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Understanding Various Types of Roof Tiles for Your Home

Types of Roof Tiles


Roof tiles are vital to any building, providing both protection and aesthetic appeal. With the vast range of materials and designs available, choosing the right roof tiles for your property can be daunting.

This comprehensive guide will explore the various types of roof tiles, their benefits, and what factors to consider when selecting the perfect tile for your home or business. We aim to equip you with the knowledge and confidence to make an informed decision, ensuring your property is functional and visually pleasing.

Read on to discover the world of roof tiles and take the first step to finding the ideal solution for your building.

Materials Used in Roof Tile Manufacturing: Pros and Cons of Each

When selecting the right roof tiles for your building, understanding the different materials used in their manufacturing is crucial. Here are the pros and cons of some common materials.

1. Clay: These are old, traditional tiles known for their durability and ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. They can last over a century but may be heavier and require added support.

2. Concrete: A cheaper option compared to clay, concrete tiles are versatile and available in various designs. However, their lifespan is shorter, lasting up to 50 years, and they also require added structural support.

3. Slate: These natural tiles have an elegant, sleek appearance that lasts over a century. However, they are relatively expensive and require specialized installation.

4. Metal: Metal roofing is lightweight, recyclable, and energy-efficient. But, its overall appearance might not be as pleasing, and it cannot be quiet during rainfall.

5. Composite: Made from various materials, they offer designs mimicking slates or clay. An affordable and lightweight choice, composite tiles can lack longevity and may not be suitable for all climates.

Clay Roof Tiles: Benefits, Limitations, and Popular Styles

Clay roof tiles have been popular for centuries thanks to their durability and timeless appeal. These tiles offer a range of benefits, including natural insulation, excellent weather resistance, and a distinctive appearance that can enhance any architectural style.

However, clay roof tiles also have some limitations. They can be relatively heavy, which may require additional support to bear the weight. Additionally, the cost of installation and maintenance can be higher than other materials, such as asphalt shingles or metal roofing. When considering clay for your new roof, it’s essential to weigh these factors.

Despite these drawbacks, many homeowners still opt for clay tiles due to their diverse styles. Some of the most popular varieties include the mission style, which features curved pieces, and the flat-profile variety, which offers a more modern aesthetic. No matter what your design preferences are, clay tiles can certainly accommodate – and elevate – your home’s overall look.

Concrete Roof Tiles: Features, Maintenance, and Cost-efficiency

Concrete roof tiles have been popular for many homeowners due to their durability, fire, and wind resistance, and energy efficiency. These tiles are made from a mixture of cement, sand, and water, making them environmentally friendly and relatively lighter than their clay counterparts.

One of the most praised features of concrete tiles is their low-maintenance nature. Once installed, these tiles require little to no upkeep – an occasional cleaning or inspection is all that’s needed to ensure the longevity and performance of the roof.

Concerning cost-efficiency, concrete roof tiles are often a more affordable option than traditional clay or slate tiles. Despite their lower price point, they still offer a variety of styles and colours to choose from which can suit any architectural preference.

Concrete roof tiles offer a great balance of features, maintenance, and cost-efficiency for those looking to invest in a long-lasting and eco-friendly roofing solution.

Slate Roof Tiles: Elegance, Durability, and Installation Considerations

Slate roof tiles have long been admired for their elegant appearance and exceptional durability. A natural stone material, slate is available in various colours and textures, providing homeowners with numerous design possibilities.

Intricately cut and laid in a uniform pattern, slate tiles offer a classic and timeless look that can easily elevate the curb appeal of any property. More than just their visual appeal, these tiles boast unparalleled longevity, potentially lasting 100 years or more when properly installed and maintained.

However, it’s essential to consider several factors when opting for a slate roof. First and foremost, the weight of slate tiles can be a significant concern, as they are generally heavier than other roofing materials. Thus, ensuring your home has the structural capacity to support a slate roof is crucial. Moreover, slate roof installation requires specialized knowledge and expertise, often necessitating the hiring of an experienced professional.

Despite these considerations, slate roof tiles remain an attractive and long-lasting choice for homeowners seeking elegance and durability in their roof designs.

