Different Types of Wood Shingles & Their Uses

types of wood shingles and their uses

When it comes to the comfort of a home and the protection of all its contents, roofing is one of the most vital components. For homes in all different regions and climates, wood shingles provide a naturally beautiful, durable and secure form of protection from wind, rain and other elements. We offer different kinds of wood shingles that are made for today's homes, from high-quality grade Cedar shingles and Wallaba shingles, to the extreme durability of Teak shingles.

Depending on the style or location of a given property, a homeowner might prefer one type of wood roofing shingle for any given number of reasons. Some people like the all-American aesthetic of cedar shingles, while others prefer the more exotic flavor that wallaba shingles can add to a home. Whether a homeowner prefers octagonal, diamond-shaped or curved shingles, there's no denying the quality wood shingles bring to a home. In fact, properties equipped with wood shingles generally have high market value because wood roofing lasts for many decades with little maintenance, regardless of the weather in a given region.

redesign your roof

When it comes to the comfort of a home and the protection of all its contents, roofing is one of the most vital components. For homes in all different regions and climates, wood shingles provide a naturally beautiful, durable and secure form of protection from wind, rain and other elements. We offer different kinds of wood shingles that are made for today's homes, from high-quality grade Cedar shingles and Wallaba shingles, to the extreme durability of Teak shingles. 

Depending on the style or location of a given property, a homeowner might prefer one type of wood roofing shingle for any given number of reasons. Some people like the all-American aesthetic of cedar shingles, while others prefer the more exotic flavor that wallaba shingles can add to a home. Whether a homeowner prefers octagonal, diamond-shaped or curved shingles, there's no denying the quality wood shingles bring to a home. In fact, properties equipped with wood shingles generally have high market value because wood roofing lasts for many decades with little maintenance, regardless of the weather in a given region.

Cedar Shingles

Derived from a tree native to the U.S. Pacific Northwest, cedar is known for its strength, flexibility, fine scent and weather resistance — qualities that make cedar perfect for wood roofing. On average, cedar trees grow up to 50 meters tall, which helps explain the robust nature of the wood. Tellingly, cedar is a preferred wood among manufacturers of acoustic guitars, due to its durability. Likewise, cedar makes for one of the most popular types of wood shingles thanks to the following features and benefits:

  • Is the most budget-friendly wood to use for roofing
  • Has a fine grain and uniform texture that is great for working with and steam bending — we can shape the shingles however you want
  • Is resistant to humidity and size changes due to temperature fluctuations
  • Lasts a long time — good-quality cedar lasts a minimum of 30 years up to 50 and beyond
  • Provides insulation
  • Has a beautiful wood finish and pleasant aroma

Strong Form

As a straight and consistent timber, cedar holds its shape through extreme changes in weather. Thanks to the wood's low density, cedar shingles are not prone to shrinkage or warping, even after years of exposure to rain, wind and sun.

Temperature Resistant

With its resistance to moisture, sun rays and insects, cedar is one of the most element-proof of all woods. Cedar can also withstand a vast range of weather conditions, including blizzards and wind storms. Compared to most other types of roofing, cedar shingles are largely resistant to moss growth. Moreover, cedar can be enhanced to resist fungus growth and fire.

Fine Texture

Due to the straight grains and uniform texture of the timber, cedar is easy to cut into shape for wood shingles. With its incredibly fine surface, cedar can be coated with a vast range of finishes, such as oils and coatings. Cedar is also a very construction-friendly wood that can easily be sawed, nailed and used in a variety of projects. Therefore, cedar shingles are easy to apply on most houses.

Long Lasting

Thanks to the strength and toughness of cedar, the wood is one of the world's strongest natural materials for roofing. As such, cedar shingles can enhance the longevity and market value of your home. Cedar shingles last for at least 30 years on most homes, but can last much longer on homes that are well-maintained or situated in more hospitable environments.

Insulates Homes

Cedar is one of the warmest woods for home construction. The insulating qualities of cedar make it one of the most ideal materials for homes in climates that produce hot summers and cold winters. During summer months, cedar keeps outdoor humidity from creeping indoors. Likewise, the insulation of cedar keeps families warm when it's cold outside. As such, cedar allows homeowners to save on heating and cooling costs.

