When shopping for roofing shingles, it helps to know information about the brand as a whole. This IKO shingles review will look at the company's history, product line, and the benefits and negative aspects. Overall, IKO is among the top most popular roof shingle manufacturers in North America, with higher sales in Canada.
IKO started in 1951 as a building paper manufacturer before expanding into coated roll roofing. This company produced its first asphalt shingle in 1954 and is still a significant producer in 2021.
The first shingle plant opened in 1959 in Brampton, Ontario, with a second plant following in 1972, located in Ham, Belgium. A new facility opened in Hawkesbury, Ontario, in 1976, and IKO moved into the American market by 1979.
To date, IKO employs over 3,500 people, with around twenty-five production plants throughout Canada, the US, Belgium, France, England, Holland, and Slovakia. You can find IKO roofing and related products in 96 countries globally.
IKO Product Lineup
IKO is most known for its asphalt shingles products. They offer 4 categories: Traditional 3-tab, Performance, Designer, and Architectural.
Traditional 3-tab Shingle
Other benefits include Class A fire resistance, UV resistant, sealant strips to prevent blow-offs, and a 25-year warranty (limited). These shingles have an average longevity of 8-15 years with correct maintenance.
You can get this style in 5 color options, although every color will have blueish-green granules, as these small pieces prevent algae from growing.
It can cost $3,700 to $4,200 to install Marathon Plus AR shingles, including labor and materials, at $0.68 to $0.76 a square foot, and $68-$76 a square (100 square feet).
- 25-year warranty
- AR granules
- Class A fire-rated
- Rated for winds up to 60 mph
- Low lifespan
- Not impact resistant
Bottom Line: Many customers prefer to choose traditional 3-tab shingles to stay on budget while preserving the traditional look of shingles. However, this option won't be good for customers who live in climates that experience significant heavy weather, as the wind rating is lower than other IKO shingles.
Cambridge Cool Colors
IKO offers 2 lines of architectural shingles - Cambridge or Cambridge Cool Colors. Both options have a fiberglass mat core and consist of two staggered-sized layers resembling wooden shakes.
They also have built-in Algae Resistant, an average lifespan of 17-25, and a limited lifetime warranty. The difference between the two products is that the Cool Colors also have heightened SR (solar reflectance) and a lowered carbon footprint.
Cambridge Cool Colors offers 3 lines - Cool Plus (4 colors), Cool (2), and Natural Cool (3).
IKO Cambridge shingles come in 11 natural color options In addition to the same 5 colors as Marathon Plus AR Line, Cambridge Shingles also features six more unusual colors.
- Multiple colors
- Long longevity
- Might not stand up well to high winds
- Although Class 4 rated, shingles may not withstand hail
- Hail damage is not covered under warranty
Bottom Line: Customers choose IKO's architectural shingles when they enjoy the style and aesthetic of wood shakers, without having to sacrifice durability or style. Despite being a Class 4 rated, this style may not hold up well under significant weather, winds, or hail. You will spend $5,500 to $6,500 for the installation of this style of shingles. Pricing ranges from $0.70 to $0.81 a square foot and $70-$81 a square.
IKO's Performance line of shingles features ArmourZone, a tear-resistant reinforced tape built into the shingle's underside to add 40% more nailing area for better weather and high-wind resistance.
There are two options - Dynasty and Nordic. The Dynasty line offers 15 color choices with built-in AR and wind-resistant up to 130 mph. Dynasty Line has some distinctive colors, for example Atlantic Blue, Biscayne, Brownstone, Emerald Green, Pacific Rim and Sedona.
In comparison, the Nordic line has 9 colors, mainly common dark shades of brown and gray. The products are Class 4 impact resistant to heavy hail due to a thick coating of Polymer Modified Asphalt, capable of withstanding 130 mph and algae.
Iko Dynasty reviews show that many homeowners and contractors appreciate the larger size of the shingles, allowing for faster and easier installation. Pricing ranges from $0.78-$0.99 a square foot, $78-$99 a square, and around $5,969 to $6,830 for a 2,000 square foot roof.
- 130 mph wind resistance
- AR granules
- Class 4 impact-resistant
- Class A fire-rating
- Class 4 rating does not guarantee protection from hail
- Hail damage not covered under warranty
- Products may not be available in all areas
Bottom Line: The Performance line of IKO roof shingles will appeal to customers who need a rugged, durable shingle that can withstand heavy winds, impacts, fire, and algae.
The IKO Designer line gives your roof a unique look without sacrificing protection. There are 3 product lines - Crowne Slate, Royal Estate, and Armourshake.
Crowne Slate is a slate stone imitation in design, allowing for a luxury aesthetic while still being practical enough to withstand extreme temperatures, heavy snow, winds, and rain. There are 2 color choices.
