Reroofing, Tiles

Roof Tiles – How to Choose the Best Option for You

Whether you need to use roof tiles for a new or old roof, it is important to choose carefully the most suitable for your roof. In this article you will find information on the most popular types of roof tiles and the prices that are sold in the market.


When it comes to roof tiles, there are a variety of colours, shapes and materials available, which can make it difficult to choose the right one. Comparing the features of different types of roof tiles will help to find the right choice for your home, so look at all the factors concerned. For instance, colour should match the style of your house and surrounding properties, the weight of tiles should be suitable for the strength of the roof and they should meet your budget as well as being water and weatherproof.

Slate Roof Tiles

slate roof tile

Slate roof tiles can improve the appearance of your property and also increase its value. Slate tiles are made of 100% natural stone and they are extremely durable. If a slate roof is installed and maintained properly, it can last up to 100 years. They are also environmentally friendly as they can be recycled, if they outlast the building that they are installed on.

In addition, slate is a great natural material that is dense and also water-resistant. Furthermore, slate can withstand temperature changes, making it a wonderful (and popular!) roofing tile choice. Another advantage is that slate is also resistant to insects and corrosion and that it requires very little maintenance.

If however, you cannot afford slate roof tiles but you want to get the same benefits by spending less, composite slate roofing makes a great alternative. They are durable, lightweight, cheaper, easy to install and fire resistant.

Disadvantages of slate roof tiles

The biggest disadvantage of slate roof tiles are the cost and the installation. Several types of slates can cost as much as 150 per square metre while the installation cost ranges from 25 – 45 pounds per m2. Another big drawback is the difficulty of finding a truly experienced roofer to handle the installation process with care, as slate tiles can also spall or shed layers.

Slate roof tiles are very heavy and you need to have your home surveyed to determine if it can support the weight of the roof before building it. If the weight is not supported then the roof deck needs to be reinforced to hold the weight, as a slate roof can weigh anywhere from 800 to 1500 pounds. In addition, even though slay roofs last for a very long time, if a roofing contractor needs to walk on it, a lot of damage can be done, if they are not very careful. Furthermore, if any tiles break or lose, it is difficult to find replacements that match.  

Common natural stone tile repairs

Stone tile is made from real stone aggregate suspended in a polymer binder. It’s a relatively affordable alternative to stone. Depending on the type of stone it is made of, stone tile has varying resistances to scratches and stains. Stone tile can be chipped due to acute and heavy impact, and it can also become loose.

Repair stone tile scratches and chips

If a stone tile is scratched, chipped or cracked, or discolored, it will probably have to be replaced, which often means pulling up the tiles around it (which risks damage to those tiles, too). If you’re not confident in your experience with such work, it is a good idea to call in a professional to avoid any further damage.

These tiles are pretty tough, but the likelihood of one or two becoming damaged over their lifetime is far from zero. It is a good idea to purchase more tiles than you need during installation, as it might be difficult to find replacement tiles that match your existing tiles. Intricate patterns, such as irregular edges, will be more expensive to repair and may require more materials and time to be completed.

Loose stone tile repair and grout replacement

To repair stone tile that is simply loose, it just needs to be pulled up and put back in new grout. Though it can be a slightly messy operation, this job is relatively straightforward. If your grout (the material put between tiles to finish the surface and seal against leakage) is discolored, you might want to try using bleach to scrub it clean. Otherwise, the grout will have to be ground out and replaced.

Grout replacement is a tedious, though not an incredibly difficult process, involving cutting out old, discolored grout and filling in the cracks with bright new grout. Make sure that the new grout gets properly sealed, though, or you’re likely to have stains again sooner than you would like.

Concrete Roof Tilesconcrete roof tiles

Another option for roof tile is concrete. While this type of material may not be as attractive as slate, it is longer-lasting and durable. Additionally, concrete tiles require little to no maintenance. Keep in mind that you will need to have a sturdy roof structure in order to support the weight of concrete tiles. Pricing will vary, dependent upon where you get the tiles from.

Clay Roof Tiles

clay roof tiles

How durable are clay tiles?

Clay tiles have proven themselves again and again over hundreds of years since their first use. They are highly resistant to weather and will not lose their fine, earthy colours despite being the most exposed part of the house. During their lifespan, clay roof tiles are frequently exposed to rain, ultraviolet light, wind, ice and acids caused by atmospheric pollution. Their high resistance to these naturally damaging weather types makes them a popular choice for homeowners. Another benefit of clay tiles is that they are fire-resistant as well as resistant to harsh chemicals and extremes of hot or cold weather.

Clay tiles improve with age

It is well known that clay tiles look better with age. They maintain their warm colours and eventually develop a weathered and mellowed look. Some manufactures even offer specially made clay tiles with a ready-made ‘weathered’ look to give your home some instant antiquity.

Clay roof tiles come in a variety of earthy colours

The colour of your clay roof tiles will make a huge difference to the overall look of your home – they will cover a massive portion of the visible area of your property – so choosing a colour you like is important. Clay tiles range in colour from bright, burnt reds to dark, earthy browns. Some tiling experts recommend you choose two or three colour types to compliment your home and give a range of warm hues to your roof. Your local planning authority may have placed restrictions on the types of clay you are allowed to source, so check with them to ensure you use a clay tile that complements your region.

How long do clay tiles last?

