Symphony Slate™ -- CertainTeed’s Synthetic Roof Slate Product Review
CertainTeed Corporation manufactures and sells a synthetic imitation roof slate under the brand name Symphony Slate. The product is composite material manufactured from polymers. Imitation roof slate tiles provide an attractive alternative to natural slate for any homeowner looking to incorporate the look of natural slate into their home’s appearance.
CertainTeed’s Symphony slates are available in natural slate colors and their texture and contours are incredibly close to those of natural slate tiles.
As with any type of home building material, the CertainTeed Symphony Slate has its pros and cons which must be considered before choosing to purchase and install the product. It is recommended that you consult with a professional roofing contractor or reseller specializing in roofing materials about the CertainTeed Symphony Slate before you choose it for your home or business.
- The appearance of the slate mimics the appearance of natural slate very well.
- Symphony imitation slates are available in natural earth palettes including Colonial Gray, Capital Blend, and Evergreen.
- The product is lightweight which may allow it to be installed on structures that cannot support the weight of a natural slate roof.
- The cost of synthetic slate installed is less than the installed cost of a natural slate roof system. The natural slate product is not only higher in price but also requires more labor to install which increases the cost in comparison to the CertainTeed Symphony Slate.
- The products color is throughout the material and not applied to just the surface of the slates. This helps retain the color over the life of the product and resist fading as a result of ultraviolet rays from the sun.
- The product is installed using pneumatic air guns which increase the speed of installation when compared to natural slate. Natural slate is hand nailed which slows the speed of application down increasing the labor costs of installing the slate.
- The product has a high wind resistance rating making it ideal for buildings and homes exposed to high wind speeds. The manufacturer warrants the product against wind damages. Natural products such as slate may not be covered by a manufacturer warranty.
- Cutting and fitting slates can be accomplished without the use of specialized equipment. This makes installation easier when compared to natural slate which requires specialized slate cutters to cut natural slate to the proper size before installation.
- CertainTeed offers pre-formed hip and ridge accessories which provide a one piece weather tight seal for the hips and ridges of a roof system. In comparison, slate requires the use of a sheet metal flashing detail or the use of two separate pieces of slate for hip and ridge details.
- Symphony slates can incorporate a ridge vent to enhance attic ventilation.
- Shatter resistant, unlike natural slate which is susceptible to cracking from foot traffic and cold weather.
- 50-year limited warranty and 7-year defect warranty.
- Symphony imitation slate tiles have a UL Class A fire resistance rating with approved underlayment.
- The cost of the synthetic slates, when compared to standard asphalt shingles, is much higher.
- The details for finishing roof penetrations and perimeter edges require the use of sheet metal breaks with specialized metal profiles. It is recommended that copper or another type of sheet metal be used as part of the roof system that matches the expected life span of the Symphony Slate roof.
- Symphony Slate requires the installation of a solid deck surface to apply the slate to. In comparison, natural slate can be installed over the lathe. This increases the cost of the synthetic slate installation if the homeowner already has a slate roof installed using a lathe.
- CertainTeed's Symphony imitation roof slate tiles are ENERGY STAR rated but are not eligible for any federal tax credits.
As a professional roofing contractor with over 20 years’ experience, I have had the opportunity to work with many different types of roofing materials.
This includes many different types of synthetic and natural slate materials. Many of the synthetic slates that have been manufactured and sold to homeowners and building owners have experienced problems after only several years of installed service life.
I have been pleased with the results of the installations we have completed using the CertainTeed Symphony Slate product. I would strongly recommend its use on your home or business. It will provide an enhanced look and a long-term roofing solution for your home or building.