6 Different Types Roof Tile for Your Home (History, Laying and Benefits)

Roof tile Types – Since time immemorial, roof tiles have fascinated people. In romantic constructions and architectural marvels, roof tiles have played important roles – and added style, class and pizazz to buildings across the ages. The love affair with roof tiles still endures.

Clay tiles have appealed to all classes of society as roofing material of choice. Tiles protected buildings, holding the elements at bay, guarding and keeping residents safe, warm and dry regardless of outside weather conditions.

Roof Tile Materials

Roof tiles were manufactured from materials readily available in the geographic vicinity. Clay and slate were popular choices in those early days, though current options for roof tiles types are far more diverse and varied. Concrete tiles and plastic tiles are among several options available to today’s builders.

The types of roof tiles differed depending upon where the building was located, which roofing materials were used, and how experienced and skilled the roofing contractors and tile makers were.

Roofing tiles varied in size, shape and design. Modern technology and innovation has led to a virtual explosion in the range of choices available for even simple clay roof tiles.

We’ll take a look at the kind of roof tiles that are in wide use these days.

Roof Tile Types

1. Flat Roof Tiles

Flat roof tiles are the most common and simple forms used in building. The roof is constructed by laying down the roof tiles with slight overlapping of adjacent rows of tiles.

This kind of roof is popular in Europe, especially in Germany. The tiles are commonly made of clay or slate, though you can also find flat tiles made of plastic, stone or wood.

2. Composite Tiles

Composite tiles and newer innovations like solar cell flat tiles have transformed the roofing industry into one that is on the cutting edge of design and functionality, not to mention a contributor to environment friendliness of moder constructions.

3. Tegula Tiles

Tegula tiles originated in Rome, and the pattern of these roof tiles is flat. Channels along the roof allow for the drainage of rain water, preventing stagnation and roof damage.

4. Roman Tiles

Other variants like Roman tiles have alternating concave and convex shapes on each end, with the middle of the tile being flat. This permits the interlocking of successive layers, achieving a watertight seal between tiles.

5. Pantiles

Pantiles are a form of roof tiles with an S-shaped profile. This design also helps interlock the adjacent layers of tiles. When viewed from outside, the finished pantiles present a ridged pattern, somewhat akin to a plowed field.

6. Barrel or Mission Style Roof Tiles

Barrel or mission style roof tiles are semi-cylindrical in shape. They are laid out in alternate columns of convex and concave tiles. These tiles are very popular and are mass produced using materials like metal, cement, plastic and clay.

You will also find interlocking roof tiles are very similar to pantiles but in this model of roof tiles, the interlocking takes place at the top and bottom ends. This provides better protection against water and heavy winds.

Laying Roof Tiles

Roof tiles are easy to lay and many do-it-yourselfers have built their own flat roofs using tiles. Usually roof tiles are hung over the roofing frame and fixed with nails. Each row of roof tiles is laid out in parallel overlapping layers to prevent rainwater from seeping in.

The nails which are used to hammer tiles together and achieve a good seal must themselves be covered. Roof tiles are also manufactured to meet special requirements such as suitable adjustments at the ridges, hip, for valleys and areas where two or more pitches meet.

Roof Tiles – A Short History

Tiles are not used exclusively to construct roofs. Tiles can offer protection against the elements even when they are used to cover the sides of a building, or also on the floor.

Ceramic tiles have adorned and decorated mansions and palaces for centuries. History provides us with records of the use of roof tiles ever since the 3rd millenium BC, in Greece. From there, roof tiles spread to Italy and were then widely used in construction in Asia and other parts of Europe.

Roof Tiles – Why Are They Popular?

Roof tiles are very popular among home owners and roofing contractors alike. Here are a few reasons why people love roof tiles.

  • Tiles have very flexible design. You can match the design and style to go with whatever you already have in your home.
  • The beautiful red color of terracotta tiles is burnt into the very core of roof tiles, and this gives the roof a color that will never fade. In fact, roof tiles mature as they age, will retain its strength and character through its life-time, and only very rarely need replacing.
  • Roof tiles need very little maintenance, in contrast to other forms of roofing such as shingle roofs or rubber/EPDM roos.
  • Tile roofs have a very long natural life of over 50 years. They are built to last a life-time, and as you see from historic remnants from the past they will last several life-times and still retain their beauty and characteristics.
  • They have high thermal insulating properties. This way your tile roof will allow you to remain cool in summers, while being snug and warm during winter.

Other Benefits of Roof Tiles

Clay and cement are non-combustible. Therefore roof tiles which are made of these materials are highly fire-resistant. If a building is situated near forests and woodland where there is a danger of forest-fires, then clay tiles are the best bet for roofing needs.

Roof tiles are dense, and so they provide excellent sound reduction and keep your home protected from noise. However loud the outside may be, the interior of your house will be reasonably sound-proof.

Noise from vehicles or even low flying aircraft will not disturb people inside a building with a tile roof. The sound level is slashed by almost 30 decibels, a situation quite in contrast to steel or other types of roofing.

Houses near the sea risk extensive damage by salt water. When battered by heavy winds laden with salt, a home can literally disintegrate unless specific precautions are taken with the choice of roofing material.

Terracotta roof tiles offer protection against sea breeze and extreme weather conditions that sometimes crop up in these locations.

Why Choose Roof Tiles Over Other Options?

When compared to other types of roofing material and designs, roof tiles are very low maintenance and have a long life span. Even if a couple of tiles get accidentally damaged, they can be replaced in isolation without impacting the rest of the roof. This is in contrast to metal roofing or asphalt roofs where a large section of the roof may need re-working.

Rainwater does not stagnate on a tile roof, with easy flow being made possible through the creation of rain channels. The water that runs-off a tile roof can also be collected and re-used.

In these many ways, roof tiles are advantageous as a roofing material choice. There are so many roof tiles types that you will easily find one that matches the rest of your house or building in color, design and style.

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