GAF and Owens Corning are two of the biggest brands for asphalt shingles. But which one gives you more bang for your buck? This review will compare Owens Corning vs. GAF to declare a winner in the debate of the best asphalt shingle brand.
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Owens Corning vs. GAF: Who’s the best?
As this article will show, both GAF and OC have plenty of selections and features that make them popular choices for homeowners throughout North America. In truth, because both brands have excellent reputations and superior quality products, you can’t go wrong with choosing either one.
GAF is the largest manufacturer of asphalt shingles, with 34 plants throughout the US, employing over 3,700 people. Many people know the brand, primarily due to a marketing budget twice the size of competitors like Owens Corning, Tamko, or the number one manufacturer CertainTeed.
GAF is a top-of-the-line product, only slightly less impressive than CertainTeed. Over 25% of houses throughout the US use GAF products.
Owens Corning is also a significant player in the roofing industry, with factories worldwide (30 compost, 16 roofing, and 21 insulation). In addition to producing asphalt shingles with the Pink Panther logo (how cute!), OC also makes insulation and is the world’s largest manufacturer of fiberglass composite.
OC is a repeat member of the Fortune 500 list since the list started in 1955 (that’s 66 straight years and counting). Owen’s Corning’s primary goal is to produce products that are good for the environment.
The stiffest competition is between OC Duration shingle vs. GAF Timberline shingles. These shingle lines are the most popular and provide the most extensive selection. In addition, there are premium designers and traditional 3-tab products from both companies.
In comparison, OC offers 12 lines of shingles, while GAF has a more extensive offering of 20 lines of asphalt shingles. Corning’s primary focus is on mid-range architectural shingles, while GAF offers a wide selection of shingles for each of the 3 shingle categories (3-tab, architectural, and designer).
Point for: GAF gets the first point for having a larger selection of shingles than Owens Corning.
GAF vs. Owens Corning Price
Price can play a significant role in your decision-making, especially when you’re on a budget. We created this GAF vs. Owens Corning shingles graph to demonstrate the pricing difference.
OC (100 sq ft)
GAF (100 sq ft)
Royal Sovereign $75-$96
Marquis Weathermax $115-$127
Timberline HDZ $90-$125
Duration Storm $90-$120
Duration Cool $90-$120
Duration Flex $90-$120
AS II $230-$255
Grand Sequoia AS $188-$219
Camelot II $188-$219
Grand Canyon $238-$252
When it comes to pricing, GAF and OC are equal on 3-tab, with comparable prices for architectural and designer shingles. OC does have lower prices, but they also have fewer selections.
Point for: The point goes to Owens Corning for lower prices, although they lack available product lines compared to GAF.
Big-name products often mean higher quality, which is no different for GAF and Owens Corning shingles. Both brands offer superior products, which help put them at the top of the pile for best shingle manufacturers.
If you want the best value for your dollar, stick with architectural shingles, which give you better protection and aesthetic than 3-tab but aren’t as expensive as designer shingles. The best choice for a cost-affordable architectural shingle would be the OC Duration line or the GAF Timberline HDZ shingles.
- Owens Corning
When shopping from the OC lineup, you have your pick of shingles across all three tiers - 3-tab (basic), architectural (better), or designer (best). However, there’s only one type of 3-tab, one architectural line - Duration (with variations), and four premium designer shingles.
OC uses asphalt-coated fiberglass mats for their shingles, covered with UV-blocking colored granules. The 3-tab shingles give you two to three coverage layers (60 mph wind rating), while architectural will have four or five layers for higher wind protection (up to 110-130 mph)
OC offers a total roofing protection system (varying by tier), consisting of synthetic or felt underlayment, ice and water barrier, strip (or roll) starter shingles, ridge/hip shingles, and ventilation.
To protect against severe weather like high winds or hail, Owen’s Corning has the Duration Storm line, which offers Class 4 impact resistance.