The easiest to install is Royal Estate, which also resembles a natural slate in 4 color options. Unique granule tech prevents damage from algae, weather, and UV rays.
And finally, Armourshake is a laminated shingle to resemble wood shakers in 5 colors with a Class A fire rating and a 25-40 lifespan with minimal maintenance. Pricing ranges from $1.02 to $1.18 a square foot, $102-$118 a square, and $7,540-$8,100 for a 2,000 sq ft roof.
- Class-A fire-rated
- 25-40 year lifespan
- Limited color choices
- Wood shaker design might not appeal to all
Bottom Line: The Designer roof shingles by IKO is a great bargain for anyone looking for a natural roof look that can handle significant weather without damage. But due to the limited color options, this style might not be right for customers who want a unique roof color that stands out in the crowd.
Advantages of Choosing IKO Shingles
As we've demonstrated, IKO's large inventory of asphalt shingles offers many selling features that make it a superior brand. But now, let's look at the advantages you get from choosing the IKO company as your source of asphalt shingle supply.
- Pro4 Complete Roofing System
One significant advantage of choosing IKO is the Pro4 complete roofing system, consisting of all the pieces you'd need to complete shingles install. But unlike other companies, you don't lose your warranty if you choose to use other products along with your IKO shingles. However, you do have to use IKO hip and ridges to get warranty coverage.
When you purchase a complete system, you get starter strips that allow for easy install, climate underlayment, ridge caps, and eave protection to block damage from rain pushed by the wind. Having all of the pieces made by the same manufacturer ensures that everything works together correctly.
To protect your eaves from ice dams and rain, you get GoldShield, ArmourGard, and StormShield eave protection to use for covering valleys, vents, skylights, or other protrusions.
For underlayment, you can choose based on your location's climate between Stormtite synthetic or RoofGard-Cool Grey.
The starter strips are Leading Edge Plus and go on rakes and eaves to serve as an extra line of defense. And for the ridge caps, you have 3 options that allow you to match your shingle's profile.
All of these products are compatible with any of IKO's asphalt shingles, regardless of product line, so you don't have to worry about purchasing the wrong pieces for your roof.
- Certified Installers
Another benefit of choosing IKO is that you'll have a certified installer with a ShieldPRO Plus certification. These contractors have the proper qualifications to install your IKO roof correctly.
- Element Resistance
When choosing shingles, you'll want to ensure the option you pick offers resistance to fire, algae, wind, and fire. All of IKO's shingles have a high wind resistance rating, ranging from 60 mph with the Marathon Plus AR up to 130 mph with the Performance line products.
If you need a high-impact resistant shingle, you're limited to IKO's Nordic or Cambridge lines. Every shingle line passes a Class A rating for fire resistance. Most lines have built-in algae resistance, with the Marathon AR having a five-year warranty and all other AR-included products have a 10-year warranty against stains.
- Superior Warranties
In terms of warranties, IKO offers more coverage than competitors and is easier to qualify for a claim. A significant advantage in terms of warranty is that you are not required to use an IKO-made underlayment, allowing you to do an overlay rather than tearing off your old shingles before adding new ones.
Eight of IKO's ten product lines have limited lifetime warranties, the highest of all asphalt shingle manufacturers in terms of quantity.
Drawbacks of IKO Roof Shingles
Despite the vast popularity of IKO products, they have numerous negative reviews, primarily from customers in Canada and some of the United States who were unfortunate enough to receive faulty products from the organic Cambridge AR line.
- Lawsuits Filed
Multiple class-action lawsuits have been claimed against IKO regarding these defects. IKO responded by suspending the product line. But it's unclear if that's enough to undo the damage to their reputation.
- Faulty Tar
A major issue that occurs with IKO roof shingles occurs due to defective tar lines. Adding a line of tar allows the shingles to glue together once the sun melts the tar. But the tar offered by IKO seems to be of poor quality, resulting in broken shingles.
- Allows moisture penetration
Another concern when using IKO asphalt shingles is their insufficient ability to block moisture. Once condensation or rain gets under the shingles, it can cause splintering.
- Warranty transfers
And while IKO offers excellent warranties, it can be tricky to have these transferred to a new person, with a limit of one transfer during the first ten years of install. You'll also have to pay $100 per transfer. Warranties become void if the current owner becomes deceased or if you don't have your original proof of purchase for the shingles.
- Warranty Exclusions
Warranties do not cover damage done by hail or improper sealing, which do not classify as manufacturer defects. You'll also have to ensure you're using IKO hip and ridge products to get the best warranty coverage. The suitable options include Hip & Ridge 12, Hip & Ridge Plus, or Ultra HP.
IKO offers multiple types of roofing shingles to residents throughout North America, including Canada and the US. If you're looking for a product that can withstand heavy winds, algae, UV damage, and still look great, IKO is sure to have a product for you in one of their four roofing shingle lines.