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Tile Roofing

Building and remodeling these days faces challenges that require careful examination of the products we use and how we use them.
Roofing materials are no exception. Tile roofing is one of the most eco-friendly products used today and has been for centuries. If you are contemplating a new roof soon, consider tile roofing. Here are a few of the styles to choose from:

Clay Tiles

Clay tiles, in addition to giving your roof great protection and durability, come in a variety of styles, colors, and textures for an impressive appearance. The most common style is the “S” tile, or the Spanish, Barrel, or Mission style. Another style is flat tile, or shingle tile. They handle the toughest of weather elements: wind, hail, and rain. Clay tiles last a minimum of 40 – 50 years and could last up to 100 or so! Since they are fireproof, you can expect your homeowners’ insurance to be lower.

Although clay tile roofing is one of the most expensive and labor intensive roofing materials for installation, their longevity makes their expense more reasonable. Installation should be handled by a professional roofer with clay tile experience.

Concrete Tiles

These tiles are made of sand, cement, and water and are very long lasting. They offer great protection, as long as all roof components are properly installed. Concrete tiles are very fire resistant and receive a Class A fire rating. They offer protection from hail and rain and can withstand wind speeds up to 125 miles per hour. Add that protection to effective snow run off and they become one of the more effective roof materials for weather proofing. Concrete tiles will last the lifetime of the house and seldom carry a limited lifetime warranty.

Some installation precautions should be taken if these tiles are used in hot climates. Concrete was first created in Europe and has been found to be the most valuable roofing in colder climates for over 100 years. Like clay tiles, concrete comes in a wide variety of colors, textures, and styles. They are also made to look like other roofing materials, such as clay, slate, and even wood.

Metal Tiles

Metal tiles come with a choice of metals for roofing. Galvanized steel is most common and is inexpensive. There is a tendency to rust, but metal tiles are resistant to other damage and can last 25 years or more. For longer-lasting tiles, aluminum is a good choice. Copper, a more expensive choice, is very beautiful for special treatments. There is very little maintenance and that comes with fully fire-resistant metal tiles.

Plastic Tiles

Modern plastic tiles, made from PVC or TPO, and are beginning to be recognized as one of the best roofing materials available. They are mainly made from recycled products like plastic bags and tires, and come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Because of their flexibility of design, they easily adapt to almost any style of home architecture.

Solar Tiles

These tiles are made of photovoltaic modules capable of being integrated into any standard roofing system and are connected by electrical sockets on their underside. This creates the electrical unit for electric current. They then use the sun’s rays to absorb heat and generate electricity for your home. With environment issues, electricity and energy costs, solar roof tiles are a technological development that may become the more usual in roofing materials. They are somewhat expensive to purchase, but the overall ease of installation and life expectancy of 25 – 30 years, along with a huge reduction in energy cost bring an enormous financial savings.

For your roofing project, you will certainly want to examine eco-friendly, cost saving, and durable tile roofing. Roofing is about more than the good looks of the tiles used, so be sure to contact a professional roofer for estimates and installation work.

While tile roofing is used throughout much of the world as a fire-safe, long-lasting roofing material, we only see a comparatively small amount of it in the United States. But if you’re looking for a unique, aesthetically pleasing roof your home, then you certainly won’t want to discount tile. Here is some more information.


The cost of a concrete tile roof, on average, runs between $4.50 and $9 per square foot for standard-grade tiles, or $7-$10 for deluxe concrete tiles. A ceramic clay tile roof will cost a bit more—between $7 and $10 a square foot for lower-grade tiles, or as much as $10-$30 per square foot for premium clay tiles. It’s best to get a few price quotes for your roofing project and go from there.


Tile roofing has the benefit of enhanced air circulation, which helps the roof shed solar heat more readily.

Tile roofing comes in an amazing variety of shapes, colors, patterns and textures.

It is fire-safe and long-lasting.


Clay roof tiles easily absorb water in areas where freezing frequently occurs.

Concrete roof tiles can be quite heavy and more expensive than other roofing materials.

Tile roofing must be handled with care, as the individual tiles can easily break if they are walked on incorrectly.


If properly installed and cared for, tile roofing is considered an extremely durable and long-lasting roofing material. To increase the durability, it’s best to avoid using clay tiles in cold climates, and concrete tiles in areas that are earthquake prone. Tile roofing can last as long as 100 years.


Tile roofing should be regularly inspected for cracks or leaks, but should not be walked on if at all possible. Mold, algae and dirt can be removed from a tile roof quite easily with a power washer and cleaning solution of warm water and dishwashing detergent. Just make sure not to aim the power washer too close to the tiles.

Common Questions and Answers

What are some of the main differences between clay and concrete tile?

Clay tile is usually associated with Mediterranean and Spanish architectural styles, and isn’t nearly as common in the United States as concrete tile. Concrete tile is used in the Southeast, Southwest and California more often than clay for a number of re

What shapes do roofing tiles come in?

Both clay and concrete roofing tiles are available in two shapes – profile and flat. Profile tile comes in pan and cover, S-tile and interlocking. Flat tile comes in interlocking and non-interlocking. Interlocking is preferred in areas where heavy rain an


Certainly one of the oldest roofing materials available today, tile roofing can be traced all the way back to 10,000 B.C. in Neolithic China. It is a commonly used roofing material in Europe, Middle East, and South America.

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