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Clay Tile Roof - Pros, Cons, and Cost

Clay Tile Roof

We know that every building has a roof where the type of material depends upon the needs of the owner. The roofs made up of clay tile are durable and provide a unique and modern look to your house. Some clay tile roofs also last for a century if they are made by a professional person or company.

Clay tile roof is helpful for your house when it rains. Modern materials are used for the construction of such roofs. These materials may include plastic, metal, and concrete along with clay tiles. We know that some clay tiles are waterproof and do not get affected due to water.

Installation of Clay Tile Roof

You must gather all the necessary tools before getting a clay tile roof installed. If you are installing a new roof over your old roof, you must remove the old roof first. You should hire a professional company for this purpose because it is not an easy task that could be performed by any ordinary person.

After removing the old roofing system, you should install the underlayment. It can be done by rolling down the underlayment in 10ft long sections at a single time. You should use nails for securing it. You should have skylights, chimneys, and other related obstacles that are used for installing a clay tile roof.

You should cut the underlayment according to these obstacles so that it could be set around these obstacles. Next, you need to install the battens. Battens are needed to be installed when the slope of the roof is steep. After the installation of battens, you should start installing tiling. Start from one corner of the roof and end till the last corner.

You should start installing the tiles along the roof’s length. You should nail the clay tiles into the battens or the sheathing. The last step is to install the ridge tiles. These tiles are helpful in protecting the roof from water and rain.

Benefits of Clay Tile Roof

The benefits of clay tile roof are listed below:

I.  Durable

Clay tile roofs are durable and can last for a very long time. These types of roofs may also last for centuries if you take great care of them. These roofs are highly resistant to rot, insects, and fire. You do not have to get it inspected every month. It is enough to get it inspected once a year. Clay tile roofs can also last up to a hundred years or more than that.

II.  Requires Low Maintenance

The clay tile roofs require low maintenance so you do not have to spend much money on their maintenance. No doubt, a clay tile roofing system is expensive but it can be considered a one-time investment. Clay roofing is better than roof shingles, metal roofing, and other types of roofing systems.

III.  Attractive

The clay tile roofing system provides a modern and attractive look to your house. It is a beautiful roofing system that enhances the appearance of the brick siding. It makes your house eye-catching.

IV.  Regulates Rooftop Temperature

Clay tile roof is helpful in regulating rooftop temperatures. The air can circulate freely beneath the clay tile roofing if it has been installed properly. It is also helpful in regulating the temperature of the roof in hot weather as well as cold weather. You can also save your electricity bills by installing a clay tile roofing system.

Cons of Clay Tile Roof

Here are some of the disadvantages associated with clay tile roofing systems:

I.  Heavy

Clay tile roofs are heavy which cannot be handled by a single person. You need a team of about seven people to install this roofing system. You should check the structure of your house before installing a clay tile roof. You may also need additional structural reinforcement before the installation of the clay tile roof so that the house can handle its weight.

II.  Expensive

No doubt, clay tiles are expensive, that's why the complete clay tile roofing system is expensive. The materials used for its installation are modern and expensive. You should know that the cost of clay tile roofs is two or three times higher than that of an ordinary roofing system.

III.  Difficult To Install

The installation process of a clay tile roof is different from other roofing systems. It is a time-consuming and difficult task to perform. It cannot be done by only one or two people. A specific pattern is to be followed for the installation of the clay tiles.

You need to check the roof after the installation of every ten tiles. You should check whether the moisture is able to get into the tiles or not. You need to double-check the pattern of the tiles and the gap between the clay tiles.

IV.  Not Wind Resistant

One of the disadvantages of clay tile roofing includes that it is not completely wind resistant. Though it is beneficial in the case of water and rain as it is resistant to rain but not heavy storms. Your roof may fall off due to heavy storms or heavy wind if not installed properly.

V.  Brittle

Clay tiles can be brittle in chilly temperatures because they get weak due to thawing and freezing repeatedly. They may also crack if there is high pressure. These tiles can get fragile even in a warm environment and can be broken easily.

Are Clay Tile Roofs Good?

Do you want to know whether clay tile roofs are good for your house or not? It is good to consider this because you do not want to waste your money if a clay tile roof is not worth other roofing systems. Following are some points that will help you to consider whether clay tile roofs are good or not.

I.  Life

The lifespan of a clay tile roof is more than a hundred years. You should take care of this roofing system similar to others so that it could last longer than its average lifespan i.e. a century.

