What Are The Different Types Of Roof Tiles

Many home owners considering a new roof eventually reach a point where they need to know: What are the different types of roof tiles? Having roof tiles installed atop homes has become very popular in places like Florida where property owners grew tired of constant repairs to asphalt shingles damaged by strong winds or excessive heat and moisture. Clay or concrete tiles can look beautiful atop a home, have solid protective qualities, and are less prone to damage from winds and moisture.

So, if you’re exploring a new tile roof system for your home, what are your options?

List of Roof Tile Choices

Most everyone is familiar with the Spanish-style clay roof tiles; but not many understand there or other types of roof tiles. Here’s a quick look at the most common:

  • Ceramic Clay Tiles. These are the common roof tiles, often in a Spanish theme but expanding in recent years to new colors, textures and styles. 
  • Stone Slate Tiles. Basically, rock material crafted into tiles for the roof, this style can come in a variety of colors and even with stylistic grains.
  • Composite Tiles. Also sometimes called synthetic roofing materials, composite tiles are created with a mix of ingredients used for roofing materials, like fiberglass, or asphalt. These types of roof tiles can be quite durable and resistant to moisture troubles.
  • Polymer Sand Tiles. These tiles are created by mixing sand with polymers –  molecular substances often used for bonding. While they are more durable than ceramic tiles, there are not many polymer sand tile manufacturers so options are limited.
  • Bituminous Tiles. These tiles are made of bitumen, a mixture of organic liquids that make for sticky and very waterproof roofing material.
  • Copper Tiles. Copper roofs have been around for centuries. Modern copper roof tiles come in a variety of stylistic choices, and the roof system is highly durable and lasting.
  • Metal Tiles. Roof tiles can be made from a variety of metals, including copper as noted above, and this type of roof system is known to be durable (but materials and installation usually cost more than other roof materials).
  • Concrete Interlocking Tiles. Concrete roof tiles are just that, a durable (yet heavy) roofing material with great protective qualities. One type is manufactured in a style making interlocking them easier and more effective.

Notes about Tile Roof Installations

It should be noted that installation of roofing tiles made of clay or other materials is more challenging than normal, and in most instances will cost more. Some are placed on a mortar bed, kind of like wall bricks held together with mortar between them as it dries. This takes time, and then there’s the weight. Some roofing tile types are very heavy, and a roof’s decking and support beams could require testing to ensure they can carry the added weight.

Roof tiles are almost always more durable than asphalt shingles, which crack and break loose when dried or blown. Aside from the added weight on a roof and increased installation cost, another factor to consider is repairs of broken tiles now and then. Think errant baseball, or a broken tree limb. Tiles can be cracked, and too many cracked tiles can make a roof look bad from the ground.

Final Words of Tile Roofs

Tile roofing is a solid, often visually pleasing roof system that can be very durable if installed correctly. If you’re considering a new tile roof, take time to discuss with potential contractors the types of roof tiles available, and installation challenges as outlined above.

It should be noted that the installation of a new tile roof system takes longer than average installations like for asphalt shingles. Slate tile installation can take up to a full week, and adding concrete tiles to a roof can take 8 or 9 days.

Reas our previous post to find out how long it takes to reroof a house

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