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, with Owens Corning getting only a slight edge in the main architectural shingles category.

Owens Corning’s flagship Duration shingles outshine Tamko Heritage shingles in wind performance — thanks to the Owens Corning standard 130 MPH wind resistance design and warranty (even with the standard 4-nail installation method) compared to the standard 110 MPH wind performance warranty for Tamko Heritage shingles (with the standard 4-nail application method). However, this 20 MPH gap in the shingle wind-resistance performance can be overcome with a 6-nail enhanced installation method for Tamko Heritage shingles.

Owens Corning Roofing Shingles Display

Both brands 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 the basic Supreme (3-tab shingle) and Oakridge (entry-level architectural shingle), better Duration (OC’s best-selling architectural shingle with a standard 130 MPH wind uplift rating and warranty), and best or premium category shingles in (Devonshire, Woodmoor, Woodcrest, and 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 in 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 with 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.

Slight Advantage for Owens Corning: We’re not afraid to take; our general view is that both brands are as equal as you will find in terms of the overall quality and reliability. However, we give a slight edge to Owens Corning in the most important flagship architectural shingles category where OC Duration shingles outshines Tamko Heritage in wind performance.

OC TruDefinition Duration shingles come with a standard 130 MPH warranty thanks to the OC SureNail, triple-reinforced nailing fabric and widened nailing zone(for faster and more precise installation).

OC SureNail Technology: Triple Layer Protection and widened nail strike zone for faster installation

Tamko Heritage shingles come with a standard 110 MPH wind uplift warranty for regular applications. A more costly enhanced installation method would be required for Tamko Heritage shingles to attain the 130 MPH wind uplift warranty.

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: $75-$85
  • Tamko Elite Glass-Seal: $72-$77

Flagship (most popular and best-selling) architectural/dimensional shingles:

  • OC Duration: $90-$120
  • Tamko Heritage: $84-$100

Other popular architectural/dimensional shingles including specialty sub-lines:

  • OC Duration Storm, Flex, and Cool (CA): $115-$130
  • Tamko Heritage Premium: $90-$120

Premium Designer architectural/dimensional shingles:

  • OC Devonshire, Woodmoor, Woodcrest, Berkshire: $175-$280
  • Tamko Heritage Woodgate, Heritage Vintage: $180-$215

Advantage – Tamko: As you can see, Tamko offers a slightly better value in terms of costs in each tier of products. It always makes sense to get written estimates on the specific roofing materials you’re considering so you can get a direct comparison of costs and product attributes including features and benefits.

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Pros & Cons of IKO Shingles – Costs – Unbiased IKO Roofing Reviews

IKO asphalt shingles enjoy moderate sales volume across the US and have been one of Canada’s top brands. Most IKO shingles are sold directly to roofing contractors through distributors. In Canada, Lowe’s and other retailers sell IKO shingles to the public.

IKO asphalt shingles roof

Did you know? Average IKO consumer ratings are poor, dragged down by widespread failure of organic shingles and the Cambridge AR line. The company is the target of class action lawsuits in the US and Canada. However, the defective shingle lines are no longer produced and IKO has been working hard on improving formulations across the board.

We mention this upfront because the lawsuits appear prominently in online search results for IKO shingles. Homeowners who had the defective shingles installed despise the company. The remaining reviews and ratings from homeowners are about average compared with other top brands. Warranties are slightly above average, as discussed below.

Are IKO Shingles the Right Choice for Your Home?

This guide provides a critical look at the current lineup of IKO shingles from the perspective of homeowners, home inspectors, and roofing contractors.

We believe this is the best approach to getting a well-rounded view of any shingle brand. It’s how we structured our reviews of GAF and Malarkey shingles among others.

Pros

Here are the advantages offered by this brand from various perspectives.

There are two reasons roofers suggest IKO products:

1. IKO Pro4 Complete Roofing System

A roof is far more than the outer covering of shingles. It’s built from the deck up using multiple components that work together to effectively shed rainwater and keep your home protected from nature’s elements.

IKO Pro 4 Roofing System via All State Remodeling

Here are the 4 components of the Pro4 roof system:

1) GoldShield, ArmourGard and StormShield eave protection defend the roof against wind-driven rain and ice dams. IKO recommends eave protection in valleys and around protrusions like vents and skylights.

2) RoofGard-Cool Grey or Stormtite synthetic underlayment options are chosen based on local climate.

3) Leading Edge Plus starter strips are installed at eaves and rakes as an extra line of defense where it’s needed most.

4) Three ridge cap shingle options give roofers choices for matching the profile of the shingle.

The above listed product components and accessories are compatible with all IKO shingle lines.

Did you know? In order to be covered by IKO’s best warranty, the roof must be installed with one of the IKO hip and ridge shingle options: Hip & Ridge Plus, Hip & Ridge 12 or Ultra HP.

The above requirement is standard for most brands. Some manufacturers, like GAF, require that at least two other GAF components be used.

These requirements help the manufacturer maximize material sales per job, which helps cover their risk for giving the better warranty coverage.

No tear-off, no problem! There’s an advantage here to using IKO. Most other shingle brands require using their underlayment, and that means the best warranties are only available when the old roofing is removed (a tear-off). IKO doesn’t require a tear-off to get the better warranty.

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