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What is the Best Roof Tile for Your Home?

What is the Best Roof Tile for Your Home
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Selecting the Right Roof Tile

Our Guide to Different Roof Tile Types

When it comes to finishing a roof, there’s an array of roof tile types to choose from, with options available in various materials, shapes, profiles and sizes. Choosing the right one often comes down to aesthetics, but other factors to consider will include the roof pitch, weight, weather resistance, sustainability and budget.

We’ve put together this guide to help ensure the best choice of roof tile for a project.

One of the first things to consider when making a choice is the material of the tiles. Roof tiles come in a wide range of materials, and here at Marley, we specialise in providing clay tiles, concrete tiles and cedar shingles and shakes. Other options may include natural stone and fibre cement.

When it comes to material, which roof tile type is best? The answer is: it depends on the project.

Since the material will play a big part in the overall appearance of the roof, think about what looks good. Also, look at what roof tile types other buildings in the area use. Do you want the roof to stand out or blend in?

Other considerations include the material’s durability, longevity, wind resistance, weight, maintenance requirements, ease of installation and cost.

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Clay tiles

A traditional favourite, clay tiles have been used for thousands of years. Modern clay tiles are available in hand-crafted or machine-made formats, with the two types differing mainly in terms of look and price.

Clay roof tiles are strong and durable, and they are provided in shades of red, orange, brown and grey. Clay interlocking roof tiles usually weigh between 40 and 50kg per square metre. This means they are lighter than concrete and natural stone, but heavier than timber, natural slate and fibre-reinforced concrete.

Marley offers a variety of clay roof tile types, including Ashdowne handcrafted and Eden traditional clay pantiles. They are all made to conform to all modern building standards without losing that traditional look, and since they are compatible with our dry-fix roofing systems, installation is quick and easy.

Concrete tiles

An alternative to clay or slate, Marley’s concrete roof tiles offer excellent performance and can provide the appearance of other more ‘natural’ products. Colour options are similar to clay, with a range of reds, oranges, browns and greys.

In terms of aesthetics, concrete tiles often look very similar to clay. While the colour of clay and concrete does tend to fade over time, both have similar life spans and are low maintenance and fire resistant. Concrete tiles tend to be more cost-effective.

When considering concrete roof tiles, options from Marley include EcoLogic Ludlow Major, Duo Modern interlocking and Edgemere interlocking slate.

Cedar shingles and shakes

For a truly natural appearance, cedar shingles and shakes might be the perfect solution. They’re also one of the most sustainable roofing materials available. Since they are also very lightweight (weighing between 4.0 and 8.1kg per square metre), the carbon footprint of transporting them is minimal, and they’re easy to move around on site.

Marley’s Western Red cedar shingles and shakes come with full PEFC chain of custody and can be treated with a preservative coating for long-life. They also provide excellent thermal insulation and sound dampening.

The difference between shingles and shakes comes down to how they’re sawn and shaped. Shingles are sawn on both sides and thinner at the butt, while shakes can be split on one or both sides.

Shape and Size

Another consideration when deciding on a roof tile type is their shape. Options include flat roof tiles, such as Duo Modern; as well as S-shaped pantiles (like Anglia) and Roman tiles like Double Roman, with alternating flat and curved sections.

Large-format tiles, such as Duo Edgemere, are another option to consider. These can be quicker and cheaper to install, as each tile covers more space, when compared to a clay or concrete plain tile, which also means fewer tiling battens would be required.

Plain vs Interlocking Tiles

The choice between plain tiles and interlocking roof tile types will depend on aesthetic preferences, as well as budget.

Plain roof tiles have a simple rectangular shape and are usually smaller than interlocking tiles. They must be laid double-lapped to ensure weather tightness, and they provide an attractive and traditional appearance. Options include Canterbury handmade clay plain roof tiles and Plain concrete roof tiles.

Interlocking roof tiles, such as Lincoln clay interlocking pantiles and Edgemere interlocking slate concrete tiles have a unique shape that allows them to fit together snugly and securely. Interlocking tiles still require fixing to the roofing battens, but their design means that only a single lap is needed, and they are usually larger than plain tiles - so fewer tiles are required to cover the roof. This makes installation of interlocking tiles quicker and more cost-effective than plain tiles.