Popular Types Of Roof Tiles

Popular Types Of Roof Tiles

by

James
March 2, 2022
172 Views

There are lots of different roofing materials out there to consider if you need to install a roof on your home, but tiles are popular and worth checking out before you make a decision.

You have lots of options from which to choose! These include slate, clay, asphalt, and rubber, to mention just a few roof tile options.

Are roof tiles the same as shingles?

While these terms can be used interchangeably, they are different. Tiles generally have more variations in style, which might appeal to you.

With that in mind, let’s explore what you need to know about the different types of roof tiles. We’ll also look at some general tips for tile roofs, such as how to install and maintain them. 

What Is Tile Roofing? 

Popular Types Of Roof Tiles

Tile roofing dates back to around 10 000 B.C. when clay tiles were the preferred way to roof homes in China (Roof Claim).

This popular practice spread to the Middle East and then moved to other parts of the world. In our modern day, roof tiles can be made from a variety of different materials, such as ceramic, clay, or slate. 

Popular Types Of Roof Tiles

Slate Tiles 

Popular Types Of Roof Tiles

Slate is a natural stone that gives your roof a beautiful yet natural appearance. Over time, its color varies, which makes it unique. Slate is durable and strong, while being resistant to fire. Since these tiles are made out of natural stone, they don’t release VOCs during the manufacturing process.

What to consider: 

There are some drawbacks associated with slate tiles. They are heavy and you will need your roofing structure to be reinforced so that it can support the extra weight. Slate can also be expensive to install. You might also find it difficult to find a skilled roofing contractor who’s experienced with knowing how to properly install slate tiles on the roof. 

How much they cost:

Slate tiles cost between $9 and $16 per square foot, so they are more expensive than many other roofing materials. They come with a high labor cost because of their weight, so that’s also something to consider. 

When to choose them:

Slate tiles are best for people who want a custom roof tile that looks elegant. It helps if you have some space in your budget for their installation. 

Composite Tiles

Popular Types Of Roof Tiles

Composite tiles are made from a combination of synthetic and natural materials. They can be made out of interesting ingredients such as fiberglass and paper. They’re cheaper and more lightweight than traditional tiles, such as those made out of clay. They can also last for a longer time than asphalt shingles.

What to consider:

While composite tiles are durable and eco-friendly, they can be a bit more expensive than other types of roofing materials. They can also be difficult to install as they require skilled roofing contractors.

How much they cost:

Composite shingle roofs can cost between $7.50 and $14.50 per square foot.

When to choose them:

If you want a roof tile that mimics more expensive tiles you can’t afford, such as slate, composite tiles are a good choice for you. 

Clay Tiles 

Popular Types Of Roof Tiles

Clay tiles are popular because they are durable against the elements and they have a low absorption rate, so they don’t absorb as much water as other materials, such as concrete. You’ll love that clay tiles can easily last for up to 60 years and with the correct installation they have been known to last even longer than that.

What to consider:

Clay tiles need to be treated with care, so you want to avoid heavy foot traffic on a clay tile roof as this can damage it. When it comes to their installation, clay tiles are quite heavy, so your roof needs to be inspected beforehand to ensure that no structural reinforcement is required. 

How much it costs: 

Clay roofing tiles cost between $10 to $18 per square foot. Clay tiles can be bought in a variety of styles, such as terracotta and Spanish-style tiles.

When to choose them:

If you want a roof that looks traditional, such as to match the appearance of your home, you should opt for clay tiles. 

Metal Tiles

Popular Types Of Roof Tiles

While you might be familiar with metal roof sheeting, metal tiles are also available. These come in a variety of metal types, such as copper, zinc, galvanized steel, and aluminum. Metal roof tiles are lighter than clay or concrete tiles which makes them easier to carry and install. Metal is also durable and can withstand extreme weather conditions. 

What to consider:

Metal roof tiles, although durable, can still be damaged, such as by being dented by large pieces of hail that strike the roof during a heavy storm. This is why it’s important to check your metal roof after a storm to ensure that you can catch any small damage that’s been done.

While you might worry that metal roofs can be noisier than other tiles, the truth is that they’re generally not. That said, they might make some noise during particularly heavy rainstorms or hail, so that’s something to consider. 

How much they cost:

Metal roofs can cost you between $5 to $14 per square foot, but this depends on the type of metal you’re choosing. Steel is the most expensive – it costs approximately $35,516 per 1,800 square foot home. Other metals, such as aluminum, tend to be more cost-effective.

When to choose them:

Metal roofs are suitable for cold climates as they offer good insulation. They are also great for keeping your roof resistant to fire. 

Concrete Tiles

Popular Types Of Roof Tiles

Concrete tiles can be made to mimic wood, slate, or slate, which makes them versatile and popular. Concrete is durable, providing a high level of resistance against hail, wind, fire, and rain. This is why concrete can last for over 60 years.

