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Owens Corning vs GAF Shingles: Which Option Is Better?

Written by

Leroy Whitt

About 80% of homes in the US have asphalt roofing shingles, and whether you spend time up on your own roof or get residential roofing services from qualified professionals, know that not all roofing shingles are created equally.

Some serious damage can be caused by:

  • Defective materials 
  • Poor installation
  • Cheap shingles

That’s why reputable roofing contractors will only use the highest quality materials when installing a new roof. Whether you’re in need of roof repairs or considering a full replacement, the quality of materials installed on your roof can impact its durability, longevity, and overall curb appeal. There are some important factors that make certain shingles the better option.

Two of the most trusted roofing materials manufacturers are Owens Corning and GAF, and in this article, we’re going to give you a side-by-side comparison of the two.

So, who’s better in the Owens Corning Vs GAF roofing shingles contest? Read on to find out!

asphalt roof of a large house with a backyard

Owens Corning VS GAF: Who’s Who?

First thing first, let’s talk about who these manufacturing companies are and what put them among the top contenders:

Owens Corning

  • Owens Corning is an American company and leader in global building and industrial materials. They offer a broad range of residential and commercial materials, including asphalt roofing systems, insulation, and fiberglass composite materials. Their shingles are designed with a woven fortification, which allows for a better grip and blow-through resistance in the nail area, which is what contributes to their longevity.
  • Owens Corning boasts various roofing products and colors, all with different Class ratings, wind-speed resistance ratings, and other characteristics. They employ innovative technologies to continuously put new products on the market, and they’ve developed sustainable solutions over time. They’re also constantly improving their manufacturing processes to keep up with evolving demands.

General Aniline & Film (GAF)

  • GAF offers top-rated products associated with a proven track record. They actually developed and introduced some innovative ideas for asphalt compounds that led to affordable and weatherproof asphalt shingles in 1912. 
  • GAF is considered North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, offering insulation and other products in addition to asphalt shingles. Their product offerings extend to commercial and residential, and they even offer solar roofing. Their asphalt shingles come in a wide range of colors and styles as well.

It should be noted that both manufacturers have earned themselves a sterling reputation as they have invested heavily in their products and marketing efforts to boost brand recognition. 

asphalt shingle roofing by a professional

Available Owens Corning & GAF Designs and Finishes

Both manufacturers offer various roofing shingles, including 3-tab, architecture, and designer/luxury styles. Let’s explore where they differ in the two most common styles — 3-tab and architectural:

3-Tab Roof Shingles

3-Tab roof shingles are the most straightforward and economical asphalt shingles on the market. They come in one shape and size and have a flat surface.

  • Owens Corning shingles are offered up as the company’s Supreme 3-tab shingles that come with a 25-year warranty as well as 60 MPH wind resistance. These shingles are widely available across the US in 8 colors. However, an additional 9 colors, including Spanish Red and Chateau green, only have regional availability.
  • GAF offers several types of 3-tab shingles, which are the Royal Sovereign and the Marquis WeatherMax. The Marquis WeatherMax has a higher wind resistance at 80 MPH, while the Royal Sovereign has a 60 MPH rating. The Royal Sovereign also comes in 9 various shades of black, gray, brown, and tan, while the Marquis WeatherMax comes in 3 colors, including autumn brown, charcoal, and weathered gray

Architectural Roof Shingles

Architectural shingles are also referred to as dimensional shingles, as their design is elevated compared to their flat-shingled counterpart. Architectural shingles are also manufactured using a dense fiberglass mat base and ceramic-laced granules mixed with refined, water-resistant asphalt.

construction worker repairing asphalt roof
  • Owens Corning’s line of architectural shingles includes the Oakridge, Duration, Duration STORM, and Duration FLEX.
    • Oakridge shingles are the company’s entry point for roofing shingles. They have a full double layer in the nailing zone which gives them better-holding power, and they’re available in 9 colors everywhere, with 4 enhanced colors and bolder designs.
    • The Duration, Duration STORM, and FLEX all have wind resistance warranties and are more extended. The STORM and FLEX variations are also both Class 4 impact resistance to withstand hail damage.
  • GAF boasts its Timberline architectural shingles as North America’s best-selling shingle system. There are multiple variations of this line, including the High Definition (HDZ), Natural Shadows (NS), Ultra High Definition (UHD), Cool Series (CS), UHD Reflector Series (RS), and ArmorShield (AS) II. All have a 130 MPH wind resistance rating, Class A fire rating, and limited lifetime warranties.
    • The HDZ (being the entry point shingle) is widely available in 16 colors. 
    • NS shingles come in 8 colors designed to mimic the warmth of wood for a more subtle and upscale tone.
    • UHD is available in 7 colors with an ultra-dimensional wood shake appearance.
    • CS shingles are highly reflective for energy efficiency and come in 3 colors, including antique slate, backwood, and weathered wood (depending n the location)
    • RS shingles meet the Green Building Standards Code and are available in 5 colors
    • AS shingles tout GAF’s proprietary shadow bands that are installed using a feathering technique to provide extra depth. These are available in 7 colors.

Quality and Durability

  • Owens Corning promotes a Total Protection Roofing System that uses specific products and seals to keep moisture from seeping into the roof deck. They shed water quickly and optimize airflow to the attic or access space for better temperature management.
  • Owens Corning also has a patented nailing line called the SureNail Strip which allows for consistent and sturdy installation with the best gripping power.
  • Owens Corning’s 3-tab shingles are designed with a 25-year rating, while their architectural shingles are designed to last up to 50 years.
  • GAF shingles use LayerLock Technology for installation, which guarantees their WindProven Limited Wind Warranty, which is excellent for hail-prone homes. 
  • GAF also promotes its StrikeZone nailing area, which requires 30% more nail fastening speed and 99.9% placement accuracy for better gripping power.
  • GAF’s entry-level shingles have a 25-year lifespan, with their more premium offerings lasting up to 50 years.

Owens Corning vs. GAF: Which Should You Choose?

close up view of ownens corning shingles

Both manufacturers have a nice variety of shingle offerings for homeowners and commercial property owners alike. They’re essentially neck and neck when it comes to durability, quality, lifespan, warranties, color options, and ratings. 

Arguably their greatest difference is in the cost — Owens Corning’s prices are slightly more affordable compared to GAF’s. Of course, the costs vary based on the type of shingles you choose. Fortunately, your roofing contractor can help you make the right decision based on your needs and budget.

Whitt’s Quality Roofing is Middle Georgia’s #1 roofing company and a certified Owens Corning partner. Get in touch with us today to learn more about why we choose Owens Corning and for your free roof inspection.

Leroy Whitt

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