Which Roof Tiles Are Best?
With so many types of roof tiles available today, it can be daunting to decide which roof tile is best for you. From classic concrete tiles or clay roof tiles, to incredibly durable metal tiles, or even luxurious natural slate roof tiles, the amount of options for homeowners to sift through is staggering.
No two kinds of roof tile are the same. Each variety of roof tile offers its own strengths and advantages, including durability, longevity, aesthetics, ease of installation, and more. It's all about weighing up the pros and cons of each option, and singling out the roof tile that suits you best.
Table of Contents
- How Do I Choose Roof Tiles?
- What are the Most Durable Roof Tiles?
- Which Roof Tiles Last the Longest?
- What are the Most Cost-Effective Roof Tiles?
- Which Roof Tiles are the Easiest to Install?
- Which are the Most Eco-Friendly Roof Tiles?
- Best Roof Tiles for the Increasing Energy Efficiency
- Best Roof Tiles for Contemporary Style Properties
- Best Roof Tiles for Traditional Style Properties
- Best Roof Tiles for Windy Areas UK
- Best Roof Tiles for Low Pitch
- How Do I Choose Roof Tiles?
- What’s the Best Type of Tile for my Project?
How Do I Choose Roof Tiles?
So from the range of roof tiles we’ve discussed, how do you narrow down the search and pick the tile right for your home? Well, there are a multitude of factors to consider when making your choice.
Roof Design & Structure
The design and pitch of your roof structure will have an impact on the roof tile options you have. If the pitch is very low, then certain types of tile won’t be suitable for installation. Instead, you will need to specifically search for practical tile designs purposely suited for low pitch roof fittings.
Aesthetics & Appearance
Of course you want your roof to look the part as well. When considering each roof tile, think about the kind of finish it will create for your property. If your home is traditionally styled with period features, a sleek modern slate or lightweight roof tile may look out of place.
Pick a shade that coordinates well with your property’s external colour scheme and doesn’t clash against the brick. Also consider the appearance of neighbouring properties and how well your new tiled roof will fit into the natural flow of the street.
Geography & Climate
Across the country, there are a variety of different tile profiles which are distinctively used in certain regions of the UK. When picking out a roof tile, take the time to research the profiles that hold prevalence in your region as this may have an influence on your choice.
Also consider how the location of your property will be affected by the local climate. Do you live in a very windy area with regular rain and hail storms? Is your home situated close to the sea? Do you experience very hot summers and lightening storms? Think about the level of durability and resilience your chosen tile will need to facilitate the typical type of weather in your area.
Local Planning Restrictions
In some cases, there may be restrictions implemented by the local authority which could restrict your tile choices. You may be faced with planning requirements which state the type of tile you pick should blend into the appearance of the neighbourhood. Other tiles may require specific approval based on environmental grounds.
Whether you are ready to spend without limits or want to work affordably as possible, planning out a project budget is a great way of narrowing down which type of roof tile may be best suited to your price-range. Make sure to consider potential additional costs such as installation, transportation, and maintenance as well as just the upfront tile price.
What are the Most Durable Roof Tiles?
Let’s start by discussing a fundamental element of roof construction – durability. Roof tiles are highly vulnerable to the harshest of exterior conditions, so its important that the kind you pick is resilient enough to last.
A traditional roofer’s favourite, clay tiles are renowned for their impressive strength and durability. The hard-wearing structure of clay is built to withstand strong winds, heavy hail and rain, extreme temperatures and even fire. In fact, clay roof tiles are so hard-wearing that even those crafted hundreds of years ago are still being found to this day.
Natural slates are another popular choice in terms resilience and durability. Slate is actually one of the most durable natural roofing materials currently on the market. It can withstand all kinds of weather extremes, maintaining structural integrity when exposed to very high winds, hot temperatures, and hail. Its natural properties also makes it non-combustible (so basically fire proof).
Ideal for creating a tough and sturdy roof structure, metal roof tiles also offer very resilient and durable properties. They are manufactured to survive stormy conditions with excellent resistance to fire, rot, mildew, and insect despite boasting a more lightweight structure.
Which Roof Tiles Last the Longest?
If you want your roof structure to last in the long-run, its important to pick out a roof tile with a good lifespan.
Clay and concrete are by far two of the longest lasting roof tile materials available to buy. With a potential life expectancy of over 100 years, many clay and concrete roof tiles even outlive the property they’ve been installed on.
