Superior Roofing with Roof Tiles

When you think about roof tiles often our first images in our minds are of quality homes with attractive tiles like villas in Tuscany, Haciendas in Spain, French chateaus or Mexican homes in the sun. In many places around the world from Europe to China to Central America the importance of high quality roof tiles is understood and accepted. But this is not the case in the US. In fact roof tiles are far less common as a roofing option. This guide looks at why roof tiles give you a superior roof over the other more common options chosen in the U.S.

Roof Tiles

For many designers and architects the main reason tile is avoided is fear or a reluctance to put in the necessary extra effort needed both in the design and in making sure there is enough structural support for it. Tile requires skill to install it correctly and some contractors find that they often overestimate or underestimate the amount of tile they need. Because of these additional factors to consider they charge more for tiling which can then influence the buyer who may not want to pay extra costs.

Modern roof tiles

While it may be true that roof tiles are more expensive than the popular asphalt shingles initially the qualities the tile has as a roofing material will make that cost absolutely worth it in the long term as it also reduces the roof maintenance needed. Here is a look at those advantages many people over look and why roof tiles give you a superior roof.

Energy Efficiency

energy-efficient-roofFirst of all tiles offer you more energy efficiency than other roofing options. When tiles are installed they are often done so using a floating system that means each tile is attached to a material that raises it off the deck of the roof. Since there is no contact between the roof deck and the tile this creates an airspace between them which offers extra insulation protecting between half to three quarters of the heat from the sun. It is the same principle of how double pane windows work, or how our coffee is kept hot in its morning thermos. It is an easy principle to test too. Place your coffee in a regular glass and a thermos. Because the coffee in the glass is in direct contact with the glass it is hot to touch. But in the thermos there is airspace offering a layer of protection and you can touch the side with no issues. Back to roofing, that airspace keeps the sun’s heat from the tiles out of your home. This saves you money in cooling your house in the hotter months.


Another reason tile makes a good option despite its initial cost is how hardy it is. Rain and snow will run off it and do not penetrate, wind does little damage and you can get tiles with wind ratings of 150 mph or more. Extreme cold and freezing does not affect it, fire does not burn it, hail just shatters against it. When you see areas affected by wildfire in states like California and Texas and you see the homes devastated usually those with roof tiles are still standing. Asphalt roofs hit by large hail stones would have to be replaced but those with tile might only have superficial damage. And if you do live in a region prone to large hail stones you can look to tiles that are class 3 or even class 4 hail resistant. You could also get discount premiums from insurance companies with fire resistant or hail resistant tile roofing which would save you money.


installing roof tilesAnother reason tile is worth that initial higher cost is because in the long run it is going to last you longer. You can find buildings with roof tiles that are several hundred years old. The Sistine Chapel has roof tiling that is still original and is 300 years old. There is an old English pub dating back from the 13th century that still has some original tiling. In fact often the roof when made of tile will outlast the actual building itself! In both of the examples given while renovations have been made over the year the original tiling has been good enough to re-use each time. When you cost roofing materials based on their life cycle tile comes out as the cheapest. Compared to what is commonly used, asphalt, which has to be re-done every decade. Choosing asphalt means while you save costs at the time of roofing, if you are going to be in that house for your lifetime you could end up re-doing the roof 4 to 7 times which means you will end up paying over the expense of what tiling would have cost you.

Curb appeal

There are other reasons why roof tiles give you a superior roof. You have a large range of colors to choose from, various design options you can create leading to something quite attractive. Tile roofing has a lot more curb appeal than other roofing options. People notice and remember buildings with attractive roofs. When it comes to selling a roof tile can be something that adds value to your home making it more an investment. Most real estate agents will say that properties with tiled roofs keep their value better than properties with other types of roofing.

So while the rest of the world realizes the benefits of tile far outweigh the extra work and cost, the US is slow to catch on to this. Often those in the roofing business when they come over to visit are surprised by the asphalt shingle choice since in many places in Europe even their rubbish dumps won’t take them. To them and to those who know better asphalt shingles are a temporary way to top a structure, not a roof that will endure the years and maybe even outlast it.