Category Archives: Asphalt Shingles

Tamko vs. Owens Corning Roofing Shingles: Cost, Pros & Cons, ROI

Owens Corning and Tamko are two asphalt shingle manufacturers sharing the adage, “we’re second-best, so we try harder.” CertainTeed is the consensus leader for overall asphalt shingle quality.

GAF is the largest producer of shingles, and its products get high marks. Right behind those giants are Owens Corning, certainly one of the most recognizable names in roofing products, and Tamko (or TAMKO), a brand that has its fans, too.

The Bottom Line from the Beginning

The bottom line, which all the details in this guide lead to, is that the Owens Corning vs. Tamko comparison is about as even as it gets in the roofing products industry.

Owens Corning Roofing Shingles Display

Both get ratings in the “good” to “very good” range from roofing contractors who install them every day and from home inspectors who have seen their share of durable shingles and shingles that have failed before they should.

What it comes down to is the quality of the installation. You’ve got two above-average shingle brands that can deliver superior durability for 20+ years, fail in just a few years or perform somewhere in the middle.

What makes the difference is how well the installers do their job.

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More on the installation below. Along the way we’ll address where each brand has bragging rights. While OC and Tamko are close to equal in total score, each brand has strong and weak points.

OC vs. Tamko: Quality and Reliability

Quality is a product of the materials used and the production process. Here’s an overview of Owens Corning and Tamko shingle construction.

  • Owens Corning: OC makes three tiers of shingles in basic (Oakridge, Supreme), better (Duration, OC’s best-seller) and best (Devonshire, Woodmoor, Woodcrest, Berkshire) categories.
  • Tamko: This brand makes a very similar lineup with basic (Elite Glass-Seal), better (Heritage, Heritage Woodgate) and best (Heritage Premium, Heritage Vintage).

All shingles from Owens Corning and Tamko feature fiberglass mat bases saturated with asphalt and dressed with coated granules to resist the sun’s UV radiation. Each shingle is constructed with fused layers.

When installed, less than half of each shingle is exposed. The result is that 3-tab roofs (OC Supreme and Tamko Elite Glass-Seal 3-tab) have 2-3 layers of coverage at any given point on your roof.

All other shingles from both brands are architectural style shingles with 4-5 layers of coverage. The result are shingles with wind ratings of 60mph for 3-tab products and 110/130mph for all others.

The two brands have the same ratings in most ASTM materials and fire rating tests. Both are on par or superior to most other brands including CertainTeed and GAF.

Bad shingles are often the result of production rather than the materials used. The production processes for these brands are similar. The processes are slightly tweaked, even from run to run (runs of shingle batches).

When errors occur, a bad batch of shingles, such as layers that don’t properly fuse, are produced. What makes a brand worth considering is the consistency of the quality from run to run. Owens Corning and Tamko deliver good consistency.

Advantage—Tie: We’re not afraid to take sides, but there’s no clear winner here. These brands are rated about as equal as you will find in terms of quality and reliability, especially the two most-popular series, the Owens Corning Duration and Tamko Heritage.

Owens Corning vs. Tamko: Cost

Since these brands compete aggressively head to head, their prices are comparable across all products (and are very competitive with GAF, too).

Here is a breakdown of the shingle series and their costs from both brands:

Prices are per square, which is 100 square feet of coverage (and 3 or 4 bundles of shingles, so check product specs for the bundles-per-square).

3-tab shingles:

  • OC Supreme: $70-$85
  • Tamko Elite Glass-Seal: $72-$77

Average architectural/dimensional shingles:

  • OC Duration: $110-$120
  • Tamko Heritage: $84-$100

Best-selling architectural/dimensional shingles:

  • OC Duration Designer, STORM & COOL: $105-$135
  • Tamko Heritage Premium: $90-$105

Premium, architectural/dimensional shingles:

  • OC Devonshire, Woodmoor, Woodcrest, Berkshire: $175-$280
  • Tamko Heritage Woodgate, Heritage Vintage: $180-$205

Advantage – Tamko: As you can see, Tamko offers better value in each tier of products. It always makes sense to get written estimates on the specific roofing materials you’re considering, to get a direct comparison of cost.