Metal Roof Tiles: Versatility, Energy Efficiency, and Environmental Impact

Metal roof tiles have surged in popularity due to their versatility, energy efficiency, and positive environmental impact. Often made from recycled materials such as aluminium or steel, these tiles offer a sustainable and durable roofing option.

One of the most significant advantages of metal roof tiles is their lightweight nature, making them easily adaptable to various architectural styles. Additionally, they provide excellent resistance to extreme weather conditions like hail, strong winds, and even wildfires.

Energy efficiency is another standout feature of metal roof tiles. Their reflective surface helps to keep your home cooler in warmer months by reflecting sunlight, reducing the need for air conditioning and lowering energy bills.

Furthermore, the environmental impact of metal roof tiles should not be underestimated. Up to 95% of the material can be recycled at the end of its lifespan, making it a truly eco-friendly roofing choice.

In conclusion, metal roof tiles are a versatile, energy-efficient, and environmentally conscious option for those exploring different types of metal roof.

Solar Roof Tiles: Harnessing the Power of the Sun for a Sustainable Roofing Option

Solar roof tiles are an innovative and eco-friendly roofing solution that protects your home and generates renewable energy. These tiles have solar cells integrated into their design, allowing for efficient conversion of sunlight to electricity. This sustainable energy source can significantly reduce your reliance on the electrical grid, reducing energy costs and reducing your carbon footprint.

Featuring a sleek and modern appearance, solar roof tiles seamlessly blend with the overall architecture of your home. They come in various materials like glass, ceramic, and metal, making it easy to match your desired aesthetic while enjoying the benefits of solar power.

Apart from generating clean energy, solar roof tiles are highly durable, weatherproof, and low maintenance, making them a long-lasting and cost-effective solution for homeowners embracing sustainable living.

Green Roof Tiles: Incorporating Nature in Urban Living Spaces

Green roof tiles are a unique and innovative solution for those who want to incorporate nature into their urban living spaces. These roofing materials provide an aesthetically pleasing appearance and offer many environmental benefits.

By utilizing green roof tiles, homeowners can create an attractive rooftop garden, which can help reduce the urban heat island effect. This greenery can also aid in absorbing rainwater, decreasing the possibility of flooding in densely populated areas.

Furthermore, green roof tiles contribute to better air quality by filtering out pollutants and producing oxygen. This can be especially beneficial in cities with high levels of air pollution.

Additionally, green roof tiles provide excellent insulation, helping to regulate both heat and cold, thus lowering energy consumption and costs.

In conclusion, green roof tiles offer a sustainable and appealing way to embrace nature while addressing various environmental concerns. So, green roof tiles are worth considering if you’re looking to impact the environment while enhancing your home’s aesthetics positively.

Composite Roof Tiles: Mimicking Traditional Materials with Modern Technology

Composite roof tiles have revolutionized the world of roofing materials, offering the perfect blend of tradition and innovation. These tiles are designed to mimic traditional materials like slate, wood, and clay, yet they are made from a combination of advanced polymers, resins, and other high-quality materials.

The result is a lightweight yet durable and environmentally friendly roofing solution that closely resembles traditional materials but with several added benefits. Composite roof tiles often boast a longer lifespan and better resistance to harsh weather conditions while maintaining an attractive look that complements various architectural styles.

In today’s competitive market, it’s essential to explore advanced options that will enhance the aesthetics of your home or business and effectively protect your investment. Composite roof tiles are a top choice for both functionality and style.

What are terracotta roof tiles?

Terracotta roof tiles are a type of roofing material crafted from natural clay and fired at high temperatures. Their name “terracotta” comes from the Italian words “terra” (meaning earth) and “cotta” (meaning cooked). These tiles have a distinct reddish-brown color and are known for their durability and longevity. Terracotta roof tiles are popular for their ability to withstand extreme weather conditions, including high winds, heavy rains, and UV rays. They offer excellent thermal insulation, helping to keep homes cooler in hot weather. Additionally, terracotta tiles are environmentally friendly and can be recycled, making them a sustainable choice for roofing solutions. Their classic and timeless appearance adds charm and elegance to various architectural styles, making them a favored choice for both traditional and modern homes.

