3-tab vs. laminate?

:roll: Please vote in the poll above this entry… I’ve told this person that a laminate is better and should be choosen over a 3-tab and then someone else told them that the 3-tab is just as good as the laminate. Basically there was no value in the extra cost of the 30yr laminate. To quote him, “It’s a wash.”

I’m sending them here to view this post to decide it for us.

What do you pro’s think? What would you put on your own house between the two products?

A Roofer

Laminates are well worth the extra cost. 90% of the roofs I put on are laminates.

Amen to the laminates!!

We charge more to install 3-tab shingles…Why? because they are usually** MORE WORK & TAKE LONGER TO INSTALL!!**

Learn the easiest, quickest and most effective ways to install laminate shingles on DVD.


*Amen to the laminates!!

We charge more to install 3-tab shingles…Why? because they are usually** MORE WORK & TAKE LONGER TO INSTALL!!***


I like the look and quality of the laminate shingle more.
However, I disagree 100% with the last person thinking laminates were easier to insall than three tabs.
First, three tabs are easier to cut. Second, in most cases I’ve experianced three tabs don’t get bent and curly when loaded on the manufactures pallet like laminates do (especially when cold). Thirdly, I don’t know of any 30 year three tab that cost’s the same as a 30 year laminate, usually a bit cheaper from my experiance.
Some cases were it would be easier to install laminates, on a really cut up roof (dormers, ledges, ect.) or on a hip roof (less running to the left for a right handed roofer).
On the average roof though I’d say a three tab is much faster and easier to use. My personall best as far as squares laid per hour have come with three tabs, almost double the laminates! (running up roof versus stairstep)
Tell the homeowner laminates, it brings the value of the roof up more than the three tabs.

My father, two brothers, two uncles and several cousins all roof for a living. They all agree as well that three tabs are faster and easier to use. If you add up the experiance were talking over 100 years worth.

[size=150]Laminates vs. 3 Tabs[/size]

FLASHING: dormers, vertical wall lines, horizontal wall lines, valleys, chimneys, skylights, vents, stacks etc…

When using three tabs you always potentially run the risk of ending up on any of the items listed above with a sliver of a three tab to finish the job at these flashing points. With laminates, it doesn’t matter when you run into any of these critical areas because you know you are going to have 100% of your shingle left to get that flashing done and done right. Roofers: you know what I’m talking about. ANY flashing done with a laminate is going to hold up better on your critical areas such as those listed above. Thus making the argument a no brainer.

**LAMINATES= A win-win situation for the homeowner and roofer! **


So yes, laminates are easier to install on most roofing applications…IE the cut up roofs with valleys & dormers etc…Also remember the fact that when you put a three tab roof next to a laminate roof, which one looks way better? Which one has more curb appeal? Which one potentially adds value to that home because of its better appearance? You guessed it the laminates do! Also, I believe the laminate shingles will hold that better appearance for a longer amount of time because of the way they are made, for example the laminate part of the shingle being essentially a dual layer on the exposed portion of the shingle. Also, the random patterns of the laminates will hold thier appearance a lot longer into their maturity when compared to a three tab. Which would you rather have on your house to look at for 30 years? For me and my customers it will be the laminates.

The laminates are generally more durable than 3-tabs also. From what I have witnessed from tearing off 1000’s of square of both types of shingles, the laminates hold their form and outlast any three tab on the market.

**Basically when applying a new roof or replacing an old roof, there are two major concerns:

Performance & Durability then Appearance
Laminates don’t just win but DOMINATE in ALL categories!**


The ShinglePro

Shinglepro, I agree with you 100% on full tab shingles working better in the critical areas as you mentioned but that does not make them “easier” to install though. Rarely ever do I see tin courses leak or dormer flashing areas leak but see the valleys leaking the most. With running a full tab you can and will reduce chances of leaking in the valley.
You actually have to cut through two layers of shingles when cutting through a valley or tin course with the laminate shingles versus the three tab, making in MY opinion the laminate a little harder to work with.

My home was roofed a year before I moved in due to hail damage. The roofers ran Sealdon 25’s which I consider one of the best three tab shingles on the market due to being one of the few asphalt shingles produced these days. If and when I reshingle it, it will be done with either wood shakes or a laminate fiberglass shingle.

Your the first roofer I’ve ever heard of who charges more to lay three tabs than laminates. Of the scores of roofers and builders I’ve dealt with over the years all have paid more for laminates. In my area Certainteed gets the most business (near to Shakopee plant) Sealdons are $35 New Horizons are $38 while Landmarks are $43.

On most tear offs I do, I try to sell either the New Horizons or Landmarks.

Here in MN laying laminates this time of year is really a pain due to cutting and warping of shingles. Of the four roofs I’ve got sitting now here’s what’s on them, Iko Cambridge 30 year laminate, Certainteed Landmark 30 year laminate, Certainteed New Horizon 30 year full tab, and Owen Cornings 25 year fiberglass 3 tab. Of the four the Owens Cornings will go the fastest. I’ve one laborer and a foot of snow!