Clay tiles have a very reasonable life span of roughly 70 years and this can sometimes extend as long as 90 years. Although they can break from force, their durability versus the weather makes them a great choice for a long-lasting roof.

Shape of your clay roof tiles

Roof tiles come in a number of shapes and it can be worth considering which you want, because they will affect the overall look of your roof. The three shapes that are most popular are: flat, Roman, and barrel tiles. Flat clay tiles are the simplest type and are laid in regular overlapping rows. Roman shaped clay tiles are curved at each end to allow interlocking to the next tile. Finally, barrel shaped clay tiles are semi-cylindrical tiles that lock into the next one along.

Remember that the lifespan of a clay tile is influenced by the type and quality of the clay used to create it, the way it was manufactured, the dampness of the atmosphere and where the building is located – environmental factors will have an effect on the tiles lifespan. Consult a roofing professional to pick clay tiles that not only look good on your roof but are also suitable for your homes location.

Metal Roof Tiles


The popularity of metal roof tiles has increased significantly over the past decade, reports the National Roofing Contractors Association, which is an indication of the benefits offered by metal roofing products. The past 20 years have seen the production of a totally new type of metal roofing materials and tiles that have nothing to do with the corrugated “tin” barn roofs. These new high-tech products are lightweight, durable, fire-resistant making them ideal for the construction of a new roof.

Metal roofs are a popular choice in the UK because they are fire-resistant, durable and easy to install, by a qualified metal roofing contractor. Furthermore, they are lightweight and reflect the heat from the sun, which helps keep the house cool in the summer, resulting into saving energy and reducing the cooling bills.

Metal roofing materials are made mostly from aluminum, steel, copper and several alloys, which are more expensive. Steel and aluminum are usually the most popular choices as they are economical, durable and hold paint finishes well. Aluminium is more expensive and is also more prone to denting and damage, as it is softer than steel. It’s greatest advantage is that is it won’t corrode as fast as steel, when the finishes become rusty.

Steel roofing

  • Used for most metal roofs.
  • Heavier and stronger than aluminum.
  • Metal roofing is protected from rust and corrosion by applying durable coatings and finishes.
  • Steel roofing materials are usually coated with zinc before they are sealed.
  • Epoxy coatings are used to offer adhesion.
  • To achieve the colour and protect the metal roof tiles a baked-on acrylic coat is used.
  • Because sheet systems are designed for commercial applications, they are have usually durable paint finishes.

Aluminum roof tiles

  • Very lightweight, which makes it ideal for residential metal roofing.
  • It will not rust but it needs to be painted or coated for colouring.
  • The same coating is used in steel roofing materials.
  • Aluminum is very soft so it dents easily.
  • Aluminum is a precious metal so it should be used for roofs.  

Copper metal roof tiles

  • Long lasting and sturdy material.
  • Copper is lightweight.
  • Soft enough to easily tool.
  • Resistant to fire, hail and mildew.
  • Increases the value of the property.
  • It is energy efficient as it helps reflect heat.
  • Very expensive.

Alloy roofing products

  • Strong and durable materials
  • Resistant to fire, hail and mildew
  • Low maintenance
  • Most alloys are lightweight
  • Rust resistant
  • Cost is high

Copper tiles

Copper tile is noted for impressive durability and maintainability. The service life of this tile is more than 100 years. Within 10 — 12 years after roofing the copper tiles are covered by oxides and then by patina. In fact, it is one of the few types of roofing materials, which over time becomes only more beautiful.

Due to the small size of the elements you can use copper tile to carry out the installation of complex roof structures. The disadvantage of the described material lies in high prices and copper softness. In this regard copper roof installation must be carried out very carefully and the copper material should be not crumpled.

Composite tiles

Composite tile is a quite new roofing material and a kind of metal tile. It has a multilayer structure; it is a 0.5 mm thick steel sheet, coated with zinc and aluminum. Acrylic polymer coating with stone chippings is applied to one of the surfaces. Such technological approach allows achieving the effect of a natural tile. The stone chippings significantly increase the mechanical strength of the coating. Thanks to this coating, the tiles obtain a fine aesthetic appearance and, therefore, it is widely demanded by consumers. The inner side of the tile is covered with acrylic primer to protect the metal from corrosion.

Polymer sand-tiles

Polymer-sand tile is a technological product. This tile is made out of sand, which is bound with a polymer. The sand is the bulkiest part of the molding (up to 70%). Specially purified and calcimined river sand and various resins (thermoplastic polymers such as polyethylene or propylene) are used to produce quality tile. At high temperatures, the components are blended together, compressed into separate tiles and dyed. The components are mixed at a temperature of about 250 degrees, whereupon the obtained mass is poured into a special mold until it hardens.

Bituminous tiles

bituminous-tile-red-roof-tilesBituminous tile is a fiberglass or canvas made out of cellulose impregnated with bitumen. In order to provide ductility and strength to the shingles, polymeric additives are supplemented into the bitumen composition. The tile surface is covered with granite or basalt chippings on the outside. Chippings primarily create the so-called protective layer that provides additional strength and helps it obtain a special appearance. Such tiles are used on roofs with a slope of not more than 12 degrees. The lower surface is covered with tile adhesive, which greatly facilitates installation. You will not need any fixing materials such as screws or solution.

The bottom line is that it is a good idea for you to determine your roofing tile needs, and budget, before shopping around. There are many different options that are excellent for different structures and purposes, but it is best if you have an idea of what you need in mind first.

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