Composite Shakes and Slates: The Great Pretenders

Durable composite roof shingles arguably improve upon the traditional slate and wood shake shingles they are engineered to mimic.

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  1. Getting It Right

    Davinci ballaforte tuscano composition shake roof

    Creating alternatives to traditional roofing materials has proved a steep and slippery slope for a surprising number of manufacturers, but in recent years, several companies have developed composite shingles that successfully mimic the look of real slate and wood shake roofing.


  2. Fancy Shakes

    Fancy shake polymer cedar roof tiles davinci

    DaVinci Roofscapes, LLC, offers a comprehensive line of composite shake- and slate-type products. It is a polymer-based product with top impact and fire ratings, plus a strong warranty. Shown here: DaVinci's Fancy Shake Polymer Cedar Tile.

    DaVinci Roofscapes

  3. New Cedar

    Davinci multi width newcedar polymer shake

    Durable composite shingles are available in multiple widths and multiple colors, allowing homeowners to create blends with realistic textures and shade variations. Shown here: DaVinci's New Cedar Polymer Shake.


  4. Symphony Slate

    Certaineed symphony slate luxury evergreen blend

    CertainTeed’s luxury line of slate-like shingles is a dead ringer for slate, from its surface texture to its rough-chiseled edges. Shown here: CertainTeed's Symphony Evergreen Blend Slate.


  5. Authentic Coloring

    Certainteed symphony slate roofing

    CertainTeed's lightweight, fade-resistant Symphony shingles arguably improve upon the genuine article. Aside from being cheaper to buy and less costly to install, they are backed by a 50-year warranty and boast Energy Star certification. Shown: Certainteed's Symphony Capital Blend Slate.


  6. Majestic Slate

    Redgray ecostar majesticslate

    Unlike many of its competitors' products, EcoStar composite shingles have a 20-year track record. They’re green, too, being made of up to 80-percent recycled rubber and plastics. Shown here: EcoStar's Red Gray Majestic Slate.


  7. Seneca Shake

    Chestnutbrown aspenblend ecostar senecashake

    EcoStar shingles and shakes are virtually indistinguishable from real slate and wood, earning them approval for use in historic preservation projects. Shown here: EcoStar's Chestnut Brown Aspen Blend Seneca Shake.


  8. Synthetic Slate

    Single width synthetic slate roof tiles davinci

    Composite shake or slate roof installations will cost at least four times as much as asphalt shingles. And "although composite roofs are not as difficult to install as slate and cedar," says Rick Damato, editorial director of Roofing Contractor, "the contractor will have to know what he’s doing for them to come out right." Shown: DaVinci's Single Width Valore Slate in Black.


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