Whether you’re building a new home or repairing an old one, shingles are always required. Shingles are needed to protect the roof, as well as everything inside of the home. That said, there are many brand names to consider, with each brand also having many products to choose from.
Today, we want to compare two of the most popular budget brand names out there, IKO and Owens Corning. They’re both affordable brand names that produce decent products, but is there one that’s better than the other?
IKO was first created in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in 1951, therefore making it well over 70 years old. What is impressive is that this is a family-owned company, and it always has been.
Since they are a family-owned company, having nearly 40 different processing plants and manufacturing facilities in Europe and North America is very impressive.
IKO is a respected brand name, particularly because they have such an amazing selection of products. It’s not the biggest selection in the world, but everything they have is of decent quality and comes in at a decent price.
Most people would say that IKO is a budget brand that sells cost-effective products to people working on a budget.
We personally agree with this assessment, as most of the shingles may not be the very best in the world, but they’re certainly good enough, especially considering the prices they come in at. One of the most popular singles from this brand is the IKO Cambridge.
Owens Corning Overview
Then we have Owens Corning, which was first started in the 1800s, although they didn’t start making shingles until the 1930s. That said, this is indeed one of the most popular and oldest brands in the world as far as premier asphalt shingles are concerned.
Furthermore, this brand features a ton of products to choose from, which includes shingles and many other roofing products, all of which are designed to be very affordable.
This is actually one of the biggest selling points of Owens Corning, that the shingles and other products are all very reasonably priced.
Once again, those people would also say that Owens Corning is a budget brand with the products not being the very best in the world.
Just like with IKO, most people agree that these shingles are more than good enough considering the price, although there are much better options out there. One of the most popular shingles from this manufacturer is the Duration.
IKO vs. Owens Corning: How Do They Compare?
Let’s now compare these two brands on a side-by-side basis to see if one is better than the other.
If we are talking about IKO, this brand does have a decent selection of shingles, with four main categories, including traditional, architectural, performance, and designer shingles. Each of these categories has a few shingles to choose from, around ten different options.
This is a pretty decent selection in the grand scheme of things. If we are talking about Owens Corning, the website appears to have six different shingles to choose from, including the Duration. As you can see, Owens Corning has a slightly smaller selection.
When it comes to overall quality, it is likely that Owens Corning is just slightly better than IKO. Now, this might be fairly subjective in nature, because if you read reviews online from both companies, most people agree that neither of these brands has very high-quality products.
Yes, people say they are good enough for the prices, but they definitely aren’t the best in the world. That said, as far as impact resistance and granule loss are concerned, as well as thickness and weight, Owens Corning shingles seem to outperform IKO shingles by a little bit.
The story is really the same for durability here. If we had to rate both brands, particularly the Cambridge and the Duration shingles, we give them both around a 4 out of 5, or maybe even slightly less. Once again, for the low prices they come in at, they’re more than good enough, especially if you are working on a budget. Just don’t expect them to be overly impact-resistant or tear-resistant.
There are a select few much higher quality options from these brand names, but they’re really not very budget-friendly, and how good they actually are, especially when compared to much higher-end brand names, is questionable at best.
The bottom line in terms of durability is that these shingles are perfectly fine for what they are, but don’t expect any miracles out of them.
The majority of the shingles from the IKO name have a 130 mph wind rating, with some having a 110 mph wind rating. The Owens Corning shingles, particularly the Duration, also have a 130 mph rating.
However, based on the selection alone, it does appear as though IKO has more shingles rated for 130 mph than Owens Corning, although the selection is almost twice as big as well.
Both of these brand names use special technologies, such as coated granules and other substances, that help keep algae at bay.
Although neither is the best in the world on this front, both brand names are known for having fairly decent algae resistance across their product lineups. We’d say that in terms of this category, both are about on par.
Energy efficiency is always very important, with IKO shingles, particularly the Cambridge, being Energy Star certified. That said, only a select few shingles from IKO are Energy Star certified.
On the other hand, we have Owens Corning, with the Duration shingles also being Energy Star certified. In fact, the vast majority of shingles from the Owens Corning brand name are Energy Star certified.
Both the IKO Cambridge and the Owens Corning duration feature Class A fire ratings, as is the case for the vast majority of shingles sold by both brands. We’d say that this category is a tie.
IKO features limited lifetime warranties, although there is a lot of fine print to be aware of that may void them. In terms of Owens Corning, the case is more or less the same.
For IKO shingles, expect to spend anywhere between $0.50 and $1.00 per square foot, and anywhere between $2.00 and $4 per square foot for most Owens Corning shingles, although most should be available for around $2 per square foot.
IKO vs. Owens Corning: Which Offers Better Roof Shingles?
What it comes down to here is that Owens Corning might be just the slightly better brand name, especially in terms of durability and other such factors, although it is also slightly more expensive. That said, in the grand scheme of things, whether or not it is worth paying two or even three times the price for shingles that are marginally better is questionable.
At the end of the day, if you need shingles that should last for a few decades and are quite decent overall, especially considering their low prices, then both IKO and Owens Corning are perfectly fine to consider. They are budget brand names that homeowners across North America trust.