Slate Roof Installation Cost - Materials And Labor In 2023. Types Of Slate Roof, Pros And Cons.

Reviewed by Pavel Buyeu
Updated: 04/26/2023

Are you building a new house? If yes, then you may be willing to install a slate on the roof. Slate is a kind of metamorphic rock which is made from sedimentary rock. It is fine-grained that is composed of volcanic ash and clay.

Although they are too expensive and heavy than other options, many people still use them because of their high quality, looks, long lifespan, high durability, and natural appearance. This makes the slate suitable for most homeowners, especially for those who want luxurious looks and feel.

If you are willing to install a semi-weathering slate roof, then the average cost you have to bear for 3/16 thickness times for a house of 1500 square feet is around $15,000 to $30,000, depending on the type of slate. Usually, in most cases, house owners install the semi-weathering slate roof that costs $22,500 for a house of 1500 square feet.

The exact price of the slate you have to bear depends on the spectrum. If you want to install an asphalt shingle at the lower end, you have to pay around $2,250. While on the other hand, for the high end, you have to pay $45,000 for the high-quality natural; slate. The higher the quality you choose, the higher the price you have to pay.

Cost of Slate Roof per Square

Slate roof installation cost

Usually, the sellers sell the roofing tiles per square. However, the exact cost of the time depends on various factors, but on average, it costs between $150 to $3,000, depending on the quality and type of tiles. Remember, every 100 square feet is a square. The total cost that the owner has to bear for installing a slate roof depends on various factors such as:

  • The size of the roof
  • Type of slate
  • Labor cost

For example, choosing the natural slate for the roof will cost around $1,000 to $3,000 per square. While on the other hand, you will only have to pay between $150 to $1,200 for the synthetic slate shingles. Also, the larger the area, the more money you have to spend on installing the slate.

Natural Slate

Natural slate is the first choice of every homeowner. They are bluish-grey and fine-grained. The best part about natural slate is that one can easily spit them into thin layers, which can be used for the roof.

Cost of Natural Slates

Undoubtedly, slates are among the most expensive and luxurious roofing materials. Although the average cost of normal slates ranges, between $10 to $20 per sq. ft., some high-quality and unique slates can even cost you around $50 per sq. ft. usually, slate roofs cost $15,000 to $30,000 for a house of 1500 sq. ft.

Shingle Slate

Shingle slates are also commonly used in roofing. They are uniform, very smooth, and flat pieces of roofing material that are available in plenty of materials. Also, it is usually kept in the overlapping raw series. Usually, shingle slates are used as a protective layer to cover the outside areas of the walls and roof to protect them from water and other damage.

Costs to Consider

Unlike natural slates, shingle slates are not much expensive. Instead, they are very economical that every person can easily afford. It averagely costs from $80 to $100 per square (100 square feet are approximately coved in one square).

Shingle slates are similar to fiberglass. One can compare the tiles with wood, but wood shingles are much more expensive. Before you install slate roofing in your home, remember they are not only expensive while buying, but their repairing cost is also higher than other available options.

Cost of Slate Roof by Type

Slate type Average Cost per sq ft. (include labor and material)
Synthetic $7 - $12
Hybrid $9 - $16
Natural $10 - $30

The slate type you select for roofing can significantly reduce the project's cost. Averagely, it can impact the cost from $30 per square foot. The three most common types of slates available on the market are natural, synthetic, and hybrid.

However, you may not be able to find a difference in these types from a distance, but there is a huge difference in all three. These all have different materials, pros, cons, lifespan, and costs. If you are willing to install any of these three, consider the following table to know the price of such a slate.

Natural Slate

As the name suggests, natural slates are made from natural stones. This is why they are the most expensive of all roofing materials. Usually, natural slates are also further classified into two types:

  • Soft
  • Hard

The best part about natural slate tiles is that they are available in plenty of shapes, colors, designs, and sizes. Also, they have a high-quality finish that you won't get with other tiles. Unfortunately, they are very heavy in weight, which is the biggest disadvantage of this slate.

