Asphalt Roll Roofing vs Asphalt Shingles

Applying Roof Shingles
  • Beginner

When applying roofing materials to the roof, you have the option of going with asphalt roll roofing or asphalt shingles. Both of these options are made out of asphalt, but they have different characteristics that could make them desirable depending on your situation. Here are a few things to consider about asphalt roll roofing and how it compares to asphalt shingles.

Asphalt Roll Roofing

Asphalt roll roofing is a material that comes in large rolls. This material is made by taking a layer of felt and covering it with asphalt. Then the material is rolled up and sold in large quantities. They can come in different sizes, but the most typical size for this type of roofing material is 3 feet wide by 33 feet long.


Shingles are also made out of asphalt but they come in smaller sizes. This type of roofing material is generally made by taking a piece of paper or fiberglass and covering it with asphalt. The size of this type of roofing material is about 1-foot x 3 feet.


Even though both of these materials are made out of asphalt, they have a difference in price. When comparing both of these materials, you can generally get asphalt roll roofing at a cost lower than that for which you can get shingles. Since shingles come in small pieces, it takes more work for the manufacturer to make this type of roofing than it does to put it in a large roll.


Something else to consider with these two types of roofing materials is the look that each one will provide. Many homeowners prefer the look of asphalt shingles over asphalt roll roofing. With asphalt roll roofing, you will see what appears to be one big area of asphalt on the roof. With asphalt shingles, you can get a little different look as you see individual pieces overlapping each other. Asphalt shingles typically have more variety in their colors and looks than roll roofing.


The installation of these two materials is also done a little differently. The rolled roofing is a little bit faster and easier to install. You can work with large pieces of roofing at one time which cuts down on the amount of time involved. You put this type of roofing down over felt and nail it down. You also use cement to put this type of roofing down. Then the seams are covered with a roofing compound. With asphalt shingles, you typically nail the felt down and then nail the shingles down on top of it.

Type of Roof

The type of roof you have should also play a role in your decision of which type of roofing material to use. If you have a flat roof, you will have to use roll roofing. If you use shingles, the water can get up under the edges. If you have a roof that has a slope to it, you can use either material.