Slate tiles are another top-level choice in terms of longevity. Although the lifespan of the tiles will depend on quality, care and initial installation, many slates can last anywhere from 60 to over 150 years! Pretty impressive, right?
What are the Most Cost-Effective Roof Tiles?
The cost-effectiveness of a roof tile not only incorporates the initial upfront price, but also other expenses such as installation and maintenance costs as well as any potential savings over the tile’s lifespan.
In terms of upfront affordability, concrete tiles are generally very budget-friendly. Starting at an average of around £0.50 per tile, concrete roof tiles are ideal for those who want a practical roofing material without breaking the bank. As concrete has a high thermal mass, it also increases the thermal efficiency of the building which helps you to save money on energy bills too.
A far more affordable alternative to natural slate, fibre cement tiles are designed to closely imitate the organic visual characteristics of slate but at a significantly reduced price. Due to their lightweight yet durable structure, a fibre cement slate tile is very easy to transport, install and maintain, so both fitting and maintenance costs are kept to a minimum.
A popular choice for both commercial and residential use, metal roof tiles are manufactured in the form of an easily-installable sheet for faster, more affordable fitting and an overall reduced buying price per m².
Read our handy blog to learn more about the cost of roof tiles.
Which Roof Tiles are the Easiest to Install?
If you are thinking of tackling your roofing project as a DIYer, then ease of installation should be a key factor to consider.
The perfect tile choice for homeowner projects, concrete roof tiles are very quick and straightforward to fit. With the use of modern fitting techniques, the installation and replacement process of concrete tiles is far less taxing and difficult than that of alternative tile types.
Thanks to a larger surface span and modernised installation systems, metal roof tiles can be easily installed up to 10 times faster than other conventional choices. They are also incredibly lightweight, so transportation, handling and storage is far more practical.
Installable on a wide range of different roof types, plastic roof tiles boast a lightweight, easy to handle structure that makes them incredibly simple to fit. With most suppliers now utilising easy fix systems, you will typically find that pvc roof tiles can securely interlock with only a few simple screws needed to fix in place. Tapco's tiles are a great choice for homeowners who are looking for a tile that provides a more elegant look, is simple to install and has superb longevity of 40 years.
Which are the Most Eco-Friendly Roof Tiles?
With many homeowners shifting their focus onto building more eco-conscious homes, picking out roof tiles with minimal environmental impact has fast become a fundamental priority.
Manufactured using a mix of recycled materials, lightweight roof tiles are an environmentally-friendly option for your home. Not only do they utilise a more eco-conscious production process, but most are also fully recyclable at the end of their lifespan to provide excellent sustainability.
Synthetic slate tiles, such as the IKO Slates are constructed from a blend of 99% recycled materials. In fact, 1m² of IKO Slate contains more recycled material within its structure than that of what an average family may discard in an entire month. These slates are also 100% recyclable at the end of life for minimal impact on the environment.
Envirotiles are another practical choice for eco-conscious homeowners, as they are once again completely recyclable and utilise environmentally sustainable materials that would otherwise be dumped into landfill.
Best Roof Tiles for the Increasing Energy Efficiency
An energy-efficient home is cheaper to run, better for the environment and just generally more comfortable to live in. Certain roof tiles can actually have a significant impact on how efficient your property is, so if this is a priority of yours, pay close attention to the following list.
Metal is a very energy-efficient roofing material. Metal tiles reflect radiant heat from the sun which minimises heat gain through the roof and keeps the building below at a cooler temperature in the hot summer months. This reduces the need for air conditioning which in turn lessens energy usage.
With a heavy thermal mass, concrete tiles help to trap heat below the roof structure. This means that in the cold winter months, you can enjoy a more regulated and comfortable internal temperature for the home without reaching to turn up the thermostat.
Certain energy-efficient asphalt shingles are also available on the market, which are manufactured with specialist granules to help in reducing heat absorption. They also permit better air circulation to provide an overall enhanced level of energy efficiency for the building.
Best Roof Tiles for Contemporary Style Properties
There are a range of sleek modern roof tiles available on the market, ideal for contemporary property styles.
If you are on the hunt for something with a luxurious yet natural appearance, slate tiles make a fantastic addition to contemporary roof structures. They are incredibly elegant in design, offering an organic sense of beauty that really does give your home a premium finish.
