If you’re considering a roof replacement, tile may be one roofing material that catches your eye. Tile roofs are known for their distinctive beauty and durability. But there are several factors to weigh when deciding if tile is the right choice for your home’s roof. In this guide, we’ll cover the pros and cons, costs, types, and things to consider about tile roofing to help inform your decision.

What are Tile Roofs?

Tile roofing consists of individual tile pieces made from natural clay, concrete, slate, metal or even plastic installed in an overlapping pattern on roof decking. Unlike shingles, tile pieces interlock for water runoff without exposed fasteners.

Tile comes in a variety of profiles, colors, textures and styles. The two main categories of tile are:

Clay Tile: Made from fired clay; extremely durable but heavier and more expensive.

Concrete Tile: Poured concrete mix; lighter, more affordable, but not as durable as clay.

Many homeowners love the natural elegance, customization, longevity and protective capabilities tile roofs offer. Let’s look closer at the key benefits and downsides.

Benefits of Tile Roofs

Here are some of the major advantages tile roofs provide:

  • Visually Appealing – From Mediterranean red to rustic woods, tile comes in beautiful styles. The texture and shape variations add distinct charm.
  • Excellent Longevity – High quality tile can last over 100 years. Tile won’t rot or burn, and stands up to rain, wind and hail. Maintenance is minimal.
  • Weather Resistant – Tile’s longevity comes from its water shedding abilities. The materials are also fireproof and wind resistant.
  • Energy Efficient – Tile blocks heat transfer far better than asphalt shingles, lowering energy bills. Some tile contains reflective properties too.
  • Property Value Boost – The eye-catching elegance tile delivers can increase your home’s resale value significantly.
  • customizable – Tile allows you to get creative with color blends and patterns on your roof for a truly one-of-a-kind look.


tile roof

Potential Disadvantages of Tile Roofs

There are a few potential drawbacks when it comes to tile roofs:

  • Expensive – Tile roofing costs between $600 – $1,200 per square installed on average. Clay tile sits at the higher end of the cost spectrum.
  • Heavy Weight – Concrete tile may weigh 800-1,000 lbs per square, and clay double that. Older roofs may require reinforcement to support the load.
  • Brittle – Dropped tools or walking on tile can cause chips and cracks. Once damaged, individual tiles need replacement.
  • Professional Installation – Tile roofing is difficult for DIY amateurs. Hiring an experienced roofer is highly recommended.
  • Limited Availability – Tile brands, colors and materials vary by region. Ordering custom options takes more time.
  • Ongoing Upkeep – While durable, tile requires annual inspections and some maintenance to maximize longevity.

Types of Tile Roofing Materials

Clay and concrete make up the majority of tile roofs, but other options exist:

  • Clay Tile – Most authentic material with Mediterranean or Spanish styles available.
  • Concrete Tile – Affordable, lightweight alternative to clay that still provides durability.
  • Slate Tile – Natural-quarried slate stone; extremely durable but pricy and heavy.
  • Metal Tile – Lightweight and recyclable; can mimic clay or slate while resisting rust and mildew.
  • Solar Tiles – Contains solar cells to generate power and may serve as roofing material.
  • Plastic/Synthetic – Lightweight and affordable; can mimic the look of natural tile but not as durable.

Tile Roof Costs

Here are average installed tile roof costs per square (100 sq. feet):

  • Clay tile = $700 – $1,200
  • Concrete tile = $500 – $900
  • Slate tile = $800 – $1,500
  • Metal tile = $500 – $1,100
  • Solar tile = $200 – $250
  • Plastic/Synthetic = $300 – $700

In addition to material, roof size, slope, accessibility and your location impact overall tile roofing costs. Professional installation is often the same price as the tile itself. Be sure to get multiple bids and ask about any hidden costs.

Is a Tile Roof Worth the Investment?

If durability and visual appeal matter most, a quality tile roof may be worth the higher investment, especially if you plan to stay in the home long-term. Tile can also significantly enhance resale value. But weigh the upfront price tag against your timeline and budget carefully, since tile is one of the pricier roofing material options.

Maintenance is also a factor. While durable, tile needs proper care like clearing debris and re-sealing to achieve its full life expectancy. If you have the means to afford tile and can commit to annual upkeep, a tile roof can be a sound, lifelong investment for your home.

Next Steps for Your Tile Roof Project

Tile offers timeless beauty, longevity, and protection when properly installed and cared for. But like any roofing material, it has pros and cons to weigh. Be sure to consult a professional roofing contractor if you’re interested in upgrading to a tile roof.

Here at ProCraft Exteriors, we have tile installation down to an art and are happy to help you determine if it meets your home, lifestyle and budget needs. Contact us today to learn more about bringing one of the most classic and durable roofing materials onto your property.