What Color Do Asphalt Shingles Come In? [And which of these 7 shades should you choose?]

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If you’re looking to make a change in your home exterior, changing the shingles can be one of the most significant ways to make a visual impact. You may be wondering what color options are out there for your home. A thorough look at some of the biggest asphalt shingle manufacturing companies tells us that asphalt shingles are available in a wide variety of colors- but not all.

Asphalt shingles are available in the following colors:

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Gray
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Red
  • White

Shingles can come in one solid color or a blend (where several similar or complementary colors are placed side by side). 

The right color for you may depend on your climate, location, and exterior paint color. It can also be influenced by your exterior’s texture or other architectural details. Continue reading to learn all the factors you’ll want to consider when picking a color for asphalt shingles.

Asphalt roofing shingles with different colors, What Color Do Asphalt Shingles Come In? [And which of these 5 shades should you choose?]

What Color Is Right For Me?

First, let’s take a look at each color available. Each color has some pros and cons. Each color also pairs well with specific colors, and not so well with others. Consider both the siding color and the color of any other exterior details (such as shutters and trim).

Top manufacturers such as GAF, Owens Corning, Certainteed, and Tamko offer shades in all 7 colors.

Black

Black asphalt shingles work with virtually all home colors and types, except for a house with a dark brown exterior. Black is one of the most common colors used (along with brown, gray, and red). This color is more prevalent in Northern homes, as dark shingles absorb heat (and asphalt roofs already absorb heat).

It’s essential to also be aware of any environmental codes in your area – California now requires homes to use shingles that are Title 24 compliant (also known as “cool roofs”). Black shingles currently do not meet this standard.

Royal Sovereign by GAF is an excellent example of a solid black shingle (no blended colors).

Gray

While there are gray shingles that meet California’s cool roof standard, gray is not always the best choice for a southern home. Natural sunlight has a reddish tint to it in the south, compared to the cooler, blue light in the north. The further north or south you go, the more obvious the difference in light.

A cool, icy gray shingle may be overpowered by the red in southern lights, washing out the effect. In this case, you’ll want a gray with a warm undertone.

Gray works on a home of any color, though a gray home may do better with a more contrasting shingle color so that it doesn’t look too blended. Consider a color like Sierra Gray by Owens Corning.

Brown

Brown shingles work best on homes that are white, brown, or beige. A house with a more natural look (such as a log cabin or a home in the woods) often looks good with a brown roof. Historical homes also commonly have brown shingles, though black or gray can be an appropriate choice. You can even find brown shingles compliant with cool roof standards, such as IKO Valley Oak.

Red

Red shingles are interesting because of the variety of shades available. Many red shingles are a blend of reds and other colors. These blended shingles tend to be more natural-looking and complement a gray, white, or beige house. The best way to make sure this looks appealing is to choose a blend that incorporates the siding color (for example, a gray house could have a red and gray composite shingle).

For a more modern look, you can also find bold red shingles such as Patriot Red by GAF.

Green

Green shingles have not been manufactured as long as the more common red, black, gray, and brown. For people looking for a more modern and less traditional roof color, green may be the bold choice you seek. Green pairs well with a gray house, though it can work for all colors. Green is also an excellent choice for homes in a more natural or rural setting (along with brown).

TAMKO offers a wide variety of green shades, compared to other manufacturers. Many other manufacturers only produce green in one or two shades, and options are limited. GAF’s Hunter Green is also a unique choice.

Blue

Blue shingles are a good choice for white, beige, and light gray homes. Blue, like green, is a less traditional color that may be the preferred choice of someone looking to make their home stand out a bit. For a strong statement, you may want something like Owens Corning’s Harbor Blue.

Keep in mind that blue, as some shades of gray, is a cool color that often works best in the naturally cool sunlight of northern homes. The reddish tint present in natural sunlight down south tends to wash out the cool tone of blue shingles.

White

While not genuinely white, some manufacturers are now offering shingles in a light shade of gray – so pale; it’s practically white.  White works well for a gray exterior. White and other light-colored shingles are a good choice for homes in hot areas – while black absorbs heat, white reflects it, and UV rays.

For homes in a humid climate, it’s worth noting that you can buy white (and other light) shingles that have special algae resistance. This limits the growth of algae that used to be a problem for homeowners in the south who used light-colored shingles.

One stunning example is CertainTeed’s, Star White.

Another excellent choice is Shasta White, from Owen Corning’s Oakridge collection.

How Do I Pick A Roof Color?

Above, we suggested some different colors based on various siding colors. There are some other factors to consider before you make your final decision. The other issues can primarily be divided into aesthetic concerns and climate.

Aesthetic

In addition to the colors already present, you should compare homes in the neighborhood. You may not want a black roof if the other six houses on your street have that color, but you also may not want to stand out with a brilliant green, either. Note that black is slimming, and that applies to houses too – lighter colors tend to work best, making a small house look larger. Darker colors may be too narrowing on an already small house.

Climate

As noted above, lighter colors tend to be a better choice in hot climates.

Do Black Roofs Make a House Hotter?

Black roofs make a house hotter and are more suited for northern environments where you want heat absorbed, not reflected.  The heat from a black roof also helps melt snow.

Do asphalt shingles fade?

Shingles manufacturer IKO confirms that UV light does fade shingles in time. Light-colored shingles tend to fade slower, another reason to select lighter colors in hot and sunny climates where fading is a concern. While shingles tend to fade in a uniform pattern, which isn’t particularly noticeable, uneven patches of shade across a roof can leave more distinctive fading.

Solid Shingles Vs. Blended Colors

Once you have an idea of what color you want, you will need to decide if you want a shingle in one solid color, or if you want to try a blended shingle. Blended shingles combine several colors and are typically easier to match to your exterior if you’re uncertain. If you pick a mixed color shingle that blends the color of the home with other colors, you’re almost sure to create a pleasing effect.

As a general rule, a house with a simple exterior and a solid color siding will look best with a blended shingle. A house with a multi-colored or complex exterior (for example, lots of details, or a brick or rock wall) benefits from a simple, solid-colored shingle. Too many contrasting patterns from both the siding and roof of a house tend to look busy and overwhelming.

For more help picking a color, you may want to try an app such as IKO or this one by Atlas Roofing to compare colors and see how they look with your home.

So What Color Shingle Do I Want?

Asphalt shingles are available in solid and blended colors, including black, gray, brown, red, green, and blue shades. There are many factors to consider in which one you choose, such as the home’s location, age, climate, and the color of the siding and other trim. Gray is a classic choice that works with any almost any home color, though you can always opt for something less traditional as well. Happy decorating!

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