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A Roofer’s Tile Guide

Some things come as standard. Where there’s no need for more than one explanation or description of what something is, what it does, or what it offers. When it comes to roof tiles – there is no single standard. Roofs and roof tiles come in a range of styles, provide a range of functions, that whether you’re a roofer or a homeowner that wants a roofing service, knowing what to use for what reason can be a great help.

Midlands RFG are professional and experienced roofers in Cannock, and here is our Tile Guide to help would-be customers and trainee roofers in understanding what they need or want for their next roofing job.

Clay Roofing

Having been used for thousands of years, clay roof tiles remain very popular and have clearly more than stood the test of time! Their attractive appearance naturally makes them appealing and being made from clay makes them very resistant to the elements.

They also take in less water than concrete tiles, with a water absorption rate of just 6%. This makes them ideal for roofers, with lightweight tiles being far easier to lay than heavier tile options.

Another benefit of the tough properties of clay means that you can generally expect more than fifty years of wear and tear before needing to replace clay tiles. This excellent lifespan is also obviously hugely appealing to customers.

Natural Slate Roofing

If money was no object, and time and labour no issue, natural slate would be every roofer and homeowner’s go-to tile. The much sought-after natural and authentic appearance, combined with its incomparable durability (up to 150 years is claimed) is a hugely attractive proposition for property owners.

Now for the niggles – natural slate roof tiles are so heavy that roof decks need to be checked and reinforced before the difficulty of laying even begins! For that reason, slate roofing jobs are timely and expensive for property owners and roofers.

Concrete Roofing

Probably the most popular and dominant roof tile on the UK market. Concrete roofing tiles are robust, enduring, and as one of the lowest priced tiles available, are increasingly popular with property owners. Less popular with roofers themselves as they are much heavier, making a difficult lay!

On the plus side for roofers and roofing companies, is the fact they give a low-maintenance finish. So, even with the obvious pros and cons, it’s clear that concrete roof tiles are here to stay.

Double style Roman Roof Tiles

The traditional appearance of a Double Roman tile is its biggest selling point. While clay versions of the tile are difficult to source, most Double Roman tiles are now crafted from concrete and benefit from interlocking technology. This makes the installation process quicker and easier, reducing costs and ensuring swift completion. The colour and price of the tiles vary depending on which option you pick from the range.

Pantile Roofing

Traditionally found in the Netherlands, pantiles have been around for over 500 years. While older pantiles were made of clay, most these days are made from concrete, though they can still be up to a third lighter than most tiles. They add real character to a building and are extremely durable, even in harsh weather conditions. With six main types of pantiles on the market, there’s a range of colours and designs available in both traditional and interlocking styles.

Interlocking Roofing Tiles

These tiles are a roofer’s dream. Interlocking tiles are reminiscent in style of common concrete and clay style tiles, but their interlocking function makes laying and installing so much faster and simpler. Usually larger than standard tiles, they provide better coverage for a faster lay, and are therefor cheaper to install. An added benefit is that they can be used for low pitch roofs, as low as 10 degrees.

Metal Roof Tiles

Now this is such a rare choice of tile on the UK market, you may even be surprised they exist! Yet, metal roof tiles come in range of metal compositions, including aluminium, copper, steel, and zinc.

As you would expect, metal roof tiles are forged with durability and longevity the aim. Not only do they last for decades, they are also energy-efficient at keeping in heat. A great benefit for homeowners.

The issue remains with price and noise – often up-to three times the cost of traditional tiles, and the sound of rainfall hitting your metal roof whilst you sleep will never be appealing!

Lightweight Roof Tiles

Don’t be misled by the name. Although you can get ‘lightweight’ tiles in a number of the aforementioned materials, this one is essentially a brand! A tile must be less than 20kg to be deemed ‘lightweight’, and this type of tile definitely delivers a knockout in its weight division.

Roofers obviously love lightweight roof tiles for the ease and speed of installation, but they are also environmentally friendly and come in a range of colours and styles, including metro tiles and synthetic slate.

Lightweight tiles are ultra-lightweight, durable, and simple to lay.

Reclaimed Roof Tiles

The modern trend of ‘upcycling’ has caught on in roofing. Reclaimed tiles are a low-cost and often visually stunning alternative to buying new roof tiles of any sort. Reclaimed tiling is an authentic and environmentally friendly approach to roofing, and if the property in question is in a conservation area, or a city, town, or village with an older and traditionally visual aesthetic to comply with, reclaimed tiles are often an ideal solution.

As you’d expect, clay and concrete tiles may well be easier to come by than others, and the biggest challenge will be trying to source enough tiles in one place and fast enough for a given job. Although rewarding once you do get your tiles, the pursuit of reclaimed tiles can be very time-consuming indeed.

It should also be noted that reclaimed tiles must be fitted in accordance with the very latest roofing standards, regardless of their origins, age, and previous installation.

For local roofing services in Cannock, contact us here.

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