When you replace your roof – or when you’re building a new home and starting from scratch – you have a huge range of material choices. Each type of roof shingles or roofing material offers its own benefits, which are typically reflected in the material’s costs, and each type has its own look. This guide walks you through the most commonly used roof shingles and materials in the United States so you can make a decision that’s just right for your residential roof or business.
Metal Roofing Materials
Metal roofing is durable and reliable, and it’s some of the longest-lasting material you can choose. Generally, a metal roof can last between 40 and 80 years, with slight variations in lifespan depending on the type of metal you choose and how well you maintain it. Each type is described below.
1. Aluminum Roofs
Aluminum roofs are long-lasting and have an exceptional ability to resist saltwater corrosion. While these roofs are typically recommended for coastal climates, they’re also ideal in damp and humid areas because aluminum reacts with oxygen in the environment. The resulting layer of aluminum oxide coating the roof is an excellent protectant.
Average Aluminum Roofing Cost:
Aluminum sheets: $7.50 to $12.50 per square foot installed
Aluminum roof shingles: $8 to $10 per square foot installed
2. Copper Roofs
A copper roof can increase a home’s resale value and lower insurance rates because it’s fire-resistant. Copper weathers without corroding, but it does acquire a protective green patina over time. Aesthetically, there’s no mistaking a copper roof – and when it comes to durability, this metal can withstand extreme weather (including snow, hail and fire) while remaining resistant to cracking, shrinkage and erosion. A copper roof can last between 60 to 100 years when installed properly, and this material requires very little maintenance.
Average Copper Roof Cost:
$11 to $15 per square foot installed
3. Corrugated Metal Roofs
A corrugated metal roof is affordable and durable, and it creates a truly unique look. Because corrugated metal roofing can be made from aluminum, stainless steel and copper shingles, it’s versatile while providing stability and increasing structural integrity. It’s generally rust-resistant and easy to maintain, particularly when it’s galvanized to protect it from rust and corrosion.
Average Corrugated Metal Roof Cost:
$3.50 to $6.50 per square foot installed, depending on the material
4. Metal Tile Roofs
Metal tiles, which can be made from aluminum, steel, copper or other materials, are sturdy and reliable roofing materials. Because metal is a lightweight roofing option, and because it’s energy-efficient, it can help increase a home’s value. Sometimes metal roof tiles are coated with stone granular coating to resemble clay, painted or otherwise designed, which means they’re available in a wide range of styles to match your home or business.
Average Metal Tile Roof Cost:
$3.50 to $10 per square foot installed
5. Standing Seam Metal Roofs
A standing seam metal roof can last up to 60 years with good installation and regular maintenance. Depending on the type of metal you choose – these roofs are typically made from painted aluminum, galvalume steel or galvanized steel – you can expect your roof to resist cracking, shrinking and erosion, as well as perform exceptionally well in extreme weather conditions, including snow, hail and fire. Many standing seam metal roofs come with extended warranties, with some lasting up to 50 years. These environmentally friendly roofs are cost-effective over time, so while the initial investment is higher than it would be with an asphalt roof, the savings on repairs and maintenance typically pay off.
Average Standing Seam Metal Roof Cost:
$8 to $14 per square foot installed
6. Steel Roofs
A steel roof typically lasts upwards of 30 years. This energy efficient roofing material is completely recyclable, making it one of the more ecologically friendly options for homes and businesses in Texas. Durable and reliable, steel roofs can withstand hail, heavy snow, rain and fire while providing superior protection from the elements. Sometimes steel roofing is coated with stone, which allows for a more traditional look while offering the same benefits that only metal can provide. Stone coated metal roofing is typically very durable.
Average Steel Roof Cost:
$6 to $12 per square foot installed
7. Tin Roofs
A tin roof, which is typically available as a standing seam metal roof or a flat-lock tin roof, features a steel core and a tin coating. The tin, which is chemically bonded to the steel, is incredibly weather resistant and can stand up to storms, hail and wind, snow and a variety of other weather conditions. Because it’s ecologically friendly, long-lasting (a tin roof can last decades longer than one made with asphalt shingles) and easy to maintain, many homeowners find that tin is the ideal roofing material.
