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Tile Roof Installation: Clay vs. Concrete

Clay Tile Roofing vs. Concrete Tile Roofing

Tile roofs are commonly found in the Mediterranean countryside and the Southwestern United States. Both clay tiles and concrete tiles come in a variety of colors, textures, and sizes. Concrete tiles are more affordable, but clay tiles have a longer life expectancy.

Clay Tile Roof

The Good:

- Durable
- Long lasting
- Thrives in warm climates
- Will not rot or attract insects
- Low maintenance

The Bad:

- Expensive
- Heavy; more difficult to install
- Underlayment needs to be replaced periodically
- Fragile; should not be walked on

The Bottom Line:

Clay tile roofs are often found in the Southwest United States and the Spanish or Italian countryside. While the tiles will last for over 50 years, the underlayment needs to be replaced every 10-20 years. The tiles are very heavy and you may need to enlist the services of a structural engineer to reinforce the roof framework prior to installation.

Related: Cost of Tile Roof Installation

Concrete Tile Roof

The Good:

- Low maintenance
- Less expensive than clay tiles
- Strong and durable
- Can handle freezing and thawing cycles

The Bad:

- Heavier than clay tiles
- May experience problems with water damage
- Prolonged sun exposure may cause color to fade

The Bottom Line:

Concrete tiles comes in a variety of styles. They may resemble wood shakes or they may be coated with enamel or plastic. They are strong, durable, and incredibly heavy. The underlying roof framework may need to be reinforced prior to the installation of the new roof. The tiles will not attract insects, but they do not repel water as well as other roofing materials. As a result, mildew may become an issue over time. Additionally, concrete tiles can handle freezing temperatures more effectively than clay tiles.

Related: #Roofing on Twitter

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About the Author

ProMatcher Staff, ProMatcher
Orlando, FL 32803

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