If you have discriminating taste, a typical shingle roof will probably be disappointing if you look for a style that is out of the ordinary.

Although shingle roofs are functional and attractive, it does not compare with the beauty and elegance of a tile.

Roof tiles are designed and engineered to keep water out of a home’s interiors.

Tiles differ from conventional asphalt shingle roofs in both their materials and looks.

As far back as the 16th century, slate tile roofs were already being applied, and clay roofs have been used since 10,000 BC.

Slate and clay were popular because they are widely available locally. But with home construction innovations in the 19th century, concrete and metal tiles started to have broad applications.

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11 Types of Roof Tiles

Installing roof tiles via Commercial roofing services is an excellent way to customize a home. But options differ in cost, durability, weight, and appearance. This section breaks down the nine most popular roof tiles to understand what makes each material unique.

Slate Tiles

Slate is a natural stone material with a unique and beautiful appearance. Slate provides a dramatic color variation and is deepened further by time and Mother Nature.

More so, slate is a fire-resistant material and is durable and long-lasting. It is one of the classiest roof materials available.

But the disadvantage to slate is it can be heavy and requires reinforcement of the structure to support the extra weight. It is also expensive and complicated to install, making repairs a potential problem.

Metal Roof Tiles

The common materials utilized in roofing are copper, aluminum, and steel.

Among these materials, steel and aluminum are the most widely used. Metal tiles come in different patterns and shapes to resemble products such as barrel, slate, wood shake tiles, and even conventional shingle patterns.

Metal roof tile materials have become popular because of their lighter weight and easy installation. But those same advantages could also be their disadvantages.

· Metal can be noisy

· Metal dents easily and make repairs a problem.

· It is dangerous to walk on metal roofing, especially when it is wet.

· Metal is a heat conductor and does not provide much insulation value.

Concrete Roof Tiles

Concrete roof tiles were invented in Bavaria in the middle of the 19th century.

The core components of concrete are affordable and widely available.

These 19th-century tiles are entirely handmade, but modern manufacturing methods have made concrete roof tiles one of the least expensive materials on the market with technological developments.

Concrete tiles are beautiful and designed to resemble wood, clay, and slate tiles.

Concrete can be heavy and requires a robust roof structure reinforced to handle the additional weight of these stone roofs.

You might also need a roofing crew familiar with the tools and procedures to install the concrete tiles properly. Concrete has the same installation and maintenance requirements as clay.

Composite Roof Tiles

Composite roof tiles, including synthetic roof tiles, are a mixture of natural and manufactured materials with many advantages compared to natural stone, wood, clay, metal, or even concrete tiles.

More so, composite tiles replicate the appearance of a tile roofing product with the benefit of providing custom color mixes for many patterns. Composite is also lighter and can be installed by most experienced roofing contractors. It also comes with solid warranties.

Solar Roof Tiles

Solar roof tiles can be an excellent replacement for standard roofing material. Their electricity-producing roof tiles are incorporated into a battery assembly within your home and naturally draw sun power.

The number of solar tiles on your roof can significantly dent your electric bill. There are different tile styles, but most homeowners are more interested in performance than eye appeal.

Solar roof tiles are expensive and require expert professionals to install, repair, and maintain them.

But for future-forward homeowners, solar tiles move you toward the goal of 100% eco-friendly construction and practices.

Clay Roof Tiles

Clay roof has an extensive history.

The base materials of clay have always been easily accessible.

The tiles are handmade, sun-dried, and installed on the roof. But modern-day processes of manufacturing tiles mainly depend on machines.

But the final product is just as beautiful and elegant as handmade creations. Most homeowners are used to seeing a clear roof in the shape of barrels and flat tiles. These come in various colors and are sealed to be water-resistant.

Clay tiles can be heavy and susceptible to breaking if not carefully handled.

The installation will require a professional roofer with extensive experience. Like concrete and slate, a clay tile roof will need considerable reinforcement to support the hefty weight of the clay.

