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How To Choose The Best Roof Tiles?

Given the abundance of roofing tiles options in today’s market, settling on the ideal selection for your home can feel overwhelming. So, how to choose the best roof tiles for you? From the tried and true concrete or clay roofing tiles to the remarkably robust metal tiles, or even the posh natural slate roof tiles, the assortment of possibilities available for homeowners is extraordinary. 

Each roofing tiles are unique. Every variant offers unique advantages and strengths, encompassing factors such as durability, lifespan, aesthetic appeal, and ease of installation. The ultimate decision comes down to assessing each alternative’s pros and cons and identifying the best roofing tile that meets your unique needs. 

Table of contents

How to Choose Roof Tiles?
Durability - Clay & Natural Slate & Metal
Longevity - Clay & Concrete
Cost-Effectiveness - Concrete & Fibre Cement & Metal
Easy Installation - Concrete & Plastic
Sustainability - Synthetic Slate & Envirotile
Energy Efficiency - Metal & Concrete
Contemporary Fashion - Slate
Traditional Fashion - Clay & Concrete
So, Which Type of Roof Tiles Are the Best?
roof tiles installation

Ⅰ. How to Choose Roof Tiles?

Navigating the landscape of roofing tiles can take time and effort. So, how can one make the optimal choice for their home from the various types discussed? There are several critical considerations to factor into your decision. 

Roof Structure and Design
Your roof's structure and design significantly influence the type of roof tiles you select. Certain tiles may be unsuitable for roofs with a notably low pitch. You'll have to search for designs explicitly intended for low-pitch roof installations. 
Aesthetics and Visual Appeal
Naturally, you'll want your roof to add a touch of elegance to your home. Reflect on the aesthetic impact each roofing tile will have on your property. A sleek, modern slate or lightweight tile may seem like it needs to be put in a traditionally styled home with period features. Choose a color that harmoniously aligns with your property's external color scheme and won't clash with the brickwork. Additionally, consider the appearance of surrounding properties to ensure your new roof seamlessly fits into the neighbourhood. 
Geographical Location and Climate
Different regions within the country utilize distinctive tile profiles. While choosing a roof tile, consider prevalent profiles in your locale, as this might influence your decision. Also, contemplate the weather patterns in your area. For properties near the sea or in regions with frequent storms or extreme temperatures, consider the durability and resilience required to withstand the typical weather conditions in your area. 
Types of roof tiles
Local Planning Regulations
Occasionally, local authorities may have restrictions that limit your tile choices. You may encounter requirements stipulating that the type of roof tile you select should blend in with the neighbourhood's appearance. Other tiles might require explicit approval on environmental grounds. 
Budget
Whether you're willing to invest generously or want to stick to a modest budget, planning your finances is essential. It's an effective way of narrowing down which type of roofing tile best suits your price range. Remember to account for hidden costs such as installation, transportation, and maintenance in addition to the upfront cost of the tiles. 

Ⅱ. Longevity - Clay & Concrete

Selecting a roof tile with a substantial lifespan is crucial for your roof structure to endure in the long run. Clay and concrete are among the longest-lasting roof tile materials available. With a potential lifespan of over a century, many roof tiles clay and concrete roof tiles even outlive the structures they’re installed on. 

Slate tiles offer another top-tier choice in terms of longevity. Although the lifespan of the tiles will depend on their quality, care, and initial installation, many slates can last anywhere from 60 to over 150 years – an impressive feat indeed!

clay roof tiles
Clay roof tiles
concrete roof tiles
Concrete roof tiles

Ⅲ. Durability - Clay & Natural Slate & Metal

Let’s start with a vital aspect of roof construction – durability. Roof tiles are frequently exposed to harsh external conditions, necessitating a resilient choice. Traditional clay tiles, favored by many roofers, are renowned for their robust strength and durability. Clay’s rugged structure is engineered to endure strong winds, heavy hail and rain, extreme temperatures, and even fire. Clay roof tiles’ durability is so impressive that ones created centuries ago are still discovered today. 

Natural slates also offer excellent resilience and durability. Slate, one of the most durable natural roofing materials available, can withstand a variety of weather extremes, maintaining structural integrity under high winds, scorching temperatures, and hail. Its natural attributes also make it non-combustible, essentially rendering it fireproof. 

natural slate tiles
Natural slate tiles
metal roof tiles
Metal roof tiles

Ⅳ. Cost-Effectiveness - Concrete & Fibre Cement & Metal

The cost-effectiveness of a roof tile includes the initial purchase price and other expenses, such as installation and maintenance costs and potential savings over the tile’s lifespan. 

