What’s the Difference Between Cedar Shakes and Shingles?

Brad GordonCedar Shake, Shingles

One of the most common questions our Vancouver roofing contractors are asked, whether on the roof or at a dinner party, is what’s the difference between a shake and a shingle. No, these are not the latest dance moves, but rather one of the more commonly used roofing materials throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Both materials offer the same durability and aesthetic appeal, however, are fabricated in a slightly different manner and therefore have slightly different properties.

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Cedar Shingles

Shingles are more precisely milled than shakes, sawn on both sides and offer a uniform appearance. When installed properly, shingles lay flat, providing effective protection against the elements, even in extreme climates.

Cedar Shakes

Shakes are split on one or both sides and are more irregular than shingles. While shakes provide a less uniform, more rustic appearance, they can also be vulnerable to wind-blown rain or snow and must be installed using a layer of felt paper weaved layers of shakes to reduce this vulnerability.