Terracotta Roof Tiles: A Timeless Choice for Your Home

Terracotta roof tiles offer both aesthetic appeal and practical functionality that can last for generations. Crafted from natural clay, terracotta tiles provide a charming, rustic look that only improves with age. Their natural insulating properties keep homes cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, contributing to energy efficiency. Moreover, terracotta’s inherent durability and resistance to harsh weather conditions make it a worthwhile investment for any homeowner. The timeless elegance of terracotta roof tiles truly stands the test of time, making them a classic choice for any home design.


In conclusion, choosing the right roof tiles is essential for both protection and aesthetic appeal. With a wide range of materials and designs available, the decision can be overwhelming. This comprehensive guide has explored the various types of roof tiles, their benefits, and factors to consider when making a choice. Whether you prefer the durability of clay, the versatility of concrete, the elegance of slate, the sustainability of metal, the efficiency of solar, the greenery of green, or the innovation of composite, there’s a perfect roof tile solution for your building. Make an informed decision and ensure your property is both functional and visually pleasing.

Cedar Shake Roof Cleaning in Des Moines Iowa
Cedar Shake Roof before & after cleaning

Meet Bruce

50 Years of Experience &
Over 2,000 Shake Roofs Cleaned

Bruce Sullivan has over 50 years of experience in maintaining, cleaning, and restoring cedar shake roofs. Making him one of the top authorities on cedar shake roofs in the US.

Watch the Cedar Shakes Cleaning Process in Action in this video

Play Video about Roof Cleaning How to Remove Moss, Lichen, Fungi from a Cedar Roof Sullivan Roof


What can I say? Bruce and Keith provided an exceptional service, and they are really nice guys too. Found out at the last minute they were in Minneapolis, and they fit me in for a cedar shake roof cleaning the next evening after their regular job was done. Even cleaned up my gutters, small fence, and small deck at no charge. The place looks outstanding! Highly recommended.

Mike Richards

I highly recommend this business. Due to the work performed we are going to get another 10-14 years out of our cedar shake roof. We were told by some roofing companies that the roof should be replaced in 2 years. I lucked out and found Sullivan Roof Cleaning while researching companies that perform this service, and was pleased to learn that the company does work outside of Iowa. If you need your cedar shakes cleaned, go with Sullivan Roof Cleaning.

Eric Oelrich, 
St Cloud, MN

Bruce did a great job cleaning the whole exterior of my house. The roof has new life! It looks practically brand new. All the mold and moss on the roof, on the gutters, under the eaves, completely gone. He exceeded all our expectations. When he tells you what he can do for your house, you can believe and trust him. Great guy, great service.

Stuart Malone
Kansas City, MO


Cedar shakes are organic. Though a resilient material. Being organic they need to be maintained. Over time, like any organic material that are subjected to weather elements, they reach a stage of deterioration. Like UV exposure, moisture and seasonal changes. Which results in moss, mold, mildew, lichen and brown rot fungi. These infestations need to be removed to further preserve the integrity of the cedar shake.
The proper way to clean a cedar shake roof is from a ladder. By spraying a special formulated solution onto the shakes and then rinsed with a garden hose pressure. Best done by a professional cedar shake roof cleaner. Not DIY recommended.
No. Pressure washer will require walking on the shakes, which will harm them, and even at its lowest setting will also damage the shakes.
On average, cedar shakes should be cleaned every 10 ten years. Subjective to the grade of the shakes and the amount of surrounding tree cover.
Avoiding walking on a cedar shake roof, other than for repairs.
Never seal a cedar shake roof. Cedar shakes need to breathe. They expand and contract in rain conditions. Seal will shorten the lifespan, to the point of premature replacement.
Staining has no real preserve value and can also harm the integrity of shakes, as stated, they need to be able to breathe. Also, if the shakes are not properly cleaned staining can seal the deteriorating infestation within the shakes.
Depending on the grade of the shakes and installation, and if maintained properly, 40 to 60 years.


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