4 Best Asphalt Shingle Brands 2021 and 2 Worst to Avoid

What are the best asphalt shingles in 2021? This list will provide details about the top asphalt shingle brands and which asphalt roof shingle brands to avoid. 

CertainTeed - Best High End Brand

CertainTeed is one of the most known asphalt shingles due to its superior quality shingles. This brand is known for its high-end shingles that run at premium costs. 

However, in recent years, CertainTeed started producing more affordable shingles, including its Landmark line. CertainTeed has products in all three tiers of shingles. 

  • Construction

CertainTeed's most significant benefit is the construction. All shingles have a fiberglass base covered with dual layers of waterproof asphalt topped with ceramic-coated granules for color. A few options have additional features that make them impact resistance.

  • Warranty

All of CertainTeed’s shingles come with a 10-year SureStart Protection Plan that provides 100% coverage of manufacturer defects. All shingles also have a warranty for algae protection - 10-years for the ClimateFlex and Landmark lines; 15-years for all other lines.

  • Wind resistance

While the two 3-tab shingles have average wind ratings of 60 to 70 mph, all of the architectural and designer lines have a 110 mph rating with the option of increasing the resistance to 130 mph using a 6-nail application.

  • Weight

Heavier shingles offer more durability and resistance against the elements, including brutal UV rays, rain, snow, and winds. The architectural and designer shingles can vary from 200 to 300 pounds. However, heavier weights won’t work for roofs that can’t handle the excess weight.

  • Price Analysis

The biggest downside of CertainTeed is the price. They do have affordable 3-tab and architectural shingles that are comparable in price to competitor lines. But many of the other shingles are higher in price than the competition. 

Product line

Price (100 sq ft)

XT-25 (3-tab)

$70-$85

XT-30 (3-tab)

$110-$120

Landmark (architectural)

$85-$100

Landmark Pro (architectural)

$120-$130

Landmark Premium (architectural)

$150-$160

Woodland (Designer)

$170-$194

Presidential (Designer)

$450-$500

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Pros

  • Options for all three tiers
  • Multiple variations of architectural Landmark line 
  • High wind resistance
  • Great warranties

CONs

  • More expensive than competitors
  • Warranties have specific requirements

Best Overall: Malarkey

Malarkey is a brand that’s widely popular in the Pacific Northwest and the West Coast due to its exceptional performance, excellent warranties, and premium products. It’s most popular for using a modified polymer that gives the shingles better impact resistance. 

  • Secure Choice Roof System

Like all the best brands, Malarkey produces a wide range of roofing products that give your roof complete protection. Choosing multiple Malarkey products ensures you get the best warranties and coverage. This system includes starter shingles (generic Smart Start or series matched), underlayment (Right Start UDL, Arctic Seal, 1031 Secure Start Plus), hip and ridge shingles (RidgeFlex, EZ-Ridge 8”, EZ-Ridge XT 10”). 

  • Certified Installers

Malarkey offers contractors three levels of training: Certified residential contractor, Emerald Pro Contractor, and Emeral Premium Contractor. Having your roof installed by a certified contractor increases the chances of a claim being approved under the warranty terms. 

  • Construction

Many of the product lines offered by Malarkey use NEX - a polymer-modified asphalt. This material gives the shingles better flexibility, so there’s less tearing or cracking during extreme colds or high winds. It also makes the shingles more resistant to hail, debris, and limbs.

  • Warranties

Malarkey has superior warranties, with all of the architectural and designer lines having a lifetime warranty with 100% coverage for multiple years followed by proration for the remainder of the term. The coverage period is the Right Start Period and ranges from 7 to 15 years. This warranty is transferrable once.

  • Price Analysis

Malarkey is higher-priced than many of the competitors, but their superior products make the cost well-spent. As with the competitors, there are more selections for architectural shingles than 3-tab or designer.

