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Roof Tiles Comparison: Which is the Best for Your Home?

The roof over your home is an integral part of its structure and its ability to protect you and your family from the elements.

The quality and type of roof you choose can have a major impact on the utility and aesthetic of your home for years to come. But, with so many different roof tile options out there, how can one decide which is best for their own home?

Today, we are going to try and help you out by examining a few of the different types of roof tiles, such as Ceramic, Slate, and Concrete, and the advantages and disadvantages associated with each.

With the information discussed here, you should soon feel more confident in your decision when it comes to evaluating which type of roof tile will make the best fit for your home. Let’s dive right in!

See also: Choosing Best Roofing

Quick Overview

The best type of roof tile will depend on your location, budget, and desired look. Consider consulting with a professional roofer to determine which material and style will be most suitable for your needs.

What is Roof Tile?

When considering materials for a home’s roof, one of the most popular options is roof tiles. A variety of shapes, sizes and textures are available with this type of material, making them both aesthetically pleasing and functional.

Roof tiles come in many different types, including ceramic, concrete and slate. Each type of tile offers unique characteristics that may make it more suitable for certain areas and climates.

Ceramic tiles are of course durable but somewhat breakable if impacted greatly. They come in several colors and styles and can be either glazed or unglazed.

Ceramic tiles have the added benefit of being fire-resistant and are a great choice for sunny areas with strong air ventilation, as they cool more quickly than concrete tiles. The primary disadvantage of ceramic tiles is their increased cost in comparison to other types of roof tiles.

Concrete tiles are heavier than ceramic but also much less expensive, making them a popular choice for homeowners on a budget. They come in various textures as well as natural earth-tone colors and offer superior resilience against winds and impacts from hail or branches.

One potential downside to concrete roofing is its heat retention which can cause damage over time to the underlying structure.

Finally, slate roof tiles are crafted from natural stones, providing an attractive and timeless appeal to any home. Although they have higher upfront costs than other roofing solutions, slate roofs can last up to four times longer than asphalt shingles or ceramic roof tiles, saving money in the long run.

It should be noted however that slate roofs require considerable know-how when it comes to installation and warrant frequent inspections due to their fragility when broken.

No matter which type of roof tile you choose for your home, it’s important to consider all aspects in order to find the best option for your unique situation.

Choosing the Right Roof Tile

Choosing the right roof tile is an important decision that can have a long-term impact on your home’s safety, efficiency and aesthetics. When selecting the best tile for your property, several aspects must be taken into consideration, including material type, style, cost and maintenance requirements.

First and foremost, one of the most critical factors to consider when looking for tiles is the material from which they are made. There are four primary types of roof tiles available: metal, asphalt shingle, clay/concrete, and wood shake. Each of these materials has unique advantages and disadvantages to take into account when making your selection.

clay roof tiles

For example, metal roofing is highly durable but can become slippery when wet; clay and concrete roof tiles are extremely attractive yet very heavy; and asphalt roofing is economical but not as durable as other materials.

Ultimately, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each option will help you find the right tile for your needs.

Along with material type, it’s also essential to think about style when making a decision. Many homeowners prefer tiles that complement the rest of their architectural scheme such as Spanish-style terra cotta or slate accents that reflect their individual tastes.

Cost can also be a determining factor in the decision-making process; certain materials may be more expensive than others depending on their quality and installation time. Additionally, while some materials require little to no maintenance like metal roofing systems, others like wood shake roofs may need periodic sealing or staining to maintain their longevity.

Weighing all of these elements carefully will enable you to make an informed choice about the optimal tile for your home’s roof. Now that you’ve considered what type of tile is ideal for your property’s architecture, aesthetic, budget and lifestyle requirements for a successful installation and long-lasting performance – let’s move on to the next section featuring an important discussion about longevity.

Top Points to Remember

When selecting the best roof tile for your property, you must consider material type, style, cost, and maintenance requirements. All of these factors will help to ensure that you make an informed decision about which tile is ideal for your home’s roof and provide a successful installation with lasting performance.


Longevity is an important factor in choosing a new roof tile for your home. Over time, all tiles can damage and require replacement. Depending on the material you select and the upkeep it receives, you may get anywhere from 20-50 years of life before needing to replace all the tiles.

