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If you discover missing or damaged slate roof tiles or encounter a roof leak, you’ve come to the right place.
This guide is tailored for you.
In this slate roof tile guide ››
You’ll discover everything you need to know about:
- Different types of slate roof tile materials
- Various slate roof tile styles
- Color options with slate roof tiles
- Choosing a slate tile roofing contractor
Let’s dive into it.
Slate Roof Material Types
Clay Roof Tiles
A slate roof consists of securely attached overlapping slate roof tiles on a solid substrate or roof deck, typically found on a sloped roof.
Termed a hundred-year roof, when installed correctly, a slate roof can endure for 100 years or longer.
Slate tile roofing is a highly specialized field of roof installation…
And necessitates a contractor experienced in working with and installing slate roof tiles across various project types.
Slate tile roofing systems adorn diverse properties—residential, commercial, and historical, ranging from resorts and museums to churches and educational institutions.
What are slate roof tiles made of?
Slate roof tiles are a natural roofing product crafted from a hard rock known as metamorphic rock.
The formation of this rock type begins deep within the earth, where heat and pressure transform minerals, clay, volcanic materials, and other compounds into a highly dense rock.
Black and gray hues in slate roof tiles signify high carbon content, while minerals like hematite and iron contribute to various colored hues in slate.
Natural slate is available in shades of blue, purple, red, green, brown, tan, and more.
In the United States, the introduction of slate roof tiles originated in the northeastern region, characterized by the discovery of extensive slate deposits.
The widespread appeal of the aesthetic produced by slate roofing has led to the development of numerous “faux” slate roof tile options…
These are designed to emulate the appearance of slate using materials such as clay, composite, rubber, asphalt shingles, and more.
However, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the materials employed in the construction of any synthetic slate roof tile products you might be contemplating.
While there are excellent synthetic slate roofing products, there’s no substitute for the authenticity of the real thing.
To begin, let’s explore some common materials used in the manufacturing of slate roof tiles.
Natural Slate Roof Tiles
Natural slate roof tiles are procured from diverse slate quarries worldwide.
Certain slate roof installations feature a uniform tile color throughout the entire roof, while others amalgamate slate from different sources to craft seamlessly blended roof colors and textures.
Natural slate exhibits various shapes, thicknesses, and colors, contingent on the source and processing methods.
Slate is extracted from open quarries or tunnels within slate mines. Major sources of slate roof tiles are distributed globally, including Spain, Italy, Germany, the UK, and Brazil.
In the United States, commercial quarrying of natural slate has been ongoing since the early 1700s, beginning in Pennsylvania. Other significant domestic slate production regions encompass Vermont, New York, and Virginia.
The Glendyne Quarry in Quebec, Canada, stands as North America’s largest producer of roofing slate.
Concrete Slate Roof Tiles
Concrete slate roof tiles are a widely chosen tile option.
Comprising portland cement, sand, water, and occasionally different dyes for color, concrete slate roofing tiles are created.
Due to their fluid state before curing, concrete tiles are molded in factories into diverse shapes and textures to mimic slate tiles.
They provide robust resistance against wind and roof hail damage.
Yet, in the comparison of natural slate roof tiles versus concrete slate roof tiles, it’s crucial to recognize that natural slate boasts a longer lifespan than concrete.
Metal Slate Roof Tiles
Metal roofing systems provide a durable alternative, offering the convenience of metal with the appearance of slate.
Metal slate roof tiles present a nearly boundless array of shape and color options.
While the majority of metal roofing options are crafted from steel, metal slate roof tiles can also be manufactured using aluminum and copper.
Here’s an instance featuring brown-colored metal slate roof tiles installed on an industrial building.
Composite Slate Roof Tiles
Composite slate roofing tiles, composed of plastics and other sustainable materials, are gaining popularity.
Some roof installers favor them over natural slate or concrete due to their lighter weight and ease of handling.
