What are Wood Shingles?

If you’re looking to replace your roof, wood shingles can give it a classic appearance. They are thin and uniform and go on a roof similar to asphalt shingles.

What are wood shingles

Wood shingles are ideal for historic homes but require more maintenance than most other materials. They come in many shades, making them easy to match to your house. You can even purchase composite shingles if you want the wood look with lower maintenance.

Here’s what you should know about wood shingles’ price, pros, and cons.

What are Wood Shingles Made Of?

Most wood shingles are crafted from spruce, cedar, and treated pine. They can come in other species, such as white oak, redwood, black locust, and teak. Cedar is the most popular wood shingle species since it’s rot-resistant.

Manufacturers cut wood shingles to size with a machine and treat them with a special coating to withstand the elements and fire.

How Much Do Wood Shingles Cost?

Cedar wood shingles cost $9.50 – $15.50 per square foot, including installation. Other species are harder to find. So while prices will fall around the same as cedar shingles, they can cost more or less depending on your location and the type of wood.

What Kind of Maintenance Do Wood Shingles Require?

The Pros and Cons of Wood Shingles

Wood is a porous material, subject to rot, decay, mold, and mildew growth if not treated with protectants and fungicides. While cedar, the most common wood shingle material, has natural weather resistance, it still benefits from an ultraviolet treatment and water repellant. These treatments last about 1-3 years, depending on the product.

Another significant aspect of wood shingle maintenance is cleaning. You must regularly remove branches, pine needles, leaves, and debris to prevent the wood from growing moss.

The Pros and Cons of Wood Shingles

If you’re considering wood shingles, here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons:


  • Appearance – Wood shingles can give your home a high-end look and work well on historic dwellings.
  • Easy to install – Wood shingles go on a roof in individual pieces. While time-consuming, they aren’t difficult to install.
  • Long-lasting – Wood shingles, when well maintained, have a long lifespan. For example, cedar lasts an average of 30-50 years, while teak can last as long as 80 years.


  • High-maintenance – Wood shingles are the highest maintenance roofing product, requiring preventative treatments every 1-3 years and frequent roof cleanings.
  • Expensive – Wood shingles are 5-20 times the cost of a 3-tab asphalt shingle.

What’s the Difference Between Wood Shingles and Wood Shake?

While wood shingles and shakes are both roofing products, shakes have a thicker, more rustic appearance. They are hand sawed on one end for a natural, uneven look. Shingles, on the other hand, are machine cut and tapered for a uniform appearance.

What are Synthetic Wood Shingles?

Synthetic Wood Shingles

If you love the beauty of wood but aren’t interested in the high maintenance, synthetic wood shingles are an option to consider. They’re a combination of recycled rubber and plastic, or polymer, depending on the brand.

Synthetic shingles, also known as composite shingles, can mimic the look of any wood species but are low-maintenance and durable against outdoor elements. At the cost of $8.50 to $14.50 per square foot, they are almost the same price as a cedar shingle. And like cedar wood shingles, you can expect synthetic shingles to last 30-50 years.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

What are GAF weathered wood shingles?

GAF weathered wood shingles are dimensional asphalt shingles with a weathered wood color that’s a neutral brown.

Are wood shingles good for siding?

Wood shingles, especially teak and cedarwood, work well for siding. They can last 50-80 years if well cared for but require high maintenance, including UV and waterproof treatments every few years.

What are CertainTeed Landmark weathered wood shingles?

CertainTeed Landmark weathered wood shingles are a brand of asphalt shingles that emulate the look of wood shake. They come in many shades, including weathered wood, which is a light gray.

Where can you purchase wood shingles?

To purchase wood shingles, consult with a local roofing or supply company. While you can order some types of cedar shingles from the big box stores, they won’t be able to advise you on quality.

Final Thoughts

Wood shingles are a long-lasting roofing product when well maintained. But because of the high maintenance they require, they aren’t suitable for every home. Try an asphalt or composite shingle if you want the wood look with no maintenance.

If you’re going to put wood shingles on your home, clean your roof at least once per year. Even though many wood shingle materials are naturally weather-resistant, they need protective treatments every few years.