Protecting your home means having a solid, quality roof overhead. And with so many roofing shingle manufacturers claiming to be the “best in the biz,” it can be hard to choose one! But comparing two of the top brands is definitely a start.
When it comes to GAF vs. Owens Corning, the debate on who’s the best seems to be never-ending— but let’s end it once and for all. Homeowners deserve to make a well-informed decision when it comes to their roof and before they invest in their homes for the long haul. This pros and cons guide should help!
So when it comes to GAF vs. Owens Corning: which is better? Let’s find out.
The Top Asphalt Shingles on the Market: GAF vs. Owens Corning
Over 80% of homes in America utilize asphalt roofing shingles. They are popular for many reasons:
- They’re affordable
- They offer endless color and style options
- They go with any home or roof type
- They’re easy to install
Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials because they offer a lot of protection for a relatively low cost. But with so many manufacturers out there, it can be hard to decide which brand is best for your home.
Two of the most popular asphalt shingle brands on the market are GAF and Owens Corning. These two brands dominate the market due to their good reputation for longevity and durability. This obviously doesn’t make it any easier to figure out which is better or best for your home. So we’re going to help.
What are GAF Shingles?
GAF Shingles have been around since the 1930s but started out in 1886 as the Standard Painting Company. That company then became Standard Rubber, which became the inventor of the first interlocking shingles in 1933. GAF is known for their “Timberline” line of shingles which makes up 30% of all asphalt shingles sold in North America. They were invented in 1967 when a RUBEROID engineer laminated two strips of shingles together to make up a much stronger shingle than was used at the time. RUBEROID and GAF merged that same year, and GAF is now one of the biggest roofing manufacturers in North America.
Types of Shingles Offered:
GAF is most popular for their Timberline shingles, but it’s not all they have to offer. They offer many different roof shingle styles, colors, and types, as well as roofing materials for both residential and commercial roofing. Some of their products include:
Most Popular: Timberline HDZ
By far their most popular line. is the Timberline HDZ. These shingles have become popular for many reasons:
- They’re strong and durable.
- They have high wind resistance.
- They come in a variety of colors to choose from, so you can find the perfect shade for your home.
Timberline HDZ shingles are also algae and stain-resistant, which is a nice touch given how often shingles can get covered in streaks of algae. Their time-release technology ensures a steady stream of copper over an extended period, for powerful and long-lasting protection against algae growth. On top of that, Timberline HDZ® Shingles come with a 25-year StainGuard Plus™ Algae Protection Limited Warranty protecting against algae discoloration.
Designer Shingles: Slateline & Camelot II
If you’re looking for a more unique and stylish roof, GAF has you covered with their Slateline and Camelot II shingles.
Slateline Designer Shingles
Slateline shingles give your home the look of natural slate without the heavy weight or high cost. They come in 4 different colors, so you can find the perfect shade for your home. Some of the biggest benefits of Slateline shingles include:
- Looking like premium slate, but at a fraction of the cost
- Advanced Protection® Shingle Technology protects your home
- Offer more depth and dimension in their shingle design
- 25-year limited warranty on algae discoloration
- Class A fire rating (the highest rating)
Camelot II Designer Shingles
Camelot II shingles are designed to give your home the look of a luxury estate without the high price tag. They come in 5 different colors and have a unique scalloped edge design that offers artisanal design at a fraction of the cost of real slate and artisan shingles. Some of the benefits of Camelot II shingles include:
- Less expensive than real slate shingles
- Advanced Protection® Shingle Technology
- 25-year limited warranty on algae discoloration
- Class A fire rating (the highest rating)
- Oversized tabs and dimensional design
3-Tab Shingles: Royal Sovereign
The GAF Royal Sovereign line are not your every day 3-tab shingles. They are the premium option for anyone wanting the look of a 3-tab shingle but at the ultimate level of quality. Some of the major benefits of GAF Royal Sovereign shingles include:
- Color Lock™ Ceramic Firing (granules)
- StainGuard® Protection against algae discoloration
- Passed both the ASTM’s 110 mph and 150 mph wind tests (highest in the industry)
- 25-year limited transferable warranty with Smart Choice® Protection
- Also has a Class A fire rating
GAF also offers Timberline solar shingles, residential roofing roofing materials and supplies, and commercial roofing materials such as TPO, PVC, Mod-Bit, and BUR. Overall, they are a great choice for ANY roofing needs you may have. But it’s still very worth comparing the pros and cons before taking the plunge on your new roof.
GAF Pros and Cons
There are a lot of benefits to GAF shingles, but with every good thing, there can also be some downfalls. Here are some of the pros and cons of GAF shingles so you can make a highly educated decision on whether GAF is right for you, or not.
