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Clay tiles vs concrete

Clay Tiles vs. Concrete: Which is Better for Your Home?

You have a variety of decisions to make when building your home, but one of the most important is choosing between clay tiles and concrete for your roofing. It might seem like an innocuous decision, but each material offers a unique set of attributes, making one better suited than the other. Whether you’re looking for durability, an aesthetically pleasing look, or other functional benefits, read on to find out which material is best for your home.

See also: Choosing Best Roofing

Quick Overview

Clay tiles are generally more durable and long-lasting compared to concrete. Furthermore, clay roof tiles can provide better temperature regulation inside a home compared to concrete.

Clay Tile Designs and Versatility

For many homeowners, there is a big draw to clay tile for flooring and other home improvements. This material provides a lot of variety in terms of being able to choose from many different shapes, sizes and colors. Clay tile is also great for breaking up large spaces and making them appear smaller. The design possibilities are endless with this type of tile as it can be configured into seemingly any pattern you might desire.

When considering clay tiles, the main point of argument arises over the durability and longevity of the product – with most people preferring concrete due to its toughness. That said, modern clay tile production processes have improved greatly compared with decades past, so now most clay tiles are extremely tough and long-lasting. This means that when installed correctly – i.e. with suitable grouting and sealing – they can still last for many years before replacement is necessary. Therefore, there’s plenty of reason to consider clay tile from an overall durability standpoint.

On the flipside, installation costs may be higher with clay tile than with concrete as specialized installation teams are required to make sure the process is done correctly. Additionally, sealing needs to be performed regularly in order to ensure that water does not seep beneath the surface and cause staining or mould problems. All these considerations must be taken into account when deciding on whether or not to use clay tiles in your home improvement project.

Overall, despite its potential risks and costs associated with installation, the versatility of designs available makes clay tile an attractive option for those looking to add their own design flourishes to their home décor. And when weighed against the advantages offered by concrete tile (such as durability), it can still be an appealing option for those wanting something a little more eye-catching.

With its wide range of versatility offered by clay tiles, homeowners have plenty of options when it comes to creating a beautiful look for their space. In the next section we’ll examine how this variety of choice impacts cost and installability factors, helping you make an informed decision on which material best fits your needs in the long-term.

Variety of Choice

When it comes to choosing between clay tiles and concrete, one of the biggest advantages is variety. Clay tiles are naturally beautiful, come in a wide range of colors, sizes and shapes, and can be used indoors or outdoors. They’re also an environmentally friendly option since they’re made from natural materials.

Concrete offers even more versatility; it’s available in a range of texture and color options, from smooth aggregate mixes to decorative embossed finishes. Concrete can also be formed into many intricate designs, making it an ideal choice for pathways, patios, walkways and driveways.

The range of textures between both options allows you to create different patterns and styles for your home. You can find everything from antiqued pavers for rustic charm to modern decking boards for trendy appeal. While there’s plenty of variety in terms of looks, both materials also have multiple installation options. Gravel-set slabs ensure longevity while loose-lay tiles provide flexibility without compromising on performance.

Given the variety of choices available with both clay tiles and concrete, homeowners have endless possibilities when creating and remodeling their outdoor spaces. Whatever your vision may be, clay tiles or concrete can accommodate and help make it come alive. With that said, let’s look into the different uses of these materials in the next section.

Different Uses

When it comes to making decisions about which type of tile material to use in your home, it’s important to consider the various uses that both clay tiles and concrete have. Clay tiles are extremely versatile and are used in a range of interior and exterior applications. They are often used as flooring in both commercial and residential settings, as well as for wall accents and backsplashes. Clay tiles can also be used for countertops, fireplace surrounds, as well as for patios and walkways.

Concrete tiles are most commonly used for floors in wet areas such as bathrooms and laundry rooms; however, they can also be used around pools and water features due to their waterproof quality. Additionally, concrete roof tiles can also be used for outdoor pathways and patios.

Both clay tiles and concrete have some overlapping uses like flooring in high traffic areas, but each material also has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages. Knowing the specific application will help you determine which tile material is better suited for your project.

With this in mind, let’s now explore the advantages of using clay tiles in more detail in the next section.

  • Clay tiles are denser than concrete, with an average density of 80 lb/ft3 compared to 150–190 lb/ft3 for concrete.
  • Clay tiles absorb much less moisture than concrete, with a water absorption rate of only 0.7% compared to 12% for concrete.
  • Clays tiles generally have a higher temperature resistance than concrete, with a maximum recommended temperature of between 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit versus 200 degrees Fahrenheit for concrete.

