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Are Concrete Roofing Tiles Good?

Posted on May 17, 2024

Estimated Reading Time : 6 Min.

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concrete roofing tiles

Have you been considering a roof replacement for your home? If so, you might have come across concrete roofing tiles as a potential option. These tiles have gained popularity in recent years, but are they really a good choice? As an experienced roofing professional, I’ve witnessed the pros and cons of various roofing materials, including concrete tiles. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the world of concrete roofing tiles and explore whether they’re a suitable fit for your home.

Understanding Concrete Roofing Tiles

Concrete tiles are a roofing material made by combining cement, sand, and water. They are molded into various shapes and designs to mimic the appearance of traditional clay tiles or slate. Unlike other roofing materials, concrete tiles are more durable, resistant to weathering, and often longer-lasting. The concrete mixture is poured into molds and then cured, allowing the tiles to harden and gain strength. This manufacturing process can be done by machine or by hand. However, concrete tiles are generally heavier than other roofing materials, such as asphalt shingles or metal panels, which may require additional structural support for the roof.

Types of Concrete Roof Tiles

Concrete tiles can be molded into various shapes and styles, including flat, barrel, Spanish-style, and interlocking tiles. They can also be textured or have a smooth surface finish.

1. Flat Roof Tiles

As the name suggests, flat concrete roof tiles have a sleek, modern look and are often used in contemporary architectural designs.

2. Spanish Tiles

Spanish roof tiles

Inspired by traditional Spanish architecture, these tiles feature a curved, barrel-like shape that adds a rustic charm to any home.

3. French Roof Tiles

French roof tiles

With its distinctive, tapered shape and textured surface, French concrete tile roofing systems are a popular choice for homeowners seeking a rustic yet elegant look.

4. Interlocking Concrete Roof Tiles 

These tiles are designed to interlock with one another, creating a tight seal that helps prevent water leakage and enhances durability.

5. Barrel Tiles

Barrel roof tiles

Featuring a semi-cylindrical shape, barrel tiles are often found on Mediterranean-style homes and add a touch of character to any property.

Related: 7 Best Tile Roof Manufacturers & Everything You Need To Know

The Advantages of Concrete Roofing Tiles 

1. Durability

One of the biggest advantages of concrete roofing tiles is their exceptional durability. Unlike asphalt shingles or wooden shakes, which can deteriorate over time due to weather exposure, concrete tiles are built to last, often lasting 50 years or more with proper maintenance.

2. Resistance to Weather 

Concrete tiles are highly resistant to wind, rain, hail, and even fire, thanks to their non-combustible nature. This makes them a good choice for regions prone to severe weather.

3. Low Maintenance Requirements

Unlike other roofing materials that require frequent upkeep or repairs, concrete tiles are virtually maintenance-free, beyond occasional cleaning to remove debris or moss growth.

4. Fire Resistance

As mentioned earlier, concrete tiles are non-combustible, which means they offer superior fire resistance compared to materials like asphalt shingles or wooden shakes.

5. Energy Efficiency and Insulation Properties

The dense nature of concrete tiles, along with their ability to reflect heat, can help improve your home’s energy efficiency by reducing cooling costs, a major plus in hot and humid climates.

The Cons of Concrete Roof Tiles  

While concrete tiles offer numerous advantages, it’s important to be aware of their potential drawbacks as well.

1. Weight and Structural Considerations

Concrete tiles are significantly heavier than other roofing materials, which means your home’s structure may need reinforcement to support its weight, particularly if you’re replacing a lighter roofing material. 

2. Installation Challenges

Due to their weight and specialized installation requirements, concrete tiles can be more challenging and potentially more expensive to install compared to lighter roofing options like asphalt shingles.

3. Color Fading Over Time

While concrete tiles are generally low-maintenance, their colors can fade or become dull over time due to exposure to sunlight and other environmental factors.

4. Cost Comparison

Depending on the specific type of concrete tile you choose, the upfront cost can be higher than other roofing materials, like asphalt shingles, though their long lifespan can offset this cost in the long run.

5. Environmental Impact and Sustainability

While concrete tiles are durable and long-lasting, their production process can have a significant environmental impact due to the energy required for manufacturing and transportation.

How Long Do Concrete Roof Tiles Last?

One of the biggest selling points of concrete roofing tiles is their incredible longevity. With proper installation and maintenance, high-quality concrete tiles can last anywhere from 50 to 100 years or even longer in some cases. This impressive lifespan is significantly longer than many other roofing materials, such as asphalt shingles, which generally last 15-30 years, or wood shakes, which may need replacement every 20-25 years.

Clay vs. Concrete Roof Tiles

When it comes to tile roofing options, concrete tiles are often compared to their clay counterparts. While both materials offer durability and longevity, there are a few key differences to consider.

Clay tiles are typically more expensive than concrete tiles, but they also have a longer lifespan, often lasting 100 years or more with proper maintenance. Additionally, clay tiles are more porous and can absorb moisture, which can lead to issues in certain climates. 

On the other hand, concrete roof tiles are non-porous and resist moisture better, making them a more suitable choice for areas with high humidity or frequent rainfall. They are also generally more affordable than clay tiles, though their lifespan may be slightly shorter. 

How Much Do Concrete Roof Tiles Cost?

The cost of concrete roof tiles can vary significantly depending on factors like the specific tile type, brand, and your location. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $15 per square foot for the materials and installation.

For example, let’s say you’re looking to install concrete tiles on a 2,000-square foot roof. At an average cost of $10 per square foot, the materials alone would cost around $20,000. When you factor in labor and installation costs, the total project cost could range from $25,000 to $35,000 or potentially more, depending on the complexity of your roof and any necessary structural reinforcements.

While the upfront cost of concrete roof tile installation can be significant, it’s important to remember that these tiles can last for decades, often outperforming and outlasting other roofing materials, which can offset the initial investment over time.

Should You Choose Concrete Roof Tiles For Your Home?

Ultimately, the decision to choose concrete roofing tiles for your home will depend on various factors, including your budget, climatic conditions, architectural style preferences, and long-term goals for your property.

If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions (like intense heat, heavy rainfall, or frequent hail storms), concrete tiles can be an excellent investment due to their exceptional durability and resistance to the elements. They’re also a great choice if you prioritize low maintenance and longevity, as well-installed concrete tiles can last for decades with minimal upkeep.

However, if you’re on a tight budget or live in a milder climate, other roofing materials like asphalt shingles or metal roofing might be more cost-effective options to consider (at least in the short term).

Final Thoughts 

While concrete roofing tiles may not be the most budget-friendly option upfront, their durability, low maintenance requirements, and impressive lifespan make them a worthwhile investment for many homeowners.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to weighing your priorities, budget, and local climate conditions.

Regardless of your choice, it’s always advisable to consult with a reputable roofing professional who can assess your specific needs and provide personalized recommendations based on their expertise and experience. 

Contact The Professional Roofers In Tulsa, OK, For Your Tile Roof Installation

Are you looking to install a concrete tile roof on your home or commercial building in Tulsa, OK? Contact A. Fricker Roofing and Waterproofing – Tulsa’s leading roofing company. The expert roofers at our company can proficiently handle any roofing project, be it tile roof installation, replacement, or extensive roof repair. We are well-versed in the roofing industry and strive to provide the best roofing solutions to home and business owners. Contact us today at (918) 402-7167 and consult a professional for your roofing needs. 

concrete roofing tiles