Choosing roof tiles to complete your roofing project means deciding between more materials than ever before. In the past, natural materials were the only choice for roofing material, and their availability differed from region to region — clay tiles were more readily available in hot and dry climates, while cedar shakes were available where cedar trees grow, typically in the northeast and northwest.
Asphalt tiles eventually gained popularity followed by the synthetic tiles that are becoming more and more popular as people begin to see their benefits over natural materials or asphalt shingles.
Regardless of the material, all roof tiles can be classified as flat or curved. Flat tiles include slate, cedar shake, concrete, and asphalt while Spanish barrel tile category falls into the curved category.
Flat and curved tiles each offer their own benefits and drawbacks that we’ll explore here to help you get a better idea of the right style for your project.
Flat Roof Tiles
If you decide you want to go with a flat roof tile, there are more options to choose from than if you choose a curved style. Flat roof tiles are available in slate, cedar shake, concrete, asphalt, and synthetic and each type of tile offers a different aesthetic and its own drawbacks and benefits
Water will run off of flat tiles, however there is a greater likelihood that the water will be absorbed into flat tiles than curved tiles.
Flat tiles can be highly weather resistant when they are made from synthetic material. Other materials can sustain damage when exposed to the elements. Asphalt shingles, for instance, can become brittle after exposure to sun and freeze-thaw cycles. Slate tiles can flake or chip, and wood tiles tend to warp and split as they expand and contract over time.
It isn’t a concern for synthetic roof tiles, but if the flat tiles are slate, concrete, or cedar shake, they do have a tendency to crack as a result of freeze-thaw cycles and after years of exposure to the elements, including constant sun exposure.
A roof with flat tiles looks easier to walk on, and therefore inspect and repair, than a curved tile roof, but its resistance to being walked on depends upon the material. Synthetic tile can be walked on relatively easily with little concern over breaking or cracking a tile. Slate, wood, and asphalt, however, should only be walked on by a professional who knows where they can stand and walk without causing damage.
Curved Roof Tiles
Curved tiles are often referred to as Spanish barrel tiles, Clay tiles, or Mission roof tiles. They are typically made from clay or synthetic material and don’t offer many options for a different look. Brava’s synthetic Spanish barrel tiles are available in a wide range of colors and hues that allow you to customize your roof in a way that natural tiles don’t because there is no way to control the color as they age.
Curved roof tiles divert water into the valleys where it drains quickly from the roof’s surface. This helps to increase the longevity of the tiles because water doesn’t sit on the surface for any length of time or absorb into the tiles.
Like flat tiles, curved tiles like clay barrel tiles are susceptible to damage from freeze-thaw cycles, impacts from hail, and they tend to become brittle over time. Curved tiles made of composite material, however, don’t suffer from these issues and can stand up to rain, wind, snow, hail, and sun without fear of damage.
Curved roof tiles are often made from clay which is known to be a highly durable material that can last for up to 100 years, but this is dependent on proper installation and maintenance over their life. Composite curved tiles last a lifetime and Brava roof tiles have a 50-year transferable warranty. Since there is no maintenance needed over the life of the roof, Brava composite tiles provide superior durability.
Climate Considerations with Roof Tiles
Climate is an important factor when choosing a roof tile style. In areas with heavy snow, flat tiles more evenly distribute the weight of the snow and allow it to melt at a more uniform rate. Curved tiles, however, can experience snow building up in the valleys as well as an increased likelihood of ice dams forming and causing damage.
Areas that see lots of rain or, alternately, drier climates may benefit from curved tiles. Curved tiles better facilitate water drainage and reduce the risk of water permeating the surface of the tiles. In dry climates, tiles made from clay or synthetic materials are better able to handle the harsh sun, than asphalt or wood.
Choose Brava Roof Tiles For Superior Durability And Longevity
Brava offers both flat and curved roof tiles that mimic the look of natural cedar, slate, and clay, giving you superior durability and longevity without the drawbacks of natural materials. When you’re deciding between flat roof tiles or curved, you can rest easy knowing that regardless of what you choose, Brava has a product available in a range of colors that will complete your project perfectly.
Contact the experts at Brava today to help you decide between flat or curved roof tiles.