Do you find yourself being captivated by the look of roof tiles? If so, you are just one of many people opting for tiles as their top home roofing material choice!
Although a certain upfront investment comes with choosing tile as your roofing material, the benefits that follow are certainly worth it. Beyond the initial investment, tile roofs are the optimal choice when looking for a durable, long-lasting, energy-efficient, charming, and low-maintenance roofing option. Tile roofing is also great as it is reliable, even in hurricane-like wind. Another awesome benefit of tile roofing is that it is fire safety-approved!
The most common traditional tile materials include concrete and clay. Both of these types of tiles come in a variety of shapes, appearances, and colors.
Clay tiles are made using baking greasy clay. The temperature and length of time for which the clay is heated will determine the density of the clay. There are many colors of clay tiles, from yellow, orange, brown, or even white.
Most commonly, however, you will find clay tiles in the Terra-Cotta color. By adding enamels to the tile, you can make these natural earth tones look even more elegant and choose your roof tile colors! This process is known as “ceramic”. The process consists of covering the tile in enamel prior to baking.
Kiln, at a high temperature, will assist in ensuring that the color is permanently bonded to the clay tile, in order to avoid peeling and fading in the future. Thanks to this, the market has many different tile profiles, styles, finishes, and colors to offer. Clay tiles are both environmentally friendly and easily recycled, as they are may with natural earth-derived resources.
Whether there is a fire or strong wind, you can rely on clay tiles as they are made to sustain such harsh conditions. Another awesome benefit of clay tiles is that they protect the underlayment of your roof, thanks to their advanced shape. Not only this, but clay tiles also create an air pocket, which helps insulate and isolate unwanted cold and heat from entering your attic.
Ludowici is a New Lexington, Ohio-based clay tile manufacturer. Ludowici has built a strong reputation for being one of the oldest, and most trusted manufacturers in the area. The team at Ludowici offers a large variety of tiles, perfect for residential, commercial, historic, and institutional projects.
MCA Tile is another one of our favorite clay tile manufacturers. Unlike Ludowici, MCA Tile is located in Corona, California. MCA Tiles offers tiles specifically designed for residential, commercial, and institutional roofing projects.
Alternatively, you can consider purchasing your tiles through a supplier, such as ABC Supply that offers a large variety of clay and concrete tiles.
Unlike clay tiles, a mixture of water, sand, and cement is used to make concrete tiles. In order to make the tile, these materials are molded under high pressure and plenty of heat. A paint-like material can be used to cover the exterior of the tile, to give it a charming appearance.
In order to prevent water infiltration, concrete tiles come with interlocking ribs or water locks on the edges. These are the three main appearances in which concrete tiles are available:
Whether you want to simulate the look of wood shakes, traditional clay tiles, stone, or slate, concrete tiles can do it all. Similar to clay tiles, you can find concrete tiles in smooth or textured surfaces, with edges that are either uniform or ragged. Concrete tiles are known for being a safe and ideal roofing option as they are hail, fire, and wind-resistant when installed correctly.
Eagle Roofing is a proudly American concrete tile manufacturer. You will be able to find their products through ABC Supply.
Water Absorption: When it comes to keeping your tiles and roof structure healthy, it is important to consider the water absorption of your tiles. Concrete roofing tiles are more prone to water absorption, which causes more mildew and stains in your tiles. Concrete roofing tiles absorb approximately 13% of water, while clay roofing tiles absorb only 6%. The more water absorbed by your tiles, the more pressure put on your roof structure, which should be avoided when possible. Clay tiles avoid this problem, in most cases, as they hardly absorb any water.
Weight: It is a known fact that concrete tiles way significantly more than clay tiles. How much exactly? On average, concrete tiles weigh 40% more than clay tiles. Depending on the tile style, concrete tiles should weigh between 820 and 1100 pounds per 100 square feet. Logically, your roof structure may struggle more to support concrete tile roofing than clay tile roofing. In certain cases, it is suggested to avoid using concrete tiles unless the roof is reinforced to support the required weight.
Likeliness To Break: Determining which tile option will be more durable depends on the climate around you. For warmer climates, clay tiles are most commonly found, as they tend to crack and/or shatter in colder climates, as a result of freezing and thawing cycles.
Contrarily, concrete tiles and more durable in colder climates as they are less at risk of being damaged due to cold weather.
Maintenance: Clay tiles are undoubtedly more challenging to maintain, as a result of their heavier weight, mildew formation, and water absorption. Clay tiles, on the other hand, have far fewer of these problems, making them the easiest to maintain out of the two.
Color and Appearance: Although they may be surrounded by hot weather and sun, clay tiles keep their original color for a long time, as clay is a naturally occurring material. Many clay roof tile providers offer tiles with ceramic finishes, baked in temperatures exceeding 2000 degrees, thus, making these tiles durable, even in hot weather and directly under the sun.
As for concrete tiles, although they are made with a color-thru technology, these tiles are still not as long-lasting when it comes to maintaining their original color. They will undoubtedly look beautiful at first, concrete tiles are known for slowly fading and losing their color with time.
As a result of its porous nature, stains are more common in concrete tiles, while clay tiles rarely get stained.
Durability: It’s safe to say that both concrete and clay tiles make it to the top of our list of best roofing materials. However, clay tiles remain more durable than clay. As previously mentioned, concrete tiles usually only last up to 50 years, while you can get twice this lifespan out of clay tiles.
As a matter of fact, many antique buildings in Europe still have their original beautiful clay roofs that have been there for hundreds of years.
One of the most commonly seen complaints from people with concrete, clay, and Terra-cotta tiles is that these materials are all quite heavy. Due to their excessive weight, these roofing materials often require reinforcing the roof structure, to be able to support the weight put on it.
Thankfully, you can avoid this problem with stone-coated steel tiles that are not only light but also very attractive and cheaper than most traditional roofing options out there!
Stone-coated steel does not only come without the excessive weight seem in other roofing tile options, but it also offers comparable performance, without the need to reinforce your home’s roof structure!
Take Berral Vault tiles from Boral Steel as an example. Their team does a fantastic job of recreating the appearance of other more commonly used tiles, all while keeping the cost much lower! Depending on your location, as well as the size of the order you place, stone-coated steel costs between $3 and $5 per square foot, on average, all without the unneeded weight.
Although potentially foreseeable, clay tiles tend to cost slightly more than concrete tiles. More precisely, clay tile roofing will most likely cost you between 20% and 30% more than the alternative concrete tile roofing option. Clay tiles usually cost between $13 and $25 per square foot of roof.
However, those looking for more exotic tiles should be prepared to pay up to $30 per square foot replaced. That being said, the price of tiles can greatly fluctuate depending on the fanciness and quality of that tile.
Looking at overall costs for a complete roofing project, the average cost to of installing a basic tile roof will likely cost between $25,000 and $50,000. The total cost of your project will, of course, depend on the size of your house, roof difficulty, the tile you have chosen, and the location of your home.