Asphalt, flat concrete, and clay tiles typically lack durability and long-term performance when compared to higher-end materials such as slate, stone-coated steel, and fiber cement. Asphalt tiles are resistant to fire but degrade quickly due to UV lights.

Flat concrete tiles, which can be made from recycled material, don’t last long either; You can expect about 15-20 years of lifespan before needing to be replaced. Clay tiles do offer a good lifespan of around 50 years if maintained properly; because they are harder to repair or replace without causing long costly delays.

Slate roofing is an extremely durable material with one of the longest lifespans on the market at up to 100 years–but it comes with a hefty price tag. Similarly, stone-coated steel roofing is not only fireproof and lightweight, but it also has a lifespan of up to 75 years depending on its coating maintenance.

Finally, fiber cement tile offers a more budget-friendly option while providing longevity estimated at 30-50 years based on usage and care instructions given by its manufacturer.

With so many different types of roofing material to choose from it is essential to evaluate their longevity when making your decision­–sacrificing low cost for higher quality roofing that will last for generations could save you money in the end. The next section will discuss how strength and durability come into play with various types of roof tiles.

Strength and Durability

When it comes to finding the best roof tile for your home, the strength and durability of the product should be at the top of your list. Depending on your geographical location, materials that are more resistant to heavy rainfall or snowfall, high winds and hail – as well as extreme temperatures – should be considered.

  • Clay tiles are known for their strength and durability, as well as their ability to withstand natural elements for up to 50 years and remain relatively maintenance-free.
  • Slate is a great option if you live in an area with changing weather patterns and intense sun during most of the year; slate effortlessly resists sunlight, extreme temperatures and wintery weather while maintaining its beauty over long periods of time.
  • Concrete tiles on the other hand, have low impact resistance but are able to take a few knocks and still stay intact.

However, some people opt for composite roof tiles because they combine all of the benefits of traditional materials such as clay or slate while being cost-effective. Composite roof tiles are light in weight yet strong enough to handle high winds without losing shape or cracking, making them ideal for extreme climates.

Equally important is their capability to resist fire; these tiles may not be flame-retardant, but they will not easily start fires when exposed to sparks from grills or lightning strikes.

It is clear that there are numerous roof tile materials with various strength and durability ratings based on their composition and face-to-face comparison tests may be required before making a choice that best suits your home’s needs. With this in mind, we now turn our attention to the next important aspect: weather resistance.

  • Clay and concrete roof tiles are generally considered to be the most cost-efficient roofing materials, as they have a lifespan of 40-50 years and require minimal maintenance.
  • Metal roofing tiles are also becoming increasingly popular for their energy efficiency and durability; however, they can be expensive upfront due to their higher installation costs.
  • According to the Department of Energy, asphalt shingles are typically the least costly option, but they will typically need to be replaced after 15 to 30 years.

Weather Resistance

Weather resistance is a serious consideration for choosing roof tiles for any home. Long-term performance will vary greatly depending on the type of tile used and its overall durability.

Closeup of hail storm grains on a roof

There are some tiles that perform better in harsh weather conditions which makes them ideal for wetter climates or areas prone to snow and ice. On the other hand, some roof tiles are designed to resist heat better, making them perfect for hot, dry regions.

If you’re living in an area with climates that experience both extremes, it can be difficult to choose the right tile. You’ll need to consider how each material holds up under various weather conditions so you don’t end up replacing your roof shortly after installation.

Concrete and clay tiles tend to do best in harsh weather situations as they are much heavier than lighter materials like slate or asphalt shingles. This weight helps keep them secured under extreme conditions.

Slate and asphalt shingles offer more attractive options and generally cost less but they can be easily damaged by hail or strong winds unless properly anchored down during installation.

Both of these materials may require extra maintenance over time due to their lower durability compared to clay and concrete. Ultimately, the decision will depend on the climate and budget of the homeowner, as well as their preference for aesthetics.

No matter which type of roof tile is chosen, proper installation techniques should be followed closely to ensure maximum protection from the elements over time. Taking these steps early on can help prevent costly repairs or replacements in the future due to weather damage.

Now that we have discussed weather resistance, let’s turn our attention to different types of roof tile and their advantages and disadvantages.

Types of Roof Tile

When considering what type of roof tile is best for your home, it helps to first understand the different types of tiles that are available and the pros and cons associated with each. Roof tiles can be divided into three main categories – clay, concrete, and slate.

