Exterior Roofing

The Great Pretenders: All You Need to Know About Composite Shakes and Slates

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

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Getting It Right


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.

Fancy Shakes

DaVinci Roofscapes

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 Multi-Width Slate in Castle Gray.

Cedar Copcycat

DaVinci Roofscapes

Durable composite shingles are available in multiple widths and colors, allowing homeowners to create blends with realistic textures and shade variations. Shown here: DaVinci’s Multi-Width Shake in Aged Cedar.

Sleek Slate


CertainTeed’s line of slate-like shingles is a dead ringer for the real thing, from its surface texture to its rough-chiseled edges. Shown here: CertainTeed’s Matterhorn Slate in Storm Slate.

Cool Colors


CertainTeed’s lightweight Matternhorn shingles arguably improve upon the genuine article. You can select from shake, slate and barrel tile available in a range of colors, including energy efficient “cool roof” shades that are capable of lowering rooftop temperatures. Shown: Certainteed’s Matterhorn Tile in Tuscan Stone.

Sustainable Slate

EcoStar LLC

EcoStar offers a sustainable option for composite roofing. Their tiles are made of up to 80% recycled post-industrial rubber and plastic, and they offer three Energy Star®-rated colors. EcoStar Shown here: EcoStar’s Empire Niagara Slate in Driftwood.

Seneca Shake

EcoStar LLC

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 Majestic Slate in Smoke Gray.