Roof Tile: Clay vs Concrete
Wade Warren Wade Warren May 10, 2022

One of the easiest roof installations is by using roof tiles. There are quite a lot of roofing tile materials of which the most common are: clay tiles and concrete tiles. These roof tiles are popular because of the benefits it gives like being durable, long-lasting, less expensive, and low-maintenance. But which of these suits you best?

roof tile

Production Process

The clay tile process starts by mixing a type of clay with other raw materials and water which will be stockpiled for a couple of days and later on molded into different styles. After doing so, these molded clay will be fired in a kiln for a certain high temperature. The process of baking it will make the roof clay tiles durable. After baking, the roof clay tiles are glazed on top to ensure resistance to different weather conditions while the bottom part is left unglazed to allow the tile to breathe. 

Concrete tiles, on the other hand, are made by mixing cement, and sand with other additives and water which ratios are to ensure that these tiles won't break easily. After the process of mixing, it will be then shaped by pressing it into steel molds to create different styles. These tiles will be then placed in a drying kiln to ensure their hardness. Concrete tiles will be then sealed to protect them from the different weather conditions.

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roof tile

Weight and Moisture Absorption

Concrete roof tiles weigh more than clay roof tiles by about 40%. This is due to its higher density than clay. Clay tends to shrink during its curing process as they lessen its moisture. Concrete tends to shrink during the curing process creating more air pockets. More air pockets mean higher water absorption which means in terms concrete absorbs more water than clay. 

With this, when choosing concrete roof tiles, roof framing design should not just consider their weight but also when the concrete roof tiles’ weight when it accumulates water. This is to ensure the stability of your roofing structure. 

Clay tiles, due to their lesser air pockets, have a greater tendency to crack at colder temperatures than concrete tiles. 

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Style and Color

Both concrete and clay roof tiles can be molded or shaped in different styles and sizes. However, concrete tiles can be produced with more attractive colors as they can be painted. Clay tiles are dependent on their material color which gives them a more natural look.

But if we talk about the color longevity, clay roof tiles’ color lasts longer than concrete because they maintain their natural color. Especially if the concrete roof tiles are glazed which color can last without any color changes. Concrete tiles which are being painted tend to fade over time and have the tendency to stain because of their high porosity. 

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Cost 

Due to how commonly concrete is made, concrete roof tiles are less expensive than clay roof tiles. Clay roof tiles are usually made by hand which manufacturing & curing process takes longer while concrete tiles are made through a machine wherein can have higher production. 

You may also consult with your local roofing contractors and suppliers as the prices also depend greatly on your location. 

 

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