Clay tiles are durable, fire-resistant, and won’t crack in extreme temperatures. They can also come in a variety of colors and styles to fit any aesthetic. However, one disadvantage with clay is that it does require more maintenance than other tile materials (cleaning often), and is also on the heavier side compared to the others making installation more labor-intensive.

Concrete tiles are much lighter than clay and have greater resistance to harsh weather conditions. They also offer homeowners options when it comes to design as they can be made in a range of sizes, styles, and colors to suit individual preferences and needs. However, they are usually more expensive than other tiles and may require some extra reinforcement during installation due to their lightweight structure.

Slate tiles are perhaps the most durable material you can use for a roof; they are heavy, long-lasting, water-resistant, and fireproof. As an added bonus, they add a touch of elegance to any home’s exterior. Unfortunately, slate is also very expensive compared to other materials on the market and will take a lot of expert care to ensure it lasts for many years without issues.

It is important to weigh all these factors before committing to any particular type of tile as each has unique advantages that make them well-suited for certain homes or climates. Now that we’ve looked at different types of roof tiles let’s turn our attention toward asphalt shingles which offer their own unique benefits for homeowners…

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are a widely used roofing material in North America and Canada because they are attractive, widely available, and generally inexpensive. These shingles tend to last up to 30 years when properly maintained and come in a variety of colors. Asphalt shingles also have the benefit of being lightweight compared to other materials and are not too difficult to install yourself.

Asphalt Shingle Roofing in New Orleans - Big Easy Roofing

On the other hand, asphalt shingles can require more maintenance than some other options, due to their susceptibility to wear and tear from strong winds. Also, as they age, they tend to become brittle and can easily be damaged or torn off if exposed to harsh weather conditions.

The debate between durability vs affordability is an important factor in choosing a roof covering for your home. On one hand, asphalt shingles provide a quick and economical fix that won’t break the bank; however, those looking for long-term protection may wish to consider alternatives such as clay tiles – which will be discussed further in the next section.

Clay Tiles

Clay tiles are one of the oldest types of roofing materials, and are still widely used today due to their aesthetic appeal and longevity. Clay tiles can last for decades, with proper maintenance, and come in a variety of styles and colors to suit any home. As with any roofing material, there are pros and cons associated with clay tiles.

The biggest benefit to using clay tiles is that they are extremely durable and fire-resistant. The material can resist high winds, hail damage, and other severe weather conditions, making them ideal for areas with extreme weather conditions.

Clay tiles also remain cooler during hot summers, helping to keep cooling costs down. In addition, the clay material helps reduce noise pollution coming from outside.

On the other hand, there are some disadvantages to using clay tiles as well. Firstly, they are quite heavy which may require additional reinforcing in order to ensure structural integrity – something that not all roofs will support.

Additionally, installation costs can be higher than other options due to the added labor involved in securing them properly. As far as maintenance goes, clay tiles can require more care than other materials such as asphalt shingles since they have more crevices where debris and moss could collect on the surface.

Clay tiles offer many benefits for the homeowner looking for long-term durability and low maintenance requirements. Despite these positives though, careful consideration should be given to assess whether or not a home’s foundation can bear their weight or if additional supports will need to be installed first.

Leading into the next section: The next type of roof tile for consideration is slate tiles which offer unique benefits for homeowners who choose them.

Slate Tiles

Slate tiles are an increasingly popular choice for home roofing because of their durability and natural beauty. Slate is a metamorphic rock that has been used in roofing for centuries, and it is available in a variety of colors and textures. Slate offers excellent wind resistance, fire protection, and long-term stability. In addition, slate tiles require little to no maintenance, making them suitable for long-term roofing solutions.

Proponents of slate tiles cite their aesthetic value as one of the major benefits. Slates can be cut into different shapes and sizes to create beautiful designs, so homeowners can customize their roofs to suit any style or look. Moreover, slate adds rich color to the home exterior and can increase resale value.

However, many have debated the cost-effectiveness of slate tiles given their higher price point than other materials like Clay or Concrete Roof Tile alternatives. While initial costs may be higher when purchasing Slate, they are often offset by lower labor costs due to their easy installation process and longer lifespan.

Given its durability, fire protection, and aesthetically pleasing characteristics, slate tiles could be an excellent choice for many homes. But whether or not it’s the best choice depends on individual needs and preferences.

