rated does not equal the best. So before we take a look at the top-rated, let’s remind you of a roofing checklist to help you decide.

  1. Water-penetration is the first priority of a shingle.
  2. Special climate = special type of shingle.
  3. Learn about single code restrictions. Abide the roofing laws.
  4. Architecture accountability – make it look like it fits.
  5. Shape and color to match your home are equally important, as the first point.
  6. View shingles in real life under various lighting conditions.
  7. Obtain quotes from multiple roofing contractors. Factor experience, personality and track record to decide.

Now that you know how to choose the best shingle for you – let’s take a look at the top-rated roofing shingle.

Using an Instron machine, which tests and determines how the strength and quality of a roof perform over time. And by simulating extreme weather conditions, and testing the thickest part of every shingle – a consumer report has established these top-rated roofing shingles:

1-Owens Corning Berkshire Collection

  • Best muti-varied weather performance
  • Elegant and top-of-the-line slate
  • $225 per 100 square feet of roofing
  • Available in various dark tonal colors

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2-Atlas StormMaster Slate

  • Practical and affordable slate
  • Has a Scotchguard protector for longevity and durability
  • Over 20 color options to help complement and liven up your home
  • $135 per 100 square feet of roofing
  • Extreme weather guarantee

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3-Tamko Heritage Architectural Shingle

  • Most affordable at $71 per 100 square feet of roofing
  • Has an identifying granulated mix and dimensional aesthetic
  • As resistant as the options above
  • Perfect for various weather conditions

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Various Roof Types to Accommodate Your Needs

In any case, now that we’ve covered various roof types. Some specific applicable cases in which certain roofs are better than others. Established a checklist for choosing the best shingles for you. And provided examples of the top-rated roofing shingles.

Best Roof Types

You are well on your way to choosing the best type of roofing for you. Keep in mind that the best roof is the one that accommodates your needs. Climate, budget, and house.

Regardless of the type of roofing, there is always a chance of it getting damaged. Roofing can be expensive, so make sure that you have proper insurance and coverage to protect you from unseen expenses.

To find out what’s best in your area, check out our roofer locator to help you find the best contractor in your area.

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3 Comments
  1. I’ve been planning to replace my roof with a new type of material because I noticed that my roofing shingles are starting to crumble. I’m glad you were able to elaborate here the different types of materials; maybe a metal roof will be a great choice, especially you’ve stated here that it is high winds and fire-resistant. Although the cord steel roofing is also an appealing choice because according to you, this is energy efficient and low in maintenance.

  2. My husband and I are planning in remodeling our roof and we have regular asphalt shingles. I found it very interesting to know that both ceramic and terra-cotta roofing is very heat-resistant. I will definitely let him know about this so that we tell the roofing contractor we find what we want.

  3. I appreciated your examples of roofing materials, specifically the Stone-Coated steel roofing example and it’s resistance to wind and snow. As soon as I moved into my new house, I got a welcome from my neighbors along with the advice that Winter in my area is something I need to start preparing for. Since they’ve been living here much longer than I have, it’d be best for me to follow their advice, so I’ll definitely prepare in advance and look for similar roofing materials that I can replace my current roof with.

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