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Roof Tiles

The Complete Guide

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If your tile roof is leaking or has storm or hail damage, you’ve come to the right place.

This guide is tailored for you.

In this comprehensive roof tile guide ››

You’ll gain insights into:

  • Different types of roof tile materials
  • Various roof tile shapes
    Color options with roof tiles
  • Tips on selecting a tile roofing contractor

Let’s dive straight into the details.

Roof Tile Material Types

What is Tile Roofing?

Tile roofing stands out as one of the most beautiful and popular choices for church and property owners seeking durability.

When installed correctly, certain tile roofs can endure for 100 years or more.

So, what characterizes a tile roof?

A tile roofing system comprises securely overlapped roof tiles affixed to a solid substrate or roof deck on a sloped roof.

Tile roofing is a highly specialized field of roof installation, necessitating a contractor experienced in working with and installing tiles of various materials and shapes.

Tile roofs grace diverse properties, including residential, commercial, and historical structures—ranging from restaurants and resorts to museums and churches.

To begin, let’s explore the primary roof tile types, commencing with the materials used in manufacturing these resilient roofing systems.

Clay Roof Tiles

Clay roof tiles, originating centuries ago, are among the original roofing materials. Renowned for excellent moldability and color options, clay tiles boast enduring color retention.

While traditional clay tile roofs were naturally orange or red in color…

Modern clay roof tiles offer a vast array of colors and come in dozens of shapes. Witness the allure of this exquisite green interlocking tile roof.

Frequently, tile roofs are complemented with copper guttering and metal accents, harmonizing to evoke a timeless, old-world aesthetic.

Concrete Roof Tiles

Concrete tiles are a popular tile option as well.

Sometimes called cement roofing tiles, concrete tiles are a mixture of portland cement, sand, water, and sometimes various dyes (for color).

Due to its fluid nature prior to curing, concrete tiles are factory-molded into a wide variety of shapes and textures to simulate wood shake shingles, clay tiles, or slate tiles.

They offer excellent resistance to wind or roof hail damage.

However, when comparing clay roof tiles vs. concrete roof tiles, it’s important to note that clay tiles last longer than concrete.


Slate Roof Tiles

Natural slate roof tiles, crafted from rock, boast popularity owing to their authentic appearance, durability, and lasting quality.

In the US, slate roof tiles made their debut in the northeastern regions, rich with substantial slate deposits.

Slate tiles offer a diverse palette of colors and textures, influenced by mineral content. From black and gray to purple, red, or rust-colored, slate tiles cater to various aesthetic preferences.

Given the widespread appeal of the slate’s look, numerous clay or synthetic roof tile alternatives replicate its distinctive shape and texture.

Metal Roof Tiles

Metal roofing systems have gained popularity, providing an alternative for tile materials. If your structure can’t support the weight of heavier tile products, metal might be the ideal solution.

Metal roof tiles present a nearly limitless variety of shapes and colors. While steel tiles are prevalent, other options include aluminum roof tiles and copper roof tiles.

See an example below of stone-coated steel roof tiles installed on a commercial building.

Composite Roof Tiles

Composite roof tiles, composed of plastics and sustainable materials, offer an alternative to traditional asphalt roof shingles. Preferred by some installers due to their lighter weight compared to clay or concrete, composite or plastic roof tiles come in various colors and shapes, including imitation slate, cedar shake, or Spanish tile.

Notably, some composite tiles boast warranties of up to 50 years.

Solar Roof Tiles

Solar roof tiles are a relatively new concept. While flat solar panels have adorned rooftops for decades, integrated and practical solar shingles or solar tiles are recent additions to the market.

Tesla offers a version of flat solar tiles and is developing curved solar options. Mainstream roofing manufacturers such as Certainteed and GAF also include solar roofing products in their lineup.

What are terracotta roof tiles?

The term “terracotta” translates to “baked earth.” Terracotta roof tiles, synonymous with clay roofing tiles, are crafted from hard-fired clay. Occasionally, clay roof tiles are also referred to as ceramic roof tiles.

That summarizes the primary materials used in roofing tiles. Before delving into the more common shapes of roof tiles in use today, take a look at the tile roof showcased in this video.

Roof Tile Styles & Shapes

Spanish Roof Tiles

Spanish roof tiles, a type of “barrel roof tile,” feature a distinctive wavy “S” shape. Renowned for creating one of the most recognized designs in tile roofing, these tiles present a distinctive pattern of ripples across the roof.

