Comparing Slate and Concrete Roofing Materials


Slate roof tile and concrete roof tile both add durability and a high level of protection to a roof, but they also come with downsides that can add cost and time to keeping the roof in good shape.

The natural look can complete the home’s aesthetic, but with the added weight coupled with the high maintenance needs of slate tiles and the possible exposure to hazardous dust from concrete tiles, it’s clear there is a better alternative.

What Is Slate Roof Tile?

A slate roof uses natural slate as the roofing material. Slate has been used to protect homes since the 1600s and was used extensively in the Northeastern U.S. during the early days of European settlers. Slate tiles are created by splitting large blocks of slate into thin sheets and then cutting them to size.

One of the benefits of a natural slate roof is its dimension and texture. The flat top of the tiles is accentuated with beveled sides and no two are truly alike, for a play of light and shadows. The material is beautiful and weathers naturally over time and is weather-resistant and water-tight if not cracked or split.

Unfortunately, despite its durability, it has some disadvantages. It is more expensive than many other roofing materials and it is very heavy, which usually creates the need for added structural support.

Slate tiles should also be installed by a professional because they require specialized knowledge to cut and attach them to the roof. They can also be difficult to walk on without risk of damage or injury.

What Is Concrete Roof Tile?

Concrete roof tiles are made from a mix of cement, sand, iron oxide, and water that is heated and molded to form roof tiles. Concrete tiles can mimic other styles of roofing materials such as barrel tiles and slate tiles. They are extremely rot and insect resistant and highly durable and they can be stained or painted to match the home’s aesthetic.

Concrete roof tiles can mimic the look of slate roof tile, which brings the benefits of concrete to a traditional material, however it is still extremely heavy and requires additional structural support to hold its weight. Concrete is difficult to cut to size and requires specialized tools and knowledge. Cutting concrete releases silica-containing dust that can have adverse health effects if it is breathed in.

A Better Alternative To Concrete Vs. Slate Roof Tiles: Composite Slate

Natural slate and concrete roof tiles look beautiful and are highly durable, however composite slate provides advantages that slate and concrete roof tiles cannot.

They’re Lightweight And Easy To Work With

Unlike slate and concrete, composite roof tiles are lightweight and won’t require additional structural support. This also means that they require less energy to transport to the job site and are easier to move and work with.

Slate and concrete roof tile installation requires specialized tools and knowledge, but composite slate tiles can be cut and installed with standard tools.

Available In A Range Of Colors

Composite slate tiles come in a range of colors that spans from dark black to light gray and includes browns and greens. Brava’s Old World Slate roof tiles capture the subtle nuances of natural slate and because they’re infused with natural minerals and cast from pieces of hand-chiseled slate, they will look as authentic as they do stunning.


Slate roof tiles require frequent inspections to ensure they haven’t slipped and aren’t cracked or flaking. Concrete roof tiles may not need to be inspected as frequently, but, like slate, when they need to be repaired or replaced, a professional with specific knowledge of the material should handle the job.

Synthetic slate tiles are virtually maintenance-free, and in the unlikely event that they would need to be inspected or replaced, they can be walked on, and a homeowner with knowledge of roofing and roofing materials can usually do the job with common household tools.

Sustainable And Recyclable

We strive to keep as much used building materials out of landfills as possible. Our commitment to sustainability is demonstrated by our synthetic roof tiles that are fully recyclable and made from recycled products.


The color of slate tiles depends on their chemical makeup and how they weather over time, leaving the final color essentially up to chance. The color of concrete tiles can fade, though tiles that are pigmented all the way through will resist fading.

Brava’s Old World Slate tiles won’t fade, and they will maintain the same look for the life of the tiles, so in the event that a tile needs to be replaced, it will blend seamlessly with the existing tiles.

Choose Brava - The Superior Slate Roof Tile

If you want to achieve the look of an authentic slate roof, choosing our Old World Slate composite material over natural slate or concrete roof tiles will give you the benefits of the look, but without the downsides.

Contact the experts at Brava today to see how our tiles compare to slate and concrete roof tiles.