I really like tile roofs but aren't they expensive?

You’d be surprised. When you factor in cost per year of use, tile roofs are the same or less expensive than several other roofing materials. Both concrete and clay tile roofs outlast most other types of roofing; in Asia and Europe, many clay roof tiles have remained functional and beautiful for centuries.

How long do tile roofs really last?

A concrete or clay tile roof can reasonably be expected to outlast the building it protects. With that in mind, most manufacturers offer warranties of 50 years or more.

Are there tile roofs available that don’t look Spanish?

Absolutely. While Spanish-style barrel-shaped tile may come to mind first, clay or concrete tile is available in a multitude of shapes, profiles and colors to accent any architectural style, from colonial to contemporary. The possibilities are virtually limitless.

Are other colors available besides reddish-orange?

Yes! Roof tile colors include everything from earth tones that blend with the environment to vivid accent colors in blues and purples, even white to help reduce summertime cooling bills. You can also select blended colors or place different colored tiles in patterns across the roof surface.

Tiles last a long time, but how long will the color last?

Color can last indefinitely. Color may naturally soften after extended exposure to the elements. However, this occurs less with roof tile than with most other roofing materials.

Can a do-it-yourselfer install a tile roof?

Installing a tile roof is definitely not a DIY project. Tile roofs should be installed by a certified professional roofing contractor. TRI Alliance offers comprehensive training and certification for first-time and veteran roofers on code-approved installation methods. For trained professionals, tile roofs are one of the simplest systems to install.

What about the insulation value of a tile roof?

Tile roofs are very good insulators. The combined effect of roof tiles, decking and air space between the tiles allows for better air circulation and reduces direct heat transfer by up to 50%. Air conditioning costs are lower in the summer and formation of ice dams (ridges of ice that prevent melting snow from draining off the roof) decreases in the winter.

Won’t a building have to be stronger to support a tile roof? Won’t that cost more?

Not necessarily. Many homes require little or no additional reinforcement to support a tile roof. Any additional reinforcement needed usually represents a very small portion of the total project cost.
 

For detailed information about concrete tile weight, view this article from TRI member Eagle Roofing.

Are homes with tile roofs fireproof?

Clay and concrete roof tiles are noncombustible and have a Class A fire rating, the highest attainable. But a tile roof doesn’t make a home fireproof. However, tile roofing is safer than shingles, wood shake or metal because it allows air circulation under the tile, which reduces heat transfer to the attic during a fire.
 
For more detailed information, see Tile Roofs and Fire
 

What about hail?

Concrete and clay tiles hold up to hail much better than other roofing products. They can resist damage from hailstones that are larger than a golf ball and are tested according to FM4473 for hail resistance.

Hail Technical Brief

What about maintenance?

Clay tile with a matte or glazed ceramic finish is essentially maintenance-free. Concrete tile is very low maintenance as well and rarely needs any treatment; professional low-intensity pressure washing can be done if desired.
 
A temporary discoloration called efflorescence can occur on concrete tile roofs. It doesn’t damage the roof tile and usually goes away on its own, leaving the original roof color intact. Find out more.
 
Additional information about efflorescence and concrete tile roofs.

I have heard it can take several months to get delivery on tile. Is this true?

Not at all. Many production facilities have been built during the past few years allowing for better lead times. Special orders, including special colors, may require additional lead time.

Why consider a tile roof instead of asphalt shingles?

The aesthetics of clay and concrete roof tile outshine even the most upscale asphalt shingle on the market. Roof tile styles, profiles, colors and finishes far exceed the offerings of asphalt shingles. You can create unforgettable curb appeal while complementing virtually any architectural style.
 
Both clay and concrete roof tile are extremely durable as well as beautiful. Tile roofs can last 50 to 100 years or more, can be used in any climate or region and can withstand the most severe weather conditions, including fire, wind and snow. Most roof tile manufacturers offer warranties of 50 years or more.
 
Find out more about tile vs. asphalt shingles:
 
Pros and Cons: Asphalt Shingles vs. Concrete Roof Tile
 
Concrete Tile Roofs vs Asphalt Shingles: A 25 Year Comparison
 
Tile Roofs and Asphalt Shingles: An Honest Comparison

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