Slate roofing vs Tile roofing


When it comes to building or renovations, the roofing is a fundamental decision process that can affect further developments. Two roofing types that are popular but spark a number of debates are slate and tile.

In this piece we’ll be looking at the two different types, including advantages/drawbacks they have, and which are best suited for certain situations.

Slate Roofing

Slate roofing has been dominating the housing market for a while now. This is down to quarries producing some of the highest quality slate on the market. As a result however, slate costs are high.

That isn’t the only option people have though. Thanks to modern technology and the ease of transporting goods, quarried items can be sent in and out of country, that are of the same quality and color as the top end versions available on our shores, for a lower cost.
However, it’s important to know that every single piece of slate isn’t of the same quality. In most cases, you get what you pay for so make sure you always do your research before purchasing.

Slate roofing benefits

Key benefits of slate include it's durable and watertight qualities. It’s important that your roof can handle extreme weather conditions that Britain can experience, making slate's characteristics perfect for UK homes.
New regulations state that any slate quarried in Britain needs to be fire and frost proof, which is an amazing development in the UK roofing industry.
Aesthetically, slate roofing is great to look at. Many consider slates roofs to attribute character to a building. There is also the variety of choice as slate can come in a range of colors, so there’s little concern for integrating in with a certain scheme.
The life span is also excellent. Experts state that a slate roof should be built to last a century. As a matter of fact, the average lifespan of this type of roofing is around 150 years. Of course this depends if the roof has been properly constructed, but if it has, your slate should remain strong.

Slate roofing disadvantages

There are a few cons to take into consideration before purchasing slate roofing. As previously stated, if they’re not installed correctly, they can cause a variety of problems. Ensure that a contractor has the knowledge and expertise to carry out this type of installation so that you don’t suffer later on.

Weight is something you need to be cautious of as well. Generally, the weight of slate is anywhere between 800 and 1,500 pounds per square feet. Ensure that your building can take this type of weight first, or else you may have problems.

Although slate may be durable in a variety of weather conditions, the tiles can’t hold excessive weight. If someone does roof maintenance and stands in a wrong place it’s easy for slate to break. Replacement isn’t a simple feat, either, so bear that in mind.

Tile Roofing

Tile roofing is one of the oldest and most used roofing types in the world. Interestingly, it’s pre-dated back to 10,000 BCE in locations such as North America, Egypt and even Ancient Babylon. Although earlier tiles were made of clay and slate, modern incarnations normally consist of concrete and plastic.

There are a number of different shapes and styles this type of roofing can take, with flat being the simplest. Tegula and imbrex are all slanted roofs that have a Roman pattern which has a combination of curves and flat parts. Pantiles feature an s-shape, which makes it much easier to hook together.

Tile roofing advantages

One of the immediate advantages of tile roofing is its longevity. On average roofs can last for 100 years. Although it may not be as long as slate roofing, this is a reasonable amount of time. They are also resistant from rotting and insect boring, saving you from having to replace them regularly.

Tile roof styles can also be incredibly beautiful. As you can see when describing the different ways they can be installed, this type of roofing provides more decorative options than slate, allowing people to make their roof as bold or understated as they like. The colour can also be adjusted to match the exterior of a building, which is beneficial.

Tile roofing has the added safety bonus of being non-combustible. It’s actually one of the more fire resistant roofing materials on the market, and in the unfortunate event of a house catching fire, your building should be safe.

Tile roofing disadvantages

Like slate roofing, tiles are heavy. This is a major disadvantage, as some roofs won’t be able to use them. If a person is adamant on having this type of roofing then a support may need to be installed. It goes without saying that this will cost a lot of money, especially for the hiring of a structural engineer.
Although the roof tile has a long life span, the materials underneath need to be replaced every 20 years. If this is ignored, it’s possible for the roof to cave in, so it’s of the utmost importance regular checks are done. Similar to slate, tile can’t be walked on as it may break. This means repairs will require a specialist.

Slate Or Tile: Which Is Better?

People often ask which is better; slate or tile roofing? Yet what most people don't realise is that they are both incredibly similar, with certain characteristics that are virtually the same. If you want no fuss then slate is the better option for you. It has an incredibly long life span and, unlike tile, doesn’t need to be checked regularly.

Tile may be more suitable if you want a roof that has an impressive design. This style still lasts a good amount of time, and also offer safety levels that no other roofing material can boast.

In short, in the battle of slate vs. tile, it all falls down to personal preference.

This blog was written by Rachel Jensen Beddard Roofing, the roofing specialists.

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