In comparison, GAF also offers shingles in all three tiers. However, GAF has two lines of 3-tab, six Timberline architectural shingles (with variations), and five designer shingles. GAF also offers a lifetime roofing system - Timberline shingles; valley leak barrier; roof deck paper; starter strip shingles, attic ventilation, and ridge cap shingles for ridges and vents.
GAF uses a fiberglass-mesh reinforced asphalt that gives three to five protection layers (varies by product line). To protect against severe weather conditions and hail, GAF offers the ArmorShield II shingles, a Class 4 impact-rated shingle.
Point for: Although GAF and OC fall short of being the best-quality shingles to bigger brands like CertainTeed, both brands have superior shingles in any style, color, or price range. The point goes to GAF for a larger selection of shingles across all three tiers and for offering better protection against hail or wind.
Both GAF and Owens Corning offer shingles in all 3 levels - 3-tab, architectural, or designer. However, GAF offers a larger selection for each category.
GAF offers two lines of 3-tab asphalt shingles, whereas OC only has one.
There are 2 traditional 3-tab shingles - Royal Sovereign or Marquis Weathermax. Royal Sovereign is one of the most popular 3-tab shingles, with over 10 million installed in North America. The Marquis WeatherMax has a lower wind rating and fewer color selections but has a 5-year Smart Choice Protection.
Price (100 sq ft)
Best for: GAF’s two lines of 3-tab shingles are perfect for customers on a budget, who enjoy the traditional look of shingles and don’t need advanced features.
GAF’s most popular architectural shingle is the Timberline, the number one most sold shingle in the United States. There are multiple variations under the Timberline name. All types have a 130 mph wind rating, Class A fire rating, and a limited lifetime warranty.
Natural Shadows (NS)
High Definition (HDZ)
HDZ Reflector Series (HDZRS)
HDZ Reflector Series Plus (RS+)
Architectural with reflective
American Harvest (AH)
Colors of America
Ultra High Definition (UHD)
53% thicker wood shake
UHD Reflector Series (RS)
High-def wood shake
(UHD) Dual Shadow
High-def wood shake
Cool Series (CS)
Reflective Energy Star
ArmorShield (AS) II
SBS modified asphalt
* Energy Star certified colors that pass CRRC (Cool Roof Rating Council) California Title 24 and LA Green Building Code compliance.
Best for: Architectural shingles are the best style of shingles you can buy for your home, especially if you want the highest ROI if you plan to sell your home within five to ten years. Although slightly more expensive than 3-tab, GAF’s architectural shingles allow you unique features to meet your home’s needs.
All GAF Designer shingles feature a limited lifetime warranty, 130 mph wind resistance, algae protection (AP), and Class A fire rating. The five product lines break down into Value Collection (VC) or Premium (P). Designer shingles are pricier asphalt (sometimes fiberglass or modified) shingles designed to look like natural materials - typically slate or wood.
Old European style hand-cut tabs
Shadow lines, tapered cutout tabs
Camelot II (VC)
Class 4 IR, 3x thicker
Grand Sequoia AS (VC)
SBS modified asphalt, Class 4 IR
Colors inspired by nature
- Class 4 IR = Highest rating for impact resistance (including hail)
Best for: Designer shingles are best for homes you plan to live in for a long time, as you’ll lose ROI during resale due to the high costs. GAF makes it easy to find a designer shingle that suits your design tastes with advanced benefits like AP, IR, or a wood or slate look.
Owens Corning offers seven lines of shingles between 3-tab, architectural, and designer. There is only one 3-tab line - Supreme. The other six shingle lines (architectural and designer) have a 110 (4-nail application) - 130 mph (6-nail) wind resistance and a limited lifetime warranty.
The Owens Corning Supreme 3-tab shingle line offers thirteen color options, allowing you to customize your traditional shingle look. These shingles have a low wind rating of 60 mph and a 25-year limited lifetime warranty, available only to the original owner.
