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Synthetic Slate Roof versus Asphalt Shingles

If you are in the process of replacing your roof, choosing the best roofing material for your home is one of the first steps. It’s vital to consider both aesthetics and functionality when you need a new roof. There are a variety of roofing material choices available, but synthetic slate roofs and asphalt shingles are extremely popular choices. 

Which of these two is a better option for you? It comes down to you, but before you decide, we’ve highlighted the differences between asphalt shingles and slate roofing!

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It’s only natural that money is the primary consideration when deciding on a suitable roofing system. However, when discussing the cost to replace your roof, it’s important to consider the value for the money you may spend. 

Asphalt shingles are one of the most affordable solutions. Depending on the brand, you can acquire them for as little as $70/100 square feet of roofing. Roofing contractors should use high-quality roofing material from trusted distributors such as Owens Corning, Certainteed, or GAF. 

You can’t call synthetic-slate roofing a budget-friendly option in terms of the initial investment. However, synthetic slate roofing boasts lower roof maintenance costs and slate roofing durability will help you avoid problems that might require roof repairs or, in worst-case scenarios, another roof replacement earlier than expected. The slate tile roof life expectancy is significantly longer than that of asphalt shingles. Slate roofing offers an expected lifespan of 100-200 years when installed on a roof properly, asphalt shingles average between 20-30 years. 

For the cost of a new roof using slate or synthetic slate roofing, experts recommend that you contact a local roofing contractor who is familiar with slate roofing installation.



You should always put roofing installation into the hands of professionals. That minimizes the risk of improper installation. Improper roof installation can lead to roof leaks and can impact the warranty offered on your roofing materials. 

Installing asphalt shingle is not recommended as a Do-It-Yourself project. If you are not an experienced roofing contractor, you may not realize that there are required installation guidelines that ensure the protection of your roof. Those include:

  •     Improper starter shingle installation – it’s vital to connect the shingles to the roof securely. Otherwise, even the smallest wind could lead to shingle detaching.
  •     Inadequate sealant strip – the strip’s task is to connect the shingles and make them work as a single unit. That increases their impact resistance and durability.
  •     Problems with fasteners – if the installer underdrives the fasteners, the strip won’t have a good connection with the overlying shingles. Overdriving could even damage the shingles while high fastening disrupts wind resistance.

Synthetic slate roofing doesn’t have as many risks connected to the installation process, although the material is significantly heavier. Both roof types could take a day or two to complete the roof replacement, depending on the roof size and other factors.

Impact Resistance

Asphalt shingles have a layer of protective granules that are designed to protect them. With age and extreme weather, those granules can wear off over time.  If the temperatures are often changing, they can make the shingles brittle and susceptible to breaking or cracking, inevitably leading to roof leaks. The same applies to unusually high or cold temperatures.

According to Greg Scott of Houston Home Remodeling Professionals, slate roofing has improved weather and impact resistance. It can handle rain, wind, and other severe weather conditions while ensuring optimal interior protection. Slate roofing can save money on frequent repairs and replacement.


Which Is Better – Asphalt Shingles or Slate Roofing?

Asphalt shingles have a lower cost for initial investment, which makes them the most affordable roofing option. Shingle brands such as Owens Corning offer roofing material with increased durability, but the lifespan is still significantly lower than synthetic slate roofing. The potential roof maintenance costs are higher and might cause you to think twice. Asphalt roofing, unless installed by a trusted roofing company, might have issues with extreme temperatures and weather conditions. We know that roofing is the first line of defending your home against environmental factors. Problems with the roofing system can easily lead to issues with the property’s structure.

On the other hand, synthetic slate roofs have impressive impact resistance. That includes dealing with fire, water, wind, and other extreme weather conditions. The slate roofing offers a simple installation with less risk of something going wrong. The final decision is yours, but if you need a long-term solution, synthetic roofs can be a wise choice.

Want to learn more? Check out our shingle type buying guide below!


Like what you read? Check out our guest writer: 

Skylar Ross is a freelance writer and contributor for Phoenix Roofing Contractors. He specializes in writing articles related to home improvement, building construction and innovative building materials.  

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