What are the Benefits of Clay Roof Tiles?

Roof Tiles, Slates & Shingles
product guide
What are the Benefits of Clay Roof Tiles?

Popular with roofing professionals and homeowners alike, clay roof tiles maintain their high status in the industry for their practical and visual appeal. As a beautiful, long-lasting and versatile building material, clay offers a wide range of advantages and benefits that mean it has been so widely used, not just now, but for much of history. Coming into general use around the 12th or 13th century but still used even before this time, clay tiles have proven for many years that they are a fundamental roofing choice and will continue to be utilised for yet more years to come.

With newer, innovative technology and manufacturing techniques being developed, manufacturers are creating stronger, more reliable clay tiles that are ideal for modern homes. With all of this said, what actually does make the clay tile so popular? Let’s explore the benefits to give you a better idea.

Benefits of Clay Roof Tiles


One of the fundamental reasons that clay tiles are so well-loved is their highly appealing look. As well as the instantly recognisable terra cotta shade, clay tiles are also manufactured in a stunning array of other colours, each perfect for creating a different look for your home. From fresh whites, to natural browns and summery oranges, clay tiles give you complete flexibility to accommodate your roofing design to your personal aesthetic and vision. Marley clay roof tiles such as the beautiful Marley Canterbury Tiles for example, are available in a charming array of colours, each designed to create an individual look for your home. Better still, most clay tiles also incorporate varying surface finishes to enhance the colour vibrancy and give your home even more originality.

Perfect for both new builds and older properties, clay tiles have the ability to create a wonderfully traditional look, giving your home a classic feel without ever seeming outdated. Due to the high temperatures used in the kiln, there is no need to worry about additional colourings fading or lessening in quality over time with some tiles maintaining a vibrant colour for up to 50 years!

Durability & Longevity

Still found in archelogy sites to this day, the durability of clay tiles is undeniable. With impressive structural strength, clay roof tiles are so robust that high wind speeds, torrential downpours and any other stormy weather you may worry about with alternative roofing tiles, is no problem for clay. Tiles from companies such as Marley, Redland and Sandtoft offer proven levels of exceptional durability with impressive certifications of quality.

With drastically enhanced manufacturing and testing techniques than those used many years ago, the endurance and resilience of clay tiles is ever improving, even though they have always been an incredibly reliable and long-lasting roofing choice.

With correct installation and maintenance, clay tiles have been known to last well over 100 years, making them the ideal choice for long-term application. Clay tiles are fully resistant to rot, decay, insects, water damage and mould so you can be sure that once installed, they are there for the long-run. Did you know that clay tiles became a highly popular roofing material after the Great Fire of London because are they are also fully fireproof? Pretty impressive.

Low Maintenance

Looking for a long-lasting roof tile that doesn’t involve a high amount of maintenance? Clay tiles could be just what you need. In comparison to many other roofing materials, clay tiles require very little upkeep with no need to fork out huge amounts of money for regular professional cleaning. For homeowners that wish to do so, clay tiles can be easily cleaned to remove any mould or algae, however this is a simple process that requires no specialist or pricey products. If you do notice any cracked, broken or missing clay tiles, repairing or replacing them is also very straightforward with minimal disturbance to the rest of your roofing.


Highly efficient in multiple ways, clay tiles also offer fantastic insulating benefits for your home. Unique in design, clay tiles have excellent heat retention properties, ensuring high thermal insulation throughout the building. They act as a natural air conditioner, helping to maintain a consistent temperature internally whilst also providing heat protection in hotter weather. When air circulates above and below clay tiles, an insulating air cushion becomes trapped between the roof and tiles, enhancing the insulating functionality of the whole roof structure. Amazing, right? Clay tiles help not only keep your home at a more comfortable temperature but also mean you can spend less on energy bills.


Produced from a natural material, clay tiles offer superb environmental benefits both through manufacturing and after installation. Due to their eco-friendly components, clay tiles create no harmful gases during their production, with their thermal mass helping to decrease energy dependency. Better still, boasting a possible lifespan of over 100 years, clay tiles are brilliantly sustainable, lessening the amount of materials and energy used in comparison to alternative roofing materials that require much more frequent replacement. When the roof is no longer required, clay tiles do not create damaging waste as they can be easily recycled into new tiles or bricks.

Weather Resistance 

As previously discussed, clay tiles are incredibly long-lasting and durable. They are extremely resistant to the effects of weathering, lasting even through high winds, snow and heavy downpours of rain. Whilst alternative roofing materials expand and contract to a much higher degree, clay tiles help maintain the integrity of the roof, enduring both extreme hot and cold weather conditions. In the instance that harsher weather does break or detach a few tiles, repairing and replacing them is very quick and straightforward so you won’t have to stress about costly damages every time a storm hits. Clay tiles are not just great for wintery weather. They are also able to withstand and resist strong ultra-violet radiation from constant sun exposure with no negative effects, visually or performance wise. 

Other Factors to Consider...

Even though clay tiles do offer a brilliant range of fantastic benefits and advantages, as with every roofing material, there are some drawbacks that you still need to keep in mind. For example, even though they are very durable in terms of resistance to weathering and environmental factors, clay tiles can be fragile with heavier traffic underfoot and can crack if you walk over them. This can make checking the tiles and guttering a little tricker, although if you are safe and careful, you can avoid this problem pretty easily with the correct precautions.

The other main disadvantage is that with clay tiles typically weighing between 70kg and 80kg per square metre, their weight can impact ease of installation. Clay tiles can potentially be harder and more time consuming to fit, plus again because of their weight, it can also mean they are not suitable for all roof types. This is why it is so important to always ensure you have the right professional advice as well as an experienced installer working on the project to make sure the tiles you choose are both appropriate for your roof type and are correctly installed. Opting for tiles such as the Sandtoft Neo Pantile Clay Tile can help with the installation setbacks however, as with the use of an open gauge interlocking system, tiles such as these can reduce roof completion times by as much as 30%.  

To Conclude

If like us, you think that their fantastic benefits far outweigh their minor disadvantages, take a look at our pick of the most popular clay tiles out there. With high-quality ranges from top roofing brands, we are sure that you will find just what you are looking for. Below are a few of our customer’s favourites to get you started.

Marley Canterbury Tiles – This is a stunning tile that comes in three shades. The three shades can be used together to create a magnificent historical look or used as one colour individually to add a truly traditional feel to any building.

Sandtoft Arcadia Tiles – These tiles will provide your roof with the charm and character of an aged tile from day one. They have been designed to resemble reclaimed tiles – providing a stunning roof design, ideal for use on complete roofs or to match an already aged roof on a renovation project.

Sandtoft County Pantile – With a double interlocking design these tiles allow you to install your roof in record breaking time, plus they also provide an extra level of security and are practically unmovable.

More Information

If you have any further concerns about whether clay tiles are suitable for your roofing project, then please do give us a call on 01295 975166, email us at [email protected] or leave us a message in our handy livechat.

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