✅ Pros of GAF Shingles:
- Customers can use their “Virtual Remodeler” to view their new shingles on their home via a 3D rendering, before work ever begins.
- Long and protective warranties, including their GAF Shingle & Accessory Limited Warranty, GAF Roofing System Limited Warranty and GAF Golden Pledge Limited Warranty.
- More color choices than most other industry-leading manufacturers. This is a major selling point to homeowners of today.
- Reinforced with fiberglass technology, making them much stronger against regular wear and tear.
- Have a natural look like that of real wood, without the pain and cost of real wood materials.
- Customers get a completely vetted GAF total roofing system— preventing leaks, sagging, and other issues mediocre manufacturers might face.
❌ Cons of GAF Shingles:
- They are one of the more expensive asphalt shingle brands on the market.
- GAF has been known for their algae-resistant technology, however, some consumers have still had issues with moss and algae growth.
- There are some fine-print stipulations for some warranties to be valid, such as having to use other roofing components in the lifetime roofing system for the warranties to be in effect.
- Only 3% of roofing companies are GAF Master Elite status, but that doesn’t mean others cannot install it, but certified installers are the only ones who can offer the best coverage warranties.
What are Owens Corning Shingles?
Owens Corning is another top shingle manufacturer, who’s been in business since 1938, though their roots date back to the 1800s when, by chance, they invented mineral wool insulation. They are most well-known for their TruDefinition® DURATION® line of shingles, which are designed to offer a gorgeous, realistic look. Their DURATION® series has eight different types of shingles to choose from, as well, depending on what you’re looking for. Owens Corning Duration shingles include:
- Duration® Designer
- Duration MAX®
- Duration® Premium
- Duration FLEX®
- Duration STORM®
- Duration® COOL Plus
- Duration® COOL
Owens Corning Pros and Cons
Owens Corning® has been chosen as the 2022 Women’s Choice Award® winner for America’s Most Recommended™ Roofing Products. This prize is presented to women by other women. It’s based on a national poll of female consumers that assesses brand popularity. This is just one of many awards they’ve won over the years, but there are many things that make Owens Corning the #1 choice of many homeowners across America— here’s a few.
✅ Pros of Owens Corning:
- SureNail® Technology that gives their shingles extra holding power, preventing them from flying off in high winds.
- They have an extensive amount of resources for both homeowners and roofing contractors to ensure a successful installation.
- A complete roofing system that includes everything you need for a full replacement— from the decking and ventilation, to the underlayment and shingles.
- A wide variety of shingle styles and colors to choose from, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your home.
- In addition, their TruDefinition®color platform is designed using multi-granule design that captures multiple colors to give more dimension and vibrancy to every single shingle.
- Extensive warranties including their “Total Protection Roofing System Limited Warranty” offering up to 50-years of coverage.
- StreakGuard™ Algae Resistance Protection
- Wind resistance up to 130MPG
❌ Cons of Owens Corning:
- They don’t have ALL the color options homeowners are looking for, and their colors often skew darker, so lighter roofs might not be found in Owens Corning.
- Owens Corning shingles have had trouble with maintaining a consistent level of quality, depending on the batch that was manufactured.
- Poor sealing during cold weather— ideally newly adhered shingles have warm, direct sun for ultimate sealing capability
- They can be very costly.
So, Which Brand Is Better— GAF or Owens Corning? ⚖️
In the end, it really depends on what you’re looking for in a shingle. Both Owens Corning and GAF are great companies. But, if you’re looking for an affordable option with a wide variety of colors, then GAF is probably your best bet. However, if you’re willing to spend a little extra for a top-of-the-line product with dozens of choices, then Owens Corning can make that happen.
Ultimately, people are often comparing prices to help determine which brand they want to go with, it can also depend on the certification of the specific contractor you choose to work with. Monarch Roofing, for one, is a GAF Master Elite Certified Roofer, which makes us biased towards GAF, but also means we can offer you the absolute best and top warranties in the industry. This is a major benefit to most homeowners looking for the security and longevity of a lifetime warranty that actually protects their roof.
So while it depends on the person, our opinion is that GAF is the best choice in terms of color options, longevity, warranties, and durability.
Work With a GAF Master Elite Contractor
If you have any questions about GAF vs Owens Corning, or which is the best fit for your home, Monarch Roofing would be happy to help. As a GAF Master Elite contractor, we can offer you the best warranties in the industry— up to a 50-year non-prorated warranty on labor and materials.
If you’re interested in finding out more about color and style options and how to get the ball rolling on a roofing estimate, reach out to Monarch here!