Essential Information

Clay tiles and concrete tiles can both be used for various interior and exterior applications, with flooring being the most common use. Clay tiles are also ideal for walls, backsplashes, countertops, fireplace surrounds and patios. Concrete tiles, on the other hand, are most often used in wet areas such as bathrooms and laundry rooms, as they are waterproof. Knowing the specific application is important when making decisions about which type of tile material to use.

Advantages of Clay Tiles

When debating Clay Tiles vs. Concrete for your home, one advantage that clay tiles bring to the table is their aesthetic appeal. Clay tiles come in extremely diverse color selection, with each tile unique in its own way due to the variance in glazes and finishing. This makes it possible to get a finish that perfectly accents your interior or exterior space. Additionally, many people like the warmth they feel when they touch clay tiles, making them desirable as flooring options.

On the other hand, clay tiles are more susceptible to cracking and movement due to temperature changes and moisture exposure. In addition to being very labor-intensive for installation, this means that installation must be done with precision and it’s generally easier if a professional is hired for the job rather than doing it yourself.

Overall, when looking at aesthetics, the unique variation of colors you can get with clay tiles can make them the right choice for any homeowner looking to highlight an area of their home. However, weigh carefully all of your options before committing since there will likely be additional costs associated with properly laying down clay tile and any necessary maintenance may cost you as well.

Now that we’ve discussed advantages of Clay Tiles – let’s move on to digging into what determines these tile’s durability:


Durability is an important factor when choosing between clay and concrete tiles for your home. Clay traditionally lasts much longer than concrete and is less susceptible to water damage, cracking, or breaking. It is also more capable of withstanding extreme weather conditions, making it an ideal pick for areas that experience very hot summers, wet winters, and extreme temperature fluctuations.

On the other hand, concrete can be made more durable by applying a sealant on top of the tile before installation. This will help to protect it from damage due to water or wear and tear over time. However, it should be noted that even with this extra effort taken, concrete usually requires more repairs over time due to its lack of durability when compared to clay tile.

Therefore, if you are looking for a material that stands the test of time and won’t require frequent upkeep and maintenance then clay tiles may be the preferable choice. As it’s been shown that clay tile often outlasts its counterpart due to increased durability, you have peace of mind knowing your investment will stay in good shape over the years.

No matter which material you choose, though, don’t forget to include proper installation protocol into your plan. If installed correctly, both materials are optimally protected against any kind of external damage.

In conclusion, although both clay and concrete offer unique benefits in terms of their own pros and cons related to durability, clay has the overall edge when it comes to lasting longevity—but only if it’s properly installed. Moving on from this key factor in selecting tile for your home’s flooring or wall covering needs, let’s now examine the aspect of low maintenance.

Low Maintenance

Low maintenance is a major factor to consider when deciding between clay and concrete tiles. Clay tile is an ideal choice for those looking for minimal upkeep; clay is highly resistant to the elements and needs cleaning just once or twice yearly. In contrast, concrete tiles require more frequent cleaning as they are susceptibile to staining from household dirt and pet dander. Although sealing concrete tiles can offer some protection, the process must be done repeatedly over time and will add to the overall cost of having concrete tiles. Clay provides superior protection against cracking and warping over time, whereas concrete requires more consistent upkeep in order to prevent signs of wear and tear.

Moreover, clay tile, due to its higher firing temperature during production, also resists mold and mildew better than other materials such as concrete. Clay offers an easy way to keep your home’s exterior clean while avoiding costly replacements down the road.

With this information in hand, it becomes clear that the low-maintenance factors associated with clay tile makes it a better long-term choice when compared to other materials such as concrete. As you prepare to make a decision about which material is best for your roof or driveway, it is advisable that you take a closer look at concrete tiles. The next section will discuss the advantages of working with concrete tiles for your home’s renovations.

Concrete Tiles

Concrete tiles are a popular choice for both interior and exterior flooring, providing a unique and contemporary look that fits well in many settings. The range of colors, patterns, and textures available makes concrete tiles incredibly versatile in terms of design. Concrete is also incredibly durable and can provide years of maintenance-free wear if cared for properly.

On the other hand, some may find concrete tiles too cold or industrial for their home, as it does not offer the same warm feel that you may get from clay tiles. Additionally, concrete absorbs water more easily than clay walls, which can cause warping with prolonged exposure to moisture and humidity. Sealing the tile before installation can alleviate this issue.

