Clay vs Concrete Roof Tiles

When considering tile roofs how do you decide between clay vs. concrete roof tiles? Roof tiles make a durable roofing material, and are easy to maintain. They offer a host of other benefits including powerful insulation abilities and resistance to fire.

Choosing between clay vs. concrete roof tiles requires learning a little bit about each type of material, including the advantages and disadvantages of both. You might also choose to decide whichever type of material you like the look of better.

“All things considered, there is no easy answer to which is better – clay vs. concrete roof tiles – both have many similarities and a few differences. Concrete tiles cost half as much as clay, but will last quite a bit longer. Climate may be the deciding factor.”

A Basic Overview: Clay Vs. Concrete Roof Tiles

Clay tiles are made of earth that has had the moisture removed by baking it in a kiln. Clay tiles are made from natural material from the earth, making it one of the most eco-friendly materials possible. They are known for their characteristic red terra cotta color, which will not fade for the lifespan of the roof.

Concrete roof tiles are made from cement, sand, lime, and water. You can add dyes to make the concrete any color you want, or you can leave it its natural gray tone. The color will fade over time, unlike the permanence of clay tiles.


Cost Of Clay vs. Concrete Roof Tiles

Clay Price Range: $6.50 to $11.00 psf installed

Concrete Price Range: $5.00 to $10.00 psf installed

The costs of clay vs. concrete roof tiles do vary. Concrete roofing tiles are only half the cost of clay tiles, but there is one more factor that you need to consider: the lifespan. A clay tile roof will last much longer than concrete, so they may be a better deal in the long run despite their higher initial cost.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Both

Durability
Both major types of tile roofing are naturally durable materials. Concrete will last for an average of 50 years, while clay tiles can last for several hundred years or more with proper roof maintenance. They last longer than many types of materials, and will withstand many types of harsh weather.

Climate
Clay does have its downsides. It may be resistant to sun, rain, and wind, but it does not handle drastic temperature changes very well. If you live in a climate that experiences freezing temperatures, the freezing and thawing of your tiles may cause them to crack over time. Concrete is not susceptible to this problem.

Both Are Heavy Materials
When comparing clay vs. concrete roof tiles, there is one factor that is quite similar between the materials: their heavy weight. There is no way getting around the fact that clay and concrete tiles weigh more than most types of roofing. This means that they are not ideal for re-roofing projects, unless you are completely certain that the roof structure is enough to support the heavy weight.

Strong Insulators
Clay and concrete tiles are strong insulating materials, which reduces the amount of money that you will have to spend on your home heating and cooling costs. They also are a very fire resistant material, and far exceed the minimum fire rating codes.

Which One Do You Ultimately Choose? The Choice Is Yours

Climate
You first want to consider your climate when you choose what type of tile roofs is the best choice for your home. If you live in a cold climate, the freezing and thawing of the tile will reduce the lifespan of the tiles and increase the chance of cracking. Make sure you choose the tiles that have the durability you want.

Budget
Next, consider your budget. Remember that clay tiles are much more expensive than concrete tiles, up to 50% more expensive. If you are working with a tight budget, clay tiles may be out of reach.

Appearance
Finally, consider which appearance you like better. If your budget allows it, and the climate is suitable for it, go ahead and splurge on clay tiles. If you like the look of concrete tiles better, don’t think twice, and save yourself some money by choosing that option.