If you’re gearing up for a roofing project or just curious about shingle coverage, understanding how much one square of roofing shingles covers is essential. Let’s dive into this straightforward guide to help you grasp this roofing concept with ease.


Before we get into the nitty-gritty of shingle coverage, let’s clarify what we mean by “1 square” in the roofing world. In roofing lingo, a “square” equals 100 square feet of roof area. It’s a common unit of measurement to simplify calculations.

Now, let’s explore how much area one square of roofing shingles typically covers.

Shingle Dimensions Matter

Roofing shingles come in various dimensions, and these dimensions play a significant role in determining how much area they cover. The most common type is the “3-tab” asphalt shingle, which is 12 inches wide and 36 inches long. Other types, like architectural shingles, can have different dimensions.

Calculating Shingle Coverage

To calculate how much area one square of 3-tab asphalt shingles covers, follow these steps:

  1. Measure the Shingle: Measure the length and width of one shingle. In the case of a standard 3-tab shingle, it’s 12 inches by 36 inches.
  2. Convert to Square Feet: Convert these measurements to square feet by dividing by 12 (since there are 12 inches in a foot). So, for a 3-tab shingle:
    • Length in feet = 36 inches ÷ 12 = 3 feet
    • Width in feet = 12 inches ÷ 12 = 1 foot
  3. Calculate Shingle Area: Now, multiply the length and width in square feet to find the area of one shingle:
    • Shingle area = 3 feet × 1 foot = 3 square feet
  4. Determine Coverage: To figure out how many shingles are in one square, divide 100 (the number of square feet in a square) by the area of one shingle:
    • Shingles per square = 100 square feet ÷ 3 square feet ≈ 33.33 shingles

So, one square of standard 3-tab asphalt shingles covers approximately 33 shingles.


Let’s say your roof has an area of 1,200 square feet. To find out how many squares of shingles you need, you’d divide the roof area by the coverage of one square of shingles:

  • Squares needed = 1,200 square feet ÷ 100 square feet (1 square) ≈ 12 squares of shingles.

Why This Matters

Understanding shingle coverage is crucial for:

  • Budgeting: It helps you estimate the number of squares of shingles required for your roofing project, ensuring you purchase the right amount without overspending.
  • Project Planning: Accurate coverage calculations ensure your project proceeds smoothly without delays due to material shortages.
  • Cost Estimation: Knowing how much material you need allows for precise cost estimates, helping you plan your roofing project efficiently.


Knowing how much one square of roofing shingles covers simplifies your roofing project planning and budgeting. Armed with the knowledge of shingle dimensions and basic math, you can confidently tackle your roofing endeavors, ensuring you have just the right amount of shingles to complete the job. So, go ahead and plan your roofing project with confidence, armed with the understanding of shingle coverage.


As a civil engineer and roofer, I love to share the experience that I have gained through the last couple of years. In the roofing industry, practical experience is a very crucial fact that can help you a lot. Hence, I want to help you with my blog.

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