There are a wide variety of roofing shingles on the market currently, and two leading roofing shingles manufacturers are IKO and GAF. Shingles made by either company can be used for both residential and commercial applications, but when it comes to IKO shingles vs GAF shingles, which shingle brand is better?
In this article, IKO and GAF shingles will be compared in terms of durability, wind resistance, etc. to determine which shingle is better overall. We’ll also provide relevant information about each manufacturer so you know who’s behind each type of shingle.
IKO Shingles Overview
IKO is a Canadian company, one that manufactures a range of building materials, including mechanically attached roofing, thermal insulation, air/vapor barriers, adhesives, and primers. IKO’s European division manufactures synthetic roofing membrane, liquid water-proofing products, and other products that are designed specifically for flat roofs.
Four kinds of asphalt shingles are manufactured by IKO for residential properties: architectural, designer, performance, and traditional.
The architectural shingles manufactured by IKO are popular because they mirror the look of wood shingles without being as expensive as this traditional roofing material. Additionally, these shingles provide weather protection, meaning they have multiple layers to ensure better drainage and a water-resistant barrier.
One can spend between $3 and $5 per square foot on architectural shingles. That means a 2,500-foot roof would cost between $7,500 and $12,500.
Like architectural shingles, IKO designer shingles visually mirror high-end roofing materials like slate and wood, yet they don’t cost nearly as much. IKO designer shingles are equipped with their patented PROFORMAX roofing system, meaning they include eave protection, starter strips, and underlayment.
There are three kinds of IKO designer shingles, including armourshake, crowne slate, and royal estate.
Resembles cedar shake, and these hold up well against UV rays. Moreover, they won’t get discolored because of their algae-resistant granules. Armourshake shingles come in five different colors and include a fiberglass mat and ceiling strips.
Shingles are algae-resistant and closely resemble slate. They hold up well in extreme weather because of their extra layer of asphalt, fiberglass mat, and sealant strips.
Shingles resemble slate, but unlike the crowne slate shingles, there are four colors available instead of two. Moreover, these include IKO’s patented FastLock sealant strips.
One can pay between $4 and $6 per square foot of IKO designer roof shingles. That means a 2,500 square-foot roof can cost between $10,000 and $15,000.
IKO performance shingles are ideal for homes in climates which experience extreme weather conditions. Performance shingles will not be torn off by 130 mph winds, and their impact-resistance rating is Class 4.
There are two kinds of performance shingles: dynasty and Nordic shingles. Like architectural shingles, these are between $3 and $5 per square foot.
IKO traditional three-tab shingles come in a range of colors and they’re the cheapest kind of shingle IKO manufactures. IKO traditional shingles are algae-resistant and they include IKO’s FastLock sealant strips. They’re easy to install too.
One can find IKO traditional three-tab shingles going for $3 to $4 per square foot.
GAF Shingles Overview
GAF has been a leading manufacturer of shingles and other roofing materials since 1886. The company manufactures EverGuard Extreme TPO membrane, a variety of asphalt shingles in different shapes and sizes, and many other modern roofing system products. The main shingles GAF manufactures are timberline shingles, designer shingles, and three-tab shingles.
Timberline shingles are GAF’s flagship shingle brand. Multi-layered and featuring unique textures, timberline shingles are durable and preferred because they provide strength, visual appeal, and affordability. There are seven kinds of timberline shingles, including:
- Timberline AH
- Timberline AS II
- Timberline CS
- Timberline HDZ
- Timberline NS
- Timberline UHD RS
- Timberline UHD with Dual Shadow Line
At the low end, GAF Timberline shingles can cost about $120 per square foot. The higher end shingles, such as the Timberline AS II shingles, can cost as much as $250 per square foot
GAF’s designer shingles are their high-end brand. Designer shingles look like slate, and a roof made of these can increase home value. GAF designer shingles come in six different styles, including:
- Camelot II
- Grand Sequoia
- Grand Sequoia AS,
At the low end, designer shingles can cost between $175 and $225 per square foot. The more premium designer shingles can cost over $300 per square foot. The Glenwood designer shingles are the most expensive while the Slateline shingles are the cheapest.
Even though they are the most affordable option, GAF traditional three-tab shingles are durable and feature advanced technology that makes them weather-resistant. The two kinds of three-tab shingles GAF manufactures are: Marquis WeatherMax and Royal Sovereign. The Marquis WeatherMax shingle can cost about $120 per square foot while the Royal Sovereign shingles are less than $100 per square foot (at $85 per).
IKO and GAF shingles are both durable. However, GAF’s designer and timberline shingles have a slight edge over IKO’s shingles in terms of durability, as GAF shingles tend to be comprised of more specialized components that ensure durability.
Both manufacturers ensure all the shingles they sell are durable, which means one can expect reliable durability whether they purchase the most expensive shingles or the most affordable ones.
Both manufacturers construct wind-resistant shingles, but GAF’s royal sovereign shingles are the most wind-resistant shingle offered by either brand. These can withstand winds up to 150 mph, while most of the other shingles these companies manufacture can only withstand 130 mph winds.
The shingles manufactured by both IKO and GAF boast a “Class A” fire rating because of the components they’re made of. Possessing a Class-A rating means the shingles are not easily flammable and they won’t help a fire spread.
While IKO and GAF shingles are both moisture-resistant because of the patented technologies that are used to make these, GAF shingles have a slight edge in this area over IKO shingles. That being said, you can construct a roof with either kind of shingle and you won’t have to worry all that much about a leak springing.
GAF shingles and IKO shingles both have warranties available, but the appealing thing about GAF warranties is that they can be transferred between homeowners. It’s possible to do this with an IKO shingle warranty, but it’s harder.
Specifically, you can get a GAF 30-year transferable warranty that comes with Smart Choice protection, and their warranties cover any kind of wind speed. Plus there are lifetime warranties available on some GAF products.
GAF has a wider range of colors to choose from. That being said, there are a variety of IKO shingle colors to choose from, and IKO shingles also resemble slate and wood. Some popular GAF shingle colors are Barkwood, Birchwood, Charcoal, Hickory, and Hunter Green.
How to Choose the Best Shingle for Your Roof
When you’re weighing GAF shingles vs IKO shingles, consider quality and affordability above all else. With GAF, you get better quality and a range of appealing features, as well as more style options, for a higher price. Whereas with IKO, you get reliable, built-to-last shingles that are more affordable, but there’s less variety.