Roofing is one of the most important parts of your home. It not only helps to protect you and your belongings from the elements, it also play a crucial role in your home’s curb appeal. When most people think of roofing, they consider various types of tile for the job. There are more options out there for roofing tiles than you may think, however, giving you a lot of choices for what type to use on your home.
Most people who think of metal roofs are probably considering standing seam roofs, which are made of long metal panels joined together by raised seams or joints, but this is far from the only option available for metal roofing products. Metal tiles give you all of the same advantages as other metal roofs – longevity, durability, fewer leaks – while also giving you a number of different style options as well.
Metal roofing tiles are available that look a lot like other roofing tiles, including clay and slate tiles. The metal is given an acrylic coating that helps to protect it further, while also enhancing the look of the roof. Look for curved metal tiles that mimic traditional ceramic clay roofs, as well as textured metal tiles that can give you a range of different appearances. Metal tiles are much thicker than asphalt shingles, but are much lighter in weight than slate or concrete tiles, which makes them a good alternative for homeowners that like the look of stone, but don’t want to reinforce their roof decks.
Ceramic tiles have long been a popular option for roofs around the country. Clay tiles are fireproof and fairly durable, requiring fewer repairs or replacements than asphalt roofs. Traditionally, clay roofs came in one color – terracotta – and were used on Spanish and Southwestern style homes almost exclusively. Newer ceramic tile roofs, however, come in a wide range of different colors, shapes, and sizes now so they complement a greater range of homes. Look for blue, green, and yellow ceramic roofs both in traditional shapes and in newer, flatter tiles that more closely resemble slate or asphalt roofs.
For those that like the appearance of ceramic tiles, as well as their fire resistance, but who want something a little hardier and less prone to breakage when having work done on the roof, there are concrete tiles. Concrete is a mixture of sand, Portland cement, and water, and creates a very durable roofing tile. Concrete tiles most commonly resemble traditional ceramic tiles, but can be found in a variety of other styles as well, including those that look like slate. The drawback to concrete tiles is their weight; some roofs may need to be reinforced to carry the load. However, they aren’t any heavier than real slate tiles, but are much less expensive and easier to install. This makes them a viable alternative to slate for homeowners who don’t mind the weight.
For those that want a lighter weight, flexible tile that’s easier to install, there’s the bituminous tile. Made of fiberglass or cellulose fiber that has been imprinted with bitumen, these flexible tiles are covered with granite or basalt chips on top. They’re hard wearing tiles that can give you some variation and texture. They’re installed using an adhesive so no screws or fasteners are required, which makes them faster to install and less prone to leaks. Bituminous tiles are much thicker in appearance than asphalt roofing shingles, which can give your roof a more substantial look, as well as some additional texture and color variation at the same time.
A newer alternative to ceramic tiles is the polymer-sand tile. Created from a mixture of sand bound together with polymers, these very stiff, durable tiles are produced in a mold. They can give you the look and feel of a ceramic tile, but are much less prone to breakage, meaning that they require fewer repairs or replacements over the same lifetime. Like ceramic tiles, they are fire resistant, as well as lighter in weight than concrete or stone tiles. As more manufacturers begin to produce polymer-sand tiles, more options for looks and colors may begin to reach the market. At the moment, they are most likely to be found in a terracotta color with the rounded shape more commonly associated with true clay tiles.
Copper roofs are well known for their longevity, lasting well over 100 years before needing a replacement. Formerly, copper roofs were produced from large sheets, which made installation difficult and a specialized field. Copper tiles are more versatile, allowing you to cover a greater number of roofs than copper sheeting, while still providing the same durability and good looks. Like copper sheet roofs, copper tiles will darken and eventually develop a patina over the course of about 10 years. Their biggest drawback is their expense, as well as how difficult the softer tiles can be to install for those not used to working with them. Copper tiles are much thinner than other metal tiles, however, which means that it’s unlikely you’ll need to reinforce your roof for their installation.
Another newer roofing tile is the composite. This is a multi-layered tile made of metal, acrylic, and stone granules on the top layer. The texture and appearance of this tile is extremely popular and very much in demand from homeowners who want a more natural appearance for their roof, while gaining the advantages of metal roofs. Composite tiles may look more like slate or even clay tiles, which makes them popular amongst homeowners who want something a little different than an asphalt or plain roof. Composite tiles are also lighter weight than either concrete or stone, which makes them a nice alternative for people who want a highly durable roof, but without the necessary reinforcements. As the popularity of this type of tile continues to grow, you’re more likely to find additional colors, styles, and roofers who are capable of installing them.
One of the oldest types of roofing tile out there is the slate tile. Slate is also one of the longest lasting tiles on the market as well, with some roofs lasting well over 100 years. Because no two slate tiles every look exactly the same, it gives the roofs a pleasing, natural variation in color and texture that can add a lot to the curb appeal of the property. Slate tiles can be difficult to install, however, as well as fairly pricey, which is why many people often look for alternatives to get the look without the expense. It may be necessary to look around for a while until you find a roofer who can work with them properly. Slate tiles are also very heavy, and may require you to reinforce your roof before installation. However, their look and texture are difficult to reproduce using other methods, giving your home a truly authentic looking, natural roof.
Tile Your Roof
Roofing tiles continue to improve as people continue to look for durable and attractive roofing solutions for their homes. Rather than opting for a more “traditional” asphalt roof, consider one of these roofing tile solutions for your home to increase both the protection and the curb appeal your roof can bring.