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How Should Bitumen Shingles Be Installed?

by | Mar 8, 2024 | Roofing Questions

Bitumen Shingles Installation Guide and Instructions

Bitumen shingles are a great choice for summerhouses, garages, stables, sheds, and other building types in the UK. They provide protection against weather conditions and can last for 1 or 2 decades. They are available in a range of colours and shapes, so it is easy to find something to suit the aesthetic of each building.

Trained Personnel installing Bitumen Shingles
Bitumen Shingles on Roof


Roof shingles are simple to install and replace. This article will include step-by-step instructions on how to install Bitumen Shingles to roofs.

Before beginning the process of installing the new roof, you need to determine whether you will need to apply an underlay membrane underneath the shingles. An underlay should be installed, to act as a waterproofing layer. The underlay should be glass fibre based or polyester based.

Click here to view various underlay options, including sand/film and film/film.

You should then calculate the degree of the slope of the roof, so that you can choose which shingles will be suitable for your project, as shingles come in different materials and types. Bitumen shingles are suitable for roofs with slopes of 12 degrees or more.

You will need to know how many packs of Bitumen Roof Shingles will be needed, so the next step will be to measure the area of the roof.

Make sure you have the correct tools to install the roof tiles or bitumen roof tiles. Below are some tools you will need, however, always check the manufactures guide.

  • Galvanised nails
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Heat gun
  • Roofing knife
  • Sealant gun
Tools for Bitumen Shingles
Tools for Bitumen Shingles


1. Prepare and Clear the Roof

Ensure that the roof does not have any debris, dirt, or nails sticking out. Also make sure that boards are nailed down evenly.

2. Next, fit the underlay

You will need to measure and cut it, then leave it on a flat surface for half an hour, so that any kinks can flatten out. The underlay can then be fitted onto the roof; make sure that it is overlapping at the verge by 150mm.


3. Detail strips should then be attached

Roll out the detail strip along the bottom of the roof, leaving an overhang of 50mm at the eaves. Use clout nails to attach the strips at all sides of verges.


4. Attach Bitumen Tiles to Roof Deck

Begin at the eaves and move towards the verge, whilst making sure that the shingle strip is square to both the verge and the eaves.  Five clout nails should be used above the tab joint. One nail should be used each end of the strip, and three nails should be used in the middle, equally spaced out. Make sure that the edge of the roof is in line with the bottom of the shingle tiles. Proceed to fit the rest of the bottom row. Use adhesive on the verge for extra security.


5. Adhere the Bituminous Shingles to the Eaves

Apply a small amount of adhesive under the tabs at the eaves.


6. Install the rest of the Bitumen Shingles

After the first row of bitumen shingles have been installed, proceed with installing the remaining tiles diagonally. The top row should then be aligned with the ridge. Alternate each row of shingles in order to create the traditional roof pattern. Don’t forget to use the bitumen adhesive strips that are built into the shingles for added security.


7. Fit Detail Strip to the Ridge

Overlay the detail strip across the ridge and attach using a small amount of adhesive, then use nails at 50mm centres.


Click here to view our range of square shingles and hexagonal shingles and view a more comprehensive guide to fitting Bitumen Shingles.


Please find our contact details below and do not hesitate to contact us for more information:

WonderBuilds Team


p:  0208 208 2121



a:  16 Hampden Gurney Street, London, W1H 5AL

Dina Vaisman

Dina Vaisman

Co-founder and Director · WONDERBUILDS

MSc International Financial Management