II.   When To Replace

You should replace your clay tile roof when its underlayment gets damaged. You can also get it replaced when the tiles get damaged and the underlayment gets less rugged.

III.  Cost

Clay tile roof costs about 16000$ to 32000$. The cost of a clay tile is about 6$ to 15$ per sq. ft.

IV.   Weight

The weight of the clay tile roof is about 850 pounds per sq ft. The weight of a clay tile is about 30 to 60 kg per m2. The weight of the roof may be increased with the increased area of the roof.

V.  Paint

Painting the clay tile roofs is not necessary but it can be done from time to time during the maintenance or remodeling of the roof. You should use acrylic paint of good quality for painting these roofs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Clay Tile Roof

How To Install Clay Roof Tile?

First, you have to remove your old tiles, reinforce your frame and make necessary repairs. Place your underlayment with rollers in the 10 feet area and try to fix it with nails. Make necessary arrangements to deal with obstacles like chimneys, etc. in case of the steep slope of your roof you need to install battens. Battens are the thin layers that help to secure your clay tiles.

Start tiling your roof, if you have installed battens then it's better to fix your tiles in it but if you have no such support then install your tiles in sheaths directly. Follow the instructions of the manufacturer to install tiles properly. If your tiles are tightly locked with each other no need to nail every tile. Cut tile where needed, to make your tile fit with an obstacle.

How Much Does A Clay Tile Roof Cost?

The cost of the roof depends on various factors like the size of your roof, type, and installment cost. The total cost of clay tile roofing is almost $16000 to $32000. This is the estimated cost for a single-story standard roof. If you want an exact estimation of the cost of your tile roof installation, you can consult the local contractor in your area.

The cost varies with the type of tile like the cost of clay roof cost is $10-18 per square foot. The concrete roof is cheap as compared to others; its cost is $3- 5 per square foot. Solar roofing is relatively expensive. Its cost is $21-25 per square foot. While calculating your cost you should consider other indirect expenses like the fee of the contractor, labor cost, equipment, and electricity cost. There are chances of uncertainties to make sure you have some insurance policy plans.

How To Walk On A Clay Tile Roof?

Walking on a clay tile roof is a tricky task. Your little hurry or carelessness leads to injury or serious damage. Clay tiles have slippery surfaces and when wet they become silkier. Let them dry or wait for the weather to get better. Clay tiles can’t bear the pressure and break easily. So, place your feet on the edges of the tile because the first 3 inches are supported by the layer next to it.

Use a straight and strong ladder that is a few inches above the rooftop so you can reach there safely. If you have a steep roof, you must take a safety harness with you. In case of any displacement, it will save you from injuries. Don’t use hard-soled shoes as they can exert more pressure on tiles and break them. You can walk by using the balls of your feet and distributing your weight evenly to put less pressure on tiles. Avoid walking on broken tiles.

How To Repair A Leaky Clay Tile Roof?

Your clay tile is leaking due to many reasons. First, you have to reach the top to find out the root cause of the issue. If you have cracks on the roof layer you can simply fill that crack by using RT-600. In case of damage to the membrane in layer and loss due to debris collection, you can replace or reinstall the tile. The major reason for your roof leakage is broken tile.

Tiles are fit in roof sheath with the help of nails. You can simply screw up the broken tile and then place the new tile in that place. If you still have gaps around the tile, you can fill them with RT-600.

How To Secure Clay Tile Roof?

Clay tile roofs are easy to maintain and repair. If you are taking proper care these tiles can stay secure for a long time. Inspect your tile roof daily to avoid huge damages. If you find a little issue, try to repair it in time by using home remedies. You can clear debris, rainwater, and other damaging materials to add life to your tiles. Must consider an inspection after the rainstorm. In the rainy season, you can cover your rooftop with a plastic sheet to minimize the loss.

How To Connect Clay Tiles To Other Tile's Roofs?

Clay tiles should be attached in such a way that there is no gap. Make sure your tiles are connected firmly to avoid damage and chatter. Bind the tiles with the roof deck also. Use reliable adhesives, weather resistance nails, and nose clips to fix the edges of tiles. Don’t use foam adhesive to attach tiles as they are not reliable.


Before installing a clay tile roof, you must know about its pros and cons. You must hire a professional company for the installation of this roofing system. It may not last long if not installed properly. It is helpful to save your electricity bill. It provides an attractive and modern look to your house. It is highly resistant to water and rain.