Synthetic Spanish Barrel Roof Tiles

Synthetic Spanish barrel roof tiles originate from Brava and create the timeless beauty of a Spanish Villa without the initial cost of reinforcing your entire roof.

Synthetic tile materials are recyclable, fire-resistant, available in innumerable color combinations and do not require the same maintenance as clay roof tiles.

Synthetic Slate Roof Tiles

Synthetic slates resemble composite slate tiles, but without the weight and complication of replacing broken tiles and the regular maintenance of inspecting your gutters to ensure no water is backing up that can freeze and break the tiles in the cold months.

Some synthetic tiles are engineered with a Class IV impact rating and can be designed with countless color options. It is lightweight and manufactured from eco-friendly composite material.

Synthetic Cedar Roof Tiles

 Cedar shake roof tile is the best alternative to natural cedar shakes.

It is made from a composite material that won’t warp, crack, split, or rot.

It is fungus-resistant, just like real cedar shakes, because they do not hold moisture. Lightweight and effortless to install, the shingles provide the look of a cedar split shake roof without complications.

Reclaimed Roof Tiles

Reclaimed roof tiles are an excellent alternative to purchasing new ones.

It is eco-friendly and adds authenticity to renovation projects. Clay and slate materials that are well-maintained have a longer lifespan. If you are tackling a heritage project or living in a conservation area, utilizing reclaimed roof tiles is good.

But roadblocks can occur if you cannot source enough tiles for the project. You must be aware that reclaimed tiles must be fitted according to current standards no matter how they were installed.


Pantiles are traditional roofing material in the Netherlands and have been around for 500 years.

While older pantiles were manufactured from clay, most are now made from concrete though they can still be up to a third lighter than a majority of tiles.

This material adds character to a structure and is extremely durable under harsh weather elements. There is a range of colors of pantiles available in both traditional and interlocking styles.

Tile Roofing Advantages and Disadvantages You Need to Know

If your old roofing needs to be replaced due to damage or years of use, you will need to apply due diligence comparing the different roof installation products and alternatives.

Many homeowners opt for tile. Tiles are aesthetically pleasing and complement a wide range of home styles. But before installing a tile roof, you must compare the benefits and drawbacks.

What Are the Benefits of Tile Roofing?

Tile is a popular roofing material. This section explores why tile options are consistently popular.

Weather Resistance

Clay and concrete are durable and can withstand high and strong winds, hail, and even fire. Hence, this type of tile roofing is particularly effective during hurricane season.

Reduces Energy Costs

The spaces and gaps under the tiles can help prevent the sun’s rays from permeating the attic, reducing reliance on your air conditioning and significantly lowering your utility.

Minimal Maintenance

Because of the durability and resistance of tiles, little maintenance is needed.


A newly installed tile roof can last a lifetime. It isn’t unheard of for a home with this roofing to last 50 years.

Pest Resistance

In contrast to other materials, tile roofs are invulnerable to insect damage.

Environmentally Friendly

In most cases, tiles are made of clay or concrete, earth materials – a sustainable resource.

Once removed, they can be crushed, recycled, and made as a base material for roads.

Wide Range of Options

Clay and concrete are available in countless tiles and colors and ensure you can choose something to complement your home’s design.

What Are the Drawbacks of Tile Roofing?

While there are undoubtedly countless advantages to installing a tile roof similar to every roofing material, tile roofs have drawbacks you should keep in mind.

Tile Is a Heavy Material

Because of the heaviness of a tile roof, you must apply the correct structural reinforcement to support it safely. Hence, you must hire an experienced roofer who can assess if your home can hold the weight.

Tile Roofs Can Be Expensive

Clay and concrete material can cost twice as much as asphalt shingles.

But you will be investing in durability, longevity, and curb appeal. You will save money down the road because of less costly maintenance, and it may be several years before you have to replace it.

The Installation Process of Tiles Is Critical

For a tile roof to be correctly installed, you need to utilize specialty flashings designed for tile roofs.

