Wood Shakes and Wood Shingles


Wood shakes and shingles are manufactured from western red cedar, cypress, pine and redwood trees. Shakes are split from logs and reshaped by manufacturers for commercial use. They are thicker at the butt end than shingles; generally one or both surfaces are split to obtain a textured effect. A split and resawn shake has a split face and sawn back. A taper sawn shake has a natural taper and is sawn on both sides. Wood shingles are sawn on both sides and have an even taper and uniform thickness. When applied to shingles, the industry terms “Perfection” and “Royal” mean 18 inch and 24 inch lengths, respectively.

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Cedar shakes and cedar shingles are available pressure treated with fire retardants and chemical preservatives for increased fire resistance and to prevent premature rot and decay in some climates.

Pine shakes are made from southern yellow pine and are taper sawn. They also are available pressure treated with preservatives to protect against decay and insects. Interlayment felts are required for pine shakes.

Underlayment and Interlayment

Asphalt saturated, nonperforated organic felts are among the most common underlayments used for wood shakes and wood shingles; they commonly are designated as Type 15 and Type 30 or referred to as No. 15 and No. 30, which are reflective of a once used pound per square weight designation. The terms Type I and Type II now are used within the industry in lieu of No. 15 or No. 30, respectively.

When underlayment (or “felt paper” as it is frequently called) is specified, No. 15 or No. 30 asphalt-saturated, nonperforated felt should be applied shingle fashion on roof decks having a slope of 4:12 (18 degrees) or more. NRCA does not recommend using wood shakes and wood shingles on slopes less than 4:12 (18 degrees).

In the case of wood shakes, these sheets are produced in 18 inch (450 mm) widths as “interlayment” felts; that is, they are applied between courses of wood shakes rather than directly over a substrate.

Information provided by National Roofing Contractors Association.