Tile Roofs: Are They Worth It?


A roof protects you and your belongings from the elements and enhances your home’s structural support. While there are many types of roofing materials, tile roofs are an excellent option if you are looking for weather protection and durability.

Although tile roofs are expensive, they have various benefits. They last a lifetime and come in multiple styles, colors, and materials for added versatility. Tile roofing is also a great option if you live in areas with hot weather or salt air exposure.

A professional roofing contractor can help you determine the best tile roofs for your home. Call our seasoned roofing contractors at (864) 990-4836 for professional advice on residential and commercial roofing.

Keep reading to learn all you need to know about tile roofing options.

What Is Tile Roofing?

Tiled roofs are both aesthetically appealing and long-lasting. However, they are often costly, given that they have a lifespan of over five decades.

Most roofing tiles were traditionally constructed of slate, fired clay, or terracotta. But most roofing tiles these days are made of molded, colored concrete. Roofing tiles come in a vast range of designs including, curved, flat, fluted, and interlocking tiles.

Tile roofing is expensive and costs about twice as much as asphalt shingles or wood shakes. Asphalt roofs have an average lifespan of about 15 to 20 years, while most tiled roofs last about 100 years or more with proper maintenance.

How Much Does Tile Roofing Cost?

Depending on location, tile roofs cost about $1.50 to $25 per square foot. However, this price range can vary depending on the type of material used.

Here’s a breakdown of the average cost of different types of tile roofs:

Type Material Cost (per sq. ft.) Installed Cost (per sq. ft.) 
Clay tiles $3 to $7 $8 to $22
Concrete tiles $2 to $4 $7 to $19
Slate tiles $5 to $30 $10 to $45
Terracotta $5 to $10 $10 to $25
Metal $6 to $15 $11 to $30

Table 1: Cost of different types of tile roofing options

Why Are Tile Roofs So Expensive?

Tile roofs are usually costly because of different reasons, such as:

Labor costs: Roofing experts are hard to come by, and so is the workforce required to complete the task. The increased workload and expense involved in moving such heavy materials fall on the buyer.

Manpower: Manpower is similar to labor in many ways. Tile roofing will often take more men than installing asphalt shingles, which are easier to deal with and can be installed by one person.

Materials: Tile roofing is more expensive since the material used to make the tiles is more expensive than materials like asphalt shingles. Metal, concrete, clay, and slate are just a few of the most commonly used materials.

Advantages of the Different Types of Tiled Roofs

Understanding the different types of roofing tile is essential before choosing a specific option. Below are the most common roofing tiles:

Clay Tiles

Because of their durability in high temperatures and humidity, Spanish or terra cotta clay tiles are a common roofing material choice in the Southwestern and Southeastern United States. Advantages of using clay roof tiles include:

  • Longevity: Clay tiles offer an extended lifespan of hundreds of years.
  • Durability: These tiles have the highest possible fire rating of Class A and are completely fireproof. They can survive extreme temperatures and strong winds.
  • Low-maintenance requirements: Clay roofing tiles rarely need to be repaired or replaced, unlike asphalt shingles. Tiles can be fixed or changed one at a time rather than having to remove large areas of the roof.

Concrete Tiles

Tiles made of concrete or clay are durable and have long lifespans. A concrete tile roof is more expensive than clay, but it can endure colder temperatures and last longer.

Concrete tile pros include the following:

  • Environmental friendly: Concrete tiles are manufactured entirely from natural resources and may be recycled or reused.
  • Durability: Concrete tiles can protect your roof for up to half a century. Furthermore, they are more frost-resistant than clay roof tiles.
  • Energy-efficiency: Concrete roof tiles are energy efficient because they block solar radiation and contribute to proper ventilation.

Slate Tiles

Slate roof tiles have a Gothic-like appearance and are known for their durability. Their rugged build can survive even the harshest weather. Slate roofs often last for hundreds of years without being repaired or rebuilt. But the average lifespan of a slate roof is between 30 and 40 years.

Pros of installing slate tiles include

  • Durability: Because of its stone construction, slate tiles have a long lifespan and resist wear and tear exceptionally well. Slate roofs are resistant to fire, wind, and impact.
  • Low-maintenance: Slate’s high density and impermeable nature make it low-maintenance. Because it can withstand even the worst weather without deteriorating, a slate roof rarely needs maintenance.
  • Increased home value: The market value of your property will increase if you install a slate roof due to the durability of the materials used and the length of time they will last.

Metal Tiles

Steel, copper, zinc, and aluminum are all viable options for metal roofing, each with its own set of advantages.

Metal shingles and tiles can be stamped to get the desired texture or look and can be installed using hidden fasteners. Eventually, exposed fasteners that directly attach metal roofing panels may wear out.

Here are some advantages of metal tiles:

  • Lightweight materials: Metal roofing tiles are much lighter than other types. You probably won’t need to hire a structural engineer if you use this material instead of heavier ones like clay and concrete.
  • Energy-efficiency: Metal roofs are energy efficient because most paint coatings allow the roof to reflect the sun’s radiant heat, keeping the house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
  • Low maintenance requirements: Metal roofing systems have more extended warranties than most, making them low maintenance compared to clay and concrete tiles, which can crack in colder regions.

Hire the Best Roofing Contractor in Greenville, SC

A tiled roof is a long-lasting, low-maintenance, and environmentally-friendly way to shield your home from the elements. If you want your roof to be installed correctly and endure as long as possible, you should definitely hire experienced roofers near you.

Lanier Roofing and Restoration is a regional roofing and restoration company with more than a century’s worth of experience to offer.

We are certified general contractors who will leave your house or commercial building in better shape than we found it.

Call us at (864) 990-4836 to schedule an appointment or get a free, commitment-free estimate.

Latest Posts