If you’re in the market for a new asphalt shingle roof, two popular brands you may be considering are TAMKO and Atlas. Both manufacturers produce a wide range of asphalt shingle options, from basic 3-tab shingles to luxury laminated architectural shingles.
But which brand offers the better overall value and performance?
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare key features, pros and cons, costs, warranties, and real-world performance between TAMKO and Atlas asphalt roofing shingles. Our goal is to provide unbiased information to help homeowners make an informed decision when choosing their next roof.
Shingle Comparison Table
Before diving into the details, here is a high-level overview comparing Atlas and TAMKO asphalt shingle product lines:
|3-Tab Shingle Options
|Laminated Architectural Options
|Premium Designer Options
|Limited Warranty Length
|Algae Resistance Warranty
|Avg. Cost per Square (installed)
As you can see, Atlas and TAMKO shingles have many similarities on paper. But when you dig into the details, some key differences emerge.
Shingle Options and Designs Comparison
Both Atlas and TAMKO offer a range of asphalt shingle options, from basic 3-tabs to upscale laminated architectural shingles.
- 3-Tab Shingles
3-tab shingles are the most affordable asphalt roofing option. They have a simple design with three tabs making up each shingle. Both Atlas and TAMKO offer reliable 3-tabs in the budget-friendly price range. These are a good choice for basic roof protection on a tight budget.
- Architectural Shingles
Architectural shingles from Atlas and TAMKO provide a more upscale, dimensional look. Multiple layers are laminated together to create depth and shadow lines on the shingle surface. Both brands offer a wide selection of architectural styles and colors to choose from.
Atlas offers their Pinnacle Pristine and Proline architectural series, while TAMKO’s popular laminated options include the Heritage Series and Elite Glass Seal lines. Atlas Pinnacle shingles come with up to a 50-year warranty, while TAMKO offers a 30-50 year range depending on the exact product.
- Premium Designer Shingles
At the top end of the market, Atlas offers premium designer shingles like their Legend and StormMaster Shake lines. These highly dimensional shingles mimic the look of wood shakes, slate, or tile for maximum curb appeal.
Tamko doesn’t have an offering to match the ultra-premium look and performance of Atlas’s designer lines.
Shingle Quality Comparison of TAMKO And Atlas
A key difference between Atlas and TAMKO is the overall quality and construction of their shingle products.
Atlas uses a heavier weight fiberglass mat on many of their shingles, providing increased strength and tear resistance compared to standard mats. TAMKO relies on thinner, lighter weight mats that may be more prone to blow-offs or tears when exposed to weather over time.
Atlas also includes their proprietary Zone Performance feature on premium shingles like StormMaster Shake and Pinnacle Pristine. This adds additional weathering asphalt around the critical nail zone for enhanced wind resistance.
TAMKO shingles don’t have an equivalent design focused on the nail zone.
Atlas subjects their shingles to accelerated weathering tests beyond industry standards.
Their Atlas Element shingles passed 2.5x the ASTM blow-off standard, while Shake shingles underwent 3x the industry hail impact test requirements.
This rigorous testing results in battle-tested shingles ready to stand up to extreme weather.
TAMKO does meet all ASTM testing standards, but there is no evidence of extra testing beyond the minimum industry thresholds.
- Appearance Over Time
Multiple homeowners report issues with TAMKO shingles losing granules and exhibiting excessive curling several years after installation. The lighter mat weight and lower asphalt quality can lead to accelerated deterioration.
Atlas shingles maintain their like-new appearance longer based on customer reviews. The premium materials and construction result in better weathering performance that retains curb appeal.
Shingle warranties give homeowners peace of mind against manufacturing defects and blow-offs. Both Atlas and TAMKO offer lifetime limited warranties, but some key differences exist.
Atlas provides a 130 mph wind warranty on many shingles, covering hurricane-force winds. TAMKO maxes out at 110 or 120 mph, leaving homeowners unprotected in extremely high wind events.
For algae resistance, which causes ugly black stains, Atlas offers a 15-year algae warranty. TAMKO only provides 10 years of coverage against algae discoloration.