In terms of affordability, concrete tiles tend to be slightly more expensive than clay tiles but still offer a great value for the cost. With the right care and maintenance routine, concrete tiles have excellent longevity and require minimal upkeep over time.

The next section will examine the affordability of using clay tiling compared to concrete tiling.


When it comes to affordability, both concrete and clay tiles offer some great financial benefits. Clay tiles have long been seen as the more economical option due to the fact that they are made from natural materials and require less maintenance over time. Additionally, they can likely be found for a lower price point than comparable concrete tiles.

However, depending on the size of your project and where you purchase your tiles from, whether clay or concrete will be more affordable could vary greatly. In most cases, concrete tile does cost slightly more initially but also offers a great return on investment due to its longevity and lower maintenance requirements. So if you’re looking for something that will last for years to come but still falls within your budget, then concrete may be the best option for you.

No matter which material you decide to go with in the end, both offer a great way to update a space without breaking the bank. And with proper research and pricing comparisons, you can make sure to find a tile type that’s not only within your budget but also tailor-made for your next home improvement project.

Now let’s take a look at how easy it is to install clay and concrete tiles in your home.

Easy Installation

When comparing clay to concrete tiles, one of the most important features to consider is how easy they are to install. Clay tiles require a specific type of installation. Unless you’re an experienced DIYer or you have experience in tiling, clay can be difficult to properly set and secure. Typically, you will need to ensure that the substrate is completely level, as any level changes can cause cracking in the tile. On top of this, clay tiles often require grouting and need to be sealed after installation for protection.

Concrete tiles, however, tend to be much easier to install. Since they are made with a mixture of sand, cement and water, they weigh much less than their clay counterparts. This makes them much simpler to work with. In addition, they do not require a skilled hand nor do they always need grouting when installed. Concrete tiles rarely crack due to changes in the substrate so long as certain rules are followed during installation and some kind of sealant is used afterward for protection against moisture damage and staining.

When it comes down to it, concrete tiles are the clear winner for ease-of-installation compared to clay tiles. Though both will take time and skill for proper installation, concrete does not require the same amount of precision and knowledge as clay does — making it more approachable for even novice DIYers. Plus, once installed, its durability and strength makes it incredibly reliable over time. Now that we’ve established how easy each material is (or isn’t) to install let’s move on to comparing the two materials side by side in our next section: “Comparing Clay and Concrete Tiles”.

Comparing Clay and Concrete Tiles

When debating between clay and concrete tiles, there is no denying that both materials have their own unique benefits. Clay tiles are often chosen for a softer aesthetic that complements many styles of architecture while still providing enough strength to be used in outdoor settings. Concrete tiles offer more texture variety and improved resistance to intense environmental factors like direct sunlight and extreme heat.

Clay tiles are generally easier to maintain than concrete tiles due to their glazed surface which prevents dirt from sticking. The same glazed finish also makes them slightly more expensive as it must be applied after the tile has been fired in an oven. Furthermore, due to the denseness of clay, these tiles can absorb moisture more easily particularly in climates with higher humidity such as tropical regions. Consequently, additional protective sealants may become necessary for prolonging the life of these tiles within these areas.

Concrete tiles provide more options for customisation from a surface perspective as well as patterns, making them perfect for unique applications. While they do need some form of sealing, they are generally resistant to staining and therefore require less regular maintenance over time compared to clay tiles. Note however that this type of tile is susceptible to cracking under intense pressures such as heavy furniture or weighty objects being dropped on its surface.

In conclusion, while both clay and concrete tiles offer unique advantages when it comes decorating your home, it’s important to consider the environmental conditions that might affect the longevity of either material before making a decision. Next we will analyse their respective resistance to heat and UV radiation.

Heat and UV Resistance

As with many building materials, a major factor to consider when selecting between clay tiles and concrete is their resistance to the elements. Heat and UV resistance are key to lasting roofing materials – so which is better equipped for the job?

Clay tiles are highly distinct in that they offer excellent defense against ultra-violet rays. This long-term resistance holds true even when the tile’s color has been lightened due to sunlight exposure. Clay tiles can also withstand extremely high temperatures while still retaining their durability. The curved shape of these tiles are ideal for shedding water, snow, and sleet during inclement weather.

In comparison, concrete roofing tiles offer a different type of heat and UV protection. This type of roofing material features pigments blended into the concrete, offering permanent color that won’t fade over time. In addition, due to its low thermal conducting capacity and reflective ability, it can protect from the sun’s unrelenting rays when compared to metal or asphalt shingle roofing systems.