Product line

Price (per 100 sq ft)

Dura-Seal (3-tab)

$73-$77

Dura-Seal AR

$79-$85

Highlander NEX (architectural)

$120-$127

Highlander NEX AR (architectural)

$130-$135

Vista (architectural)

$131-$137

Vista AR (architectural)

$139-$143

Legacy (architectural)

$142-$147

Legacy Scotchgard (architectural)

$148-$155

Windsor (dimensional)

$158-$164

Windsor XL (discontinued)

$165-$185

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Pros

  • Many Energy Star Cool Colors
  • Superior warranties and term periods
  • Modified polymer asphalt gives shingles better flexibility
  • Full roof production system

CONs

  • Limited product selection
  • Higher priced

Largest Selection: GAF

GAF is the largest roofing manufacturer globally, with over 25% of homes in North America using GAF shingles. GAF gets the title of Largest Selection due to having a wide variety of asphalt shingles in all three categories. 

  • Wide selection: 

GAF has 15 lines of asphalt shingles, with a primary focus on affordable products and a few high-quality lines. They offer shingles in all three tiers, with the most variety in architectural shingles.

  • Complete roofing system:

GAF offers a Lifetime Roofing System that gives you complete protection and full warranties. This system consists of starter shingles, Deck Armor deck paper, Cobra attic ventilation, ridge vent, GAF Timberline shingles, ridge cap shingles, and Weather Watch leak barrier.  

  • Certified technicians:

GAF offers certifications to roofing contractors who take the necessary courses to install all GAF products properly. Hiring a GAF Master Elite contractor ensures you get a roofer with the proper experience. And you get the best warranties, only offered by using a certified roofer.

  • Excellent warranties:

In terms of warranties, GAF leads the market with some of the best protection plans. There are five limited lifetime warranties, with exclusions and requirements for each. All warranties are transferable to a new owner if done within the Smart Choice Protection Period. However, it’s crucial to read the fine print before choosing a warranty, as GAF (and all other brands) will do its best to find loopholes to deny your claim.

  • Price Analysis

GAF is a more affordable line of asphalt shingles, making them a popular choice for most homeowners who need to stick to a budget. GAF’s Timberline series is comparable to other brands as the most popular (and affordable) architectural shingle.

Product line

Price (per 100 sq ft)

Royal Sovereign (3-tab)

$75-$96

Marquis WeatherMax (3-tab)

$62-$76

Timberline (architectural)

$115-$125

Timberline HD/HDZ (architectural)

$85-$100

Timberline NS (architectural)

$87-$105

Timberline Ultra HD/HDZ (architectural)

$125-$150

Timberline AH

$114-$125

Timberline AS (ArmorShield) II (architectural)

$230-$255

Timberline CS (architectural)

$200-$220

Woodland (designer)

$182-$194

Slateline (designer)

$150-$189

Grand Sequoia (designer)

$180-$200

Glenwood (designer)

$320-$344

Camelot II (designer)

$188-$219

Woodland (designer)

$182-$194

Grand Canyon (designer)

$238-$252

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Most Affordable: Owens Corning

Owens Corning is a repeat member of the Fortune 500 company, known for its environmentally friendly shingles, promoted by the Pink Panther himself. OC has asphalt shingles in all three tiers, with the most variety in the architectural line. 

  • Moderate selection:

Owens Corning has a smaller selection of shingles - 7 lines in all three tiers - causing them to fall short of the best shingle to other competitors. There’s only one option for traditional 3-tab, while the Duration line (best-selling architectural) shingle provides stiff competition to best-sellers from the competition.

  • Total Protection Roofing System

OC also offers a total protection system for your roof, which allows you to qualify for the best warranties. The motto for OC is “Seal, Defend, Breath,” referring to the corresponding elements. The seal is for underlayment, defend with shingles, and roof ventilation covers the last section. 

  • Educated contractors

Owens Corning is another roofing manufacturer that offers training courses and certifications to roofers. These contractors have the experience to install your OC roof correctly, and it qualifies you for the top warranties.

Pro Tip: Many insurance companies offer discounts for having your roof installed by a certified roofer, due to the reduced chance that installation was done improperly. 

  • Warranties

OC offers four warranty options. All shingle lines come with a standard roofing warranty. But to qualify for the System Protection, Preferred Protection, or Platinum Protection warranties, you have to use Seal, Defend, and Breathe products. Both the Preferred and Platinum warranties are offered only by OC-certified roofers.

  • Price Analysis

Although Owens Corning has a smaller selection of shingles, the prices are less expensive than the competitors, giving OC the Most Affordable label. The most popular line - Duration - and all its subtypes are cheaper to comparable to the competitors. 