The flashings are one of the root causes of why tiles fail and do not last beyond their 50 years expected life expectancy.

Hire a roofer certified by the Tile Roofing Institute and ensure they install the top flashings required for correct tile installation.

Tile Roofing Can Be Brittle

Although tiles are durable and weather resistant, they can crack or break from impact damage from falling objects.

Tile Gets Dirty

In some environments, tile roofs can be an environment for algae to thrive and form dark streaking.

But these can be washed and treated with Roof Rain algae prevention solutions that will keep your tile roofs clean for up to two years.

When selecting the material for your roof replacement, it is crucial to check the advantages and disadvantages of the countless options available. While the ultimate choice will be up to you, roofing experts can guide you to compare the different tile roofing available.

Frequently Asked Questions About Roofing Tiles

How Do I Select the Right Tiles for My Roof Pitch?

Calculating roof pitches and angles can be complicated. The pitch is how steep a roof is. There is no standard size for the pitch of a roof. It can vary contingent on geographical location and the era a structure was constructed.

You will find that some tiles are more suitable for higher pitches, whereas others can be used on low-pitched roofs.

The installation process is quicker and more affordable for low-pitched roofs.

It is also easier to access when maintenance and repairs are needed. But you could find cracks and crevices that appear due to backed-up water and ice.

On the other hand, high-pitched roofs will stay drier and prevent snow or ice build-up. But it can be more challenging to maintain due to the difficulty of access.

Every roof tile has a minimum pitch to stop water penetration. Hence, it is worth noting this number down to ensure that the tile is compliant with the roof pitch.

How Many Roof Tiles Will I Need?

Regardless of whether you hire a roofing expert or plan to do DIY the installation of tiles, you will need to know how many pieces of tile you need to order to ensure covering your roof can be completed in one go.

Although it can be tricky to determine the exact number, an excellent indication of the quantity needed can be attained by calculating the total roof area and dividing it by the tile size.

How Do I Tile a Roof?

Calculating the tile pieces you need is crucial in the roofing process. If you are a passionate DIYer, prepare roofing nails, timber, underlay, and sealant to complete the job.

Proper roof preparation involves removing an existing material and inspecting the sheathing to ensure it is in good condition.

Afterwards, the underlay can be installed from the bottom upwards to ensure sufficient overlap between each roll.

Once the underlayment is completed, you need to install timber battens to provide a solid surface for the roof tiles. The tiles must be spread evenly across the battens.

How Do I Maintain a Roof?

The best way to maximize your roof’s lifespan is to make sure it is well maintained.

A rudimentary check from the ground a couple of times a year will allow you to determine if there are any problems with your gutters, loosened tiles, or flashings.

The best time of the year to look into your roof is in the spring and autumn season.

Examine your roof and ensure it is in optimum condition before and after chilly winters.

While roof tiles are under the category of low-maintenance roof covering, they will need to be cleaned from time to time. Build-up on roof tiles such as dirt, moss, and algae are an eyesore but can also put pressure on the roof and cause problems with gutters.

There are countless ways to prevent moss from thriving, but regular gutter inspections and a thorough roof cleaning will increase the lifespan of your roof tiles.

You may also want to check if your roof is safe from nesting birds and other pests.

Installing a protector for your eaves and immediately replacing missing or broken tiles are crucial to preventing wildlife from invading your roof.


When installing a roof for your home, choosing a not easily blown away material is just one factor.

With ample choices of roofing materials on the market, it can be challenging to decide on the perfect finish for your project. Whether you aim for a classic look or a more modern vibe, a roof tile will be on the market to match your needs and aesthetic.

Popular choices available are slate which creates an aesthetically pleasing finish, and concrete, known for its durability and low maintenance requirements.

You will also find a range of roof tiles on the market with fire-resistant properties. Whether for residential or commercial roof applications, you can pick a tile that looks awesome and works well.