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    Real Slate Roof VS Synthetic Slate Roofing Shingles Comparison

    When roofing companies install slate shingles on a home, they are using designer shingles that are more expensive than traditional asphalt shingles.

    Yet, in some cases, for some homeowners the price increase is worth it because slate shingles can offer homeowners more protection from hailstorms and windstorms.

    There are currently two types of slate shingles available, so in this article Roofing Insights co-host Brent Simmons will break down the fundamental differences between real slate shingles and synthetic slate shingles.

    Keep reading to learn the differences between real slate shingles and synthetic slate shingles!


    First, let’s take a look at one of the most popular slate shingles, the CertainTeed Grand Manor.

    This shingle is regarded as the heaviest and most expensive asphalt laminated shingle on the market.

    “This is a huge shingle, and it is essentially two solid layers with laminate added to the fascia,” says Simmons.

    This shingle is perfect for homeowners who are looking for a durable shingle that can protect their home for years to come.

    Next, the Atlas StormMaster Slate is also a slate shingle that offers homeowners adequate protection from hail and wind.

    “It has a slightly different look than the CertainTeed and it has a couple features that I really like. It has a lower price point, but it is still a good shingle,” explains Simmons.

    While the CertainTeed Grand Manor and Atlas StormMaster Slate are both excellent shingles, Simmons asserts that neither of these shingles are as good as real slate.

    “Neither one of these shingles do the job of emulating real slate like the synthetic shingles do,”

    he says.

    When it comes to synthetic slate shingles, there are a lot of companies out there who manufacture these types of roofing products.

    With so many options, it can be difficult for homeowners and roofing companies to find the perfect slate shingle.

    “If you have ever been to the IRE (International Roofing Expo), you will see that there are a lot of small companies that have invented outlandish but unique products. A lot of them are meant to simulate the real look of slate,” says Simmons.

    One company who makes a shingle that embodies all the characteristics of real slate is Euroshield.

    Euroshield manufactures shingles that are made out of recycled rubber, which is the same material that is used to produce car tires.

    “It’s much thicker than any type of asphalt shingle,” says Simmons. “One of the things that Euroshield claims makes their product so good is that the impact resistance is amazing.”

    Another company who makes a solid slate shingle is Boral, who manufactures a slate shingle called Inspire.

    “Color fading is not going to be an issue with Boral’s Inspire. Their warranty also seems to cover color fading. This is simply a really cool product,”

    notes Simmons.

    Now, if homeowners want to use real slate shingles for their home, they must be prepared to spend a decent amount of money because the weight of real slate shingles is significant.

    Also, some homeowners may not be able to install real slate shingles because their home cannot support that amount of weight on the roof.

    “Homes that have real slate shingles on them have to be engineered and built in a way to handle that amount of weight,”

    says Simmons.

    “For example, if a homeowner has an architectural roof and they want to add real slate, they can’t without actually adding framing members to their attic so that the weight can be supported.”

    That being said, there are a variety of real slate shingles to choose from, and the weight fluctuates depending on the brand who produces them.

    The heaviest type of slate is Vermont Slate.

    Vermont Slate is 800 pounds, per square!

    For context, the Euroshield weighs anywhere from 430-450 pounds per square.

    The aforementioned CertainTeed Grand Manor weighs in at 425 pounds per square, and the Atlas StormMaster Slate is 230 pounds per square.

    Lastly, Inspire by Boral is the lightest slate shingle at 180 pounds per square.

    Please note:

    Simmons exposed each slate shingle to an impact test that included dropping a trailer hitch directly onto the shingles from only a few feet away.

    All of the shingles performed well during this simulation, but in nearly every instance there was evidence that the shingles had been slightly affected by the impact.

    To see how each shingle performed in the impact test, watch the video at the top of this page!

    Before you go, are you interested in learning more about the differences between real slate and synthetic slate shingles?

    Then come to the IRE (International Roofing Expo) this August 10-12 in Las Vegas, Nevada!

    Both Brent Simmons and Roofing Insights CEO Dmitry Lipinskiy will be in attendance and are looking forward to interacting with roofers and other fans of the channel.

    Buy your tickets today so you don’t miss out on one of the most popular roofing conferences of the year!

    Quentin Super
    Senior Copywriter at Roofing Insights, author of the internationally-selling book The Long Road North, founder of quentinsuper.com

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    1 Comment

    1. My colleague wants to invest in his property’s appearance so that he could sell it for a high price in the future. I never knew that slate roofing is durable and elegant when added to a property. Maybe he should find a roofing company that could install this for his home someday.

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