What Are the Different Types of Roof Tiles?

Tiles are one of the most popular choices for pitched roofs. They look great, are available in a range of aesthetics, are durable and, should a few tiles get damaged or displaced, they can be replaced without having to replace the whole roof.

However, tiles are just a style of roofing that can be constructed from many different materials, so what are the different types of roof tiles and what are the benefits of each?

Clay roof tiles

Clay tiles are probably what most people visualise when they hear the phrase ‘roof tiles’ and they are famous for their reddish-brown colours. Clay roof tiles last around 50-60 years and sometimes much longer. They also have a lower water absorption rate than concrete, making them very adept at dealing with bad weather. Clay tiles have a low environmental impact as they are made from natural materials and they are also efficient at retaining heat.

Slate roof tiles

Of all the different types of roof tiles, slate is one of the most sought-after roofing materials because of its beautiful, naturally layered aesthetic and grey-blue tones. Slate roof tiles are incredibly durable and can last up to 150 years if well maintained, as well as being fire-resistant.

Slate is environmentally friendly because it is a natural material and can be repurposed at the end of its life as a roofing material. However, the downside of slate roof tiles is that they are very heavy, and the roof deck will need reinforcing before they are installed.

Concrete roof tiles

Another type of roof tile is concrete. Concrete tiles have a lifespan of 50-60 years, making them a very durable option. One of the reasons that these types of tiles are so popular is because they are usually cheaper than many other options. 

They are also fire resistant and can be made to mimic the appearance of other materials, such as wood, clay, and slate, but at a lower price point. Concrete tiles are also heavier than clay, however, so the roof deck may need reinforcing before they are installed.

Metal roof tiles

Metal roof tiles can be made from copper, aluminium, zinc, or steel, and are very durable. Depending on the specific metal, these types of tiles can last between 40-70 years. Metal roof tiles are very lightweight, making their installation cheaper and easier. 

They are also available in different patterns and shapes so metal roof tiles can fit a range of aesthetics. The downside of metal roof tiles is that they can be expensive and can also be noisy in rain or hail.

Synthetic roof tiles

Synthetic roof tiles are man-made and can be made from a range of synthetic materials such as plastic. While many people prefer roofing materials made from natural products, there are some benefits to synthetic roof tiles. 

These types of tiles are cheap, both in terms of the material and their installation due to them being lightweight. They can also be made to simulate the look of other tiles or materials, and they are hard-wearing and resistant. 

While some synthetic tiles may not be particularly environmentally friendly, more and more options are available that are made from recyclable or sustainable materials, making them a more affordable eco-conscious choice.

There are quite a few different types of roof tiles, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Whichever material you choose, tiles are a great option for your roof, so if you are looking to install a new tile roof, please get in touch, and see how we can help.

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