Timeless Beauty 

Cedar is a visually appealing timber that has lasted the ages — from pre-settlement times when cedar was used to make canoes, to the modern cedar-based architecture of the past 50 years. Thanks to the versatility of cedar, the wood can be used in rustic as well as futuristic homes. As the wood ages, it takes on a silvery–gray tone, which enhances its charm and appeal.

Environmentally Sound

In addition to its strength, beauty and insulation qualities, cedar is an eco-friendly product. The manufacturing of cedar is an easy process that involves little energy consumption, because the trees from which the wood is sourced are grown in natural woodlands. Consisting solely of an organic material, cedar shingles naturally decompose once left out to pasture. As such, there's no hazardous chemicals involved in the production or scrapping of cedar.

Teak Shingles

Derived From The Mint Tree Family Of Lamiaceae, Teak Wood Is Native To Southeast Asia, Where It's Used In Everything From Furnishings To Turnings. Boasting Natural Oils And A High Silica Content, Teak Is Water Resistant, And Is Therefore Commonly Used For Boat Decks. Likewise, Teak Is Also A Popular Material For Wood Shingles Due To The Following Qualities:

  • Maintains strength in even in extreme conditions
  • Lasts longest and is most resistant to the elements among other wood shingles
  • Is unique in appearance
  • Repels water and withstands the elements
  • Has a strong structure and is also beautiful
  • Resists rot, fungi and mildew
  • High Class

Teak shingles are used in some of the most ageless buildings in the world. In terms of style, many varieties of wood shingles are composed of teak. On houses in the U.S. and abroad, teak shingles are made with tapered, hip and ridge designs. As far as color, teak shingles are produced in everything from gold and copper to silvery-gray tones.

Unsurpassed Durability

Teak is both strong and flexible, which makes it a reliable wood for roofing as well as an easy material to apply to a variety of housing designs. Thanks to its durability, teak requires little maintenance. Therefore, once teak shingles are installed on a roof, all they need is periodic dusting to stay in immaculate condition for the duration of a residential occupancy – and up to 80 years and beyond, especially if well maintained.

Water/Weatherproof

Thanks to the wood's water-resistant qualities, teak shingles are ideal for homes that are located in regions where heavy downpour is a common occurrence. Even after years of exposure to rain and snow, teak never saturates and largely remains impervious to shrinkage. Moreover, teak shingles are generally rot–proof and resistant to formations of mildew or fungi.

Cost Effective

Of the different kinds of wood shingles on the market, teak shingles aren't the cheapest, but their durability makes them a cost-effective investment over the long run. Thanks to the sleekness and simplicity of teak shingles, they're among the easiest types of wood shingles to install on rooftops.

Naturally Sourced

Originating from some of Asia's most breathtaking woodlands, teak is a natural product that has been used for beautiful wood roofing on homes with traditional as well as modern designs. Because of the oil content and natural resilience of teak, no chemicals are used in manufacturing the wood. As such, teak shingles are completely natural and friendly to the environment.

lifespan of custom shingles

Wallaba Shingles

Derived from the tropical forests of South America, wallaba is a reddish-brown wood that has been used for shingles on homes throughout the Caribbean for more than a century. With the wood's unique properties that include oily resin and gum exudates, wallaba shingles are valued worldwide for their resistance to mites, corrosion and environmental elements. As such, varieties of wood shingles made of wallaba are used everywhere from Oceania to the United Arab Emirates for roofing on public buildings, residential properties and private estates. In the U.S. as well as abroad, wallaba shingles are preferred by many homeowners for the following qualities:

  • Costs less than teak
  • Resist insects such as termites and decay
  • Used in situations where humidity is a factor and high-durability wood is needed
  • Resist hurricane conditions
  • Industry Preferred

Due in part to the wood's high-level resistance to corrosive factors, wallaba shingles are preferred by many architects both domestically and internationally for buildings large and small. Different kinds of wood shingles made of wallaba are used for roofing on everything from homes to hotels from the Middle East to the South Pacific, as well as in North America.

