News & Events

Request a Free Estimate

Fill out the form below to get started.


Comparing Metal Roofing: Metal Shake vs. Metal Slate

May 31, 2023

Comparing Metal Roofing: Metal Shake vs. Metal Slate

Metal Slate vs Metal Shake

When it comes to metal roofs, versatility definitely ranks as one of the popular terms among durability, energy efficiency, and longevity. Metal roofs can last two to three times longer than asphalt shingle roofs, while demonstrating outstanding solar reflectance and thermal emissivity to reduce your home’s annual cooling bill by as much as 40%. Not only is this roofing solution loved by homeowners, it is a popular one for buyers, too.

Metal roofs increase the resale value of your home because it is fire-retardant and impervious to rust, mold, and mildew. Designed to complement buildings with a contemporary, colonial, and/or historic flair, metal roofs have been innovatively enhanced to include a plethora of colors and styles. To help you better understand the versatility of metal roofs, we have picked two timeless metal roofing styles — metal shake and metal slate— to help homeowners gain a better understanding of their distinctive purposes. So, read on and learn something new to share around the dinner table tonight.

Two Metal Roofing Styles at Your Finger Tips

To understanding the differences between metal shake and metal slate, we will need to go back to the concept of versatility. In addition to its superior performance and lifespan, metal is a malleable material that can be shaped, coated, and designed to emulate the looks of a traditional roof. Engineers of metal roofs understand the concept of creating a functional and beautiful roof. Each roofing style you see is the result of striking the balance between appearance and performance.

Metal Shake

The conventional shake roofs or wood shingle roofs are most commonly made from wood species such as western red cedar, cypress, and redwood. Although these wood species are loved for their defect-free straight grain and dimensional stability, they are susceptible to weathering and may begin to chip or crack and even lodge light growths of molds and mildew. The purpose of metal shake is to recreate the classic look of the traditional cedar shake without any of its weaknesses. Most metal shakes are designed with well-blended, multi-tone colors to evoke a natural and weathered look.

Metal Slate

Just as metal shakes were invented for shake roofs, metal slate was introduced to alleviate the many problems of a traditional slate roof. Unlike slates that weigh between 9 to 25 pounds per square foot, metal slates are much lighter and weigh only about 7 pounds per square foot. Metal slates are also coated with textures and patterns of rock to fully capture that old-world look at a discounted price. As Angie’s List shares, a slate roof can cost you 5 times more than a metal roof — a hefty upfront investment with dramatically less return on investment than a metal slate roof.

Metal Shakes & Metal Slates: Same Strengths, Different Designs

As you can see, metal shakes and metal slates were created to introduce the strength, energy efficiency, and longevity of metal into conventional slate and shake roofing styles. Aesthetics is the only difference between metal shakes and metal slates. The first has a more blended color tone, while the latter focuses on texture and spreads the shades of colors into individual slates. Both are beautiful and attractive, it all boils down to what you need.

Ready to get started?

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.