There are multiple choices for the type of protection you put on top of your home. Asphalt shingles are the most popular type, mainly due to their affordable price and performance. Asphalt shingles come in three varieties - 3-tab (basic), architectural (better), or designer (best). So what are designer shingles, and what are the best brands? We're glad you asked because that's why we're here today.
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What are Designer Shingles?
Designer shingles are the top pick of asphalt shingles, sometimes called 3D, luxury, or premium architectural shingles. These shingles consist of two or more layers of asphalt fused over a fiberglass base. This construction gives your roof a 3-dimensional look for better curb appeal.
You can find designer shingles in a wide range of colors, shapes, and styles from all of the largest roofing manufacturers. Many designer shingles look like natural cedar shakes or slate tiles. Premium shingles also have the best performance for impacts, fire, and wind.
As with any premium brand, designer shingles cost the most out of asphalt shingles. So if you're on a tight budget, you may want to consider a 3-tab or architectural if you don't mind paying a bit more for better protection. But if you don't mind spending more on a roof with little maintenance and extended longevity, designer shingles might be the right pick for your home.
Many factors line up to make CertainTeed the number one best roofing manufacturer. First, this brand has an impressive lineup of designer shingles in both wood shake and slate designs. There is even a line designed explicitly for steep-pitched roofs, marked with a star in the graph.
All lines come with Class A fire ratings, a limited lifetime warranty (transferrable), a 10-year SureStart Warranty, 110 to 130 mph wind ratings, and 15-year StreakFighter algae protection warranty. The graph below lists the product lines, colors, design type, and price. Impact Rating stands for Class 4 Impact resistant and is excellent for climates with severe weather and hail.
Presidential Shake IR
Presidential Shake TL
Triple-layer wood shake
Slate with shadow lines
*Designed for steeply pitched roofs
**Cost includes installation and materials
GAF is one of the world's largest manufacturers of roofing materials and has a solid reputation for being amongst the best. This brand is so popular that over 25% of US homes have a GAF roof. In terms of designer shingles, GAF offers six choices.
The Glenwood designer shingle resembles wood shakes and comes in three limited color choices. This Artisan-crafted shaker consists of three layers of asphalt, giving it a heavier weight and a more dynamic look. They also have built-in algae protection and a Class 4 impact rating.
- Camelot II
The Camelot II slate replica is available in five natural contrasting color blends that give your roof beauty with vibrant hues. In addition, this shingle line has a limited lifetime warranty and built-in algae protection.
- Grand Sequoia AS
The Grand Sequoia AS is a premium wood shake imitation in four color choices. The SBS modified asphalt construction makes this shingle Class 4 impact rated and gives it better wind resistance. And built-in StainGuard algae protection keeps your roof free from stains.
If you prefer the look of an old-school, hand-cut European wood shingle, you're sure to fall in love with the class and visual appeal of the oversized Woodland, available in four colors with two-tone contrasting palettes. And these shingles are Class A fire rated with built-in StainGuard algae protection.
- Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon also resembles Artisan wood shakes and also comes in four dark colors to enhance the shingle's design. In addition, you get Class A fire protection, built-in algae protection, and a secure hold due to DuraGrip Adhesive.
Another slate imitation shingle by GAF is the Slateline, again only available in four colors. These shingles have bold shadow lines with tapered cutouts to resemble real carved slate roofing. They also have algae protection, a limited lifetime warranty, and Advanced Protection technology.
The graph below demonstrates the pricing per roofing square for each product and the price of installation.
Cost per square
$320 to $344
$550 to $650
$188 to $219
$450 to $550
$180 to $200
$450 to $525
$182 to $194
$450 to $525
$238 to $252
$450 to $550
$150 to $189
$400 to $500
Owens Corning Shingle
Owens Corning is one of the top shingle manufacturers with multiple lines of designer shingles. Owens Corning also offers 3-tab and architectural lines. All of the OC designer shingles come with a limited lifetime warranty and a 110 to 130 mph wind warranty,
Owens Corning Duration
The Owens Corning Duration shingles is Owens Corning's signature line and includes eight products with advanced features. All products have a limited lifetime warranty, a 10-year warranty for StreakGuard algae resistance, a Class A fire rating, and wind resistance warranties of 110 to 130 mph.
However, of the eight Duration lines, only two lines classify as a designer shingle. The TruDef Duration Flex line comes in nine color choices with a Class 4 impact rating and a 130 mph standard wind resistance. The TruDef Weatherguard HP is available in seven colors and also has a Class 4 impact rating.
The Owens Corning Woodcrest is a premium shingle, available in eight colors, with unique textures and angles for enhanced depth and dimension. These wood imitation shingles also have a 10-year algae protection warranty and a Class A fire rating.
The Berkshire is an oversized slate mimicked designer shingle with clipped tabs for dynamic roofing coverage. This premium line costs the most of all Owens Corning luxury shingles and comes in five colors. They also have a 10-year algae protection warranty to prevent staining.
The Woodmoor is a bold, rustic designer shingle that resembles wood shakes. This line comes in seven natural colors with extra-thick dimensions and texture. These Class A fire-rated shingles are heavier, which should be a consideration for your roofline, and come with cStreakGuard algae protection.
OC's Berkshire designer shingles can cost between $218 and $240, $130 for the Weatherguard HP, $210 for Woodcrest, $280 for Woodmoor, and around $100 or higher for the Duration Flex.
Pro Tip: Try Owens Corning’s DesignEyeQ to see how your house would look with any of these designer shingle choices.
IKO offers multiple lines of designer shingles with superior performance. Having numerous choices allows you to pick a premium shingle that reflects your style. Plus, all IKO designer shingles come with a limited lifetime warranty, algae protection, a 15-year Iron Clad Protection period, and 110 to 130 mph wind speeds.
The Armourshake shingles are the perfect choice for homeowners eager to choose a shingle that looks like wood shakes. While natural wood shakes cost more and have less durable performance, designer shingles like Armourshake give you the hand-hewn, random-cut cedar shake look with superior performance. And these copper-coated shingles protect against algae, wind, and severe weather and come in five color blends.
- Crowne Slate
If you're interested in the look of a slate roof, consider IKO Crowne Slate. This line gives your roof an elegant curb appeal, using precision-cut asphalt shingles that look like quarried stone. These shingles are resistant to water, wind, snow, and extreme temperatures. The negative about this line is there are only two color choices.
- Royal Estate
Another choice for a slate look is the Royal Estate line. This product also resembles a natural slate in four unique color blends. Extra-deep shadows give these shingles contrast, while a FastLock sealant provides a more secure hold. In addition, built-in algae resistance ensures your shingles look new decades later.
The Armourshake designer shingles can cost between $190 and $215 a roofing square. The Crowne Slate runs between $155 and $172, while the Royal Estate offers the lowest price of $110 to $125 a square. Expect to pay between $350 and $550 for professional installation.
Pro Tip: Want to see how IKO designer shingles would look on your roof? Try the IKO ROOFViewer interactive shingle tool and upload a picture of your home.
Designer asphalt shingles are an affordable alternative to natural slate or wood roofing. And the low maintenance means you'll be worry-free for decades. All major brands offer designer shingles, and some lines have advanced features like impact resistance and algae protection. CertainTeed has the best reputation but the highest price. GAF and Owens Corning run a tight race for second place, with GAF having a slight advantage due to the wider variety. IKO comes in last due to its' shingle performance, quality, and reputation.