Every home does not have strong support to handle the weight of natural slates; therefore, they require additional support that significantly increases your overall project cost. However, if you are willing to install these slate tiles on your roof, you can expect the cost to bear between $10 to $30 per square foot.

Hybrid Slate

Hybrid slate is a term used for product design specially made to make the slate roof competitive and cheaper than intimation products. A hybrid slate is made by combining synthetic waterproofing material with natural slate tile.

After installing the hybrid slates to the roof, only the real slate will be visible because the real slate overlaps the synthetic one. Hybrid slates are very lightweight, which makes them suitable for all houses, especially for the old and houses with standard modern decking and farming.

The installation process is very straightforward and does not require any specialized techniques, making it one of the most affordable options. For instilling hybrid slate tiles on the roof, you averagely have to bear the cost of around $9 to $16 per square foot.

Synthetic Slate

Synthetic slates are not pure. Instead, they are made by mixing various materials such as metal, fiber cement, or recycled asphalt. Synthetic slates are available in various color options, have a reasonable price, and are very easy to install, making them the homeowner's first preference.

You may get surprised to know that synthetic slates can be installed at half the price of natural slates. The exact price of the slate depends on various factors, but on average, it will cost you from $7 to $12 per square foot.

Slate roof types

Slate Looking Asphalt Shingles

If you are finding a state-like roofing material on a low budget, then asphalt shingles are the best option available. These shingles are made from a black hydrocarbon mixture and viscose, making them look exactly like real estate.

Apart from color and style options, these shingles are also straightforward to install, making them a suitable and reliable option for most homeowners. Thanks to their laminate structure make, it is water resistant. It averagely costs from $1.50 to $4 per square foot.

Synthetic Material Average Cost per sq ft. (include labor and material)
Asphalt $1.5 - $4
Metal $2.5 - $11
Composite $4 - $8
Fiber Cement $5 - $12
Clay $8 - $11
Rubber $8 - $11

Cost of Composite Slate Roofing

Composite slates are best for those finding custom-made roofing material. These are usually made with a mixture of rubber and plastic or with polymers and plastic; one can select the one according to their choice and needs.

Although these slates are more expensive, at the same time, they are also more durable and provide a better warranty than other options available. Averagely it costs around $4 to $8 per square foot. Tiles made with rubber are usually more flexible, making the installation process effortless.

But while installing rubber-based tiles, make sure to treat them carefully to avoid cracks. If you are fading a tile to increase the home's value, then composite slate tiles are the best option.

Cost of Metal Slate Roof

Metal sheets look similar to real natural slates. These tiles are also affordable and only cost from $2.50 to $11 per square ft. these days, most homeowners are considering metal slates because they are very easy to install and maintain.

Also, they are very long-lasting and can easily last for 100 years. One can install this on the existing roofing tiles. Their feel and texture are way more different than rubber and plastic tiles. They are durable enough to protect against rust, slow, and corrosion, and they will not get damaged by:

  • Mildew
  • Rotting
  • Termites

Fiber Cement Roofing

Slates that are made up of a mixture of cement and fiberglass are known as fiber cement slates. Like fiber cement siding, they look similar to real slate. If you are willing to install this particular slate, then you can expect to pay around $7 to $12 per square ft. usually, people prefer fiber cement shingles due to the following reasons:

  • Non-fading properties
  • Durability
  • Easy installation process
  • Big lifespan

Fiber Cement – It is a building material that is made with a mixture of recycled concrete materials and cellulose fiber.

Cost to Consider. In the current scenario, fiber cement is recouping around 84% of its cost at the time of selling a property. This makes it an excellent option to increase the home’s value. Fiber cement requires special insulation that will increase your cost but will save your energy bills.

Clay Slate

Clay slate shingles look very similar to all other tiles made with clay. Also, their molds are used to resemble the real natural slate. Clay slates are very hard to survive in any weather condition. Their amazing durability and quality make them the first preference of every homeowner. Usually, clay slates come in many different shapes and colors. Some common profiles of this slate are:

  • Flat tiles
  • Roman
  • Spanish

These tiles are commonly available in brown, grey, and red colors. However, they are also very heavy and expensive, so every middle-class person cannot afford them. Usually, you have to pay $8 to $11 per square foot to install these slates.

