GAF shingles: a buyer’s guide to choosing the right type

Image source: The Roof Doctor

Chris Gennone

By Chris Gennone

February 2, 2021

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GAF is one of the top manufacturers of asphalt shingles for commercial and residential roofing in North America. GAF roofing shingles offer some of the most popular brands like Camelot and Royal Sovereign shingles due to their durability and competitive pricing. Unlike many other shingle brands, which have to be purchased from a specific supply store, GAF shingles are readily available at most big box stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s. In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of GAF shingles and the pros and cons of each to determine which is right for you.

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Who is GAF?

GAF shingles logo

Image source: Wikipedia

Founded in 1886 as The Standard Paint Company, the New Jersey-based roofing company introduced its Ruberoid asphalt rolls in 1892. After becoming GAF in 1967, the company continued to produce the popular asphalt shingles that they’re known for today. Currently, GAF manufactures several building materials including slate tiles, solar panels, siding, insulation, and pavement coatings. GAF shingles consistently rank among the best-selling asphalt shingles, thanks to their popular Royal Sovereign 3-tab shingles and Timberline architectural shingles.

Types of GAF shingles

GAF offers three types of asphalt shingles: Timberline shingles, designer shingles, and traditional 3-tab shingles. The popular Timberline shingles are GAF’s brand of textural architectural shingles at a reasonable price. GAF’s designer shingles are designed to capture the appearance of hand-cut luxury shingles that mimic wood shakes and slate tiles. The traditional 3-tab strip shingles are GAF’s more cost-effective option but feature similar benefits like fire resistance and strong wind warranties.

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Timberline shingles

GAF Timberline shingles

Image source: Zups Construction

The Timberline shingles are GAF’s brand line of multi-layered architectural shingles featuring sophisticated textures and durability. Timberline shingles are one of the best-selling shingles available and popular among homeowners due to their high quality, competitive pricing, and strength against severe weather. GAF currently offers seven types of Timberline shingles.

Timberline AH - The Timberline AH shingles come from GAF’s American Harvest Collection, which is available in seven warm Earth-tone colors. These shingles feature GAF’s LayerLock Technology, which fuses the bond between shingle layers. Much like CertainTeed’s NailTrack system, which gives installers a wider area to nail the shingles, the Timberline AH shingles include GAF’s version of The StrikeZone Nailing Area. According to GAF, the StrikeZone offers the widest nail zone. The AH shingles also feature StainGuard Plus which prevents algae damage and a wind warranty with no maximum speed limits. AH shingles average about $120 per square.

Timberline AS II - The AS II shingles have a Class 4 impact rating and a Class F wind rating, which are the highest ratings possible. Thanks to GAF’s Dura Grip adhesive strips and SBS modified asphalt, the shingles can withstand winds up to 130 MPH, which are less likely to blow off. AS II shingles are also algae-resistant and feature a lifetime limited transferable warranty with Smart Choice Protection, which covers installation labor charges and non-prorated materials for 10 years. Available in seven different colors, AS II shingles are GAF’s most expensive architectural shingles, costing up to $250 per square.

Timberline CS - GAF’s CS shingles are Energy Star certified and designed to reflect solar heat, keeping your home cool and saving energy costs. Available in three colors, these shingles are fire and algae-resistant and can withstand winds up to 130 MPH. CS shingles average about $210 per square.

Timberline HDZ - HDZ shingles feature a similar appearance to the GAF Timberline HD shingles, but the HDZ shingles feature the Dura Grip sealant and the StrikeZone nailing area, which offers 30% faster nail fastening than HD shingles. These shingles however are still compatible with HD ones. HDZ shingles are fire and algae-resistant and feature a limited wind warranty with no speed limits. Available in 16 different colors, HDZ shingles cost about $110 per square.

Timberline NS - The Timberline NS shingles are designed to mimic the appearance of wood shakes, available in eight different warm color tones with their distinctive natural shadow effect. The NS shingles are fire-resistant and feature GAF’s Dura Grip seals, reducing any risk of blow-off. These shingles can cost around $95 per square.

Timberline UHD RS - GAF’s UHD RS shingles reflect solar radiant heat and comply with Title 24 cool roof requirements, a specific law in California. UHD RS shingles are available in eight different colors and can average about $140 per square.

Timberline UHD with Dual Shadow Line - These shingles feature a thicker, wood-shake look creating a shadow effect. UHD shingles are fire and algae-resistant, and also feature the Dura Grip, able to withstand winds up to 130 MPH. Available in 10 warm color tones, you can expect to pay about $140 per square.

Designer shingles

GAF Designer shingles

Image source: Jenkins Roofing Group

The designer shingles are GAF’s more expensive luxury brand of shingles, featuring a hand-crafted workmanship appearance mimicking natural slate, which can help increase your home’s resale value and give your home curb appeal. GAF currently offers six different types of designer shingles.

Camelot II - GAF’s Camelot II shingles are thick and heavy, offering incredible durability in severe weather. The shingles include the Dura Grip sealant which prevents blow-off and can withstand winds up to 130 MPH. Camelot II shingles have a limited lifetime transferable warranty with the Smart Choice protection for 10 years. Available in five different colors, these shingles average about $200 per square.

Glenwood - Glenwood shingles bear a striking resemblance to wood shakes, at a fraction of the cost. These shingles feature three thick layers, giving your roof a durable multi-textural appearance. They are fire, algae, and impact-resistant, achieving the highest ratings possible. While Glenwood shingles may be GAF’s most expensive brand, they’re also one of the most durable and sophisticated-looking shingles. You can expect to pay $330 or more per square for Glenwood shingles.

