Tiled roofs always look classic and high-quality. When deciding whether to tile the roof of your property, you will need to make some decisions about the roofing materials, style, and colours. Here at CheckaRoof, we can discuss the different options with you and make sure that you get the tiled roof that is perfect for you.
Tiled roofs are often mistaken for slate roofs and this is because they can appear quite similar at first glance. Slates and tiles that are overlapping to create a roof can look almost identical (and concrete roofing tiles can be made to look like slates to further confuse the issue). But a tiled roof is quite different from a slate roof. Tile roofs are made of clay or concrete, rather than slate, and they have different properties.
The two tiles are similar in many ways which can make it difficult to make a choice between them. They do have some key differences, however, which can be important when making an informed choice between the two.
The lifespan of clay and concrete roof tiles is comparable. They are both usually sold with a guarantee of 30 years but are most often expected to last at least double that time.
Both types of tiles are highly durable. They are waterproof and can hold their own even in extreme weather conditions, including high winds, hail, and heavy rain. Clay is more brittle than concrete so can be more prone to breakage.
They are also both highly fire-resistant, which can help to keep your home safe if it is in danger of catching alight.
Concrete and clay tiles are very similar when it comes to the amount of maintenance that is required. They are both extremely low maintenance, with a yearly cleaning being the only real effort that needs to be put in. Concrete can require slightly more cleaning because it absorbs more water so there is a higher risk of mildew growth.
This is where clay roof tiles and concrete tiles can start to differ. Concrete roof tiles are significantly heavier than clay roof tiles. So care needs to be taken to ensure that the building structure is able to withstand the weight and to add the necessary reinforcements if they are needed.
This weight difference is compounded by the fact that concrete tiles absorb water at a much greater rate than clay tiles. This water can makes the concrete tiles heavier again.
Clay tiles are significantly more expensive than concrete tiles, with an increase in the cost of up to 25%. The is due to the higher cost of the roofing material as well as the manufacturing process. Since they both have a similar lifespan, many homeowners opt for concrete tiles due to this difference in cost.
Beauty is, of course, in the eye of the beholder. So whether you find a concrete tile or a clay tile more attractive is often a matter of personal taste, and there are pros and cons on both sides.
You have a much wider range of choices when it comes to the colour of concrete tile roofs than you do with clay roofs. This is because the colour is applied at the end of the manufacturing process for concrete and it can be any colour that you choose. This gives you a much better chance of personalising your roof to your own taste and style. Concrete tiles can even be made into a man-made slate to give you the luxurious look that comes from slates, without the associated price tag.
Whereas for a clay tile, the only choice you have is its natural colour after the manufacturing process kiln has been completed. This is often terracotta but can be shades of orange, brown, yellow, or even white.
If you live in a listed property, there may be building regulations in place that limit the building materials you can use, and this includes the materials for your roof. Occasionally, these regulations may stipulate that handmade clay tiles must be used when replacing any existing tiles. Or they may even say that other materials, such as slates, much be only be used for your roof.
Some people argue that the colour of natural clay tiles is always going to look better than the artificial colour of a concrete tile, but this isn't the only factor to consider. Because the colour in a clay tile is entirely bonded to the material itself, it will never fade.
Whereas for concrete, the colour has been applied to the top of the tile, so it will fade over time. Or it can even start to crack and peel.
Tiled roofs are, in general, an environmentally friendly roofing covering. For concrete tiles, the manufacturing process requires around 30% less energy than the process for creating clay tiling. In contrast, however, clay tiles are much more easily recycled because they are made from natural materials.
Both material options are excellent insulators, which can help to make your home more energy-efficient, reducing your impact on the environment (while also lowering your household bills!).
Slate is often billed as the most environmentally friendly roofing option, and it is very environmentally friendly, but they are very heavy so can use a lot of energy during transportation. Using a local slate can help to reduce the impact on the environment but it isn't always possible.
Concrete tiles can be a more versatile option than clay because they can be installed on buildings that have a much lower pitch. You can only install clay tiles, however, if the pitch is at a steep enough angle.
Concrete tiles are made out of a mixture of cement, sand, and water. These materials are subjected to extremely high levels of heat and pressure and then moulded into the desired shape. After which, the chosen colour is applied.
With clay tiles, clay is moulded into the desired shape and then it is placed into a kiln at high temperatures to bake it.
There is a wide variety of tile shapes to choose from each of which can give your tile roof a different look. There are also practical considerations that should be taken into account for many of them.
Plain clay tiles and concrete tiles are roofing tiles that are flat in shape. These flat tiles are layered on top of each other to create a watertight seal.
This can be a cheaper option than plain tiles and it is usually much quicker to lay. The tiles are moulded with a channel on one side and a dip on the other so that they all interlock together. This means that there is no need to layer the tiles to create a seal and they are quicker and easier to lay.
These roof tiles are semi-cylindrical in shape and are laid in an alternating concave/convex pattern. The shapes can vary slightly, which can give a different look. Common barrel tile shapes include S-shape and Roman, but there are lots to choose from.
Tiling a roof is a job that should only be undertaken by experienced professionals. Laying roof tiles is a skilled process that requires in-depth knowledge and years of experience for it to be done correctly.
The previous roof will be removed and the roof structure underneath will be examined to make sure that it has enough structural integrity to support the new roof covering. The rafters need to be clear of debris, such as nails, and they need to be clean and dry.
Next, felt will be laid across the rafters. This can also be a breathable roofing membrane that will allow moisture to escape more easily from the property. It is nailed on one side with galvanised clout nails and then pulled nearly taut and affixed at the other side.
The felt should come slightly over the fascia boards to allow rainwater to flow into the gutters. Before roofing felt was introduced, a lime mortar was used to hold the roof tiles in place.
The timber battens are the part of the structure on which the tiles will be affixed. The area will need to be gauged first to calculate what spacing the batten and roof tiles will need to be able to cover the entire roof space properly.
Finally, the roof tiles are installed in the pattern that has been chosen. Each tile needs to be mechanically fixed to the batten below. This is a time-consuming and intricate job. But, once it is completed, the roof tiles will likely not need to be touched for a very long time.
The installation of a tile roof is a skilled task that should only be performed by professional roofing contractors. We have years of experience and knowledge to be able to assess and install a tile roof on your building or home so that it will last for many decades to come. Get in touch with us today so we can start the process of installing the perfect tiled roof for you.