How Many Bundles of Shingles in a Square: Detailed Informational Guide

Last updated on April 5, 2024

This guide will explain exactly how to determine the quantity of shingle bundles required for a standardized unit of measurement known as a “square” in roofing.

Key takeaways:

  • A “square” in roofing is a 100 square foot area.
  • Typically, three bundles of shingles cover one square.
  • Heavier or premium shingles may require more bundles.
  • Use packaging, inspect shingles, or consult suppliers for bundle quantity.
  • Calculate roof area in squares, including waste allowance.

What Is a Square in Roofing?

what is a square in roofing

In the roofing industry, a “square” is a crucial measurement denoting a 100 square foot area. When replacing or installing a roof, materials are typically calculated based on squares. This standardization simplifies the estimation process for both the amount of material required and the cost of the roofing job.

Understanding how many squares your roof encompasses is essential before purchasing shingles, as this determines the number of bundles you’ll need to cover the entire roofing area. Always measure the roof’s length and width in feet, multiply these numbers together, and divide by 100 to determine the number of squares.

Additionally, it’s advisable to factor in a waste allowance—usually an additional 10%—to account for cutting and fitting shingles, especially on roofs with hips, valleys, and dormers.

Defining a Bundle of Shingles

A bundle of shingles is a packaged unit of shingles, the quantity of which can vary depending on the type and brand. Traditionally, three bundles are required to cover one square of roof, which translates to 100 square feet. However, it’s essential to note that heavier, laminated, or premium shingles may be packaged with fewer pieces per bundle. Consequently, you may need more bundles to complete a square.

To determine the right number of bundles for a specific product:

  • Check the packaging: Manufacturers always specify coverage information.
  • Inspect the shingles: Thicker, multidimensional shingles generally come in smaller bundles than standard 3-tab shingles.
  • Consult with suppliers: They can provide guidance on the number of bundles per square for the shingles you’re selecting.

The Relationship Between Shingles and Squares

Understanding the relationship between shingles and squares is crucial when planning a roofing project. A square, in roofing terminology, measures 100 square feet. This standardized unit simplifies communicating the amount of material required for a job. Shingles are commonly sold in bundles, with the number needed to cover a square varying based on the shingle size and type.

Typically, it takes three bundles of standard-sized, three-tab shingles to cover one square. However, heavier, more premium shingles such as architectural or laminated shingles, may only require four or five bundles to cover the same area due to their increased thickness and coverage. It is important to note these variances as they directly impact material costs and labor. Always refer to the manufacturer’s specifications for exact coverage details to ensure accuracy in your material estimates.

Calculating the Number of Bundles Per Square

Typically, it takes three bundles of shingles to cover one square on a roof, which equates to 100 square feet. However, this can vary based on the shingle type and manufacturer. Heavyweight, laminated, or premium shingles often require more than three bundles per square due to their thicker composition and greater coverage area per shingle.

To ensure accuracy, always reference manufacturer specifications for the specific shingle product being used. Most bundles will have coverage information printed on the packaging, allowing for precise calculations when planning the materials needed for a roofing project.

Keep in mind that shingles come in different sizes as well; for instance, standard three-tab shingles tend to be 36 inches long and 12 inches wide, and the coverage of each bundle is computed with that in mind.

For the most accurate calculation, divide the total area of the roof in square feet by 100 to determine how many squares your roof is. Then, multiply this number by the number of bundles required per square as per your chosen shingle type. Always include a surplus of 10-15% to account for waste and trimming, especially for roofs with complex shapes or multiple features like dormers or valleys.

Tips For Calculating Roof Area

To accurately determine the number of bundles you’ll need for your roofing project, start by calculating the roof area. Here are some straightforward tips to guide you through this process:

1. Measure the length and width of each roof section. Multiply these dimensions to get the area of each section in square feet.

2. Account for roof features such as dormers or valleys by measuring these areas separately and adding them to the total.

3. Convert the total area to “squares.” Remember that each square covers 100 square feet.

4. For roofs with complex shapes, divide them into geometric shapes, calculate the area for each, and sum the areas to get the total.

5. If the roof has a steep pitch, factor this in, as it increases the overall surface area. Use a roofing calculator or consult a roofing chart to make adjustments.

6. Always add a waste factor of about 10% to cover cutting, trimming, and potential mistakes.


How many bundles of shingles do I need for 100 square feet?

For 100 square feet of roof, you’ll need three bundles of shingles.

How much does 1 bundle of shingles cover?

One bundle of shingles typically covers approximately 33 square feet.

How many bundles are in a square of architectural shingles?

There are three bundles in a square of architectural shingles.

How much does 2 square of shingles cover?

Two squares of shingles cover approximately 200 square feet of roof area.

What is the average weight of a bundle of shingles?

A bundle of asphalt shingles typically weighs between 60 to 80 pounds.

How does the type of shingle affect the number of bundles needed per square?

The type of shingle affects the number of bundles needed per square because different types have varying dimensions and coverage capacities, with standard three-tab shingles typically requiring three bundles per square while architectural shingles generally need four.

What factors can increase the number of shingle bundles required for a roofing job?

The number of shingle bundles required for a roofing job can increase due to factors such as roof complexity, additional features like chimneys or skylights, waste factor, and the type of shingles used.