Creative Roof Systems: Tile Roofs

Questions often asked about concrete and clay tile roofs

Is tile is too heavy for my house?
Load capacities are greatly misunderstood. Trusses can be pre-designed to support the load of most standard weight tile. If you're reroofing, existing framing members can be reinforced, or the existing structure may be adequate, or you might consider a lightweight tile or slate product. Lightweight tile is under 6 pounds per square foot. If you're unsure, consult a structural engineer.

Redland clay tile
Is roof tile only Mission-looking—"round and red"?
The myth of the "round and red" roof tile is simply not true. Tile can be found in many shapes and colors.

Is concrete and clay tile the same as other fiber-cement products?
No. Fiber cement roofing products are made from cement and wood fiber cellulose. Cellulose is an organic material that is susceptible to moisture and resultant deterioration if the cellulose product is not formulated and manufactured properly. Many fiber cement products are failing on the roof and have resulted in lawsuits. The cost of an authentic tile or slate roof is usually the same as that of a simulated product.

Is tile safe in earthquakes?
A study commissioned by the National Tile Roofing Manufacturers Association suggests that concrete and clay roof tiles withstand seismic forces far greater than the 0.8g (gravity acceleration) that the Uniform Building Code requires for other building components.

Roof tile is expensive, isn't it?
With the rising cost of petroleum based products such as asphalt shingles, tile no longer has the price separation it once did. Not only is roof tile an affordable alternative, it is actually an economical choice if you consider the life cycle cost of the product.