When it’s time to install a new roof, you might think that your biggest decision will be the roofing material you choose. Once you’ve finally chosen asphalt shingles, you’re pretty much in the clear, right?
Wrong. Not only are there many different styles, price points, colors, and quality levels in the world of asphalt shingles, but there are also a number of different major manufacturers to choose from.
Three of the biggest shingle producers on the market are GAF, CertainTeed, and IKO. What do you need to know about the products each of these brands offers, and which is the best of the three?
Let’s explore the pros and cons of each brand’s asphalt shingles to help you choose the product that will best protect your home at a price you can afford.
If you’ve started shopping around for the right asphalt shingle product, you’ve likely encountered the name GAF. One of the most popular roofing brands on the market, GAF is known for offering a wide range of quality options at many different price points. They also offer upgraded warranties when the shingles are installed by a certified “Master Elite” roofer. Beyond that, the warranties are typically transferable once, which is great for homeowners who think they might be selling their home down the road (however, it’s worth noting that new homeowners must write to GAF within sixty days to take advantage of this perk.)
The most popular shingle line offered by GAF is Timberline– in fact, they’re the most used shingle in all of America. There are two versions homeowners can choose from when they decide to use Timberline shingles: Timberline HDZ and Timberline AH shingles.
The Timberline HDZ line is a great option for homeowners who want high-quality asphalt shingles but don’t come with many bells and whistles. Available in many color options and featuring Layer Lock shingle technology that makes them easier to install, these are otherwise standard architectural shingles.
The Timberline AH shingle is a bit higher quality than the HDZ, featuring StainGuard Plus™ Time-Release Algae-Fighting Technology to help combat algae growth.
Homeowners that want their roofs to have the natural look of slate shingles without the expense (or the extra weight!) might be interested in the GAF Slateline shingles. If you’re searching for luxury shingles in a wide variety of colors, the Camelot II line is a good place to look.
GAF also offers standard 3-tab shingles, which are a more affordable option that comes in a wide variety of colors. Lighter and not as durable as architectural shingles, the cheaper price tag does mean that this type of roof won’t last as long as a laminated architectural shingle system.
CertainTeed asphalt shingles come in a wide variety of shapes, styles, and colors. They offer everything from architectural shingles that mimic the look of wood shakes to four-across tab asphalt shingles that have the texture, tone, and look of natural slate.
Probably the best-known brand of asphalt shingle except for GAF, CertainTeed is known for being one of the best brands on the market for homeowners that are prioritizing both aesthetics and durability.
Their eleven shingle lines all have Class 4 impact resistance, premium impact warranties, and they are thought to be among the best quality fiberglass shingle manufacturers out there. At the same time, they come at a higher price than some of the other brands.
The average lifespan of CertainTeed’s Landmark shingles is about thirty years when properly installed and maintained. Their Premium products can last up to half a century when installed correctly and taken care of over the life of the roof.
Typically, IKO shingles are sold to roofing contractors directly through materials suppliers and distributors. This means that you usually can’t purchase them retail– you’ll likely need to work with a roofing contractor to install this type of shingle on your home.
There are four different collections of asphalt shingles offered by IKO, named the designer, performance, architectural, and traditional collections.
The designer collection offers a number of luxury laminated architectural asphalt shingle options that intend to mimic the look of genuine cedar shakes or natural slate tiles with less required maintenance and at a fraction of the price.
The performance collection consists of laminated architectural shingles designed to offer the highest level of protection from high winds, ice, snow, hail, temperature extremes, and more. Intended for homes that require extra protection due to more extreme climates, this is the IKO option when durability is your priority.
The architectural collection consists of laminated architectural shingles, including a collection of “Cool Colors” to help increase the energy efficiency of your roof.
Finally, the traditional collection consists of standard 3-tab shingles, which are more affordable but less durable or long-lasting than laminated architectural shingles.
Are laminated shingles worth the additional cost compared to traditional 3-tab? Check out our complete guide to laminated shingles and their benefits.
Both GAF and CertainTeed are incredibly popular asphalt shingle manufacturing brands that repeatedly outperform their competition– including IKO, Owens Corner, Atlas, and Tamko.
So, to begin with, it’s important to note that these are both highly reputable brands that are widely used by roofing contractors and homeowners alike to create durable roofing systems.
That being said, there are some noteworthy differences to point out.
The most obvious difference has to do with the cost attached to GAF and CertainTeed shingles. GAF is the more budget-friendly of the two brands, while CertainTeed is a premium brand whose products are typically more expensive.
When comparing two similar product lines– GAF Timberline HDZ and CertainTeed Landmark–, we find that Landmark shingles are 3 to 5% more expensive but outperform the competition in both durability and quality.
When it comes to the quality of the shingle, both brands have the best possible fire rating (Class A) and standard 110 mph wind ratings.
If weight is a concern in your shingle selection, it’s worth noting that many of CertainTeed’s products have a weight of more than 250 pounds per square (one roofing square equals 100 square feet), and some of their premium lines can weigh more than 400 pounds per square. GAF shingles, on the other hand, mostly weigh less than 240 pounds per square, though they do have some heavier lines like their Grand Canyon line.
Both of these brands offer a wide selection of options for asphalt shingles–products are available for all budgets, personal design tastes, and architectural styles.
One of the major differences between GAF and IKO shingles is the price. IKO shingles are more affordable than GAF shingles, so they can be a better solution for budget-conscious homeowners. For those that have more wiggle room in their budget, GAF shingles provide high-end designs that aren’t available through IKO.
GAF shingles are also lightweight and exceptionally durable when compared to IKO. Another benefit of GAF over IKO is that they offer a transferable warranty, which means that anyone who buys your house can benefit from having their new roof covered by the warranty. This can be a selling point to homebuyers, who will likely appreciate the peace of mind offered by knowing that the warranty transfers to them after purchasing the home.
