Wood shake is a type of wood roofing material made by breaking thin rectangles of wood from a log. Wood roofing shingles and wood shakes are the two forms of wood roofing materials.
When opposed to a wood shake, wood roofing shingles are sawn on both sides and thinner at the bottom. Wood shakes are thicker than shingles because they are sawn on one side and hand split on the other. Both are wedge-shaped and fastened to a roofing deck independently.
Wooden roofing shingles
- Smooth surfaces and regular proportions are achieved by sawing wooden roofing shingles on both sides. They have a flat profile, similar to asphalt roofing shingles, that creates a more uniform pattern across a roof. Wooden roofing shingles, while commonly associated with older, traditional homes, can also add to the appeal of more modern structures.
- Installing hardwood roofing shingles is less difficult than installing wood shake roofing shingles. They’re flat on both sides, so they lie flush against the roof and neatly accommodate overlapping shingles for a secure seal.
- Wooden shakes are manufactured in two different ways, both of which produce a rougher look than roofing shingles.
- Like roofing shingles, wooden shakes can also be sawn on both sides to give them uniform, easy-to-work-with dimensions. Unlike roofing shingles, however, the naturally rough grain remains, which creates shadow lines and retains the textured quality of wood. Manufacturers call this type of wooden shake “taper sawn”.
- Hand split and resawn, the other method of manufacturing shakes, involves sawing only the backside and leaving the outward-facing wood split along the grain. This type of shake preserves the inherently ridged surface of the grain, cultivating even deeper shadow lines and an authentic, rugged appearance.
- No two shakes look exactly alike, which gives a roof a charmingly unprocessed appearance. When paired with natural scenery or a cabin-style home, the beauty of wooden shakes is tough to beat.
- Wooden shakes, on the other hand, have thicker butt ends and, due to their uneven surfaces, do not sit neatly next to and on top of each other. This creates spaces between and beneath the shakes, allowing wind-driven precipitation and debris to enter. Installers must position layers of felt between each row of shakes to block water and debris, which complicates the installation process.
Types of wood roofing shingles
Take a look at some of the most prevalent wood roofing shingle types:
- Red Cedar: Cedar has one of the most distinct appearances (and aromas) of any wood. This wood is an excellent choice if you want your roof to have a warm tone. Its bright colour, on the other hand, looks best on white or multi-color brick structures.
- Eastern White Pine: The light hue of this wood makes it ideal for staining because it acts as a blank canvas for any colour.
- White Oak: White oak has a light, stain-friendly tone. This rot-resistant wood makes an excellent roofing material.
- Cypress: This wood has distinct patterns that show nicely with stain and is rot-resistant.
- Red Oak: Despite its name, red oak is a lighter shade of wood. It’s a popular choice for cabinets and hardwood floors due to its durability.