Cost of Rubber Slate Roofing

Various rubber products, including recycled tires, are used in the manufacturing of rubber slates. If you are willing to install this slate in your house, you are expected to bear $8 to $11 per square foot. However, they are a bit more expensive than other synthetic shingles but are completely worth it. It brings numerous benefits, including:

  • Wind resistant
  • Recyclable
  • Effortless installation process
  • Heavy impact resistant

Cost of Natural Slates

Natural Slate Type Average Cost per sq ft. (include labor and material)
Soft Slate $10 - $10
Hard Slate $20 - $30

Want to increase the value of the house? Are you finding a unique and high-quality roofing material? If yes, then natural slates are made for you. They are a bit on the expensive side; on average, it will cost you between $10 to $30 per square foot. For centuries, neural slate has been known for its:

  • Remarkable longevity
  • Superior durability
  • Beautiful natural appearance

You may be surprised to know that a real natural slate roof can last 50 to 200 years, almost double the number other slates offer. This roofing material is usually used by high-class homeowners to enhance the overall looking of their homes.

It can improve the appearance of any architectural style. Also, natural slates are available in a wider range of colors, shapes, and textures. Natural slates are usually of two types hard and soft. The only disadvantage of natural slates is their heavy weight.

As we all know, not every house is strong enough to handle heavy weight. Therefore, you must require to add additional support to manage the weight, which can be a bit expensive. If you want to know about the soft and hard natural slates in detail, then you can consider reading the following table.

Soft Slate

As the name suggests, soft slates are very soft and are not durable. Shingles made with soft slates have an expected 50 to 125 years lifespan. The worst thing about soft slate is that they start becoming crumby at the end.

But the best part is that they have the same fireproof and water-resisting properties as hard slate. But unfortunately, they can't be restored. Once get older or damaged, you have to change the entire roofing. Soft slates averagely cost around $10 to $20 per square foot.

Hard Slate

These slates are among the strongest roofing material you can get at the market. Hard slates are very long-lasting; they can easily last for 50 to 200 years, depending on how you maintain them. Unlike slot slates, can easily be restored when they get damaged or broken. In terms of hardness, these slates fall in the range of 2.5 to 4 on moh's scale.

This ultimately means you can easily compare it with limestone and marble but not with natural quartz and granite. One can expect the cost to be around $20 to $30 per square foot.

Limestone is a stone made of sedimentary rock. They are usually formed of aragonite and calcite.

Cost to consider – Limestone is the preferable option if you are finding roofing material for a fireplace around that is not only cheap but also very easy to cut. The installation process is also very straightforward, saving you lots of money. However, remember that it easily gets damaged; therefore, do not use wood-burning places.

Cost of Slate Roofing by Manufacturer

Usually, the average cost of installing slate is around $6 to $12 per square foot. You will find various manufacturers and brands on the market when you research the slates. Each brand and manufacturer has their policy. Also, you will find a huge difference in the cost.

Some may charge higher than others. Therefore searching for a reliable manufacturer and choosing the right product is essential. If you are willing to buy roofing materials, then the three most popular brands you can consider are.

Inspire Slate Roof

Inspire is a brand by Boral that provides slate roofing tiles with the characteristics of real natural slates. Also, they offer very lightweight, durable, and cheap materials. Usually, most good-looking synthetic slate tiles are made with a combination of various durable materials, which makes them long-lasting.

Inspire provide the tiles in 31 colors, which makes them the most demanding. The best part is that all the colors are solid and blended. Also, all the shingles offered by inspire come with a brand warranty of 50 years, which is insane.

The average cost you have to pay for installing inspire slate shingles ranges from $6 to $12 per square foot. But remember, you will only get the inspired slates in the United States through Boral roofing. There is no other way to get these slates.

