Everything You Need to Know About Tile Roofs

Tile roofing is popular throughout the world and is the second most-used roofing product after asphalt shingles.

Whether they are made from clay tile or concrete tile, it’s hard to beat the striking appearance of a tiled rooftop. Another reason tile roofs are a popular choice is because tile is energy efficient and resistant to fire, hail, and moisture.

In this guide, we'll discuss...


Tile Roofing Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages

  • Aesthetically appealing — Tile roofs look great and are available in a wide variety of styles and colors.
  • Long lasting — Tile roofing can last 50 - 100 years or more. In Europe and Asia, there are plenty of clay tile roofs that have lasted centuries.
  • Weather resistant — While other roofing materials may not hold up under strong winds or hail, tile roofing can withstand almost any kind of severe weather.
  • Energy efficient — Buildings covered with tile roofing remain cooler during the summer and warmer during the winter, reducing monthly energy bills.
  • Fire resistant  Concrete and clay roof tiles are non-comubustible and have Class A fire-ratings.

Disadvantages

  • Expensive to install — Installing tile roofing is significantly more expensive than installing asphalt shingles. Initial cost is one of the main reasons why some people overlook tile roofs. Although tile roofing costs more than asphalt shingles initially, they last a lot longer; so the total cost of ownership for a tile roof may actually be less than asphalt shingles if you amortize the installation cost over the life span of the roof.
  • Weight of roof tiles — An individual roof tile is much heavier than other roofing materials. Tile roof installation must be done carefully and professionally to ensure the underlying structure can support the weight of the roof. Many roofing contractors recommend against replacing a shingle roof with a tile roof because the underlying structure may need to be reinforced to hold the weight. An experienced tile roofer should be consulted.
  • Difficult to repair — Finding the leak in a leaking tile roof can be more challenging than other roofing materials. 

Learn more about tile roof repair


Find a qualified roofing contractor


tile roof under construction

Tile Roofing Costs

On average, tile roofs cost $700 - $800 per square to install, but can go as low as $400 or as high as $1,000 per square. (1 square = 100 sq. ft. of roof)

Cost to Install Tile Roofing
Roof Square Footage Low-End Cost Average Cost High-End Cost
1,000 sq. ft. $4,000 $7,500 $10,000
1,500 sq. ft. $6,000 $11,250 $15,000
2,000 sq. ft. $8,000 $15,000 $20,000
2,500 sq. ft. $10,000 $18,750 $25,000

Be aware that your tile roof cost will vary based on a number of factors, like...

  • the style and material of the tile you choose
  • the size and complexity of your roof
  • your location
  • the contractor you hire to install the roof
While installing a new tile roof is more expensive than traditional asphalt roofing materials, a properly installed tile roof will last for generations. If maintained properly, the total cost of a tile roof may be cheaper than the cost of asphalt shingles due to tile roofing's long lifespan.
 

Tile Roofing Materials

Today's roofing tiles are made of natural clay, concrete, and terracotta. These materials vary significantly in price and have various advantages and disadvantages.

Your geographic location, housing style, and budget will determine the best roofing tile material for your property. It's always wise to consult with your experienced tile roofing contractor to ensure you make a decision that's right for your home and budget.

Let's take a closer look at the various roofing tile materials...

Roofing Tile Materials Breakdown
Material Pros Cons Cost
Concrete lower costs
light weight
long lasting
longer installation
color will fade with time
$6.50 per sq. ft.
Clay extremely long lasting
aesthetically pleasing
easy to maintain
heavy
difficult to install
$7.50 per sq. ft.
Terracotta extremely long lasting
colors will maintain with time
reflects heat
more expensive
difficult installation
very heavy
$10.50 per sq. ft.

NOTE: These prices reflect national averages for the roofing material represented. Contact your local tile roofing contractor for a customized quote.


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Tile Roofing Styles

Not only do roofing tiles come in a variety of materials, but there are many styles to choose from, too.

Roofing tiles come in a variety of styles and shapes

  • Flat — smooth, made from a variety of materials (including concrete), laid in an overlapping manner
  • Curved — laid in an overlapping manner, curved pattern creates rain channels
  • Roman — convex on one end and concave on the other, creates a secure lock
  • Barrel — somewhat cylindrical in shape, generally placed in convex and concave columns

All roofing tiles interlock in order to prevent rainwater from seeping into the roof. Unlike rubber or wooden shingles, roofing tiles are attached to the frame of a roof using industrial nails. Frequently, the tiles are placed in overlapping rows that give a home or business a distinctive look.

These styles are fire-resistant and rot-resistant, but they may require additional support due to their weight. Discuss this with a qualified tile roofing contractor.
 

Hire the Right Contractor

If you are interested in installing a tile roof, or you need tile roof repair, you’ll find the right expert for the job at Hometown Roofing Contractors.

Hometown verifies credentials and collects trusted reviews on tile roofing contractors, so you can be sure to find the perfect contractor for your needs.