Choosing the Shingle Colors

Feb 21, 2014

Shingle Colors

As you prepare to have a new roof installed, it may seem to be a long and complex task. But, it’s important to remember how important this process is, since it will directly affect what may be your largest single investment – your home.

In order to simplify this process, we have taken our more than 60 years worth of roofing knowledge and experience in the industry, and developed this step-by-step guide to help you through the many choices to be made.The first step in the life of your asphalt shingle roof is selecting a shingle. At first glance, with so many different styles and colors to choose from, it may seem a little intimidating. But when you get right down to it, there are really only three decisions to make.

1. Selecting a Shingle Style

The different styles of shingles can be divided into two basic categories: Architectural shingles and Traditional 3-Tab Design shingles.

The first type is the architectural shingle. Their remarkable dimensional thickness and deep, blended shadow bands simulate the appearance of classic wood shakes, enhancing the beauty of any home.

The traditional 3-tab shingle design gets its name from the three tabs incorporated into its profile. Always a popular choice, traditional 3-tab shingles are available in a wide variety of colors.

Here are some additional questions you may want to ask yourself when selecting a roof shingle style.

  • Do I have a steep pitched roof?

    With a steep pitched roof you can see more of the roof while standing on the ground. To give your roof an interesting and complex texture, consider using architectural shingles. With their multi-layer, laminated design, architectural shingles are a perfect match for steep pitched roofs.

  • Do I want my home to stand out from the crowd?

    If you want to give your home a more distinct and individual look, consider using architectural shingles. Use IKO Armourshake for a classic woodshake appearance or IKO Crowne Slate, Cambridge, Cambridge IR, CambridgeHD & Royal Estate architectural shingles for a slate or shake-like appearance.

  • Do I live in an area where algae discoloration is a concern?

    If you live in an area where algae discolouration is a concern consider our Crowne Slate, Armourshake, Cambridge, Cambridge IR, Cambridge HD, Royal Estate, Marathon Ultra AR or Marathon 25 AR shingles. These shingles feature an algae resistant system to protect against algae discoloration. You may also want to consider selecting a dark color shingle, which is less likely to show the staining associated with algae discoloration.

2. Choosing a Limited Warranty Length

Architectural and traditional fiberglass shingles also come in different weights and limited warranty period lengths. Once you have decided on one of these shingle styles, check the IKO Premium Roofing Products Catalogue, product brochure, or the IKO web site ( to determine the choices in warranty periods offered. A limited lifetime warranty is available with IKO Crowne Slate, Cambridge HD, Cambridge IR, Cambridge, Royal Estate and Armourshake architectural shingles. While architectural shingles may cost more than Traditional 3-Tab shingles, it is important to remember that laminated architectural asphalt shingles may last longer*. Amortized over that length of time, the difference in price between Traditional 3-Tab shingles and upscale architectural shingles is less than you might think.

3. Choosing a Color

Now, it’s time to choose a shingle color. Although it sounds like a simple process, it is usually the step that causes the homeowner the most difficulty. After all, choosing a color is a very personal and subjective process.

Since everyone has a unique sense of style and taste, it is impossible to give a hard-and-fast rule on how to choose a shingle color. One of the best ways to pick a color is to drive around your neighborhood. Check out the different color combinations of roof, brick/siding, and trim colors that your neighbors have tried. Make a list of the ones you like, and steer clear of the ones you don’t. Once you have narrowed down your choices, it is important to view several full size shingle samples, or an existing roof completed with the same style and color shingles, before making a final decision. Often overlooked, getting actual shingle samples from your contractor is the best way to see how a shingle color will look in combination with the other color elements (brick / siding, and trim color) of your home.

If you are considering new trim paint or siding, grab those samples as well, and take them outside. Hold them out in the natural sunlight, and see how the colors interact together, and how they change under different lighting conditions.


To aid in the selection of a new roof, we have developed the IKO RoofViewerâ„¢Interactive Shingle Selector Tool. This is an interactive tool which allows the customer to easily select a shingle style and color to co-ordinate with brick or siding and trim. It’s an easy way to find out how your house may look with a particular shingle.

NOTE: Since each region has a different selection of colors available, please refer to the IKO Premium Roofing Products Catalogue, a product brochure or the IKO web site (www.iko. com) to determine what colors are available for each shingle & roofing product. To ensure complete satisfaction, please make your final color selection from several full size shingles and view a sample of the product installed on a home.

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