Cost of DaVinchi Slate Roof

The main reason to choose DaVinci is its affordable price. You may get surprised to know that the price of DaVinci slate roofing is almost half the price of natural stone. Averagely, it is between $8 to $12 per square foot. DaVinci products are specially designed to provide a look of real natural slate; it gives the same appearance as a real authentic slate. It comes with several benefits, including:

  • Impact resistant
  • Do not lose color
  • Easy installation process
  • Very lightweight and does not need any external support

DaVinci slate tiles are available in three different options: Bella forte, multi-width, and single-width. DaVinci is known for delivering high-end quality slates that eliminate natural slates' difficulties and come within everyone's budget. The best part about DaVinci is that they provide a warranty of a lifetime on all slate tiles and other products.

Greenstone Slate Company

Greenstone slate company is well known for their crafting Vermont roofing slate. Even with was a leader in the industry for more than half of the century. As the Vermont slate roof is a stone, it has no comparison in durability.

Also, it is available in a wider range of textures and colors of the natural slate, giving those looks like a natural slate. They are also not expensive as natural slates; on average, they cost between $8 to $12. The company has provided a 100-year warranty on all its products, including slates.

Installation Cost of a Slate Roof

For a house of 1,500 square feet, the average cost expected to pay for installing a slate roof is between $15,000 and $30,000. Also, the process of installing a slate roof is very complex and needs specialized labor that adds an extra amount to your cost. Averagely, professional labor charges between $50 to $100 per hour.

If you are willing to install a natural slate in your house of 1500 square feet, it will take up to 10 houses, depending on the project's complexity. Usually, it is expected to pay between $7,500 to $15,000 in labor for installing a stone in a house of 1,500 sq. ft. ask your roofing contractor to add all the necessary materials and costs while estimating the budget so that your final budget does not have huge changes.

The installer will locate the central point on your roof's ridge before beginning the installation. Before putting the slate tiles on the roof, a starting strip will be installed. This strip will raise the starting tiles by the same angle as others and extend over the roof edge by 1 12 inches or as specified by the manufacturer. All old roofing materials must be removed from the substrate when installing a new roof.

A hole should be drilled into each slate tile so that it may be nailed to the roof. For an additional fee, some manufacturers will perform the drilling for you. After that, the slate tiles will be meticulously nailed in. Traditionally, the initial tiles are flipped over and placed upside down.

The functionality of the roof is unaffected by this because it is done purely for aesthetic reasons. The location of the next course will be indicated by marking the exposed tiles with a chalk line after each course.

To achieve correct headlap and lateral overlap, each course will be spaced apart (at least three inches). Overlapping refers to the placement of one tile over another. Headlap is the term for when the tile two courses above a tile overlaps its top edge.

A slate roof needs to have this overlap to protect water from getting inside the building. You might need to extend the headlap to four and five inches on low slopes and ice dam locations. In the end, ridge tiles will be put in place. Never sit or stand on a slate tile to prevent damage and loss.

Replacing the Cost of a Slate Roof

Reroofing slate roof

Although natural slates are very expensive, they bring numerous benefits, which make them worth the price, you are paying. If you are willing to replace the old roofing with the new natural slate roof, then you are expected to pay between $15,000 and $40,000.

Everyone should repair their roofing after some time because it helps correct all the potential issues. Usually, people repair their roofs to fix the problem of leaks, which costs around $750. Such small issues usually are fixed by removing the damaged or leaked part instead of replacing the entire roofing.

Also, replacing a roof helps you upgrade the shingles and is a great way to enhance the home's curb appeal. Investing money in the replacement is an excellent idea, especially if your home is too old and you are planning to sell it. This is because it makes the home more beautiful and increases its value.

The process of installing or replacing a slate is very similar, no matter what kind of slate you have. The process includes various steps. First, you have to strip down the old roofing material, including:

  • Flashing
  • Underlayment
  • Shingles

After this, the next step is to identify the condition of the deck. Professionals determine whether it needs to be replaced or can be repaired. Then, they spread the new underlayment layer and installed the new shingles.