Manufacturers of composite slate tiles now provide products with Class 4 impact resistance, Class A fire rating, and 110mph wind ratings.
While natural slate tiles boast numerous advantages, there are scenarios where a composite product may be the most practical choice.
Asphalt Slate Shingles
If you desire roof shingles with a slate appearance, explore various designer shingle options.
Slate aesthetics can be achieved with asphalt shingles.
These shingles feature pronounced shadows and deep cutouts, replicating the slate look at a more affordable cost.
Slate Roof Styles & Shapes
Standard Uniform Slate Roof
As per the National Slate Association, various primary styles of slate roof systems exist, including some highlighted below.
The most prevalent is the standard slate roof, employing slate that is 1/4″ to 3/8″ thick, featuring tiles of standard lengths and widths with square-cut butts.
A standard slate roof is installed in evenly spaced courses, following an offset pattern with alternating vertical joints.
Patterned Slate Roof
Slate tiles with color variations can be employed to craft repetitive patterns across the roof, resulting in a distinctive roof design.
Patterns can take the form of geometric shapes or utilize differently shaped slate tiles positioned in various areas of the roof.
While the impressive roof design of Matthias Church in Budapest (illustrated below) features ceramic tiles for its patterned roof design, it provides an idea of the diverse roof pattern design options available.
Hang-down Staggered Slate Roof
Designing your slate roof involves the use of slate roof tiles with diverse widths and lengths.
As slate courses overlap, there’s ample room for creativity in the layout, allowing for a unique and personalized appearance for this type of roof.
Textural Slate Roof
Natural slate, by its inherent nature, is non-uniform.
Employing varied shapes, thicknesses, and widths across the roof results in a rougher, more textured appearance.
Chipped edges, corners, and similar irregularities are common characteristics of this style of roof.
Blended (Multicolored) Slate Roof
Blending colors of individual slate tiles is a prevalent practice in designing a slate roof.
Numerous slate manufacturers provide standard color blends, and custom color combinations can be created.
The blend below incorporates grays with greens and purples, along with some browns.
Scalloped Slate Roof
Scalloped slate roof tiles can yield a distinctive and unique look.
As the name suggests, these roof tiles feature a curved bottom edge, providing the roof with a fish scale appearance when installed.
Graduated & Tapered Slate Roof
Roof designs incorporating round towers or domed sections may necessitate special slate tiles.
Each slate tile must be meticulously crafted to fit its designated spot on the roof surface.
An example is showcased here, featuring smaller scallop-shaped tiles ascending further up the roof.
Slate Roof Tile Manufactures
S&S Roofing installs premium natural and synthetic slate roofing systems from leading manufacturers.
If you have a specific slate tile in mind, feel free to inquire. Slate roof tile manufacturers include: Verea, Camara Slate Products, Davinci Roofscapes, Greenstone Slate, North Country Slate, Glendyne, Newmont Slate, New England Slate, 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.
Slate Roofing Warranties
Guaranteed by the Manutacturer
S&S Roofing, as a Certified Roofing Contractor for various manufacturers, provides warranties up to 100 years on tile roofing systems.
How to Select a Slate Roofing Contractor
S&S Roofing, an experienced Certified Roofing Contractor for multiple manufacturers, excels in slate tile roof installation. Our projects showcase in-depth knowledge, handling, and craftsmanship, offering unparalleled expertise.
Top 100 Roofing Contractor: Look for a slate tile roofing contractor with:
- Licensing, bonding, and insurance
- Proven experience with your slate roof type
- Capability in managing staged projects
- Expertise in working with insurance claims
Our experienced team ensures leak-free, long-lasting roofing systems.
S&S Roofing is an award-winning contractor, recognized on the Inc. 5000 List and among the Top 100 Roofing Contractors nationally.
Services include slate tile roofing, various roofing systems, shrink wrap, emergency repairs, water damage restoration, and more. With locations across the country, we provide comprehensive roofing and restoration solutions.