Metal roof.

Roofing Materials 101

What Are the Most Popular Roof Shingles?

The most commonly seen roof types in California are asphalt, clay, concrete, slate, and synthetic.


There are three types of asphalt shingles.

  • Three-tab shingles: These are the most affordable. They are lightweight and fast to install. They can last up to 15 years with careful maintenance. The downside is they are not as visually appealing as other asphalt shingles.

  • Dimensional shingles: These sturdy shingles can last up to 30 years with proper maintenance. They are currently the most popular asphalt shingle in use. Also known as architectural laminate shingles, they create a very attractive-looking roof.

  • Luxury asphalt shingles: These pricier options are designed to mimic the look of shale or slate roofs at about one-tenth of the price. They’re thick and durable.


Clay tiles create the distinctive Mediterranean look you see in some California homes. You can expect clay tiles to last 50 years or more. Only professional roofers can safely install clay roofs.


Some tile makers mix clay with concrete to create stronger, lighter tiles. Most concrete tiles mimic the look of clay tiles. Like clay, they are durable and long-lasting.


Slate roofs come in natural shades of gray, green, brown, or rust. This durable, fireproof roof can last up to 100 years with the right care. Slate is a sustainable, recyclable material. It is the most expensive roofing material.


Synthetic tiles can give you the look of slate, stone, clay or wood at half the price. Some synthetic tiles are made of rubber or plastic. Others are made of recycled rubber, cellulose, and other materials. Synthetic tiles are lightweight and don’t require additional framing to install.

Choose the Right Shingles for Your Roof

August Roofing and Solar can help you choose the right roofing materials for your roof depending on your needs, budget, and home style. Call us today at (805) 519-8099 for fast, expert repair and replacement of your roof.