Clay Roofing Tiles

Clay Roofing Tiles

Why Choose Boral Clay Roofing Tile? Design/Style Boral Roofing has the most extensive choice of profiles and styles of clay roofing tiles in the nation, ranging from traditional mission style barrel tiles to flat tiles that deliver the aesthetics of natural slate and wood shake. The unique design of our traditional mission tile allows for a wide variety of installation options including staggering, boosting, serpentine patterns and much more. Durability Clay tile is known for its long-term durability and longevity by being wind, hail and fire resistant. Boral Roofing’s modern manufacturing techniques enhance this durability giving customers a roofing product that’s sure to last a lifetime. Sustainability Boral Roofing’s domestically produced clay roofing products are the first roof tiles in the world to receive the prestigious Cradle to Cradle Gold certification, insuring they are truly sustainable and will not harm the environment. Our clay roofing products use up to 59% recycled raw materials, are 100% recyclable and come in a wide variety of approved cool roof rated colors. Performance Boral Roofing clay tile products outperform virtually any roofing product on the market today. Grade 1 clay tiles can withstand an array of weather conditions (windy, wet, dry, hot and cold) without losing their beauty. Value Clay tile has proven its durability, longevity and aesthetic appeal over thousands of years. Boral Roofing offers a wide range of clay roofing products to fit any budget: from 1-Piece “S” Tile with easy installation and cost savings, to handmade, imported Cielo™ tile, Boral Roofing has a clay tile roofing product to meet any project’s style and budget.
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Clay Roofing Tiles

Frequently Asked Questions I really like tile roofs, but aren’t they very expensive? No. During the past few years, the installed cost of tile roofs has not increased as much as wood shakes and asphalt shingles. As a general rule, concrete tile roofs cost much less than slate, about two times more than wood shakes, and approximately three times more than heavy weight asphalt shingles. Clay roof tiles cost slightly more than concrete. However, both concrete and clay tile outlast most other roofing materials, with manufacturers offering warranties of 50 years or more. In fact, in Asia and Europe, many structures with clay roof tiles have remained not simply intact but also functional and beautiful for centuries. Concrete and clay roof tiles are also incredibly durable, withstanding severe weather conditions. Moreover, their superior aesthetics increase the value of any structure. How long do tile roofs really last? We don’t know. Clay tile roofs date back to Neolithic China, and many ancient structures with clay tile roofs still exist. And, in Europe and Asia, roof tiles have been the primary roofing product for hundreds of years. Both concrete and clay tile roofing systems, when installed properly, withstand weather conditions that begin to deteriorate other roofs the day they are installed. In general, a tile roof – concrete or clay – can reasonably be expected to outlast the building it protects.
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Clay Roofing Tiles

During the 17th and 18th centuries the most common type of clay roofing tiles used in America were flat and rectangular. They measured approximately 10″ x 6″ x Ω” (25cm x 15cm x 1.25cm), and had two nail or peg holes at one end through which they were anchored to the roofing laths. Sometimes a strip of mortar was placed between the overlapping rows of tile to prevent the tiles from lifting in high winds. In addition to flat tiles, interlocking S-shaped pantiles were also used in the 18th century. These were formed by molding clay over tapered sections of logs, and were generally quite large. Alternately termed pan, crooked, or Flemish tiles, and measuring approximately 14 Ω” x 9 Ω” (37cm x 24cm), these interlocking tiles were hung on roofing lath by means of a ridge or lug located on the upper part of the underside of each tile. Both plain (flat) tile and pantile (S-shaped or curved) roofs were capped at the ridge with semicircular ridge tiles. Clay roofing tiles on buildings in mid-18th century Moravian settlements in Pennsylvania closely resembled those used in Germany at the time. These tiles were about 14″-15″ long x 6″-7″ wide (36cm-38cm x 15cm-18cm) with a curved butt, and with vertical grooves to help drainage. They were also designed with a lug or nib on the back so that the tiles could hang on lath without nails or pegs.
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Although it tends to lack the color permanence and the subtle color variations inherent in natural clay tile, concrete tile continues to be a popular roofing material today because it reproduces the general look of clay tile, if not always the exact profile or proportions of historic clay tile, at a somewhat lower cost and weight. Another modern, slightly cheaper and lighter substitute for clay tile more recently developed consists of a mixture of mineral fiber and cement with pigments added to supply color. While these aggregate tiles also replicate the shape and appearance of clay roofing tiles, they have many of the same dissimilarities to clay tiles that are found in concrete tiles. Thus, like concrete tiles, they are seldom appropriate substitutes for clay tiles.