Product line

Price (per 100 square feet)

Supreme (3-tab)

$75-$90

Duration (architectural)

$80-$115

Duration Designer (architectural)

$84-$120

Duration Premium (architectural)

$110-$140

Duration Storm (architectural)

$110-$140

Oakridge (designer)

$90-$105

TruDef Oakridge (designer)

$96-$117

Woodcrest (premium designer)

$175-$280

Devonshire (premium designer)

$175-$280

Berkshire (premium designer)

$175-$280

Woodmoor (premium designer)

$175-$280

* OC also offers Duration lines Max, Flex, Cool Plus, and Cool in select regions. 

* Oakridge is also only available regionally.   

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Pros

  • Total roofing system products 
  • Multiple warranty options
  • Duration line offers multiple variations
  • Shingles in all three tiers

CONs

  • A smaller variety of products
  • Higher warranties cost extra

Low Quality: Tamko 

Tamko is a popular brand due to being a leading manufacturer of roofing materials, among other products. However, Tamko gets lower marks across the board in terms of performance compared to the top lines. This brand does have superior warranties in comparison to some other brands.

  • Lower wind rating

All of Tamko’s shingles in the three tiers have lower wind resistance ratings compared to its competitors. The Heritage line - comparable to other best-selling architectural shingles - has a standard 110 mph warranty. However, you can increase the wind warranty to 130 mph using a 6-nail application. 

  • Fewer selections

This brand offers one line of 3-tab (similar to most manufacturers) and one best-seller, the Heritage line, which has multiple subtypes. However, there are only three architectural and two designer lines.

  • Not All Lines Have Algae Protection

Algae protection is a helpful feature if you live in a climate with high humidity and rain. Many competitors offer AP as an essential feature. However, most of Tamko’s shingles do not come with any protection against algae. 

  • Limited Warranty Options

Rather than having multiple layers of warranties, Tamko offers warranties in terms of years - 25, 30, or 50. The warranty goes by product line, so there’s no way to upgrade.

  • Price Analysis

In terms of price, Tamko has plenty of affordable options, even for architectural and designer lines, which are notoriously expensive. 

Product Line

Price (100 sq ft)

Elite Glass-Seal (3-tab)

$72-$77

Heritage (architectural)

$84-$100

Heritage Premium (architectural)

$90-$120

Heritage IR (architectural)

$90-$120

Heritage Woodgate (designer)

$180-$215

Heritage Vintage (designer)

$180-$215

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Pros

  • Great warranties
  • Cheaper prices
  • Multiple subtypes under the Heritage line
  • Large selection of colors

CONs

  • Smaller selection
  • Lower wind resistance

Worst Performance: IKO

IKO is another well-known brand often touted for being among the top best shingles. However, compared to all of the competitors on this list, IKO has the poorest performance. Low performance is typical of cheaper lines.

  • Shorter lifespans

All of IKO’s shingles have a shorter lifespan in comparison to the competition. While all asphalt shingles will last less time than a metal roof, IKO’s products will require replacing sooner than other asphalt shingle brands. 

  • Smaller selection

IKO also has a smaller variety of shingles. There’s one 3-tab line - Marathon - similar to the competition. And in architectural shingles, there are only two lines - Cambridge and Cambridge Cool Colors. All other brands have a larger variety of architectural shingles, including subtypes of a primary line - Cambridge. There are also two performance lines - Nordic and Dynasty. And three designer lines - Royal Estate, Armourshake, and Crowne Slate.

  • Multiple Class Action Lawsuits Filed

IKO is one of a few shingle manufacturers with class-action lawsuits filed against them in Canada and the USA. These suits are primarily for defective shingles lines, which IKO has since discontinued. 

  • Poor Tar Line Construction

Asphalt shingles have a tar line that allows the shingles to melt together when exposed to heat. Compared to all the top brands, IKO has a poorly constructed tar line that causes the shingles to seal improperly or fail altogether. This damage will rarely be covered under IKO’s warranties, leaving you with out-of-pocket costs for repairs.

  • Price Analysis

Product line

Price (100 sq ft)

Marathon (3-tab)

$68-$76

Marathon AR

$68-$76

Cambridge (architectural)

$70-$81

Dynasty w/ ArmourZone (performance)

$78-$99

Royal Estate (designer)

$102-$118

Crowne Slate (designer)

$150-$164

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