What You Need To Know About Tile Roofs

When it's time to re-roof your home, you are faced with many choices in materials to do the job. You may be considering asphalt or wood shingles, metal panels, slate or tile. Having many options is great, but it also can be confusing.

If you live in a warm climate you may have admired homes with tile roofs. Tile is an attractive and long-lasting roofing material and it's distinctive look adds a high-end touch to your home.  Tile has been around for thousands of years and the greatest advantage of tile has always been its resistance to fire. Entire cities, such as London in 1666 and Boston in 1679, have burned to the ground, prompting the emergence of building codes requiring tile be used as fire-resistant roofing material.

Tile roofs are not only more fire-resistant than shingles, but also last far longer. Tile roofs can last for 50 plus years, based on manufacturer's warranties, and many are reported to last even longer. While initially more expensive to install, you may consider the installation of a tile roof a once-in-a-lifetime expense.

Climatic conditions such as sun, rain, hail, wind, etc. have little to no impact on a tile roof. It should be noted, however, that in very extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes or tornadoes, tile roofs can be vulnerable to not only projectiles causing tile breakage, but to the tiles themselves becoming projectiles.

Tile roofing is considerably heavier than shingles, so an engineering study should be performed to ensure that your home's structure can support a tile roof. Some manufacturers do offer a lighter weight tile that is composed of an aggregate instead of the sand that is normally used to produce the tile.

Tile is available in both the traditional clay tiles and in concrete tiles:

  • Concrete tile is far less expensive than clay tile, with concrete tile costing approximately half as much as clay tile.
  • Additionally, concrete tiles provide a wider array of colors and design options. 
  • While both concrete and clay tiles last a very long time, clay tiles do last longer than concrete.
  • Clay has a major advantage over concrete tiles with its colorfastness since it is nearly impervious to the usual elements that cause color to fade. Clay tiles should be kiln-fired for superior colorfastness.

Whether you decide on a clay tile roof or a concrete tile roof, tile will add beauty and value to your home. Consult with a professional roofing contractor to get more information about tile roofs and to learn if it's the best option for your home.