The next section will explore Stone tiles as another viable option for homeowners looking for new or upgraded roofing solutions.

Stone Tiles

Stone tiles are an increasingly popular choice for homeowners looking to make an aesthetic change. These long-lasting and high-quality roofs can elevate the presence of any home.

Stone tiles are created from either natural stone or solid slates; therefore, they can be extremely heavy compared to other tile options. Despite this drawback, they offer a wealth of benefits, including high insulation ratings and low-maintenance needs.

One of the primary advantages of installing stone tiles is their durability. If properly maintained, these tiles can last decades with few repair troubles. In addition, stone tiles bring an added level of fire resistance that is rarely found in other materials. This helps protect the structure of your home as well as its contents against potential fires and damage.

Slate Roof Poor Installation

However, stone tile roofs come with some drawbacks. The weight can be a major issue in older homes and may require additional structural support before installation takes place.

In addition, due to their weight, the cost to install a stone tile roof can be substantially higher than other types of roofs on the market.

Given their durability and natural beauty, stone tiles may still be worth considering despite their added cost and maintenance requirements, particularly if you’re looking for a roof with longevity and style.

But ultimately, it depends on your specific location and budget when choosing which type of roof tile is best for your home.

Next, we’ll explore the costs associated with installing roof tile in greater detail – starting with stone tile roofs.

Cost of Installing Roof Tile

Deciding whether to install roof tiles on your home and which type of tiles to use, should be done with the cost in mind. The cost of installing roof tiles can vary drastically based on the type of material you select and the complexity of the job-related labor.

Generally, clay or concrete tiles are among the more expensive options. Their unique qualities – including longevity and resistance to moisture and heat – might justify their higher cost. On the other hand, some asphalt shingle roofs are relatively inexpensive to install, making them attractive for homeowners cutting costs where possible.

However, asphalt shingles require more frequent maintenance and can wear out much sooner than clay or concrete.

Other factors that can drive up labor costs include steeply-sloped roofs, high heights, large construction zones, existing roof conditions like embedded nails and overlaps from prior layers, and complex designs and details.

Choosing a skilled contractor to manage these complexities is of paramount importance thereby avoiding costly future repairs while ensuring a strong roofing system at an affordable price tag.

Therefore, given that there is a myriad of materials and installation services available, it’s important to take into consideration all the factors before settling on a definite material for your roof tile project. Doing so will ensure you choose the best material for your exact needs without breaking the bank.

Installation Process

Homeowners should consider the installation process for roof tiles when deciding which is best for their home. A key aspect to understand about most types of roof tiles is that each individual tile must interlock with the tiles immediately next to it in a way that ensures the roof’s integrity and makes it water-resistant.

Installing roof tiles typically requires more experienced installers than other options like shingles, as they require careful precision and attention to detail.
Types of Roof Tiles and their Installation:

Clay Roof Tiles:

  • Among the most challenging types of roof tiles to install.
  • Each tile must be perfectly affixed to the ones surrounding it, requiring significant time, patience, and skill.
  • Special tools or accessories and extensive experience in roof tile installation are often needed.

Concrete Roof Tiles:

  • Relatively easier to install compared to clay tiles.
  • They do not require interlocking, simplifying the installation process.
  • However, concrete tiles are heavy and may require additional structural reinforcement, making them costly and complex to install.

Metal Roof Tiles:

  • Offer perhaps the easiest and fastest way to install a new roof.
  • They come pre-formed with integrated seams, and often, they can just be nailed into place.
  • Installation is relatively quicker and requires less specialized expertise.

Regardless of the type of tile chosen, the installation process is a major factor that requires careful consideration before making a decision. Once the installation aspect is acknowledged, homeowners can then explore the design options available for each type of tile to find the best fit for their home.

Consider Your Roof Tile Design Options

When it comes to roof tile design options, homeowners have plenty of choices. The type and color of the tiles can serve an aesthetic purpose, while their shape and material will affect how well they perform and protect the home.

Before making a decision on what type of roof tiles are best for your home, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each option.

  • Clay Tiles

Clay tiles are incredibly durable and come in a variety of colors and styles. They are also fireproof and resistant to moss, mold, and mildew growth.