Grand Sequoia - Grand Sequoia shingles feature a more sophisticated textured appearance, while also containing GAF’s Advanced Protection Shingle Technology which assures wind resistance. These shingles are also resistant to algae and fire, achieving the highest ratings possible. Grand Sequoia shingles are available in seven colors and cost about $190 per square.

Grand Sequoia - Grand Sequoia shingles feature a more sophisticated textured appearance, while also containing GAF’s Advanced Protection Shingle Technology which assures wind resistance. These shingles are also resistant to algae and fire, achieving the highest ratings possible. Grand Sequoia shingles are available in seven colors and cost about $190 per square.

Grand Sequoia AS - Similar to the regular Grand Sequoia shingles, these shingles feature SBS modified asphalt with enhanced resistance to impact – they may even qualify for insurance discounts. Resembling the appearance of wood shakes, the Grand Sequoia AS shingles feature GAF’s Dura Grip sealant and can withstand winds up to 130 MPH. These shingles are available in four different colors and will cost about $230 per square.

Stateline - GAF’s Slateline shingles are designed to resemble natural slate tiles at a more affordable cost of $175 per square. Slateline shingles feature the Advanced Protection Shingle Technology, which helps with your home’s energy efficiency and reduces the use of natural resources. Slateline shingles are also algae and Class A fire-resistant and can withstand winds up to 130 MPH.

Woodland - Woodland shingles feature the appearance of hand-cut European shingles and natural slate with larger oversized tabs. These shingles include the Dura Grip sealant and are resistant to fire and algae. Available in five different colors, Woodland shingles cost nearly $190 per square.

3-tab shingles

GAF 3-tab shingles

Image source: Brennan Corp

GAF’s traditional 3-tab shingles are often lauded for their durability and reasonable cost. These shingles feature the Advanced Protection Shingle Technology, whose certification requires thousands of quality checks. Currently, GAF offers two different brands of 3-tab shingles.

Marquis WeatherMax - These are some of the most durable 3-tab shingles available, passing ASTM 110 MPH and 150 MPH wind tests. Marquis WeatherMax shingles also feature the Micro Weave Core, an incredibly strong foundation that prevents shingles from cracking in cold temperatures. These shingles are fire and algae-resistant and feature a 30-year transferable warranty with Smart Choice protection. Available in three colors, you can expect to pay close to $120 per square.

Royal Sovereign - GAF’s Royal Sovereign brand is its best-selling shingle, and it’s easy to see why. Costing at a super affordable price of $85 per square, Royal Sovereign shingles passed ASTM’s 110 MPH and 150 MPH wind tests, making it one of the most durable 3-tab shingles available. Royal Sovereign shingles are fire and algae-resistant and include the Color Lock, which maintains the shingle’s color. These shingles also come with the Micro Weave Core, so if you live in a colder climate, you won’t have to worry about your shingles cracking or splitting. Royal Sovereign shingles were featured on Consumer Reports’ list of the best roofing shingles available.

Pros and cons of GAF shingles

GAF shingles on a residential home

Image source: Riverhead Building Supply

Pros of GAF shingles

Durable - Many asphalt shingle manufacturers include wind warranties up to speed limits of 110 MPH, but some GAF shingles like the Timberline HDZ shingles, feature wind warranties with unlimited speeds. GAF also includes a strong fiberglass foundation called the Micro Weave Core which prevents cracking in colder weather.

Strong warranties - GAF ranks among the best manufacturers for its warranty coverage. Not only does GAF have unlimited wind warranties, but it also features a lifetime limited warranty that’s transferable for many of its brands.

GAF Complete Roofing System - The GAF Complete Roofing System includes its popular Timberline shingles, ventilation and ridge vents, roof deck paper, starter strip shingles, a leak barrier, and ridge cap shingles. This system is designed to incorporate all of the necessary roofing components and give you peace of mind.

Training program - GAF offers a rigorous training and certification program for roofing contractors to become licensed, insured, and experienced with installing its products. When you choose a certified roofer, you are eligible to receive stronger warranties.

Competitive pricing - Compared to other high-quality roofing manufacturers like CertainTeed, GAF shingles are significantly cheaper and still offer similar protection and performance. CertainTeed’s Landmark Premium shingle goes for about $150 per square while GAF’s Timberline HDZ costs about $110 with similar features.

Cons of GAF shingles

Delamination - With all roofing jobs, if something isn’t installed properly, it’s going to cause problems and cost you more money. Some homeowners have complained that some GAF shingles can delaminate and peel apart if they aren’t fused together properly.

Granule loss - While some granule loss over time is normal with asphalt shingles, some GAF shingles have been known to wear out quicker than usual. This can be caused by a sloppy installation or severe weather, like hail storms.

Which GAF shingle is right for you?

GAF shingles on a suburban home

Image source: Amiano and Son

One of GAF shingles’ biggest strengths is its versatility. With its Timberline UHD RS solar reflective shingles and its Royal Sovereign shingles which are designed to withstand colder temperatures, GAF shingles perform well in all climates. Most GAF shingles can withstand incredibly high hurricane winds and are designed not to blow off.

Depending on what style you’re interested in, we recommend going with the Timberline HDZ shingle as a more expensive option and the Royal Sovereign shingle as a cost-effective option. Both of these shingles offer superior durability, wide nailing areas, and strong wind warranties and are both reasonably priced. GAF consistently ranks among one of the most popular manufacturers of roofing products and roofing materials and it’s easy to see why.

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