On the other hand, the warranty offered by IKO is also quite strong. While most shingle manufacturers have strict requirements and standards when it comes to eligibility, IKO has a broad warranty eligibility window which means you can feel certain you have significant coverage.
Finally, another selling point of IKO over GAF shingles is that they have a certification program that offers additional peace of mind when it comes to the quality of your installation.
What does it mean when shingles are advertised as being 20, 30, 40, or 50-year shingles? Check out our complete guide here.
Finally, let’s take a look at how CertainTeed and IKO shingles compare to one another.
When it comes to the color and style selections of shingles, it’s hard to beat CertainTeed. Not only do CertainTeed shingles come in a wide variety of styles, colors, and qualities, but they also offer a Colorview tool on their site that lets homeowners visually experiment with the color of their new roof on a photo of their home.
When it comes to the warranty offered by each brand, both CertainTeed and IKO offer unconditional five-year warranties that are followed by limited 30-year warranties. At the same time, these two warranties actually aren’t created equal because there are fewer exclusions for CertainTeed’s warranty.
Weight is also an important factor when comparing shingles– both because how much weight you put on your roof is an important structural consideration and because weight is a useful measure for predicting the longevity of a roof. CertainTeed asphalt shingles, as mentioned earlier, typically weigh 240 lbs per square or more and can weigh as much as 450 lbs per square. IKO’s laminated roofing shingles, on the other hand, are reported by Consumer Reports as weighing 100 pounds per square.
Choosing the right shingles for your roof isn’t just about the price, but that can be a major factor in your decision. Even if you have a tight budget for your roofing project, there are still a number of other considerations you’ll want to consider when choosing the right shingle brand, including the style, color, weight, composition, aesthetics, etc. energy efficiency, and warranties.
Another factor is whether or not you’re planning on tackling your roofing project on your own or whether you want to hire a pro. GAF and CertainTeed products can be found at major retailers like Home Depot, while IKO is typically only sold to contractors, not consumers.
If you’re finding yourself choosing between GAF and CertainTeed, you can rest assured that both are highly reputable brands that make high-quality products. Both of these brands manufacture superior shingles that come in all manners of colors, styles, and price ranges.
For budget-conscious homeowners, GAF is likely going to win out over CertainTeed as they have a bigger selection of affordable shingles. However, if you’re looking for the highest quality luxury shingles (which come with a higher price tag, of course), CertainTeed is probably the way to go.
If you’re deciding between GAF and IKO, GAF is generally considered to manufacture higher quality shingles than IKO in terms of durability, variety of options, and warranty. That being said, IKO shingles tend to be cheaper than GAF, so they can be a more affordable option for budget-conscious homeowners. CertainTeed also beats out IKO on quality, durability, variety of offerings, and other factors, but it also is noticeably more expensive than IKO shingles.
Are you wondering whether choosing black shingles will make your home hotter in the summer? Make sure you look at this article about how roof color can impact interior temperature.
The most common residential roof covering in the United States is asphalt shingles, hands down. In fact, about three out of every four houses in North America boast asphalt shingle roofs. Not only are shingles cost-effective compared to other roofing options, but they come in lots of different colors and styles, work well on a wide variety of roof types, and offer ample protection from the elements.
In the world of asphalt shingles, though, there can be enormous quality differences depending on your brand and product line. IKO, GAF, and CertainTeed all offer lower- to higher-tier shingles, everything from traditional 3-tab to designer architectural shingles.
No matter which brand of shingle you feel is right for your home, Colony Roofers is here to help. Offering the best customer service and priding ourselves on providing high-quality roofs at the most affordable prices, we are here to help homeowners and business owners in the greater Atlanta area ensure that their buildings are fully protected.
Does your home need a new roof, and it’s time to start shopping around for a reputable roofing contractor near Atlanta? Contact us today to set up a free estimate.
GAF, CertainTeed, and IKO are all well-known manufacturers of roofing shingles, each offering various options in terms of quality, style, and price. GAF is known for its Timberline HDZ shingles, which provide good durability and a wide selection of colors. CertainTeed is popular for its Landmark series, offering high-quality shingles with a heavier weight and strong wind resistance. IKO, on the other hand, is known for its affordable Cambridge shingles, which feature a dimensional look and good granule adhesion. While each brand has its unique features and benefits, the best choice for your home depends on factors such as budget, aesthetic preferences, and local climate conditions.
All three manufacturers offer warranties for their roofing shingles, but coverage and terms may vary. GAF provides a limited lifetime warranty on their Timberline HDZ shingles, which covers manufacturing defects and includes a 10-year non-prorated period. CertainTeed offers a limited lifetime warranty on their Landmark shingles, with a 10-year non-prorated period and additional coverage for wind damage up to 15 years. IKO's Cambridge shingles come with a limited lifetime warranty and a 10-year non-prorated period, as well as coverage for wind damage up to 15 years. It is essential to carefully review the warranty details for each brand and consider factors such as workmanship and wind resistance before making a decision.
Each of these roofing shingle manufacturers has taken steps to minimize their environmental impact. GAF, for example, has implemented sustainable manufacturing practices and offers energy-efficient shingles, such as the Timberline Cool Series. CertainTeed has also focused on sustainable practices, including the use of recycled materials in their Landmark Solaris shingles, which help to reduce energy consumption. IKO similarly offers energy-efficient options like the Cambridge Cool Colors shingles that reflect solar heat. Ultimately, the most environmentally friendly option will depend on your specific needs and preferences. It is recommended to compare each brand's eco-friendly offerings and consider factors like energy efficiency and recycled content when making your decision.