Roof Shingles Vs. Shakes: How Do They Differ?

urbizo-4Many homeowners are aware of residential roofing shingles, but very few have heard of roofing shakes. Some homes are even fitted with shakes though the homeowner thinks they’re just shingles. Know the difference between shingles and shakes and how they impact the roof’s appearance.

Roofing Shingles and Shakes Explained


Shingles are the tiles you see on the roof. They’re typically cut and more precisely milled than a shake. They have a more refined and classic appearance, making them suitable for post-Victorian style homes of the late 19th century. They’re also a more compatible fit for contemporary homes.

What, then, is a roofing shake? Traditional wooden shakes are made from lumber logs split on one end; this is the side that faces outward. One side is also normally thicker than the other. Shakes have a grainier and rustic appearance due to their uneven and jagged surface. This makes them a good choice for cottage and country-style homes.

Click here for a side-by-side picture of a shingle and shake. You should be able to distinguish between the two based on the surface appearance alone.

In terms of quality, there has been talk that wood shakes are more durable. This is not really true. Roofing quality is determined by its composition and not so much whether it’s a shingle or shake. Asphalt, which is what we recommend, is typically more durable and longer-lasting than most common wood tiles like cedar.

Let Us Replace That Old Roof


Full roofing conversions from wood shingles/tiles to asphalt is one of Urbizo Bros Roofing’s mainstay specialties. Give us a call if your old wooden roof is no longer holding up. Our crew does commercial roofing as well as other services like inspections and maintenance. Whether you choose shingles or shakes, leave it to us to use the best materials for long-lasting quality.
Edited by Justin Vorhees

Durable, High-Quality Residential Shingles and Shakes

Quality roof replacement & repair in Edmonds, Seattle, Lynnwood,
Mill Creek, Mercer Island, Mukilteo & South Everett