Chinook Roofing Blog

Composition Roofs: What You Need to Know

Posted on: December 23, 2014

Like their name suggests, composition shingles are made from multiple materials that work together. A fiberglass mat is at the core of asphalt composition shingles. The mat is then fully saturated with waterproofing asphalt. The shingles are then topped with small ceramic-coated granules that protect against UV rays and provide the shingle’s coloring. Roofing manufacturers make composition shingles in a wide variety of styles, which is part of the reason why they are the most popular choice for residential roofs.

Architectural Composition Shingles


IKO Cambridge architectural composition roof in Driftwood

IKO Cambridge architectural composition roof in Driftwood

Traditional 3-tab shingles have a uniform look, but for homes that need an extra design touch, architectural shingles give more character. Architectural roofing is thicker and heavier than other shingles for a more classic appearance of well-crafted quality. There even shingles that mimic more specialized roofing materials, like faux cedar and slate. (Find a gallery of unique composite styles curated by Bob Vila here.)

Composition Benefits

  • Composition roofing provides vast design and color choices. CertainTeed shingles come in shades from earthy browns to dark charcoal and solid black, with a range of unique shapes made for exterior designing. Sample colors and styles here. The CertainTeed Presidential Shake™ is a Northwest favorite, with a cut designed to mimic the appearance of cedar shakes.
  • Composition roofing protects against the elements, thanks to asphalt that blocks water from entering.
  • Affordability is a feature and benefit of most composition roofing shingles, although certain designer architectural shingles can be more expensive. If you do choose to go with architectural roofing, Roofpedia notes it can add to home value and be suited to withstand winds—both valuable long-term features. CertainTeed provides written warranty protection for wind speeds up to 130 mile per hour.
  • There is no question of safety. Composition shingles are rated Class A for fire resistance by global independent safety science company UL. Shingles are also one of the best traction surfaces for walking on if you do need to access your roof. Composition ceramic granules provide superior footing to almost any other roofing product.

Chinook Roofing installs composition roofs to give homeowners more flexible choices in roofing design. If you’re considering a new roof, we can help you decide whether composition is best for your house.


Chinook Roofing & Gutters is a full service roofing company with expert cross-trained installers for both commercial-industrial and residential roofing projects. We provide Tacoma roof repair and installation as well as Tacoma gutter installation with a service area that extends throughout the Puget Sound region, including our home base of Fife, as well as Gig Harbor, Puyallup, Milton and more. Contact us today for a free estimate.

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The only thing better than our new roof is the company who installed it. Kind and capable people from the inspection and estimate to impeccable clean up. Thank you so much!