Roof tiles are one of the most durable roofing materials on the market, and require very little maintenance. They are fire resistant and offer a relatively high level of insulation. The tiles are made of natural clay or concrete.
When it comes to choosing between clay and concrete tiles, buyers must take into account both the functional and aesthetic differences between these two materials.
Differences between clay tiles and cement tiles
Although clay and concrete tiles are very durable, they can break or splinter with an impact and should not be used in areas requiring roofing with high impact resistance.
Both materials are incredibly strong and durable. The concrete roof tiles last up to 50 years on average. While this is much more than many other roofing materials, it still can not be compared to the durability of the clay. The tiles of natural clay can last for centuries, and will not break down due to wind, humidity or rain.
The clay tiles are made of clay that is baked in an oven to remove moisture. Because it is made of natural products, it is friendly to the environment and easily recycled. The concrete tiles are made with Portland cement, lime, sand and water. They can have pigments or dyes or they can be left with their natural gray finish.
Cost of tiles
The concrete tiles cost about half the clay tiles. When evaluating costs, however, one must also consider the lifespan of these products. Clay can easily last more decades than concrete, and need to be replaced less frequently, which is a better option over time.
The clay tiles are known for their richly colored terracotta red. They can be enameled or semi-glazed to modify their appearance. This material will maintain its color over time, regardless of the weather conditions. Concrete tiles can be finished in any desired color with pigments or dyes, but the color tends to disappear with time. Even with the color added to these tiles, it is difficult to match the attractive natural finish of the clay tiles.
One of the biggest problems with clay tiles is their tendency to crack or break due to freezing and thawing cycles. Because of this it is usually found only in warm climates. Concrete tiles are not as susceptible to damage due to freezing, and can be used in almost any climate.
Both cement and clay tiles are quite strong compared to other roofing materials, but clay tends to be the heavier of the two. These roof tiles are not recommended for use in existing buildings unless the roof structure is reinforced to withstand the added weight. Some concrete tiles can be manufactured using lightweight slates instead of sand, allowing them to be used in existing buildings.