IKO vs. Malarkey: Which Shingles Brand to Choose?

IKO vs. Malarkey: Which Shingles Brand to Choose?

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If you need some new shingles for your roof, you’ve come to the right place, because we’re about to help you find the very best ones. There are of course dozens of different brand names out there that sell shingles, but they’re not all the same. Today, we wanted to do a side-by-side comparison of two very popular roof shingles brands, IKO, and Malarkey.

Continue reading to find out which of the two – if either – is the better one for your job.

IKO Overview

IKO ShinglesFirst, we have IKO, which is a Canadian brand name that was founded in Calgary, Alberta. It’s been around since 1951, therefore making it fairly old, and it has been family-owned ever since then. There are now nearly 40 manufacturing facilities and plants spread across both North America and Europe.

IKO is well known for having a fairly large selection of affordable shingles to choose from. In fact, one of the biggest selling points of this brand name is that all of the products are fairly low priced.

Many people like IKO as a shingle manufacturer because they produce fairly high-quality products considering the low prices that they come in at.

Malarkey Overview

Malarkey ShinglesThen there is Malarkey, which has been around since 1956 and is an American brand. It is just slightly newer than IKO. It is, however, a leading name in the roofing and shingles world, and it’s an extremely popular option as far as professional builders and contractors are concerned.

This is a brand name that is very high-quality and premium. The shingles sold by this brand are extremely expensive, but they also have some of the very best ratings in the world. At the end of the day, here, you end up paying a whole lot of money for what are likely some of the very best shingles in the world.

Also interesting to note is that regular people such as homeowners cannot buy shingles from Malarkey. You have to be a contractor or certified roofer to purchase these shingles, and they absolutely must be installed by professionals. If you do want to use these shingles on your own, you’ll have to purchase them through a certified contractor.

IKO vs. Malarkey: How Do They Compare?

Now that we know a little bit about both of these brands, let’s do a quick side-by-side comparison to see what they’re all about.

Product Lineup

IKO does have a pretty good selection of shingles, with four main categories, including designer, performance, traditional, and architectural shingles. On the website, you’ll find about 10 options available, which is not too bad, and they’re all available in a variety of colors too.

That said, Malarkey has fewer shingles to choose from, so the selection with Malarkey is not excellent. That said, Malarkey is all about high-quality products, not about quantity.

Overall Quality

IKO shingles in general are fairly good. For instance, one of the most popular shingles from this brand, the Cambridge, is known for being wind, algae, and fire-resistant, and fairly durable too.

That said, this is one of the better shingles from this brand, and they’re not all that good. In the grand scheme of things, if we had to give the IKO shingles a rating, we give him a 3.5 out of 5, or maybe a 4 out of 5 at most.

We then have Malarkey, which are effectively some of the very best shingles in the world, and this is true for all of their shingles, not just a single one. There is a reason why Malarkey  shingles are so expensive, because they excel in virtually every category, whether wind, algae, fire resistance, or anything in between.


IKO shingles are fairly durable, especially if we are talking about the flagship Cambridge model. These shingles, as well as many of the others from this brand name, are quite durable, and they stand up to wind, impact, and abrasion fairly well. We’d say that they are somewhere around a 4 out of 5 in terms of durability.

That said, there is just no competition with Malarkey. This brand uses some of the highest quality materials and craftsmanship to produce all of its shingles. You just can’t beat Malarkey’s durability.

Wind Rating

With IKO, most of the shingles feature a wind rating of 130 mph, including the Cambridge, with some of them having a 110 mph wind rating. All of the shingles from the Malarkey brand name have a 130 mph wind rating, with some even going higher.

Algae Resistance

IKO shingles are built with algae resistance in mind but are also known to develop some algae after a certain amount of time, especially when exposed to the right conditions.

On the other hand, Malarkey is once again at the top of the list here, as this brand uses a wide variety of special materials and processes that allow for great algae resistance.

Energy Efficiency

If we are talking about the IKO Cambridge, this is Energy Star certified, but not all of the shingles from the IKO brand name are. On the other hand, all of the products you can purchase from Malarkey are indeed Energy Star certified.

Fire Rating

All of the shingles from both of these brands feature a Class A fire rating. Class A is the highest rating possible, and this seems to be pretty standard with all shingle manufacturers.


Both IKO and Malarkey feature limited lifetime warranties on all of their shingles.


For IKO shingles, expect to spend anywhere between $0.50 and $1.00 per square foot, with Malarkey shingles costing you up to $6 per square foot.

IKO vs. Malarkey: Which Offers Better Roof Shingles?

What it really comes down to here is the difference in quality and price. If you want what are effectively some of the best shingles in the world, and you’re willing to pay for professional installation, because that’s the only way you’ll get them, then Malarkey is perhaps the very best brand in the world.

However, if you just want something basic and affordable that works well enough, and should last for about a decade, then IKO should be just fine.

How Do IKO and Malarkey Compare with Other Shingles Brands?

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

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