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Asphalt Shingles Roofing: 3-Tab Vs. Architectural Shingles Cost 2020

For most homeowners looking to do a re-roofing job on a budget while maintaining a fairly attractive look and weather tightness of their home, a composition shingles roof aka asphalt is perhaps the most plausible, simple, and cost-effective solution.

In a highly competitive residential roofing market saturated with numerous options, asphalt shingles are by far one of the most popular choices.

While not as durable and long-lasting as some of the more premium roofing materials such as metal, cedar shakes, slate, or clay tiles, asphalt shingles can provide an adequate protection and sufficient aesthetic appeal at only a fraction of the cost of other systems.

In this guide you will learn about advantages and disadvantages of composition shingle roofs to help you decide if this popular roofing option is the best fit for your home.

Two Types of Asphalt Shingles:

asphalt-shingles-roof Asphalt shingles come in two types: organic and fiberglass:

Old School Organic shingles are based on paper (waste paper) saturated with asphalt to make it waterproof, with coatings of adhesive salt and ceramic granules embedded on top.

Fiberglass shingles are made with a base layer of glass fiber reinforcing mat. This mat is coated with asphalt, which contains mineral fillers and makes the shingle waterproof.

While organic shingles are more durable than fiberglass ones, they are more flammable and hence more prone to fire. They are less environmentally-friendly due to their high asphalt (oil based) content.

Fiberglass shingles offer excellent fire protection. Today, fiberglass shingles are more commonly used and are rapidly replacing the organic shingles.

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Roof Shingle Colors – How to Pick the Best Roof Color for Your Home?

The roof accounts for as much as 25 to 40 percent of your home’s visible exterior and plays a key role in how your home is perceived from the street.

That’s why it is crucial to pick the right shingle color, especially if you want to enhance your home’s overall curb appeal and present it in the best possible light.

What to expect: This guide offers practical and proven tips for choosing the right asphalt shingle color to achieve that WOW effect in highlighting the beauty of your home.

The advice provided below will help your achieve visual harmony with respect to how well the roof color integrates with the rest of your home’s exterior and its surrounding environment. Let’s get started.

Coordinate with Siding and Shutters

Interior designers don’t randomly pick pretty colors for flooring, cabinets, countertops and walls without regard to the big picture.

All colors have to work together to achieve a whole that is visually coordinated and appealing.

The same is true for your home’s exterior. First, the roof color should be dissimilar enough to provide contrast.

A dark brown roof would be boring with wood siding stained dark. Brown shingles would work with beige siding, a mild contrast, or with white, a more distinct contrast.

Also, when the roof color picks up tones in window shutters, the front door or accent trim, it nicely ties together the exterior look.

The table below shows roof colors that integrate best with siding colors.

House Siding Color: Best Matching Roof Colors:
Red Black, dark gray, dark brown, dark green
White Brown, black, green, gray, blue, red
Gray Black, dark gray, dark blue, dark green, white
Beige/Tan Brown, black, dark green, dark blue
Brown Green, black, blue, charcoal and browns that are lighter or darker
Blue Black, brown, gray, white

Know When to Use Color Blends

Asphalt shingle lines are produced in solid colors and blends. For example, CertainTeed Landmark shingles in Hunter Green show no variation. They’re just deep green.

CertainTeed Landmark Hunter Green

By contrast, Landmark Heather Blend shingles are a mix of several brown tones and rust too.

Landmark Heather Blend

Owens Corning Duration Designer shingles in multiple blends are even more varied.

Duration Designer Shingles Aged Copper

Now, here’s the blending principle: The plainer the siding is, the more a blended color pattern is needed to make your home look interesting and appealing.

A solid black roof on a home with dark brown wood siding creates a boring combination.

The same home with shingles that have a charcoal base but flecked with greens, tans and browns would be far more appealing.

On the other hand, if your home’s siding is varied – perhaps brick featuring multiple shades or an elegant stone front with varied colors – then color-blended shingles with clash.

You wouldn’t wear a patterned shirt with a patterned skirt or pants, right? Go solid on the roof when the home shows variation.

Here’s an example of Landmark Driftwood shingles that fail in this regard. The result is a busy clash. The colors aren’t coordinated either.

Shingle colors clashing with the house exterior

The stone veneer on the house above is arguably quite busy, and so is the roof. The plain white color on the rest of the house helps to balance the appearance, though.

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