Clay tile roofing is pretty common in many areas of the country, particularly in the Southwest where it is hot. They come in many different styles and colors and can absorb a lot of the heat from the sun, making your home cooler and more energy efficient. The tiles are individually crafted and set in a kiln and will never catch on fire or rot, they require little maintenance and although they are heavy, they are also quite fragile.
The clay will change over time on the roof, making for pretty patinas and minor shadings that add to the charm. The main negative about this type of roof is the fact that it is more expensive than other materials. Before you decide on a clay tile roof, you first need to see if your home will be able to withstand the weight of it. If not, reinforcement beams may need to be added to your existing roof.
What if you could get the clay tile look without the weight? Well, now you can. There is a relatively new product on the roofing material market that is made predominately with fiber reinforced concrete. Now, you may be thinking 'but concrete is heavy' and yes, it can be, but these newer products strive to give you the look of tiles without the bulk, the weight and the fragility that comes with them. These tiles are durable and long lasting and come in a variety of shapes, colors and configurations to mimic the look of wood shake, shingles and clay tiles, all in a weather proof, strong, and lightweight package. Because they are not made just with concrete they are also a lot lighter than traditional materials. These concrete tiles are fire resistant, have low maintenance and are water proof to boot.
Slate is a natural tile option, but it is a pricey one as well. It is, however, super strong and super durable and with an absorption rating of zero, no water is ever going to penetrate it. Some slate roofs have been removed from one home and applied to another; even after one hundred years of service they are still ready for more.
Roofing with tiles give you lots of options and lots of different looks. While they are usually heavier than their opposition, they are long lasting and will probably outlast the hardware that they are attached with. Tiles of any description will look great on your home for years to come.