Mission Roof Tiles

Mission roof tiles, occasionally referred to as “true barrel tiles,” comprise separate barrels arranged to create alternating concave and convex shapes on the roof. These systems may feature curved barrels top and bottom or a combination of curved barrels and flat pans.

Mission roof tile styles include Greek, Italia, Palm Beach, Tapered Barrel, Straight Barrel, and Roman.

Flat Shingle Roof Tiles

Flat roof tiles can either include interlocking edges or not. Shingle tiles, in particular, do not interlock, providing ample room for creativity in roofing design.

Explore the distinctive roof design achieved with the multi-color and multi-dimensional roof pattern of these clay shingle roof tiles.

Interlocking Roof Tiles

Interlocking roof tiles usually feature a channel on one or two sides, creating a robust connection by interlocking with lips formed into adjacent and above tiles. This design enhances installation efficiency and contributes to attractive lines on buildings. Interlocking roof tiles are available in various shapes, sizes, and colors.

Common styles of interlocking roof tiles include Wood Shake, French, Slate, Smooth, and Glazed.

Shake Roof Tiles

The texture and aesthetic of a wood shake roof are highly sought after. To replicate this popular look, tile manufacturers produce simulated wood shake shingles from materials like clay, concrete, composite, and steel. Below is an example of a shake roof tile.

Scalloped Roof Tiles

Scalloped roof tiles can impart a distinct and unique appearance. As the name suggests, these tiles feature a curved bottom edge, creating a roof with a distinctive fish scale appearance when installed.

French Roof Tiles

French roof tiles present a low profile and sturdy interlocking design. Also known as Marseille tiles, the French tile offers a timeless and classic appearance. This roof tile design is characterized by two flutes on the surface of the tile.

Graduated & Tapered Roof Tiles

Roofing systems featuring round towers or domed-shaped roof sections necessitate special tiles. Each tile is meticulously crafted to fit precisely on the curved surface of the roof. The size and shape of each roof tile taper, becoming smaller towards the top and wider at the bottom, contributing to the creation of an architectural masterpiece.

Roof Tile Manufacturers

S&S Roofing installs premier tile roofing systems exclusively from the nation’s top manufacturers. If you have a specific roof tile in mind, feel free to inquire. Tile roofing manufacturers include Verea, Vande Hey Raleigh, Boral Roofing, Eagle Roofing Products, Entegra Roof Tile, Santafé, American Slate, Evergreen Slate Company, GAF, Quarrix Building Products, Brava Roof Tile, Northern Roof Tiles, MCA Clay Roof Tile, IKO Roofing, EDCO Products, Tilcor, Certainteed, Luma Solar.

How to Select a Tile Roof Contractor

Tile roof installation demands an adept roofing contractor with in-depth knowledge and years of experience in tile handling and installation practices. Complex tile roof systems require careful craftsmanship, utilizing techniques distinct from more common roofing practices.

Seek a tile roofing contractor with the following qualifications:

  • Licensed, bonded, and insured
  • Proven experience installing your specific type of tile roof across multiple projects
  • Proficiency in managing staged roofing projects, potentially involving parallel tear-off and installation
  • Expertise in working with insurance companies for damage claims

An experienced contractor ensures avoidance of leaks and major issues, providing a durable tile roofing system lasting for decades.

S&S Roofing Pros offers a comprehensive range of services, including shrink wrap roofing, roof tarping, loose lay membrane roofing, emergency repairs, water removal, damage restoration, mold remediation, catastrophic damage inspections, property documentation, testing, fencing, disaster recovery, permanent roof replacement, interior restoration, and general contracting.

Tile Roofing Pictures

The displayed images and videos below highlight various phases of tile roofing projects, all expertly completed by S&S Roofing.

Our reroofing experience with S&S Roofing could not have been any better. Office staff was great with the scheduling, adjusted as I needed. They called the week before to confirm and everything was on time. They did a super job. A crew of 10 roofers arrived at 06:45, and were gone at 2:30pm. Looks like a new house. They cleaned up nicely. I would HIGHLY recommend the S&S Roofing Team.
Joe Worsley
S&S Roofing and Construction is awesome! Not only did the entire crew do an amazing job putting our roof on, but I got to meet Wesley The project manager, and Michael the owner. They not only did a fantastic job, they are two wonderful guys that obviously care about people. I couldn’t have asked for anything more, and I will be referring everyone I know to them. Thank you S&S for an incredible experience
Garrett ross