This is how bitumen shingles are laid

Bitumen shingles are a very simple and inexpensive but extremely durable and resilient way to cover the roof. Laying is relatively easy and can be done properly and professionally even by laypeople with a little care. You can find out what you have to pay attention to here.

Background information

Bitumen shingles are quick and easy to lay. But you still need to be careful and careful. Please also think about your fall protection. You can also find detailed instructions on all aspects of your own fall protection in the article Attaching roof battens. If you do not have a head for heights or if you feel very insecure, you should refrain from working on the roof.

  • Also Read - Bitumen Shingles
  • Also read - Bitumen shingles - This is the price you have to spend
  • Also Read - Criteria for Buying Bitumen Shingles

Bitumen shingles and nails

Bitumen shingles are easily attached with suitable nails. The overlapping area is designed as a so-called tongue, in the first row it is cut off. Make sure that you also have to glue the bitumen shingles on roof slopes of more than 60 °.

There are very precise regulations for the overlap and the nail points that you must absolutely adhere to, and which differ depending on the roof pitch, as you also have to use more nails with steeper roofs. The nailing must be done very carefully, as the nails must neither damage the shingles nor protrude too far or at an angle.


A so-called front decking membrane is also required under the bitumen shingles. This must be installed correctly and very evenly and, in contrast to the bitumen shingles, is fastened with as few nails as possible.

Step-by-step instructions for laying bitumen shingles

  • Bitumen shingles
  • Nails
  • Fall protection
  • hammer
  • cutter

1. The first row of shingles

As with all roofing work, start laying the bitumen shingles at the eaves and then work your way up.

Now cut the shingle tabs off of the first row to the end of the blade incision, and shorten the length by half a tongue so that the butt joints of the first and second row do not lie on top of each other. Now you can nail down the first row as the starting row. The steeper the roof, the more nails, from 60 ° you also have to glue.

2. The second row

Now nail a full row to the edge of the eaves. From there, go further up, cutting off half a tongue for each additional row so that the butt joints do not lie on top of each other. This is important so that the roof is really tight.

When nailing, make sure that the nails are hammered in exactly. The nail heads must be exactly flush, but must not penetrate the shingles, as this can lead to leaks and damage to the shingles. Nailing is always at least 2 cm from the edge of the sheet and at least 2.5 cm from all edges. Pay attention to this very carefully, because the quality of the nail attachment is extremely crucial for the durability of the roof.

3. Make ridge covering

Work on the ridge overlapping on both sides. To do this, cut the rows of shingles into individual pieces. It is laid according to the double-decking principle. At the end you can then attach the sidebars.

Tips & Tricks Before you lay the bitumen shingles, a so-called front decking membrane should already be laid parallel to the eaves with an overlap of at least 5 cm. Eaves strips on the sides and on the eaves edge should also be installed. To avoid color differences in shingles, do not store them for too long or outside, and only use shingles with the same production code.