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Tile Roofing Has Southwestern Flavor

Traditional tile roofing, made of clay, is among the oldest and most durable of roofing materials. Its weather-resistant, fireproof and insect-proof qualities come from being made out of kiln-fired clay. Most people think these traditional tile roofing is limited to the barrel-shaped type common in the West, but clay tiles can be flat, and they may have a glossy surface. They are also available in blue and green, as well as the more familiar reddish brown. If you’re considering a roof replacement, consider tile.

Cementitious roof tiles are a first cousin to tile and they offer the traditional look as well as the longevity of manufactured materials. These products are made from cement or concrete. They are available in red, black, white, green and gray, and they can be molded to look like barrel-shaped tiles or slate in Maine.
Traditional tile roofing is expensive--up to 15 percent more than cedar and far beyond the cost of the typical asphalt shingles that top at least 80 percent of American homes. Still, predicts Jeff Rankin, president of Contractor's Roof Service in Washington State, "These roofs can become the 21st-century replacements for cedar shake," noting that tile's life expectancy is twice that of a wood roof. Indeed, many homeowners never consider installing a tile roof because the product is perceived "as only for high-end, million-dollar homes," says Bill Jackson of Monier Lifetile of Irvine, Calif. But he argues: "Twenty years down the road, with tile, you won't have to refinance your home to put on a new roof. It's a lifetime product."

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