Best for: This line is ideal for homeowners on a tight budget who cannot afford or do not like the aesthetic of dimensional shingles. However, this line would not be suitable for locations that experience moderate to heavy weather conditions or high winds.
Owens Corning shines in the architectural market due to its vast product lineup of asphalt shingles. The OC Duration line is comparable to the GAF Timberline dimensional line. Duration features eight variations with differing features like impact resistance or Energy Star colors, while Timberline offers ten.
Algae Protection Warranty
Class A Fire-rate
$2,000 - $7,000
Class 4 IR*
Class 4 IR*
- Class 4 Impact Rating - IR - (hail rated but not warrantied)*: This unique blend gives the shingle flexibility, so there’s no cracking or tearing, no matter the weather.
- Duration Cool*: The Duration COOL passes the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) California Title 24 and the LA Green Building Code compliance. These solar-reflective asphalt shingles come in ten colors but only one - Shasta White - is Energy Star rated.
Best for: The Duration line is ideal for just about any homeowner due to the variety of lines with special features like IR or Energy Star colors. This line will bring the best ROI if you sell your home, making it a reasonable choice for upgrades.
Owens Corning also offers an excellent lineup of designer shingles, with five lines to GAF’s six. All lines have a wind rating of 110 to 130 mph, depending on the nail application used (Devonshire is 130 using 4-nail) and a limited lifetime warranty. The Woodmoor is the only Class 4 impact-rated designer shingle available by OC.
Price (per square)
Algae Protection Warranty
* Oakridge is regionally available so it might not be offered in your location
Best for: The Duration line is one of the most popular lines due to the many different options that allow you to choose unique features like impact resistance, cool color roofs (energy efficient), or dimensional imitation shingles.
Point for: While both brands offer an impressive lineup of 3-tab, architectural, and designer shingles with advanced features like impact resistance and cool colors, GAF has more selections available, giving them the point for this round.
GAF vs. Owens Corning Warranty
Understanding a company’s warranties is a crucial component of choosing a manufacturer. You’ll want to ensure you get the proper protection to cover your investment.
GAF is known for having the best warranties, but some restrictions may cause your claim to be ineligible. The best guarantee is the Golden Pledge, only available from a Master Elite certified roofer, which covers materials, installation, and labor.
Another advantage of GAF warranties is their transferability. If you sell your home, the warranty on the shingles can transfer to the new owner (one time).
Owens Corning Warranty
On the other hand, OC also offers excellent warranties based on the product tier, how many OC products, and the installer certifications. A Standard Roofing System Warranty covers structural defects of the shingles.
Better warranties include the Preferred Protection or Platinum Protection system warranties, which OC-certified roofers only offer. However, these advanced warranties cost extra, and you have to use a total protection system (multiple OC components) to qualify.
Point for: In terms of warranties, both companies offer superior protection plans. The most significant difference is that GAF allows for transferable warranties while OC does not. In this round, GAF receives another point.
Pro tip: Most contractors also offer warranties. Since the biggest issue with warranty claims is denial due to installation error, having a contract from the contractor keeps you fully protected. Neither GAF nor OC offers warranties for installation error, although GAF’s Golden Pledge is close, covering labor and installation costs.
Points Tallied - And the Winner Is
GAF takes the trophy for best shingles due to a score of 4 to 1. While Owens Corning beat out GAF in terms of cheaper costs, GAF outranks OC in the number of products offered, warranties, quality, and features.
As we mentioned before, GAF and Owens Corning are both excellent, popular manufacturers of asphalt shingles. Both companies offer 3-tab, architectural, and designer shingles. And they also both offer shingles with Class 4 impact resistance, max wind ratings of 130 mph, cool colors, and total roof protection systems. However, in terms of quantity, GAF beats OC, offering more lines of shingles. Overall, GAF is a better pick than OC, unless you’re strictly concerned with price.