BTW, I voted for laminates even though there more work to lay!!!

ShinglePro, I’ve seen one roof with the same valley system as you illistrated in you video. Very easy to do but looks bad when sitting on the rooftop looking down on it. My father has been installing shingles for 35 years and he agrees that it’s definately not the way to do it. But for the average homeowner trying to roof his house it would work ok and be easy to do.

I would much rather run closed roll valley any day. All three of my builders prefer the roll valley and all my tear off customers get this valley system.

Well Guys I Have To Agree 100% With dougger222. With The Exception Of Stepping Them I Applied More Squares Then Booking Them. And The Record Back In The Early 1980’s Was With A 3_Tab Using The Step Method. 60 Squares In 8 Hours 1 Man. I Was Their. :slight_smile:

So My Vote Was For The 3_Tabs I Think I Marked The Wrong Spot. Sorry.

60 squares in 8 hours is the best I’ve heard. That would be a 7.5 square average per hour.
My father laid 8 sq 1 bundle in an hour and 5 minutes.
I laid 9 sq 1 bundle in an hour and 10 minutes.
Both ocasions were three tabs run verticly with a laborer. My fathers were stapled mine were nailed.
That 60 squares must have been one nice piece of roof!!!
My personal best was 37 squares on a 7/12 hip roof with Iko Cambridge laminates, it was done with no laborer but it was a good 10 hour day. It did include cutting valleys and putting in vents.

RoofWizards, Did you do the 60 square day?

Just curious , how do you lay 1.30 shingles per second this is lying and nailing

Its been a while since I counted the number of shingles per bundle but from what I remember

3-tab = 22 shingles per bdl * 3bdls per sq * 60sq = 3,960 shingles
8 hrs * 60 min * 60 seconds = 28,800 seconds
28,800 seconds / 3,960 shingles = 1 shingle every 7.27 seconds

It’s basically roofing the area of a football field where starting at the goal line you’d roof the area from sideline to sideline out to the 13 yard line + 1 ft.

I still think DAMN 60 squares is a lot. All the fastest people I ever had roof for me I fired because they were too sloppy to tolerate. They all thought they were the greatest but they just pissed me off. If I was to interview a piece worker and they told me they installed 60sq in 8 hrs I would make some assumptions and not hire them. Not only that it was probably the last day of his pay period and he bumped 15 squares of it. :wink:

Guys, Guys. When I Observed The 60 Square Day. The Roofer And Guinnees Book Of Records Was Across The Street From The Roof That I Was Doing. The Pitch He Was On Was A 5/12 For Both Roofs The Pitch I Was On Was A 8 Doing Hand Pounding. I Did Not Lay Much Work That Day. I Was Too Busy Watching Them. The Man Was Allowed To Have Another Man Lay Out Shingles For What I Remember. But Once They Were Laid Out That Was All He Could Do. He Did The Shingleing With A Staple Gun. Nail Guns Were Not Around At That Time. This Took Place In Lake Zurich Illinois In About 1979 or 1980. No It Was Not Me. My Best Day Was 15 Squares In 7 Hours. So Yes It Did Happen.

I agree with roofpro not only is there more labor involved laminate shingle are virtually a 3ply shingle compared to the 3 tab shingle being a 2ply system.

Whoever would nail 3-tabs instead of laminates is insane. I can flat out tear a roof up before you get your lines chalked. Theres no way you can nail 60 square in 8 hours. The best I’ve ever done was 23 in 7 hours. Did you eat a whole bottle of mini thins that day.

The company I work for also charges extra to lay 3 tab because it does take more time and skill to lay them on an older roof that has sags in it and still have the line look straight. The laminate is a far better shingle. The increased labor cost for laying the 3 tab verses the increased material cost for laminates will have the customer selecting the laminated every time.

The laminates look nicer, they are easier to work with and they age better.

as far as 60 sq in 8 hrs… The only way I could see that happening is if the roof was already completely prepped, underlayment laid, all measurements and chalk lines in, and only laying straight runs. I would highly doubt this statistic included cutting rakes or working around pipes, valleys, chimneys, step flashing, etc. And if this shingler had one laborer laying the shingles in place for him, then one shingler plus one laborer, is actually two roofers. Not one. So it was actually more like 30 sq each in 8 hrs. Besides, who could lay shingles for 8 hours straight without taking a break and getting rehydrated? That is just unheard of.

This is a very impressive statistic on paper, however, lack of actual facts can easily skew any statistic.

  • a female roofer

why resurrect a thread that is over 3 years old?

I nailed by the square for 11 years, I have to call shenanighans on 60sq, gun or no gun. My best day hand nailing was 16 2/3sq and I was almost as fast as a gun at that point figuring in reload time. I mean you said what? One shingle every 7 seconds? Now you know he’s using no lines. You have to move the bundles aroung, open the bundles, reload the gun, get more coils from time to time. I dunno, maybe he was 2 nailing, lol. Maybe I’m wrong but 40 I could believe, 60 I’m not buying. On a 5 pitch too…your back would be broke.