Clay Tile Roofs: Pros and Cons

Clay tile roofs are an ideal match for homes with a Spanish or Mediterranean design style. This type of roofing also pairs well with stone or brick siding. It’s a suitable roof choice for many of today’s most in-demand architectural styles.

clay tile roof

But, when it’s time to select a roofing material, you have many other options to choose from as well. Is clay tile the right choice for your home?

We asked our experienced roofing team to weigh in on this question.

Advantages of a Clay Tile Roof

First of all, aside from its appearance, this type of roofing material is prized for its longevity. The tiles won’t rot, and they are resistant to fire and insect damage. Plus, they stand up to heavy rains, freeze/thaw cycles and other extreme weather.

Clay roof tiles can last for many decades, much longer than many other roofing materials. And they require little maintenance to remain in good condition.

This material has proven its ability to endure the test of time. Clay products thousands of years old are routinely found at archeological sites. And as today’s roofing products use essentially the same materials and processes, you can rest assured that the tiles have a long life span, even in northern Utah climate extremes.

Clay also offers insulating properties. Because air can circulate under the tiles, inside temperatures remain warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

Disadvantages of a Clay Tile Roof

Weight is perhaps the biggest shortcoming of clay roof tiles. They can be heavy, so extra roof support may be necessary before installation.

This, of course, adds to the roof replacement cost — and these tiles are already on the pricier side. However, many homes built over the past few decades have been engineered to hold heavier roofing materials.

These tiles can also be fragile. Anyone who steps on the roof, perhaps to do chimney or gutter maintenance, must step carefully or risk breaking the tiles. Fortunately, they’re fairly easy to replace, one (or a few) at a time.

Want the Look of a Clay Tile Roof Without the Drawbacks?

Clay roof tiles come in a wide range of beautiful colors and unique styles. But you don’t have to choose clay to get the look you want. Concrete roof tile is essentially clay’s more cost-effective cousin. Both materials share many of the same advantages, and concrete tiles can mimic just about any design style.

If you want a material that isn’t so fragile — and that’s less expensive — you could also install a stone-coated steel roof. Or go with the latest tile-look asphalt shingles. Both options are durable and affordable, and they can closely imitate the look of clay roof tiles.

If you aren’t sure which type of roof to choose for your Utah home, the experts at Knockout Roofing offer free, personalized consultations. Our roofing pros can help you determine which type of roofing is best suited to your needs and budget. Call our Salt Lake City office today to learn more about clay tile roofing and its comparable options.