Aesthetically Pleasing

From an aesthetic standpoint, wallaba shingles are an eye-pleasing choice for roofs of varying heights and designs. Over the course of its long life, wallaba wood matures from reddish-brown to silvery-gray, but maintains its weather-resistant qualities. As the wood ages, it becomes even more reflective and thus keeps homes cool in the tropical heat. Even as housing designs change with each era, wallaba retains a timeless appeal that keeps homes from various periods valuable on the real estate market.

Environmentally Responsible

Wallaba shingles are a treatment-free product. Thanks to the natural properties of the wood, no chemicals are needed to make wallaba suitable and effective for wood roofing in equatorial or colder climates. The resins and exudates of wallaba make the wood naturally resistant to bugs, mold, corrosion and even fire. Furthermore, wallaba decomposes back into the environment once discarded, and therefore presents no future burden to landfills.

Long Lasting

Of the different kinds of wood shingles used worldwide, wallaba shingles are among the most long lasting. In tropical as well as colder climates, wallaba shingles usually last more than 50 years. Entire generations can live out their time at a given property without ever needing to re-roof thanks to the strength and durability of wallaba wood roofing. Unlike certain synthetic wood shingles, wallaba can even withstand hurricanes.

cost of wood shingles

Composite Wood Shingles

Composite Wood Shingles Contain Properties Of All Included Woods Along Each Grain, But They Often Weigh Less Than Each Respective Wood Type. Produced In Factories, Composite Woods Are Made Through Artificial Means, And Therefore, They Lack The Natural Qualities Of Cedar, Teak Or Wallaba Shingles. However, The Various Benefits Of Other Shingle Types — Fire And Rain Resistance, Durability, Insulation, Simulated Aesthetic Appeal — Are Formulated Into Most Composite Types Of Wood Shingles.

  • Alternately referred to as synthetic wood shingles, composites provide homeowners the following benefits:
  • Work in places where building codes don’t allow wood siding
  • Withstand intense freeze-thaw conditions
  • Have the look of real wood but are sometimes considered more environmentally friendly
  • Hold their color — wood shingles fade to silvery-gray, but composite shingles don’t change color

Reliable Alternative

In states where building codes prohibit certain organic types of wood roofing, composite wood shingles are a reliable alternative. The varieties of wood shingles that consist of two or more materials are generally as strong, if not stronger, than each of the individual materials. Synthetic shingles are also lighter than certain wood roofing types and are therefore easy to install and replace if needed.

Weather Resilience

Synthetic wood shingles can be made to withstand year after year of harsh wind storms and heavy downpours. Therefore, composite shingles keep homes equally protected throughout the U.S., from the freezing winters in Maine to the scorching summers in New Mexico.

Natural Looking

Though produced in factories, composite wood shingles are made to resemble real wood. As such, you get the look of natural wood but from a less foreign, more abundant source. Since there's less logging needed to produce synthetic shingles, composites can be viewed as friendlier to the environment.

Lasting Color

Composite shingles are made with artificial colors that never fade. Therefore, a house equipped with synthetic wood roofing can retain a fresh top exterior for many decades. This stands in contrast to wallaba, teak and cedar shingles, which fade to a beautiful silvery-gray tone over the years. If you wish to retain a newly built look to your home for many decades to come, synthetic wood shingles could be your best roofing choice.

custom shingles overview

Redesign Your Wood Roofing With The Help Of Custom Shingles

Every Half-Century Or More, An Old House Needs New Shingles. Just As With Homes That Are Currently Under Construction, There Are Different Kinds Of Wood Shingles From Which Homeowners Can Choose. If You Want Something Evocative Of The Cozy Northwest, You Might Opt For Cedar Shingles. Then Again, You Might Prefer The Tropical Flavor Of Wallaba Shingles Or The Exotic Look Of Teak Shingles. If You Want A Roof That Won't Change Colors, You Might Opt Instead For Synthetic Wood Shingles.

Whichever type of wood roofing you ultimately prefer, there are various options available from Custom Shingles. To learn more about the varieties of wood shingles that we offer, click on over to our products and styles pages.