Most flat clay tiles have one or two holes located at the top, or on a “nib” or “lug” that projects vertically either from the face or the underside of the tiles, for nailing the tile to the sheathing, battens, or furring strips beneath. As successive rows of tile are installed these holes will be covered by the next course of tiles above. Traditionally, clay tiles on the oldest tile roofs were hung on roofing laths with oak wooden pegs. As these wood pegs rotted, they were commonly replaced with nails. Today, copper nails, 1-3/4″ (4.5cm) slaters’ nails, are preferred for attaching the tiles because they are the longest lasting, although other corrosion-resistant nails can also be used. Less durable nails reduce the longevity of a clay tile roof which depends on the fastening agents and the other roofing components, as much as on the tiles themselves. Clay roofing tiles, like roofing slates, are intended to hang on the nails, and nailheads should always be left to protrude slightly above the surface of the tile: Nails should not be driven too deeply into the furring strips because too much pressure on the tile can cause it to break during freeze/thaw cycles, or when someone walks on the roof.
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A terra cotta red is the color most commonly associated with historic clay roofing tiles. The reddish color comes from clay with a large percentage of iron oxide, and there are many variations of this natural color to be found in tiles ranging from deep reddish browns to softer and paler oranges and pinks. Lighter buff and beige colors, as well as black, also appear on traditional tile-roofed buildings. Buff-colored tiles were made from nearly pure fire clay, and pouring manganese dissolved in water over the tile before firing resulted in smoke brown or black glazed tiles. Toward the end of the 19th century the popularity of colored glazes for roofing tiles increased, and their use and the range of colors continues to expand today. Most historic glazed roofing tiles are in fairly natural hues that range from reds and browns and buffs, to blacks and purples, blues (often created with smalt, or powdered blue glass), and a wide variety of greens (usually created with copper slag). There could be a considerable range in the colors of tiles that were baked over a wood fire because the temperature within the kiln was so uneven; tiles closest to the fire cooked all the way through and turned a darker red, while tiles farthest from the flames were likely to be smoke-stained, and lighter orange in color.
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Clay roofing tiles, as noted before, frequently outlast their fastening systems. Wood pegs rot, nails rust, and even copper nails that are not adequately driven in can pull out of the roof’s structural members. Although it is unusual that all of the clay tiles on a roof need to be replaced unless matching replacements cannot be obtained, it is not uncommon for old tile roofs to be stripped of all their tiles in order to relay the tiles with new fastenings and battens. When the fastening system has failed, all the roof tiles must be removed and reattached with new corrosion-resistant fasteners. If possible, all the tiles should be numbered and a diagram should be drawn showing the location of each tile to aid in replicating the original pattern and color variations when the tiles are relaid. Ideally, each tile should be numbered to ensure that it is reinstalled in its original location. But this may not always be feasible or practical, and it may be enough simply to group the tiles as they are removed by type and size or function-such as field tiles, custom tiles for hips, dormers and ridges, and specially cut pieces. This will help facilitate reinstallation of the tiles. If all of the tiles have to be removed, it is probably a good idea to consider installing a layer of modern roofing felt over the wood sheathing. This will add another layer of waterproofing, while providing temporary protection during reroofing.