Clay and Concrete Roof Tiles the Differences

Clients regularly ask us whether we recommend clay or concrete roof tiles. At the end of the day we believe the decision is more a matter of personal taste. We present the major differences in this blog post to help customers decide which they prefer. But first, let’s talk about how they are similar.

 

The Similarities Between Clay and Roof Tiles

 

Roof tiles all serve two broad purposes. Their primary one is to keep rain water away from the space below. However, consumers often choose them over asphalt and slate because they like the architectural effect.

Both types of tile hang in staggered rows from the roof’s framework where wire or nails secure them. Each tile overhangs the one below it slightly to shed water and send it flowing down to the eavestroughs below. Matching ridge, hip and valley tiles complete the job.

 

What You Need to Know About Clay Roof Tiles

 

Clay roof tiles date back thousands of years, to when artisans scooped clay from the earth, moistened it, and moulded it by hand. Then they placed the raw tiles in the sun to dry. The actual ‘terracotta’ tints depended on the natural clay.

Nowadays machines either mould individual tiles, or extrude them in strips for cutting to size. Thereafter, they are baked like bricks in ovens at which point the makers may apply glazes and other finishes.

 

How Concrete Tile Manufacturers Produce Their Products

calgary cement clay roof tile

Concrete tile manufacture begins at cement factories where large amounts of energy refine the raw material for shipping to factories. After compounding with coarse sand the material mixes with water and colourant before entering an automated manufacturing process.

Machines groove and finish the raw tiles on a conveyor belt system before the air dries them naturally. Concrete tiles have a more identical appearance than clay ones, because they are not baked under high heat that could distort them slightly.

 

Concrete and Clay Tiles from a User Perspective

 

Clay tiles can cost a third more than concrete ones, and be more expensive to install because they are heavier. However, once up they are robust and generally withstand foot traffic well.

Concrete tiles, on the other hand are lighter and more brittle. They are also more porous owing to not baking under high heat during manufacture. Hence, concrete tiles eventually stain requiring over-painting.  Therefore, they may end up being more expensive than clay over time.

Valiant Exteriors serves the Calgary community with a range of superior finishes for roofs, eavestroughs, fascias, soffits, and sidings. You are welcome to call us at (403)829-1661 for advice on your new build, or renovation project. Please visit our project portfolio to view our assurance of quality.

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Image: Classic Clay Roof Tiles: Load Master BY CC 3.0

Image: Concrete Roof Tile Perfection: Crown Build BY CC 3.0

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