Concrete tiles are generally budget-friendly when it comes to upfront affordability. At around £0.50 per tile, concrete roof tiles are ideal for those seeking a suitable roofing material without straining their finances. Concrete’s high thermal mass also increases the building’s thermal efficiency, helping you save money on energy bills. 

Fibre cement tiles, a significantly more affordable alternative to natural slate, are designed to closely mimic the organic visual characteristics of slate. Given their lightweight yet durable structure, fibre cement slate tiles are easy to transport, install, and maintain, keeping both fitting and maintenance costs minimal.

Metal roof tiles, a popular choice for both commercial and residential use, are manufactured in the form of easily-installable sheets for faster, more affordable fitting and a reduced overall purchase price per square meter. Check out our handy blog to learn more about the cost of roof tiles.

Fibre cement roof tiles
Fibre cement roof tiles

Ⅴ. Easy Installation - Concrete & Plastic

If you’re contemplating handling your roofing project as a DIY project, the ease of installation becomes a significant consideration. 

Concrete roof tiles, the perfect choice for homeowner projects, are quick and straightforward to fit. With the use of modern fitting techniques, the process of installing and replacing concrete tiles is far less taxing and challenging than that of alternative tile types. 

Thanks to a larger surface span and modernized installation systems, metal roof tiles can be easily installed up to 10 times faster than other conventional choices. They’re also incredibly lightweight, making transportation, handling, and storage much more practical. 

Plastic roof tiles, installable on a wide range of roof types, boast a lightweight, easy-to-handle structure that makes them incredibly simple to fit. With most suppliers now utilizing easy-fix systems, you’ll typically find that PVC roof tiles can securely interlock with just a few simple screws needed to fix in place.

pvc roof tiles
PVC roof tiles

Ⅵ. Sustainability - Synthetic Slate & Envirotile

As many homeowners are shifting their focus towards building more eco-conscious homes, selecting roof tiles with minimal environmental impact has rapidly become a fundamental priority. 

Lightweight roof tiles, manufactured using a mix of recycled materials, offer an environmentally-friendly option for your home. They use a more eco-conscious production process, and most are fully recyclable at the end of their lifespan, offering excellent sustainability. 

Synthetic slate tiles like the IKO Slates are constructed from a blend of 99% recycled materials. 1 square meter of IKO Slate contains more recycled material within its structure than an average family may discard in an entire month. These slates are also 100% recyclable at the end of life for minimal environmental impact. 

Envirotiles are another practical choice for eco-conscious homeowners, as they are entirely recyclable and utilize environmentally sustainable materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill. 

synthetic slate roof against blue sky, Gray tile roof of construction hous
Synthetic slate roof
Envirotile roof
Envirotile roof

Ⅶ. Energy Efficiency - Metal & Concrete

An energy-efficient home is cheaper to run, better for the environment, and generally more comfortable. Certain roof tiles can significantly impact your property’s efficiency, so if this is a priority, keep a keen eye on the following list. 

Metal is an incredibly energy-efficient roofing material. Metal tiles reflect radiant heat from the sun, which minimizes heat gain through the roof and keeps the building below at a cooler temperature during the hot summer months. This reduces the need for air conditioning, decreasing energy usage. 

Concrete tiles help trap heat below the roof structure with its heavy thermal mass. 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. 

Some energy-efficient asphalt shingles are available on the market, manufactured with specialist granules to help reduce heat absorption. They also facilitate better air circulation to provide an overall enhanced level of energy efficiency for the building.

Ⅷ. Contemporary Fashion - Slate

A range of sleek, modern roof tiles are available on the market, ideal for contemporary property styles. 

If you’re pursuing something with a luxurious yet natural appearance, slate tiles make a fantastic addition to contemporary roof structures. They’re exquisite in design, offering an organic sense of beauty that gives your home a premium finish. 

For those who love the look of slate but prefer a more practical and affordable option, lightweight roof tiles are another popular roofing material for modern houses. Incredibly versatile in design, light roof tiles are available in a wide range of styles and colors to perfectly complement the aesthetics of your contemporary property.

Slate roof tiles
Slate roof tiles

Ⅸ. Traditional Fashion - Clay & Concrete

The clay tile, a classic choice for traditional-style homes, imparts an unparalleled level of charm, character, and elegance to a building. With a gorgeous selection of profiles available, clay tiles allow you to create a unique roof finish while maintaining your home’s timeless feeling. 

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’re a fantastic choice for homeowners who desire the timeless appearance of clay or concrete, with easier installation and enhanced practicality.

So, Which Type of Roof Tiles Are the Best?

The ultimate answer to this question is that there isn’t a universally ‘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.

In addition, different tile suppliers also have different quality control for roof tiles, so it is also very important to choose a suitable tile supplier.

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.

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