At Kelly Roofing we install both shakes and shingles. Customersfrequently ask us about the difference between these roofing materials and which is they should choose for their home. If you’re wondering the same thing, you can use this guide to help you choose between shingles and shakes.

Shingles vs. Shakes

When we talk about shingles, we are typically referring to asphalt shingles. They are the most popular roofing material in North America. There are a few different kinds of shingles, but most are made from a plastic mat topped with asphalt. They are available in many sizes and colors. Plus, they may have special properties like ultraviolet (UV) ray resistance.

Shakes are made from wood. They are cut by hand or by a machine into a wedge shape that tapers at the top. When shakes are installed, they look thicker than shingles. They also have a natural wood grain that may have been stained or painted. Shake is an older material that adds historical charm to a roof.

However, that’s not the whole story. Some asphalt shingles are made to look like shake, to impart the same character to a building without the cost or durability issues of shake. At Kelly Roofing we carry CertainTeed shingles. Their asphalt shingles in the Presidential Shake® line and the Presidential Shake® TL line all mimic shake. They are available in unique color blends too.

Should I Choose Synthetic Shake?

You should choose synthetic shake if you are attracted to the unique texture or color that Presidential Shake® offers, but also still care about the durability of your roof. If you’re trying to find a traditional look, consider the colors Aged Bark, Solaris Autumn Blend, and Solaris County Grey.

These shingles will last longer than wood shake and are less of a fire hazard. Plus, some of CertainTeed’s mock shakes are less expensive than you might expect (those not in the TL line) which saves you money while providing the same unique look of shake.

Should I Choose Real Shake?

You should choose real shake if you’re restoring a historic building that had wood shakes in the past. Or, you might strongly consider real shake if the authentic look of wood is important to you and you’re willing to sacrifice some durability for that look.

Should I Choose Asphalt Shingles?

You should choose asphalt shingles if you’re not sold on the shake look, or if you want to save money. Your home’s exterior design may work better with a less textured shingle. Asphalt shingles that aren’t meant to mimic shake are straighter, which looks more modern. Plus, roofs with these shingles installed often have more dramatic hips and ridges.

If you can’t make up your mind, it may help you to see samples of the shingles you’re considering in person. Kelly Roofing can provide you with samples. Or you can take a look through our gallery to see examples of real shake, imitation shake, and asphalt shingles that we’ve installed.