1-877-542-3327 - Pleasant Hill, Oregon

Wood Shakes and Wood Shingles

Wood Shakes and Shingles comparison image

What’s the difference between wood shakes and shingles? Which would be best for your particular project?

Below you’ll find the basics. Look them over, then give us a call today at 1-877-542-3327 so our experienced sales team can answer your specific questions and help you with information and pointers about the best materials for your project.


Wood shingles are thinner than wood shakes. They are sawn smooth on both sides and cut tapered. They have a tailored appearance and are used for both roofing and sidewalls. Recommended for use on pitches of 3:12 and steeper.

There are 3 shingle thicknesses and lengths:
The Fivex (1/4″ thick by 16″ long); the Perfection (3/8″ thick by18″ long) and the Royal (1/2″ thick by 24″ long).

There are 4 shingle grades:

  • #1 The best grade, taken from the tree’s heartwood, 100% edgegrain with no defects. Used for roofing and sidewalls.
  • #2 Flatgrain with limited sapwood allowed. Limited knots and defects allowed above the clear portion (the part that will show once it’s installed). Often used for re-roofing, walls and as a starter course.
  • #3 Can include sapwood and flatgrain. Limited knots and defects allowed above the clear portion. Used for the undercourse in a two course application, garden sheds, walls of outbuildings, gazebos, etc.
  • Undercoursing A utility grade for undercoursing of double coursed sidewalls only. Not a roofing material and not to be used as a starter course for roofs.

Packaging: Wood shingles are packaged four bundles per 100 sq. ft. Undercoursing comes in a 4-bundle square and covers 50 linear ft. per bundle.

Wood Shakes and Shingles

Certi-Split® Shake

Handsplit and Resawn: Split on one face, sawn on the back, used for a more rustic look.

Top quality grade = Premium Grade.

Wood Shakes and Shingles

Certi-Sawn® Shake

Tapersawn: Sawn on both sides, giving a tailored appearance with a heavier shadowline than a shingle.

Top quality grade= Premium Grade.

Wood Shakes and Shingles

Certigrade® Shingle

Sawn on both sides, used for a tailored appearance.

Top quality grade = Number 1 Grade.


Edgegrain: Cut perpendicular to the tree rings. The highest quality and most stable cut, least likely to split or distort over time.

Flatgrain: Cut parallel to the tree’s growth rings. Less stable than edgegrain, but better than slashgrain.

Slashgrain: Cut perpendicular to the tree rings, but at an angle. Most likely to split or distort over time.


Wood shakes are thicker than wood shingles.

There are two main types: (1) handsplit and resawn and (2) tapersawn. Handsplit and resawn shakes have the split face exposed with a naturally rustic appearance, and are sawn on the back. Tapersawn wood shakes are sawn on both sides for a semi-textured look with a stronger shadowline than a wood shingle. Used for both roofing and sidewalls. Recommended for use on pitches of 4:12 and steeper. All Wood Shakes are cut from clear heartwood with no defects.

Wood shake types

  • Heavy split and resawn: sawn on the backside, while the face is split with the natural grain of the wood. Has a highly textured surface on the exposed face. This is the heaviest type of wood shake, with a very rugged or rustic appearance. Available thicknesses for these shingles is 3/4″, 7/8″, 1″ and 1 1/4″+.
  • Medium split and resawn: similar to the heavy split and resawn shake, but not as thick or heavy. It produces a roof with a very textured appearance. Available thicknesses are 1/2″ and 5/8″.
  • Tapersawn sawn: on both sides like a wood shingle, only thicker. This shake gives a naturally tailored look of a shingle accented by the sharper shadow-line of a shake due to the thickness of the butt. It’s the most popular type of wood roof. Available thicknesses: 5/8″, 7/8″ and 1″.

Packaging: shakes are packaged five bundles per 100 sq. ft.

Installation and Maintenance

Get the Cedar Bureau’s downloadable PDF for wood shakes and shingles roof installation or wall installation manuals. It is now recommended that stainless steel fasteners be used for the installation of all wood shakes and shingles.


Wood Shakes and Shingles - Fancy-Butt Cedar ShinglesFancy-butt shingles like those at left. These dramatic shingles come in a wide variety of shapes and are great for decorative accents.

Hip & ridge units: These labor-saving caps for hips and ridges are pre-manufactured and save you time and labor. Shingle ridge covers 16.5 linear ft. per bundle; shake ridge covers 16.7 linear ft. per bundle.

Cedar Breather by Benjamin Obdyke: The easiest and fastest way to create an air space between your wood roof and a solid roof deck. Allows you house to breathe, and improves the insulation your roof can provide. Packaged at two rolls per square – 18 rolls per pallet.

Proud member, Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau

Have Questions?

Choosing the right Cedar Shakes or Cedar Shingles is important to your beautiful home. Call now at 1-877-542-3327 and let Rob, Bo or Scott answer all your questions and help you get exactly what you need.

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