We invest a lot of time and effort into creating our dream home, along with copious amounts of money. The one thing that protects this investment is a roof that can withstand the various elements of nature. Rather than have a cemented roof that is prone to cracking and changing with the weather, a good way to take care of your roof is to use roof tiles.
Tile roofing consists of overlapping roof tiles that are attached to a solid substrate on a sloped roof. Installation requires skilled personnel and specific styles of laying these tiles may only be possible with specialized contractors. So while deciding on what tile to use, also take into consideration the labor costs involved in installing that particular type of roof tile.
With the variety of roof tiles available in the market, it is easy to get carried away. Choosing a roof tile is not just about the tile, there are various factors like the style, the type of tile, the neighborhood the house is in, and others that are integral to the decision.
The style of your house is the first factor to take into consideration while choosing the roofing tile. If you are going with a more traditional kind of home, it is best not to choose something like shingles as these are more suited to more contemporary styles of homes. A good roofing contractor or your architect may also be consulted to choose a tile that is suited to the aesthetics of the house.
Roof application is a cost and labor-intensive process. Take into consideration if you are applying the roof to a new structure or replacing the old roof. With a new roof, your choices are not limited to existing components such as the roof structure, composition, pitch of the roof, and so on. In case you are replacing an existing roof, it may be more cost-effective to replace only the tiles that are broken.
Budget is another important factor that has to be taken into consideration. While the options are many, it is best to go with tiles that are neither too cheap nor too expensive, as the pricing varies according to the material. Keep in mind that the cheaper ones may turn out to be more expensive to maintain in the long run due to frequent replacements. A high price, on the other hand, does not signify quality, neither that it might be the most suited tile to your need.
Durability is most probably the most important factor when it comes to choosing a roof tile. While the initial cost may seem high, the more the durability of a tile, the more you save in the long run due to a lower frequency of replacement and maintenance.
A suitable tile has to be chosen depending on the weather in your area. This will ensure longevity, as well as energy efficiency. For example, a rubber roofing tile may not be the best idea for a locality that has predominantly hot weather, asphalt tiles may be better. Also, the right tiles will repel heat or in the reverse case, help to retain warmth, thus contributing to significant savings on energy costs.
Taking all of these factors into consideration, let us now look at the top five types of roof tiles that are most commonly used and will make your decision easier.
1. Clay Tiles
By far the most common type of tiles used across the world, clay roof tiles were first manufactured centuries ago and are in use to this day. Clay roof tiles are made by baking molded clay. The density of clay roof tiles is determined by how long the tiles are heated, and at what temperature.
While traditional clay tiles were available only in orange or red, clay roof tiles offer various color options, coming in shades of white, yellow, orange, and even brown. However, the most common color of clay tile you can find is terracotta. The high temperatures used to bake clay tiles help bond the color so it will never peel or fade. They are a durable roofing option and highly insulating.
As with the colors, clay tiles also come in a variety of sizes and shapes and this can be mixed and matched for a look that is like no other. Clay roof tiles can also be combined with copper guttering or metal accents to create an old-world look.
While clay tiles have lower water absorption rates and are more durable as compared to other types of roof tiles, they can be slightly expensive both on the initial cost and the installation cost sides.
2. Concrete Tiles
Concrete tiles are made in a process that is similar to making regular concrete. A mixture of sand, cement, and water is molded under heat and high pressure to create these tiles. A dye may be added to the mixture to get a colored tile. If plain, the tile may be painted like regular concrete to achieve the desired look.
Concrete tiles generally come in three styles. Flat ones do not have any curves, low profile ones have a small curve and high profile ones have a large curve. Owing to the fluid nature of concrete tiles prior to curing, they can be factory-molded into a variety of shapes and textures that can simulate clay, wood shake shingles, or stone tiles, making them very versatile in nature.
Concrete tiles offer a very high level of durability, although it has to be noted that clay roof tiles are more durable than concrete ones.
3. Slate Roof Tiles
Slate roof tiles are manufactured from rock. These are popular due to their natural appearance and are widely used in homes that aim to attain a rustic look, or are set in rustic surroundings. They do come in a variety of color and texture options and colors vary according to the content of minerals that are in the slate. The most common color options are black, gray, shades of purple, red, and rust.
Slate tiles are most often mimicked by clay or other synthetic roof tiles due to the popularity of the look of slate. Other types of tiles that mimic slate tiles turn out to be cheaper options as compared to these. Slate tiles are quite expensive and need a very experienced roofer to install them. Overall, the costs can build up to be quite substantial. This cost is however justified as slate tiles will last for a very long time, some known to last around 100 years.
4. Metal Roof Tiles
Metal roof tiles are very similar to metal roofs in the fact that they share most of their advantages. Some of these are longevity, very few leaks, and durability. Metal roof tiles may be used in scenarios where the structure may not support other types of tiles. Metal roof tiles are lighter when compared to other types of tiles. Metal roof tiles are preferred over metal roofs as they have many more styles to choose from.
Another advantage of using metal tiles is that they can also be made to mimic other popular tiles like clay, shingles, and stone. Metal roof tiles are usually finished with a coat of acrylic and this ensures longevity, and also enhances the look of the tile while making them highly waterproof. While steel tiles are the bulk of metal tiles available, there are also copper tiles available. Copper offers the best longevity out of the various types of metal tiles available.
5. Composite Roof Tiles
Composite roof tiles are the lightest kind of roof tiles available, and the easiest to install. Composite tile roofing is a multi-layered tile that comprises acrylic, metal, and stone. Composite tiles look similar to slate and clay tiles but are lighter than stone and concrete tiles. Composite roof tiles may also be made of plastics and other sustainable products.
Due to more modern manufacturing practices, composite tiles may carry extended warranties when compared to other types of tiles. They may not last as long as clay or slate tiles, but the ease of installation and replacement does make this roofing option cost significantly lesser.
Armed with all the information you have, it is now time to choose a reputable store that can make your decision easier and guide you towards the best investment in roof tiles for your home.