For those who love the look of slate but perhaps want a more practical and affordable option, lightweight roof tiles are another popular roofing material for modern houses. Incredibly versatile in design, lightweight roof tiles are available in a wide span of styles and colours to perfectly complement the aesthetics of your contemporary property.
Best Roof Tiles for Traditional Style Properties
A classic choice for traditional style homes, the clay tile adds an unrivalled level of charm, character, and elegance to a building. With a gorgeous selection of profiles available, clay tiles give you the freedom to create a unique roof finish whilst maintaining the timeless feeling of your home.
Designed to closely mimic the traditional aesthetics of clay and concrete, metal roof tiles combine the practicality and strength of modern manufacturing with the charming look of classic materials. They are a fantastic choice for homeowners who want the ageless appearance of clay or concrete with easier installation and enhanced practicality.
Best Roof Tiles for Windy Areas UK
Weather in the UK can be pretty temperamental. If you live in an area that often experiences stormy conditions and high winds, it’s a practical idea to prepare with a tile that is robust enough to endure these harsher elements.
With incredibly durable properties and a high-strength build, clay tiles are resilient enough to withstand all manner of weather conditions without damage. When correctly installed, clay tiles will last through many years of rough wind exposure plus are easy to replace should a tile ever come loose.
Metal roof tiles are also built to stay securely in place come rain or shine. They are very robust and incredibly sturdy in the face of strong winds, so you won’t have to worry about expensive damage control every time a storm picks up.
Best Roof Tiles for Low Pitch
A roof is considered ‘low pitch’ if it sits at 20° or less, however, this angle can vary. The pitch will influence the type of roofing system and materials you can install to build the roof structure.
Specialist low pitch roof tiles are purposely manufactured to accommodate pitches as low as 10°. They are the best roof tiles for shallow pitch roofs and are available in a stunning selection of different styles to accommodate a multitude of different property types. These tiles are expertly crafted using lightweight materials such as metal and plastic but give no compromise on durability or strength.
Interlocking clay and concrete tiles are another popular low pitch roof choice with easy installation and practical durability. Although dependant on manufacturer, some can be installed on pitches as low as 15-17.5°.
If you are on the hunt for the best roof tiles for a 15 degree pitch, concrete pantiles may be just right for your property. Typically used on roofs pitches lower than 30°, concrete pantiles offer reliable weather resistance, easy installation, and an elegant classic finish.
What’s the Best Type of Tile for my Project?
Now we’ve discussed the best types of tile to accommodate various property requirements, let’s explore some of the most practical options for other roofing projects.
Shed & Garden Outbuildings
Easy to install by any crafty homeowner, felt shingles are the perfect choice for upgrading your old garden shed. They are a very practical and low-cost option so are great for DIY projects where the budget is limited. Despite the cheaper price bracket, felt shingles can last for up to 20 years with correct installation and care, so actually make a great longer-term solution for shed roofing.
As a typical conservatory roof can not withstand as much weight as the rest of your property, lightweight roof tiles make a highly practical choice for this kind of project. Weighing in at less than 20kg per tile, lightweight tiles create a beautifully sleek finish for your conservatory without requiring any additional structural roof support. They are available in a wide range of colours, sizes and finishes to coordinate perfectly with any property and conservatory style.
Synthetic roof tiles are a practical and elegant addition for garage roof structures, where traditional roof tiles may be too heavy. Weighing up to 80% lighter than concrete and clay alternatives, synthetic tiles are perfectly suited to garage roofs with pitches as low as 10°. Metal and plastic tiles can also be installed up to 25% faster than other conventional alternatives so are a great fit for DIY projects.
So, What Type of Roof Tiles are Best?
The final answer to this question is there isn’t really a ‘best’ option. As every property is unique in its characteristics and requirements, the best tile for one roof may not be a good fit for another. It’s all about finding the right balance of durability, practicality, and style within your chosen tile to accommodate you and your roof structure. The ‘best’ roof tile is the one that makes your property look and feel most like your home.
If this post has inspired you to start your very own roofing project, why not take a look through our high-quality pitched roof tiles available to purchase now at Roofing Megastore. Enjoy amazing prices, quality craftmanship and convenient delivery straight to you.
For extra help in picking out your perfect roof tile, don’t hesitate to get in contact with our friendly customer service team who will be more than happy to help. Simply give them a call on 01295 565565, email [email protected], or just leave a message in our handy live chat.