Pros and Cons of Tile Roofing

clay roof tile
Clay tile roofing is beautiful, durable, expensive and heavy. Fotolia

Tiled roofs are beautiful and durable. They are also expensive and heavy but that is just the nature of a building material that will last upwards of 100 years. Tile roofing is usually made from Concrete Roofing Tile or Clay Roofing Tile  and can come in shapes such as curved, flat / interlocking or fluted.

Tile roofing is a great choice for roofs that experience hot weather or exposure to salt air.

You will see tiled roofs most often in arid areas such as the southwest, and coastal areas like southern Florida or California. If you’re considering tile roofing for your home, be aware that these roofing systems are heavy and can break under certain conditions.

Just as there are pros and cons of shingle roofing, there are some pros and cons of tile roofing material:

Pros of Tile Roofing

There are many advantages to installing tile roofing regardless of which material you choose. Some of these advantages include:

Long-lasting

A tile roof can last over 100 years, especially when installed in the right climate. Clay and concrete tile roofs have been known to withstand hail, high winds and even fires. Once you install tile, you will never have to install another type of roofing again. Just in case, manufacturers will offer a 50-year warranty.

Plenty of choices

Clay, concrete and slate tiles come in a wide variety of colors and styles, so your home will match the roofing.

They give it a distinct Spanish or Southwestern look, depending on what you’re going for. These tiles have been known to match home styles like contemporary, European, colonial or historical. You can find them looking flat, round, in the style of wood shake roofing, or even as if they came from centuries-old homes.

More advantages to tile roofing include:

  • Impervious to fire damage
  • Resistant to physical impact damage
  • Can resist any kind of environmental, rot or insect damage
  • Withstands rain, snow or freezing/thawing weather without any damage
  • Environmentally friendly and can be recycled
  • Regulates the indoor temperature of your home because of the tile's thermal mass
  • Requires virtually no maintenance

 

Cons of Tile Roofing

There are some disadvantages to installing tile roofing. For those who are budget-conscious the initial cost is one factor to consider. A clay tile roof system can cost two to three times the cost of an asphalt roofing system. A clay tile roof can cost between $675 to $1400 per square (100 SF of roof area). Concrete tile roofs are more economical and cost $400 to $450 per square.

Installation

Installing tile roofing absolutely requires professional roofing contractors like you will find at HomeAdvisor. The tiles will need to be measured, laid in a specific pattern and checked so that no moisture gets through.

This is not a DIY project.

They’re Heavy

Weight is another factor. Your roof structure must be able to handle the weight of a tile roof which can weigh about 850 pounds per square for clay tile and 950 pounds per square for concrete tile. An asphalt roof  by comparison weighs around 225 to 325 pounds per square.

If you’re reroofing and replacing shingle roofing with tiles, you’ll need to hire an engineer in addition to a roofing pro to figure out where the structural reinforcement goes. You’ll be spending additional funds on the reinforcements to handle the weight of the tiles.

Other disadvantages of tile roofing are:

  • Material is fragile and can break during storms or inspections
  • Not usable for roof pitches below 4:12
  • Takes a longer time to install than asphalt roofing. Be ready for additional time and labor costs.