Overall, both clay tile and concrete roofs come with unique advantages for heat and UV resistance – meaning homeowners have viable options for their particular home needs. With this awareness in mind we can move on to examine another important factor for choosing between these two common roofing materials: impact and water protection.

Impact and Water Protection

Though terracotta or clay tiles are know for their durability, concrete offers a slightly better protection from impact and water damage. Terracotta has been known to chip easily when exposed to moisture and hard impacts, versus concrete which is more resistant. Both materials are beneficial in protecting the surface of your home, however concrete will preserve the integrity and original beauty more withstanding any outside elements that are thrown at it.

If you live in an area with a higher precipitation level or more potential for weather-related damage, concrete is typically the more popular choice among homeowners. When comparing the two in terms of longevity, concrete can withstand any unexpected changes in the weather with less maintenance than clay tile.

In terms of water protection, both clay and concrete offer a sturdy selection for keeping the area safe from water leakage due to condensation or flash flooding. Weighing both water protection and impact resistance together, concrete offers a superior shield for your home against any form of weathering due to its solid composition.

Conclusion: After evaluating the comparison between clay tiles vs. concrete in terms of impact and water protection, it is clear that while they both offer strong protection, concrete appears to be the better option overall. In our next section we will weigh out the pros and cons of each side before determining which material is best suited for your home renovation project.


Clay tile and concrete are both well-suited materials for use in a home. Ultimately, the decision of which material is best for a particular project comes down to a variety of factors, including budget, aesthetic preferences, and the environment in which the material will be used.

On one hand, clay tiles can offer greater durability and a wide range of colors and patterns; however, they may be more expensive than concrete. Clay tiles require specialized installation techniques to ensure their longevity. Installation costs can also make clay tiles less cost-efficient than concrete in some cases. Yet if you want an attractive, durable material that is relatively low maintenance and can withstand varying weather conditions, then clay tile may be the better choice for your home project.

Concrete offers many advantages as well. It is typically cheaper than clay tile, easier to maintain over time, and requires less specialized installation techniques. Concrete also tends to be more resistant to staining and cracking than clay tile when exposed to temperature changes or harsh weather conditions. However, concrete does not offer the same customization options as clay tile does, and it may not last as long when exposed to heavy wear or certain environmental conditions.

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer when deciding between clay tile or concrete for a home project; it all depends on the individual situation and requirements. By weighing the pros and cons of each option carefully, homeowners can determine which material is best suited for their needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do the installation costs of clay tiles compare to those of concrete?

The installation costs of clay tiles and concrete can vary greatly depending on the type and quantity of materials needed, as well as the complexity of the job. Clay tile usually requires more labor and supply costs than concrete, because it takes longer to lay and is more difficult to install. Additionally, clay tile may require cost-adding techniques such as grinding and sealing, which adds to the overall cost. Concrete on the other hand typically requires less labor and material costs than clay tile. As a result, concrete usually has lower installation costs than clay tile when factors like design, size, and quantity are considered.

What advantages and disadvantages do clay tiles have over concrete?

Clay tiles have several advantages over concrete. Firstly, they are more durable and require less maintenance than concrete, making them a great option for any home. In addition, their classic style can increase the value of a home and add character to any room. Lastly, clay tiles naturally hold heat, adding insulation and warmth during the colder months.

However, there are also some disadvantages to clay tiles. Clay tiles can be expensive, especially in comparison to concrete. Additionally, because clay absorbs water easily it is more prone to cracking or chipping when exposed to moisture or extreme temperatures. Finally, clay tiles require sealed grout lines in order to remain waterproof and prevent excess dirt build-up in the long run.

What is the life expectancy of clay tiles compared to concrete?

The life expectancy of clay tiles compared to concrete can vary greatly depending on the conditions and the environment where they are used. Clay tiles are more vulnerable to weather conditions than concrete and therefore, may not last as long. When installed in dry climates, they can last up to 25 years or more, while in damp climates, their life expectancy can be as short as five years.

Concrete, on the other hand, is much more durable and can easily last between 20-30 years when properly maintained. However, it is vulnerable to cracking and chipping due to improper installation or extreme temperatures. Therefore, it must be monitored carefully throughout its lifespan to ensure optimal performance. Nevertheless, both clay tiles and concrete offer significant benefits to homeowners and can add lasting beauty and value to any property.

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