Average Tin Roof Cost:
$8 to $15 per square foot installed
8. Zinc Roofs
Zinc roofs are incredibly ecologically friendly, and they typically last for up to 100 years, according to many manufacturers. Pure zinc roofs are completely recyclable, and they’re very low-maintenance – even in harsh weather conditions. However, zinc roofs aren’t always made entirely from zinc. Instead, they’re made from other metals that are coated with zinc. This process – called galvanizing – creates a protective coating that helps your roof last longer. In some cases, metal roofing materials are coated with a blend of zinc and aluminum; these materials are called galvalume or zincalume. The thicker the coating is, the longer the roofing materials will last. After several years, many home- and businessowners choose to re-coat their roofs, which restores the roof to like-new condition.
Average Zinc Roof Cost:
$10 to $20 per square foot installed
Asphalt Roof Shingles
The most common roofing material in the United States is asphalt. Generally, these lightweight and durable materials can last between 20 and 30 years – but some premium brands can last upwards of 50 years. Asphalt roof shingles can upgrade a home or business’s curb appeal, help lower energy costs and protect your space from the elements.
9. 3-Tab Asphalt Roof Shingles
The most common asphalt shingles feature three tabs along their lower edges. These 3-tab shingles have quite a bit of visual appeal, creating an illusion that each shingle looks like three separate pieces once it’s installed. These are generally the most affordable types of shingles, and depending on the brand you choose, they can last between 20 and 30 years with normal wear-and-tear.
Average 3-Tab Asphalt Roof Shingles Cost:
$3.50 to $6 per square foot installed
10. Fiberglass Asphalt Roof Shingles
Fiberglass asphalt shingles are extremely durable, often lasting for 50 years or more. Generally, the most inexpensive fiberglass shingles have shorter lifespans than those that cost more initially, but many people find that investing in higher-end materials results in savings over time. These shingles are available in a wide range of colors and styles, which means they’re easy to customize to your home or business.
Average Fiberglass Asphalt Roof Shingles Cost:
$4 to $8 per square foot installed
11. Architectural Style Asphalt Roof Shingles
Architectural style asphalt shingles are high-end imitations of other materials. These shingles can be designed to resemble slate, cedar or clay, but they’re available at a fraction of the cost. Typically, architectural style asphalt shingles last longer than standard asphalt shingles do; it’s not uncommon for these types of roofing materials to last between 30 and 50 years. Fire-resistant, wind-resistant and mold- and algae-resistant, architectural style asphalt shingles come in a wide range of styles and designs to complement your home or business.
Average Architectural Style Asphalt Roof Shingles Cost:
Rubber Roofing Materials
Rubber roofing materials include things like EPDM, TPO and modified bitumen torch down roofing. Often installed without seams, these energy efficient roofing materials can be a fantastic investment for your commercial building.
12. EPDM Rubber Roofs
EPDM rubber roofing materials have been gaining popularity for the past six decades. Made from ethylene propylene diene monomer, these synthetic rubber roofs provide superior resistance to ultraviolet rays and ozone, and they’re designed to handle heat and humidity. Generally, EPDM roofs last for up to 40 years with very little maintenance, and they’re incredibly cost-effective to install.
Average EPDM Roofing Cost:
$3 to $6 per square foot installed
13. TPO Vinyl Roofs
A TPO vinyl roof is a durable, reliable addition to a commercial building. Generally, they enable owners to reduce the building’s carbon footprint while providing energy efficiency and reduced maintenance costs. Thermoplastic polyolefin, the single-ply material that TPO roofs are made from, is usually cost-effective. Because this roofing material is white, it can help reflect the sun’s light and prevent heat buildup in a building – and that makes it one of the more energy efficient materials available.
Average TPO Vinyl Roofing Cost:
$7 to $13 per square foot installed
14. Modified Bitumen Torch Down Roofing
Primarily designed for low-angle or flat roofs, modified bitumen torch down roofing can last up to 20 years. It’s resistant to harsh weather conditions, so it’s used on both homes and commercial structures. It’s available in two-layer and three-layer systems, with three-layer systems typically lasting longer than their two-layer counterparts.
Average Modified Bitumen Torch Down Roofing Cost:
$6 to $10 per square foot installed
Tile Roofing Materials
Tile roofing is vastly different from other types of roofing materials. Having been used for centuries, tile roofs can provide exceptional resistance to the elements, including high winds, hail and snow, and other inclement weather. Some tile roofs can last more than 75 years, making them a cost-effective & a key choice for many homeowners.
