Clay Tile Roofing: Things You Need To Know Before You Buy

Nowadays, clay tile roofs are popular with homeowners because of their strength, long-lasting nature, and low maintenance. While they can be costly, a tiled roof will last many years.  Tile roofing made of clay is one of the oldest styles of architecture and has been used for many thousands of years back to ancient Greece or Rome. Nowadays, roofs made of clay are still popular with homeowners because of their strength, long-lasting nature, and low maintenance. While they can be costly, a roof made of clay can last for decades.

Difference Between Concrete and Clay Roofing

Concrete Tiles

Suppose you’re considering installing an asphalt tile roof. In that case, it’s essential to consider tile roofing made of concrete as an alternative. Concrete tiles are an acceptable alternative as they are at the benefit of a lower price per square meter than clay and can withstand colder temperatures. They are made of water, sand, and cement, which are then molded using heat and pressure.

  • Roof tiles made of concrete are heavier than clay tiles, and they retain more moisture. Therefore we advise you to ask an engineer for structural integrity whether your roof can withstand the weight.
  • Similar to ceramic tiles made of clay, concrete is also resistant to wind and fire.
  • Concrete tiles can hold more moisture and water than clay, requiring more care.
  • It typically lasts between 30 and 50 years.

Clay Tiles

  • The cost of clay is higher but has less need for maintenance than concrete tiles.
  • Clay tiles last longer than concrete tiles, perhaps lasting hundreds of years.
  • Like ceramic tiles made of concrete, clay is resistant to fire and wind.

Although both clay and concrete tiles are strong, we recommend the installation of a felt-based subfloor first. This is the only way to prevent any leakage from ruining your home.

Types of Clay Tiles

Before you decide on the clay tile roof you want Let’s look at the different varieties of clay tiles that you can buy. While each is made of the same components, they differ in how they’re arranged.

Mission Style

Pros:  Easy installation and round shape

Cons: Fragile, expensive

Ideal in: Buildings that can withstand the weight of a large load, in warmer climates

These clay tile roofings were in the style of the Spanish missions; they were Catholic missions founded in the Spanish colonization. Mission-style tiles are comparable in appearance to Spanish styles; however, instead of Spanish styles “S” appearance, mission barrel tiles are rounded, with an overhanging pan and cover overlapping. Both tiles require eave closures to prevent moisture.

Spanish Style

Pros: Known for its “S” shape with drainage pan and interlocking tiles

Con: Lack of color options, complicated installation

Most suitable to: Wet climates

Mediterranean Spanish tiles are made into the “S” shape, featuring their pan and cover on the left interlocking. Both styles require venting and eave closures to keep the water from entering.

French Style

Pros: Term used to describe interlocking tiles long water drainage chutes

Cons: Fragile, heavy

Best for: Sturdier buildings, European-style aesthetic

French tiles lock on all sides. They also have deep grooves which allow drainage of water easily. Since the tiles are interlocking and come with natural closures, eave closures are unnecessary. French-style tiles are the best choice for homeowners in moist, humid conditions.

Interlocking Shingle

Pros: Flat interlocking shingles choices

Cons: Heavy, fragile, expensive

The best choice for Dryer and warmer climates

Interlocking tiles made of clay offer a more minimalist aesthetic than traditional shingles, with the same elegance as the clay tile. The clay tiles are light and lock to each other across all sides but do require closures with eaves.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Clay Tile Roofing


Easy maintenance: Although the cost of a clay roof could be an enticing amount to put up and maintain, you’ll never have to think whether you can replace it. And, if it needs repairs, they’ll be simple to repair.

Durable:  Tiles made of clay are impervious to fire and can stand up to high winds. This could boost the value of your home’s resales.

Long-lasting:  due to its ability to endure extreme weather conditions, the clay tile roof’s longevity can be at least 100 years. It is also possible to receive a lifetime or 50-year warranty.
Eco-friendly: Clay is composed of earth minerals and is recyclable. The roof of a clay tile reflects solar radiation and keeps your home cool, reducing energy bills.


The price is high: Tiles could cost twice the price of an asphalt roofing shingle.
Cracks: Although clay tiles are a strong roofing material; they’re susceptible to cracks in cold temperatures. This is the reason you’ll be able to see tiles made of clay being a preferred choice for homeowners living in warmer climates.


Clay tile roofing is a beautiful, durable, low-maintenance option for homes and businesses. However, a few things to keep in mind before making a purchase. Make sure to buy from a reputable roofing supplier, and have a professional roofing contractor install the tiles to ensure proper ventilation and drainage. Contact Alpha Builders, the top roofing contractor in Singapore, for the best results.

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