Tile is a popular roofing material that has been in use since the days of the Roman Empire and perhaps even earlier. Examples of this durable and attractive roofing can be found on old homes and buildings around the Mediterranean Sea, Southern Europe, and the southern part of this country. The roofing material can last a long time, has distinctive profiles, and is considered a green building product that may make your home more energy efficient.
Who makes tile roofing?
There are two primary types of tile shingles--clay and concrete. Concrete tile shingles are manufactured by combining cement, sand, and water into molds and allowing them to cure. Clay tiles are created by forming wet clay into the desired shingle shape and firing it at high temperatures in a kiln. A protective glaze is applied after the shingle hardens. These are a few of the companies that specialize in manufacturing or marketing tile roofing:
- Northern Roof Tiles
- MonierLifetile--a Boral Roofing Company
- Vande-Hey Raleigh
- Ludowici Roof Tile--a CertainTeed Company
Most tile shingle companies specialize in either concrete or clay tiles. Some companies such as Northern Roof Tiles manufacture their own tiles and also import distinctive tile roofing from Europe.
What styles and colors of tile roofing are available?
One of the benefits of the manufacturing process used to make tile shingles is that many different shapes and sizes can be created just by changing molds. Two of the most popular styles are the flat and barreled--or rolled--profiles. Flat tile roofing can look very similar to slate shingles, but the material weighs a little less and can be more affordable. The barreled or rolled profile has a rounded surface and may be the shape that most people associate with tile roofing. The raised barrel section can vary in height depending on how distinctive you wish your roof to be. A few other popular styles include the following:
- Mediterranean "S"
- Mission Pan
Most people picture tile roofing in earthtone shades or orange/red hues and while these may be the predominant colors offered, some manufacturers have many other options. Companies such as Ludowici Roof Tile have over 40 color choices and even offer to create custom shades for your home. Mixing colors on a roof is also a possibility with tile shingles.
How much does tile roofing cost and how long will it last?
The tile roofs that have lasted hundreds of years are proof of the material's durability, but climate can also be a factor. Some styles are better suited for temperate regions where freezing temperatures and winter snow are rare. Tile roofing may also be susceptible to damage from falling debris such as tree limbs or even someone walking on the roof improperly.
Most tile shingles are considered to be green, earth-friendly building products and some manufacturers offer tile options (cool tile) that can help make your home more energy-efficient. The tiles reflect radiant heat from the sun and may lower your summertime cooling costs. Raised profile styles allow for more ventilation through the roof system than conventional shingles--another energy-saving feature.
Pricing of tile shingles can vary quite a bit due to the many styles, colors, and sizes available. Tile roofing is priced by a unit of measurement known as a square, defined as 100 square feet of roofing area. A square of tile roofing can range from about $300 for a basic clay or concrete shingle to over $1,000 for intricate designs. If the shingles have to be shipped a long distance, freight costs may also be substantial.
How to get started with tile roofing
Not all roofing contractors have the knowledge to install tile shingles, so your first step should be locating a qualified and reputable roofer. The form on this page can help you get started and you might also ask custom or high-end homebuilders in your area for tile roof contractor recommendations.