15. Bituminous Tiles
Bituminous tile roofing is ideal on structures with a slope from 12 degrees. These types of tiles are flexible and versatile because they’re made from a fiberglass base and coated with polymer-reinforced bitumen mix. Because they’re surfaced with mineral granules that create unmatched color and visual depth, these types of roofing materials are often found on luxury homes.
Average Bituminouse Tiles Cost:
$6 to $10 per square foot installed
16. Ceramic Clay Tile Roofs
Ceramic tile clay roofs are incredibly durable, but they’re heavier than many roofing materials are. Often, they’re rated for 50-year (or longer) lifespans, particularly with proper maintenance. Clay tile is naturally resistant to sun damage, and it provides exceptional protection against insect damage, water decay and rot. These tiles are generally customizable, which means it’s easy to match your roofing materials to your home.
Average Ceramic Clay Tile Roof Cost:
$6 to $15 per square foot installed
17. Composite Tiles
Composite tile roofs are typically a blend of clay and concrete, and they’re designed to resemble costlier roofing materials. These long-lasting, durable and versatile tiles are designed to withstand all kinds of weather conditions – including hail – and often provide superior protection against water damage, sun damage and decay.
Average Composite Tile Roof Cost:
$6 to $14 per square foot installed
18. Concrete Interlocking Tile Roofs
Concrete interlocking tiles can be smooth or granular – but in both cases, they create incredible visual appeal. These tiles can be laid in a single lap or broken bond laying pattern, which increases a roof’s strength and durability. Concrete interlocking tiles, while heavy, are typically larger than standard tiles are – and that makes them easier (and more cost-effective) to install. Because they’re so durable, with many roofs lasting more than 50 years, concrete interlocking tiles may be the best choice for your home.
Average Concrete Interlocking Tile Roof Cost:
$4 to $6 per square foot installed
19. Copper Tiles
Copper roofing tiles, which are often used as accents over other roofing materials (such as on cupolas, weathervanes, vents, chimney caps and finials) are a beautiful addition to any home. These metal tiles can last twice as long as an asphalt shingle roof can, and they’re incredibly durable. Known to resist water, snow, hail and other inclement weather events, copper tiles are environmentally friendly and can increase a home’s resale value exponentially.
Average Copper Tile Roof Cost:
$9 to $20 per square foot installed
20. Polymer Sand Tiles
Polymer sand tiles are relatively new in the roofing industry, but they’re often made from recycled plastic waste, formed and pressed into tiles, and installed on a variety of structures. These roofing tiles are durable, lightweight and fire-resistant, and they typically last between 50 and 70 years. They’re designed to withstand extreme temperature changes without warping, and they’re incredibly lightweight. Available in a wide range of colors and styles, polymer sand tiles make excellent roofing materials.
Average Plymer Sand Tile Roof Cost:
$7 to $8 per square foot installed
21. Stone Slate Tiles
High-end slate roofing is hand-made and provides incredible aesthetic appeal on any home. These heavy roof tiles are incredibly strong and weather-resistant, although tiles can crack from time to time. Stone slate roofing tiles are energy efficient and can tremendously increase a home’s value, and they’re low maintenance. Most slate roofs can last longer than 150 years with proper care and maintenance. Generally, these roofing materials are found on luxury homes and some businesses because they’re completely fireproof, resistant to the sun and weather conditions, and ecologically friendly.
Average Stone Slate Tile Roof Cost:
$9 to $16 per square foot installed
Wood Roof Shingles
Wood roofing materials can provide exceptional visual appeal on a home or business. Available as roof shingles or shakes, wooden roofs can last around 30 years. Wood roofing materials can add insulation throughout the seasons, keeping a home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
22. Cypress Roof Shingles
Cypress shingles are incredibly cost-effective roofing materials, and they provide exceptional protection against the elements. Cypress is durable – in fact, the original cypress shingles on George Washington’s home are still in use – and it’s resistant to insects and decay. Designed to withstand snow, ice, rain and hail, as well as the sun’s harmful rays, cypress shingles are a good alternative to other types of shingles and shakes.
