GAF vs. IKO: Which Shingles Brand to Choose?

GAF vs. IKO: Which Shingles Brand to Choose?

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If you are looking to purchase some new shingles for your home, there are a few brands to consider. Two very popular shingles manufacturers include GAF and IKO. Both are longstanding companies with great reputations and plenty of positive reviews. However, they produce different shingles with different qualities.

Today, we want to review these two brands side-by-side, focusing mainly on their flagship products. Let’s take a look at which brand of shingles is better for you.

GAF Overview

GAF ShinglesGAF is by far one of the oldest companies in the world of shingles and roofing. In fact, this company got its start back in 1886 and is by far one of the most popular brands out there.

The GAF brand has an excellent reputation among homeowners across the board, as it features a fantastic mix of affordability and quality.

What many people also love about the brand is that the product selection is massive, with no less than 15 separate types or lineups of shingles available for the average homeowner.

IKO Overview

IKO ShinglesIKO as a brand has been around since 1951 and was founded in Calgary, Alberta. This company has been family owned ever since it was first created.

It now has over 37 different plants and manufacturing facilities in both North America and Europe.

IKO is known for having a pretty good selection of products to choose from, most of which are very high-quality. One of the big selling points of IKO shingles is that they are very affordable.

GAF vs. IKO: How Do They Compare?

Now that we know roughly what both of these brands are all about, let’s do a side-by-side comparison based on the factors you are about to see below.

Product Lineup

First and foremost, one of the things that really stands out about GAF shingles is that the product selection is absolutely massive. There are architectural shingles, three-tab shingles, and designer shingles available. Across those three categories, you will find no less than 15 different options, if not a few more.

On the other hand, IKO does also have a decent selection of shingles. Here, you will find four categories of shingles, which include designer shingles, performance shingles, architectural shingles, and traditional three-tab shingles. However, this brand has no more than ten options available, if not less, meaning they’re a bit more limited in terms of selection.

One of the most popular shingles from GAF is the Timberline, with IKO having the Cambridge as one of its most popular options, so these will be our main focus for today.

Overall Quality

What can be said about GAF shingles in general is that the quality rating is quite high. This is especially the case with the Timberline shingles, one of the most popular lineups from this brand. These shingles are known for being fairly high-quality, maybe not the best in the world, but still competitive. They are known for being quite durable, having good wind and fire resistance, being algae-resistant, and more.

In the grand scheme of things, basic homeowners and commercial property owners alike should be more than happy with GAF Timberline shingles. There is nothing inherently wrong with them. Sure, there are longer-lasting products out there, but not for the price that GAF comes in at.

We then have the IKO Cambridge shingle, which is also known for being quite durable. This is by far one of the most popular shingles from the IKO brand name. This shingle is also known for being quite durable and long-lasting, fire and algae-resistant, wind-resistant, and more.

That said, the overall quality of IKO shingles is likely a bit lower than that of GAF. However, keep in mind that IKO shingles are also much more affordable.


When it comes down to it, the shingles from both of these brand names are fairly high quality. In general, we would give IKO a 4.2 out of 5, and GAF a 4.5 out of 5.

Now, the GAF shingles are likely just slightly more durable, particularly if we are talking about the flagship products.

GAF Timberline shingles likely suffer less from granule loss and are also slightly less susceptible to impact damage. Although IKO Cambridge shingles are extremely durable, they don’t quite stand up to the Timberline.

Wind Rating

All GAF shingles feature a wind rating of 130 mph or around 210 kilometers per hour. This includes the Timberline. On the other hand, while most IKO shingles also have that same 130 mph wind rating, some come in at just 110 mph.

However, the IKO Cambridge does appear to come in at 130 mph. In general, GAF is better on this front, although the Timberline and the Cambridge seem to be fairly identical in terms of wind resistance.

Algae Resistance

Although they are slightly different, both of these shingles have special technology incorporated into them that makes them algae-resistant.

GAF even offers a 25-year warranty against both blue and green algae. IKO shingles are perfectly algae-resistant, although it is likely that GAF shingles, particularly the Timberline, are even more so.

Energy Efficiency

GAF shingles are known for being quite energy efficient. They are said to allow you to recoup around 20% of the initial cost within just a couple years of the purchase. The vast majority of products from this brand are all Energy Star certified.

If we are talking about IKO, particularly the Cambridge, this is also Energy Star certified. However, out of the selection of all IKO shingles, only a couple actually meet this rating.

Therefore, although the Cambridge and Timberline are fairly even on this front, in the grand scheme of things, GAF is better in terms of energy efficiency.

Fire Rating

Both the Timberline and the Cambridge have a Class A fire rating, which is true for the vast majority of products from both brands. This is the highest possible fire rating.


The Timberline shingles have a 50-year warranty, while IKO has a limited lifetime warranty.


GAF shingles will usually cost between $2.50 and $3 per square foot. On the other hand, IKO shingles, particularly the Cambridge, will cost between $0.50 and $1 per square foot.

GAF vs. IKO: Which Offers Better Roof Shingles?

When it comes down to it, GAF has better shingles in general. The products from this manufacturer tend to have more impact, algae, and wind resistance, and more of their products are Energy Star-certified.

But yes, IKO Cambridge is a perfectly acceptable shingle, although it is slightly less durable and performs slightly worse than the GAF Timberline. However, IKO shingles are also much more affordable, which will undoubtedly make a big difference for many people.

At the end of the day, both IKO and GAF shingles are perfectly acceptable. IKO products are a bit more cost-effective, with GAF being slightly more durable and long-lasting.

How Do GAF and IKO Compare with Other Shingles Brands?

See how GAF compares with: Atlas | BP | CertainTeed | Malarkey | Owens Corning | TAMKO

See how IKO compares with: BP | CertainTeed | Malarkey | Owens Corning | Soprema | TAMKO