Flashing – It is a metal sheet piece that is commonly used in roofs to cover the joints, such as the areas where the roofs meet the wall or around the skylight or chimney. Also, it helps in waterproofing and prevents the leakage of water. Various roof features are surrounded by the flashing, including:

  • Skylights
  • Chimney
  • Vents

Usually, most homeowners use copper metal for slate roots because it is very durable and the same as the roof. Although it is more expensive than all other metals available for roofing, it compels plenty of benefits that make it entirely worth it. Usually, an area of 10 x 10 costs between $10 to $20. However, if your budget is low, you can also go for the other available metals.

Underlayment – This roofing material is applied before installing the roof tiles. The main purpose of these materials is to seal the roof to prevent leaks. It also offers various benefits such as:

  • Adds a layer of protection that prevents leakage and water damage.
  • It acts as protecting gear for the building until the slates are installed.
  • Enhance fire resistance.
  • Great surface for drawing lines with chalk while installing slates.
  • Act as cushions for the slates.

Felt material is the most common and popular type of roof underlayment. They are very durable and long-lasting; if installed properly, they will not affect functionality. Therefore roof does not require underlayment.

Cost To Consider – Usually, the installation cost of underlayment is around $61 per square. Remember, this cost excludes labor expenses.

Reslate Cost of a Roof

One of the most crucial parts of any house is the roof. It must need regular maintenance to remain safe and stay working properly. Your roof may need to be related since roof structures deteriorate over time.

Re-slating a roof entails carefully removing an old or damaged portion of the roof to install new tiles. Reslating is a good alternative when the current roof is too damaged to be repaired, and replacing it would be too expensive. A roof will typically cost between $12 and $16 per square foot to install.

Cost of Slate Roof Maintenance

Scheduling a cleaning, which costs on average between $0.30 and $0.70 per square foot, is one of the most crucial aspects of maintaining your slate roof. Having a professional clean your roof regularly helps eliminate particles like moss and mold that have formed on the roof over time.

Slate roofs respond best to a soft cleaning agent and a low-pressure wash because high-pressure blasts can damage them. Your climate will determine how often you need to clean. You can choose the most effective cleaning program with assistance from a local roofing expert.

Any problems with any of the shingles, like a cracked or broken tile, need to be fixed immediately. Also, there is a need to hire professionals for a roof inspection to ensure there are no issues with the roof. Usually, a professional roof inspection cost approximately $350.

Colors of Slate Roof

Undoubtedly, roofing slate tiles are available in a wider range of colors. Some most common colors you will find in every slate type are black, purple, grey, green, and red. Homeowners can choose different colors and patterns according to their choice.

One can either select the tiles of different colors to give a multicolor palette or can select one solid color to give a wholly unique look. Remember, each slate tiles undergo some color change when it comes to contact of whether. However, the changes are different in each type; some may change the color barely noticeably, while others can show a significant color change.

Slates with color variations are known as semi-weathering or weathering. While on the other hand, slates with very slight color variations are known as unfading or permanent slates. However, some manufacturers provide a fading color guarantee for 15 to 20 years, which means there is no need to worry about color fading for the given time.

Sizes of Slates

Most homeowners ignore this factor, but it is among the most crucial factors to keep in mind while purchasing a slate roofing material. It is necessary to choose slates of accurate size. Remember that the smaller the tiles' size, the higher the weight your roof has to bear. Therefore, you may need to add additional support to manage the weight of roof tiles, which will add additional cost to your project.

The standard size of the slate that most homeowners use is between 6’ x 10’ to 14” x 24”. For example, if you use slate tiles of size 6" x 10", then you need approximately 686 tiles to cover the roof of 100 square foot. Also, small tiles require more mailing, which increases your labor cost significantly.

While on the other hand, if you use slates of size 14” x 24”, 98 tiles will be needed to cover the same area. The main reason to secret the large slates is that they cost very less and are very affordable too. Also, they are thicker and more durable than small roof tiles.

Another essential factor to consider while purchasing roof tiles is their thickness. The thickness of the standard tiles is around 3/16, and their weight is between 600 to 700lbs. However, the thick slate tiles are very heavy and in most cases, they need additional roof reinforcement before starting the installation process.

The slate tiles with the highest value have a thickness of at least 3/8”. These are very durable, and no insurance company can challenge these slate tiles in terms of durability. Also, their texture is aesthetic and way better than the thinner slate tiles. You can talk to your insurance agent about the coverage and ask them for discounts on the tiles you have already used.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Slate Roofs?

