Pros and Cons of Clay Tile Roofing

Clay tile roofing is one of the most common and popular roofing materials used in homes since ancient times. This type of roofing is known for its durability and low maintenance upkeep, as well as its resistance to fire, rot, and insects. Clay tiles are available in a variety of colors and blends. They can add an aesthetic look to many types of structures. This article will discuss the pros and cons of clay tile roofing. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Clay Tile Roofing in a Nutshell

The main advantage of using clay tile roofing is that it provides superior protection from extreme weather conditions like hail or high winds. Clay tiles are also impervious to hail, making them the perfect choice for areas that experience heavy rain or hail storms.

Additionally, with annual inspections and cleaning, clay tiles can last up to 50 years. In terms of appearance, clay tile roofs add a classic charm to any home’s exterior while remaining relatively inexpensive compared to other types of roofing materials, such as metal or stone shingles. 

On the downside, installing clay tile roofs is expensive due to its labor-intense approach coupled with the specialized installation tools required. 

Moreover, these tiles are quite heavy, which can lead to high structural costs if extra reinforcements are needed during installation due to poor building structure underneath the primary applicational layer of a floor/ceiling surface over which the tile sheets will eventually be laid on top off due to their considerably weight-sensitive property without proper support from a solid essential foundation base built underneath upon which such installations occur being considered catastrophic if procedures rendered for usage accordingly aren’t adhered too beforehand via erectors between such residential dwellings on both sides. 

This further makes things more complicated when it comes time to replace/repair any broken pieces if an accident should arise during transporting or shifting things around.

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Pros of Clay Tile Roofing

Clay tile roofing is one of the most popular roofing materials used today. It offers a variety of benefits that make it an attractive option for homeowners. The tiles are durable, easy to maintain, and available in various colors to suit any style of architecture. In addition, the tiles are fire-resistant and can last up to fifty years with proper care. Let’s look at some of the pros of clay tile roofing.


Clay tile is a highly durable option for roofing, with many tiles lasting up to 50 years or more with proper care. Clay tile resists wear from adverse weather conditions and fire damage better than other roofing materials, including asphalt. It also requires less maintenance than other materials. Clay tile stands up to snow, hail, and wind events better because the individual tiles can be replaced as needed without needing a total roof replacement.

Additionally, clay tiles often serve as a natural insulator against summer heat due to their color and design characteristics, which help keep your home temperature regulated and save energy costs.

Fire Resistance

One of the critical advantages of clay tile roofing is its enhanced fire resistance. Clay tile as a roofing material is far more effective at resisting heat and fire than traditional asphalt or composite shingle roofs. This makes clay tile an ideal choice for homes located in areas prone to wildfires, as it provides an additional layer of protection that other roof materials may not be able to offer.

Due to their porous nature, clay tiles can repel water better than asphalt shingles and even some composite materials, helping them last longer and providing superior protection against the elements. Unlike many other materials used in roofing applications, clay tiles are made of natural materials, which means they are environmentally friendly—both during their lifespan and once they have reached the end of their useful life—and they require little energy or water to produce. Finally, while traditional asphalt shingle roofs may need replacing every 15-20 years, depending on the climate conditions in your area, a correctly installed clay tile roof can last up to 100 years or more!

In addition, clay tile roofing is more resistant to rot and pests than other roofs, which can help keep homes safe from unwanted intrusions. Another advantage of clay tile roofs is their durability; they are adamant and can withstand wear from high winds, heavy rains, and harsh UV rays.


Clay tile roofing is an exceptionally eco-friendly option. Unlike some other materials, clay tiles are made with natural ingredients that can be recycled and reused, such as clay and sand – reducing the use of synthetic materials. The natural composition of clay also means it does not require any additional chemicals in its production or disposal processes – reducing any environmental impact. Additionally, the long lifespan of clay roofing tiles significantly reduces waste production. For example, a good quality installation can last anywhere from 50 to 100 years without needing replacement. Clay tile roofing is also known to be fireproof. It does not contribute any toxic smoke in the event of a fire, helping keep your home safe and reducing environmental pollution.

Cons of Clay Tile Roofing

Although clay tile roofing is incredibly durable and can last for decades, it has some downsides. It’s essential to understand the cons of clay tile roofing to make a more informed decision when considering this type of roofing for your home. Let’s look at some of the cons of clay tile roofing.


The cost of clay tile roofing is one of the main determinants compared to other roofing options. Clay tiles are expensive and can vary depending on your area’s local rates. These costs can include the following: 

 All this considered, you can expect a good quality clay tile roof to cost approximately 25-40 percent more than an asphalt or metal equivalent. However, suppose you are looking for a long-term solution that provides superior protection against weather conditions while maintaining a sense of timeless beauty. In that case, these added costs may be worth it in the long run.


One of the biggest cons of clay tile roofing is its heavy weight. Clay tiles generally weigh more than other roofing materials, such as asphalt shingles, which can require additional structural support and joint reinforcing for the building to support its weight. This adds to the cost of installation. Additionally, the material itself is bulkier and heavier than popular alternatives like asphalt or metal roofs, so it’s essential to ensure that your house can withstand this added weight when deciding.

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Installation Difficulty

The problematic installation of clay tiles can be potentially hazardous due to the weight of the clay tiles and the need for a steep roof grade. It should also be noted that tile roofing is usually installed by experienced contractors working in crews, which can incur a higher cost than other types of roofing.

In addition, roofers will have to attach each tile individually with specialized nails or clips and apply an alternating pattern to ensure that each tile is adequately secured. Specifically, installation methods involve placing fasteners either between tiles or directly into them, such as nails placed at the nibs into felt paper — depending on whether you decide matrix-style or nail-down installation methods are most suitable for your needs.

The tile installation also requires more labor-intensive job site coordination as crews measure and ensure every course is installed properly relative to every other course. Moreover, extra reinforcing materials must be purchased and installed throughout certain parts of the structure — such as in areas that might experience high winds or near valleys where upwind forces might combine with rainwater flow to tear-free portions of unsecured tiles. The difficulty of installing this type of roof makes it one of its cons relative to other roofs used for roofs, such as shingles or metal sheeting.

Clay Tile Roofing Review

Conclusion: Are Clay Roofing Tiles Right for Your Home?

Although clay tile roofing is an excellent choice for its fire resistance and durability, the high installation cost and sometimes lack of proper ventilation are essential considerations. Clay tiles last longer than other materials but require experienced professionals to ensure proper installation.

As with all materials for a roofing project, research is necessary before making a decision. Ultimately, understanding which kind of roofing provides the most excellent protection for your home and budget will enable you to make an informed decision.

Choosing clay tile roofing could be the right solution if you are looking for fire-resistant materials that can last decades with proper maintenance. However, weigh the installation cost against other options so your home will be safe without breaking the bank.