Average Cypress Roof Shingles Cost:
$4 to $9 per square foot installed
23. Eastern White Pine Roof Shingles
Eastern white pine shingles are aesthetically unmatched. They can turn a silver-gray over time, and all the while, they provide excellent weather resistance. Featuring beautiful natural grains, these types of shingles are often treated with a low-VOC acrylic bleaching agent to ensure natural weathering.
Average Eastern White Pine Roof Shingles Cost:
$4 to $10 per square foot installed
24. Red Cedar Roof Shingles
Cedar is often considered the best wood roofing material because it’s moisture- and rot-resistant. It’s strong and durable, and it creates stunning visual appeal. Generally, cedar costs more than other types of wood roofing materials do, such as yellow pine and cypress, but it requires no special treatment (unlike its counterparts) to provide durable protection for your home.
Average Red Cedar Roof Shingles Cost:
$4.50 to $9.50 per square foot installed
25. Red Oak Roof Shingles
Red oak is a superior roofing material because it’s weather resistant and creates tremendous visual appeal. Resistant to mold, mildew, algae and pests, red oak shingles can last between 30 and 40 years on your roof. While red oak – like other woods – needs a penetrating wood preservative application from time to time, it’s often a spectacular choice on cottages, cabins, and a variety of other homes.
Average Red Oak Roof Shingles Cost:
$4 to $8 per square foot installed
26. White Oak Roof Shingles
White oak shingles are easy to stain to create a perfect match for any home. Because white oak is naturally rot-resistant, it’s an excellent choice for roofing. These types of shingles create dynamic texture and a sense of depth, and they’re designed to last up to 40 years with proper care and maintenance.
Average White Oak Roof Shingles Cost:
$4 to $8 per square foot installed
27. Wood Shakes
Wood shakes are unlike shingles, although they’re often made from the same materials. A shake is a wooden shingle that’s split on one side and sawn on the other, creating depth and irregularity rather than uniformity across a roof. They’re typically low-maintenance and very weather-resistant. The most popular option for shakes is cedar, which is naturally insect- and rot-resistant. Wood shakes may occasionally need repair or replacement, but because they’re natural, they’re completely recyclable and ecologically friendly roofing materials.
Average Wood Shake Roof Cost:
$6 to $10 per square foot installed
Clay Roof Tiles
Clay roof tiles are visually stunning. There are four main styles to choose from, including French, interlocking shingles, mission-style and Spanish tile. Clay has been used as a roofing material for centuries because of its long lifespan, with many roofs lasting more than 100 years, and superior fire resistance. Clay is heavier than many other roofing materials, so most contractors will suggest that you reinforce your roof or consult with a structural engineer who can determine if your home’s structure can bear their weight.
28. Flat Rectangular (Interlocking) Clay Tiles
Interlocking clay tiles feature a smooth, flat surface, sharp square edges and thick bottom edges that create beautiful shadows across a roof. These visually spectacular tiles are heavy and durable, and they’re able to resist weather, insects and sunlight.
Average Flat Rectangular Clay Tile Roof Cost:
$10 to $18 per square foot installed
29. French Clay (Interlocking) Tiles
French clay tiles, often designed in large pieces, have been enormously popular all over the world for more than a century. Also called Marselha tile, the design was created in the mid-1800s and features interlocking pieces that create at truly unique look.
Average French Clay Tile Roof Cost:
$10 to $18 per square foot installed
30. S-Style (Spanish) Clay Tiles
Spanish clay tiles, often featured on Southwestern style homes and other structures, are best suited for regions that have infrequent but heavy rainstorms. These tiles can be made from clay, terracotta and concrete (or blends) and are available in several colors and sizes.
Average Spanish-Style Clay Tile Roof Cost:
$9 to $12 per square foot
31. Mission-Style Clay Tiles
Often called “double Roman” tiles, mission style clay tiles feature pronounced, distinct ribs. Generally reserved for Mediterranean-style homes, these tiles also interlock and are available in a wide range of colors and textures.
Average Mission-Style Clay Tile Roof Cost:
$9 to $11 per square foot
Do You Need a New Roof?
Choosing the best roof shingles or materials for your home can be overwhelming. Schedule your free roof inspection for a complimentary consultation today. We’ll discuss your budget, roofing goals and other factors that would affect how you choose the perfect roof shingles for your home and we can give you some recommendations from one of our 5-star suppliers: Certainteed, Owens Corning and GAF.