On the downside, clay tiles require more maintenance than other materials, such as periodic washing with a pressure washer or annual re-pointing with mortar. Additionally, clay tiles can be heavy so extra support may need to be added to reinforce your roof deck.

  • Concrete Tiles

Concrete tiles are very popular due to their affordability and versatility in color, texture, and shape. While concrete tiles won’t rust or rot like some other materials, they do require occasional maintenance to prevent fading and dirt buildup. They are also heavier than many other options, which can put excessive strain on your roof deck if not installed correctly.

  • Metal Tiles

Metal roof tiles come in many attractive colors and styles that can mimic wood shake or traditional Spanish tile roofs without the hefty price tag or weight. They’re also long lasting and corrosion-resistant, plus very low maintenance with occasional rinsing with a garden hose being all that’s needed for upkeep.

One potential drawback is that metal roof tiles are noisy during rainstorms or hail storms compared to other materials like asphalt shingles or concrete tiles.

  • Slate Tiles

Slate roof tiles provide an elegant look to any home while providing superior durability against all types of weather conditions. Installation costs can be high since they are typically nailed into place by hand rather than snapped together like shingles, however, they also last significantly longer than other options – up to 100 years with proper installation – making them worth the initial investment in most cases.

Like concrete tiles, however, slate is quite heavy; thus you should get a structural evaluation prior to installation to make sure your roof deck is strong enough to support it.

  • Wood Shingles

Wood shingles were once used quite commonly on homes but have since been replaced by more modern materials such as metal or slate due to their shorter expected lifespan of 10-15 years versus other options like metal roofs which have an average lifespan of 40-70 years depending on the material and style chosen.

That being said, wood shingles still provide good insulation performance along with impressive weather resistance when properly maintained over time .

No matter which material you choose for your new roof tile design, there is no shortage of options available that offer both beauty and protection for your home.

Consider the pros and cons outlined above before deciding which type is best for you, and consult an experienced contractor if you have any questions about installation cost or longevity estimates associated with each type before making your final selection.

Frequently Asked Questions

What factors should be taken into consideration when choosing roof tiles?

When choosing roof tiles, consider factors such as durability, climate suitability, aesthetics, and cost. Durability affects the roof’s lifespan and maintenance needs. Choose tiles that can withstand your region’s weather conditions.

Opt for tiles that complement your home’s style and color scheme. Remember that more expensive tiles may offer better durability and aesthetics but might not fit everyone’s budget.

Are there any roof tile materials that offer better protection against extreme weather?

Yes. Certain roof tile materials offer better protection against extreme weather. Metal roofing is a popular choice, providing superior defense against strong winds, hail, snow, and fire. Metal tiles have a long lifespan and are energy-efficient, reducing your carbon footprint.

Clay tiles are also durable and excellent in extreme weather, resisting cold climates, hail, and high winds. Both metal and clay tiles reflect heat and offer insulation, making them excellent options for different needs.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of roof tile?

Clay roof tiles:

  • Advantages: Clay roof tiles are extremely durable and long-lasting, with the ability to last up to 50 years or more; they provide excellent insulation, protecting your home from hot and cold temperatures; they often look beautiful, creating a classic aesthetic for your home.
  • Disadvantages: Clay roof tiles can be very expensive to buy as well as install; they are prone to cracking in severe weather conditions; installation requires skilled laborers.

Concrete roof tiles:

  • Advantages: Concrete roof tiles are extremely durable and cost-effective due to their low price point; they are also one of the lightest materials on the market, making them easier to install and less likely to damage your existing structure.
  • Disadvantages: Concrete roof tiles do not offer great insulation properties, meaning that your home’s interior temperature could fluctuate significantly dependent on outside conditions; they also tend to have quite a uniform look, meaning that you may be limited when it comes to matching different shapes or styles.

Metal roof tiles:

  • Advantages: Metal roof tiles are very lightweight and easy to install, saving you money on labor costs when having them fitted; they offer excellent thermal efficiency by reflecting heat away from your home during the summer months and keeping in warmth during winter; plus their sleek metallic finish looks great on any home.
  • Disadvantages: Metal roof tiles can be expensive when compared to other material options; furthermore, installation can take longer than some other options available.

Thinking about getting tiles for your roof?

Consider these factors to help you choose the best option for you. Big Easy Roofing can help you make the right choice and ensure a successful installation. Contact us today for more information on our roofing services.

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