There are many kinds of shingles available across the country. Some of them are better than others, and some brands have far more recognition. For many years, one of the top competitors among shingle manufacturers has been IKO. However, even though the dozens of styles, colors, and shapes of IKO’s shingles are tempting, is the brand worthwhile? Should you invest in them and use their shingles for your roof?
Let’s find out if IKO shingles are any good.
About IKO Shingles
Founded in 1951, IKO has maintained a strong presence throughout North America and other places throughout the world. The manufacturer makes several styles of shingles and products for flat, low, and steep sloped roofs. IKO is also know for having a “true square” shingle that is 10 percent larger than shingles made by other brands. The cost of IKO shingles is also competitive when compared to similar brands.
Different Shingles Available By IKO
There are four categories of shingles offered by IKO: Designer, Performance, Architectural, and Traditional 3-Tab. We’re going to explain a few of the more popular options to give you an idea of what IKO offers so you can compare with other brands.
The Marathon Plus AR from IKO is a traditional 3-tab shingle that has comes with a few color choices. They are made of a flexible fiberglass and are weather-resistant. These are also larger than most 3-tab shingles on the market, enabling faster installation.
Some of the pluses to the Marathon Plus AR is their incredible algae resistance (hence the AR), fast locking sealant strips to protect against blow-off, UV-resistance, Class A fire resistance, and a 25-year limited warranty.
The 3-tab shingles will last 8-15 years when maintained correctly.
The two architectural shingles by IKO are called Cambridge and Cambridge Cool Colors. The Cambridge edition comes with an array of colors, built in algae resistance, a fiberglass mat core, sealant strips, and blow-off protection. Each shingle is made with two layers are staggered in size with the appearance of wooden shakes.
The Cool Colors edition has everything the original Cambridge collection does along with heightened solar reflectance and a reduced carbon footprint.
Both types come with a limited lifetime warranty and will last 17-25 years with maintenance.
The Designer series is meant to look unique while delivering exceptional protection. The three types include Crowne Slate, Armourshake, and Royal Estate.
Crowne Slate looks like natural slate and has been cut precisely to give off a touch of luxury. The shingles are high for withstanding heavy wind, rain, snow, and extreme temperatures.
Armourshake is a laminated architectural shingle with Class A fire resistance and a wooden shake appearance. This type is designed to last for many years without much maintenance. These last 25-40 years with maintenance.
Royal Estate are easy to install and give the appearance of natural slate. They use a special granule technology to prevent damage to the shingles from weather, UV rays, and algae growth.
The Performance collection includes Dynasty and Nordic shingles that are both reinforced with ArmourZone technology, which is a kind of tape that extends the nailing area by 40 percent and increases high-wind and weather resistance. Dynasty shingles are specially engineered to withstand winds up to 130 mph, have algae resistant granules, and are available in 15 different colors.
Nordic shingles have a Class 4 Impact Resistance Rating for hail. The fiberglass mat has been made extra-thick and coated with Polymer Modified Asphalt then is embedded with algae resistant granules. Nordic shingles also withstand up to 130 mph winds.
Pros and Cons of IKO Shingles
Now with such an impressive line up, how can you tell if IKO shingles are right for you? What are the advantages and disadvantages of their shingles as a whole? Let’s find out.
Advantages of IKO
First, let’s look at the pros of IKO shingles. The main reason contractors use IKO is for the Pro4 Complete Roofing System, which has 4 parts: the eave protection components to prevent against wind-drive rain damage; climate underlays; starter strips for easy installation; and ridge cap options.
Next, the ShieldPRO Plus+ certification. This is for contractors who want to become certified IKO installers. When you see a contractor with this certification, you get peace of mind. It’s always smart to use a trusted professional for roofing installations.
Other advantages include:
- Wind Ratings: Although the Marathon Plus AR shingles are only rated for 60 mph winds, all others are rated for 110 mph and that increases to 130 mph after proper installation.
- Impact Resistance: Many of IKO’s shingles are rated high for impact resistance, meaning less damage in hail or form debris.
- Fire Resistance: All IKO lines are rated Class A or 1, the top rating.
- Warranties: IKO has comprehensive warranties that are better than some of their competitors along with fewer eligibility requirements.
Disadvantages of IKO
On paper, IKO compares well with other brands, like GAF, CertainTeed, or Owens Corning. That said, IKO consumer ratings are poor when compared to other brands. The reason for this is several class action law suits against the company about defective shingles. While the line of shingles that was defective is no longer produced, the public has remained cautious of the brand.
Although IKO makes good products, we highly recommend GAF shingles over IKO for a couple of reasons. Firstly, we consider the ratings given to both brands by inspectors. As mentioned above, there have been some issues with IKO products that make them less trustworthy. Also, GAF is competitively priced and has more comprehensive warranties available for you to choose from.
IKO vs. GAF: Which Shingles Are Best?
Let’s quickly look at how IKO compares to GAF:
- Weight: GAF shingles are leaner and lighter but just as resilient than IKO shingles.
- Warranties: GAF offers 50-year limited warranties on all their architectural shingles and a 25-year warranty for their 3-tab shingles. That said, IKO does not have the same flexibility with warranties as GAF, which allows you to transfer warranties.
- Resistances: Both offer a broad range of resistances, included Class A fire rating, and for architectural shingles, up to 130 mph wind resistance.
Bottom Line: Are IKO Shingles Worth It?
Despite the negative reception of IKO shingles over the years, are these shingles worth it? Should you put them on your roof? It depends. If you can find a reputable contractor that has been certified by the brand and is guaranteed to install the shingles correctly, then you can certainly use IKO shingles. On the other hand, there are brands far more trusted than IKO, like GAF, that have very similar products with higher ratings, although the overall cost is the same.
Have questions about which brand of shingles is best for your home? Send us a message by filling out the contact form. We’ll get back to you soon.
Want to learn more about shingles and roofing in the mean time? Check out our other blogs!