Pros and cons of slate roof

Slate roof installation may require a significant investment. Before selecting the best option, you must know all the advantages and disadvantages. A slate roof has a lot of benefits, including:

  • low maintenance requirements
  • a long lifespan
  • energy efficiency
  • simplicity in recycling
  • visual appeal
  • variation in hues
  • return on investment

Slate has its share of drawbacks, just like every other material of roofing. They include difficult installation, high costs, problems with replacement, brittleness, and the weight of the tiles.

Improvement and Enhancement Cost

Roof Reinforcement

Everyone knows that slate shingles are much heavier than all other roofing materials available on the market. Unfortunately, not every house has the capability to handle the heavy weight of the roofing material. Therefore, houses require roof reinforcement before installation in most cases, which increases the overall cost significantly. This can easily be done by:

  • Repairing flashing and caulk
  • Stiffening trusses
  • Adding additional support beam

Remember, you have to pay an additional cost for the reinforcement. If your building cannot handle the weight of the heavy tiles, then you are expected to pay an additional $1,000 to $10,000.

Roofing Removal

Removing and disposing of a roof costs around $1.40 per square foot. However, this amount will get double or even more if roofs have multiple layers of shingles. In some cases, the contractor installs the new shingles on the existing one, while in other cases, first, the existing layer of the roof is removed.

The process of removing the old shingles is very complex; therefore, it must be done by professional contractors. This is because, as they are professionals, they have enough experience and skills. Also, they know the right ways to remove it safely. Do not try it removing you, because working on the slopes can be very difficult and dangerous without proper knowledge.

Installation Cost of Snow Guards

Snow guards, which typically cost between $15 and $22 to install, help to distribute the ice and snow and weight to prevent damage in locations where ice and snow are common. Installing them equally across the surface is the best work. Slate roofing requires snow guards since they are typically built on pitched roofs and can stop ice damming, pieces of snow or ice from falling on your head, or nearby parked cars.

Additional Costs the Owner May Have To Bear

  • Due to lower shipping costs, homeowners who reside close to a place where slate is produced or manufactured, such as Virginia, sections of southern Canada, and, the Northeast United States may experience significant financial savings.
  • Before hiring a roofing contractor, compare costs and ensure you are receiving fair pricing, request at least three to five estimates. Slate installation requires specific knowledge, so look for a local slate roof specialist with a strong track record. Do not work with roofing having any experience.
  • If your roof has obstacles like dormers, steep and valleys, your installation process will become slower and increase the labor time, ultimately increasing your labor expense.
  • Remember, the slate roof installation cost in a two-story house is usually higher because accessing the higher roof is more challenging and risky.
  • As we have discussed earlier, professionals must do the installation process. Remember, it is not DIY work because you have to work on height, so you may damage yourself without proper knowledge and enough experience.
  • Always buy the tested slates. Before buying, make sure the product you are buying is having high rated.


How Much Cost Owner Has To Bear For Installing A Slate Roof?

The exact cost of installing a slate roof depends on the slate you choose. However, the average cost for installing a semi-weathering slate with a thickness of 3/16 for a house of 1500 square feet is approximately $15,000 to $30,000.

It Installing A Slate Roof Increases The Value Of Your House?

A slate roof enhances the house's overall look, adding to its value. Also, these slates are long-lasting and durable and made up of premium material, which enhances the house's overall price.

Is Slate Roof Worth Investing?

If you are finding a long-lasting and environment-friendly roofing material, it is worth investing in you. They approximately give the 85% ROI, which is insane.

What Is The Lifespan Of Slate Tiles?

The answer to this question depends on the slate type. A standard synthetic tile has a life span of 20 to 50 years. While on the other hand, the lifespan of natural slates is between 50 to 200 years.

Which Is More Cost-Effective Among Natural Slates And Shingles?

Everyone knows natural slates are very expensive. So if you have a low budget, shingles are the best option. Usually, slates are more expensive because they are more durable, premium, and have a higher lifespan.