The fine print on TAMKO warranties also reveals more exclusions and pro-rated coverage than Atlas warranties. Homeowners report frustration when TAMKO denies claims or provides minimal compensation due to limitations in their warranty terms.
Asphalt shingle costs vary based on the quality, warranty lengths, and manufacturer reputation.
- Basic 3-Tab Shingles
Entry-level 3-tab shingles start around $75-$150 per square for both Atlas and TAMKO products. This basic roofing offers an affordable way to protect your home.
- Architectural Shingles
For architectural shingles, Atlas products range from $300-$500 per square installed. Their premium shingles with the longest warranties fall at the top of that range.
TAMKO architectural shingles are priced from $200-$400 per square installed. The Heritage and Elite Glass-Seal lines that compete with Atlas Pinnacle products fall in the $300-$400 range.
- Premium Designer Shingles
Atlas premium shingles like StormMaster Shake and Legend cost $500-$700 per square installed. There are no comparable designer shingle lines from TAMKO to provide an equivalent cost comparison.
The bottom line is Atlas shingles come at a moderate premium over TAMKO products of comparable quality and warranty terms. Homeowners are paying extra for the Atlas brand name, enhanced testing and materials, and excellent reputation.
- Customer Reviews
Looking at customer feedback for real-world performance provides great insight into shingle quality.
Overall, Atlas shingles receive outstanding reviews from the vast majority of homeowners. After 5+ years, most report Atlas roofs still looking new, even through harsh weather. They mention excellent customer service and warranty coverage from Atlas as well.
Reviews of TAMKO shingles are decidedly mixed. Many homeowners are happy with TAMKO products, especially their Heritage architectural line. But a concerning number report issues like early deterioration, granule loss, curling, and denied warranty claims. Reviews suggest TAMKO quality and warranty support are hit-or-miss.
- Professional Assessments
Roofing contractors and experts rate both Atlas and TAMKO as good, reputable brands. But they consistently rank Atlas a notch above TAMKO for quality and performance.
Atlas earns high marks for their premium materials, innovative features like Zone Performance, and rigorous testing. Roofing pros say Atlas shingles hold up exceptionally well over decades of service.
TAMKO garners recommendations as a decent mid-range option. But roofers note their lighter shingle construction may not endure as long, especially high winds or hail. The consensus is Atlas offers better quality for the money.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Yes, Atlas shingles are considered among the highest quality asphalt shingles available. Key reasons include their thick fiberglass mats, proprietary weathering designs like Zone Performance, rigorous testing, premium warranties, and outstanding customer reviews. Both roofers and homeowners rate Atlas shingles as a top-tier product.
Atlas is consistently ranked as one of the best asphalt shingle brands along with CertainTeed and GAF. Their premium materials, excellent warranties, and stellar reputation put Atlas shingles in the top tier for performance and reliability.
Architectural shingles represent the best grade and are recommended for most homes. They provide an attractive layered design, increased durability over 3-tabs, and good wind/impact resistance. Within architectural shingles, look for premium brands like Atlas Pinnacle series rated for high winds and with long 50+ year warranties.
No, GAF shingles are generally considered better quality and higher rated than TAMKO products. GAF offers premium lifetime shingles comparable to Atlas Pinnacle with the strongest warranties. While TAMKO makes decent mid-range shingles, their basic products and mixed reviews suggest GAF is the better option for performance and reliability.
For homeowners seeking the best in both performance and aesthetics, Atlas is the clear winner over TAMKO. The outstanding Atlas warranty, premium materials and construction, and stellar reputation earn it the top spot.
While TAMKO’s mid-range architectural shingles offer a good value, their basic 3-tabs and warranty support come up short compared to Atlas. We suggest selecting Atlas shingles for a roof built to last decades through all weather conditions.
Paying a little extra for Atlas quality is worthwhile to protect your biggest investment and avoid future roof repairs. Ultimately Atlas asphalt shingles provide the best combination of curb appeal, durability, and warranty coverage available today.