What to consider:

Concrete tiles are heavy, which can make installation difficult and more expensive. Your roof might also need to be reinforced to ensure that it can support the weight of the concrete. A fact you might not know about concrete tiles is that, although they are durable, they are not completely resistant to wind. They can break or become loose in high-wind conditions. 

How much it costs: 

Concrete tiles usually cost around $3 to $5 per square foot. What’s great about them is that they have interlocking features which reduce their installation costs.

When to choose them:

Concrete tiles are great eco-friendly roofing materials. This is because their components don’t require environmentally-damaging factory production processes. 

Rubber Tiles 

Popular Types Of Roof Tiles

These tiles are made from rubber or other synthetic polymers. Usually the materials will originate from recycled items, which makes rubber tiles an excellent choice for you if you want to be eco-friendly. Rubber tiles can mimic other, more traditional, roof tiles, such as slate. They are durable, resistant to impact, and non-porous to prevent moisture and leaks.

What to consider: 

If you have a rubber roof installed on your home, you will have to be careful when walking on it. Although you can walk on it, rubber roofs can only handle light foot traffic. In addition to that, since rubber roofs are usually black, they absorb a lot of the sun’s heat. However, they can be painted in a lighter color so that they better reflect the UV rays.

How much they cost:

Rubber roofs can cost between $6,000 and $18,000, with the general average cost being around the $12,000 mark. The cost will be influenced by a variety of factors, such as materials and labor.

When to choose them:

Rubber tiles are suitable for you if you want to tile a low-slope or flat roof as rubber produces a watertight, durable roof covering. 

Plain Vs Interlocking Tiles: Which One Should You Choose?

Popular Types Of Roof Tiles

There are two main categories of roof tiles: plain and interlocking tiles.

  • Plain roof tiles. These are in a rectangular shape and tend to be smaller than interlocking tiles. They are placed to double-lap each other so that they seal properly against the harsh conditions. 
  • Interlocking roof tiles. These have a unique shape so that they can fit together. This enables only a single lap to be placed. Since they’re larger than plain tiles, you require less of them to tile your entire roof. This makes their installation cheaper and quicker. 

How To Maintain Roof Tiles 

You have to check your roof tiles at least twice a year to see if there are any problems forming, such as loose or lifting tiles. Tiles are low maintenance to look after, but you should clean them regularly to prevent debris and dirt from accumulating.  

Pros And Cons Of Roof Tiles 

If you’re considering installing roof tiles instead of other roofing materials, you should consider some of their general pros and cons.

Pros

  • Roof tiles don’t rot easily, which increases their lifespan.  
  • They’re resistant to damage from insects. 
  • They can be environmentally-friendly, such as if you choose rubber roof tiles. 
  • They come in a variety of styles and colors to match the style of your home. 
  • They are energy efficient. This is because tiles transfer less heat. 

Cons

  • Roof tiles can be expensive. 
  • They can be heavy, such as when it comes to clay or concrete tiles. 

How To Install Roof Tiles

Once you’ve chosen what roof tiles you want for your home, you will have to decide if you want to install them yourself or get them professionally installed. If you have some roofing experience, you can DIY the installation. Here are the steps to follow. 

  1. Consider battens if your roof has a steep slope. These are thin strips of material that run horizontally along the roof’s length. These are useful because they keep the tiles in place.
  2. If you don’t require battens, you can nail the tiles into the roof sheathing. If you have already installed battens, you will have to nail the tiles directly into the battens. Clips can be used to secure the tiles to the battens.
  3. Cut the tiles so that they will fit tightly around roof structures such as the chimney. You will also have to cut tiles at the end of every row of tiles.
  4. Install ridge tiles. When you get to the top of the roof, you will have to cap the tops with ridge tiles. These are rounded and can be laid out end-to-end or in an overlapping style. 

Related Questions

What causes water to get underneath roof tiles?

If your roof space isn’t properly ventilated, this can cause condensation to form on the underside of the tiles. 

Why are your roof tiles leaking?

Your tiles are held in place with nails, which can rust over time, which makes them too weak to secure the tiles in place. 

Conclusion 

If you want a durable, stylish roofing material, you should consider roof tiles. There are a wide variety of tiles from which to choose, such as clay, concrete, and rubber tiles.

In this article, we’ve featured the pros and cons you should know about all the different tiles that are available, and looked at how you can make the best choice for your specific roof and the style of your home.

Sources:

James

James Weldon is a professional roofing contractor with many years of experience on the job. He does not only handle large projects and provide excellent services for his company’s many clients; James Weldon also dedicates his spare time to teaching others useful tricks of the trade. Using BuildCampus as an avenue to reach many roofers and aspiring roofing contractors, James Weldon continues to provide high-quality educational posts and buying recommendations for anyone who visits the website.