Metal vs. Asphalt Roof Shingles: Pros and Cons of Each

Metal roof snow

When it’s time to update your roof with new roofing material you may be debating between a metal roof or asphalt shingles. Each offers their own unique benefits and drawbacks when it comes to durability, affordability, and home protection.

Metal Roof Shingles: Pros and Cons

Metal roofs offer a number of benefits for homeowners when it comes to durability and energy efficiency, but they are also more expensive than asphalt shingles. Let’s take a closer look at what metal shingles offer.



Metal roofing doesn’t crack or chip and typically has a high wind resistance and impact resistance rating.


Metal roofing creates a pleasing aesthetic, and while it may not look as natural as other materials, it can create the illusion of cedar shake and slate roofing tiles without the maintenance of the natural materials.

Sustainable and Energy Efficient

Steel roofing is 100%-recyclable, so scraps and waste from installation as well as the entire roof system when it’s time to replace it can be recycled.

Fire Resistance

Metal roofs offer a high level of fire resistance.


Metal is a lightweight material which makes it easy to transport and lift onto the roof.

Snow Control

Because a metal roof heats up quickly, in snowy climates, it allows the snow to melt and slide off of the roof. This reduces the amount of weight that the roof must hold in the winter months when it would otherwise hold a snow load.


Increased Cost over Other Materials

Metal roofing is expensive, costing up to nearly $30 per square foot.

Snow Control

While snow control and the ability of a metal roof to allow snow to slide from its surface is listed as a pro, it can also fall into the con category. When the snow melts and slides off of the roof, it falls to the ground and gathers in a heap just under the roof line. In snowy climates, this means that there is more snow removal necessary at the ground level. Other shingle materials will hold the snow on the surface where it will melt more gradually, to reduce the amount of ground level snow removal needed.

Snow guards can be installed on a metal roof to reduce the amount of snow that falls to the ground, but snow can build up behind the guards and increase the load that the roof must support.

Not As Realistic As Other Materials

Metal shingles can mimic the look of cedar shakes and natural slate, but they don’t capture the natural color variation found in the original materials.

Asphalt Roof Shingle: Pros and Cons

Asphalt shingles are manufactured with a fiberglass mat coated with asphalt-based filler material. The material is heated and poured over the mat and then covered with crushed rock specified to produce a unique color and weather resistance. It is then covered with a layer of sand to fill any gaps and provide additional protection.


Affordable and Easy to Find

Asphalt shingles are typically the most affordable type of roof shingle. They are commonly found on the majority of roofs in the U.S., so they are easy to find at most hardware stores, and they are easy to get if you have a roofing project that needs to be completed quickly.

Available in a Variety of Styles

There are three types of asphalt shingles — 3-tab, dimensional, and luxury. The 3-tab, or strip shingle is the most basic type of asphalt shingle that appears flat on the roof. This style of shingle used to be the most popular, but now dimensional shingles are used more often.

Dimensional shingles have more depth and dimension and can slightly mimic the look of a slate roof. This type of shingle is also referred to as an architectural or laminate shingle and has become the most common type of asphalt shingle.

Luxury shingles are a step above dimensional shingles and offer more options for appearance. They often offer a layered look and different shingle shapes for more dimension.


They may not be the most striking or aesthetically pleasing option, but they are extremely versatile and can be installed on nearly any home style.

Provide Enhanced Protection

Today’s asphalt shingles provide enhanced protection over older styles of asphalt shingles with some offering protection against streaks caused by algae formation, high-grade adhesive to prevent wind uplift, and Class A fire rating to protect against fires.


Wind Resistance Isn’t As High As Other Materials

If you’ve ever driven around after a storm with high winds, you’ve likely seen homes with strips of shingles ripped off. Asphalt shingles don’t offer as much protection against wind uplift as other materials.

Granule Loss

The granules on the fiberglass mat offer protection against the elements, but the granules wear off over time, leaving the underlying mat vulnerable to leaks and damage.

Don’t Last As Long As Other Materials

Asphalt shingles only last around 20 years.

Composite Shingles Offer a Superior Alternative

Composite shingles are made from 100% post-consumer recycled material and offer a stunning number of pros for your roof.


Beautifully Mimic the Look of Natural Materials

Unlike metal roofing or asphalt shingles, composite shingles beautifully mimic the look of slate, cedar, and Spanish barrel tiles, allowing you to create the perfect aesthetic for your home.

Highly Durable

Composite roof tiles don’t require any maintenance over the course of their life. They are one solid piece of material, unlike asphalt shingles that have different components, and their color is consistent throughout the entire tile, unlike metal that just has a painted surface.

Composite tiles won’t chip or crack and due to superior UV protection, and the color won’t fade over time.

Resist Freeze/Thaw Cycles

Composite tiles maintain their integrity through freeze/thaw cycles that can negatively impact both asphalt and metal roofs.

The Best Impact and Fire Rating

Metal roofing is fire resistant and dent resistant, but it can dent or chip upon impact. Asphalt roofing can crack when exposed to an impact and isn’t as fire resistant as other materials. Brava composite tiles have a Class 4 impact rating and both Class A and C fire ratings for superior home protection.


Can Be More Expensive Than Other Materials

Composite roof tiles can be more expensive than other materials, but since they are easy to install, labor costs may be lower than with other materials. They don’t require any maintenance and last long, and they have a 50-year limited transferable warranty, so replacement costs will be low, which leads to potentially lower costs over the life of the roof.

Choose Brava for the Best Roof Performance

Brava offers three stunning and unique roof tile options — Cedar Shake, Old World Slate, and Spanish Barrel Tile. Each is available in a range of colors that captures the natural weathering process of traditional materials.

Their superior strength and durability will give you peace of mind knowing that the home is protected against the elements, and you won’t have to worry about costly and time-consuming maintenance.

Contact the experts at Brava today to explore our composite roof tile options and see how they compare to metal roofing.