Spanish tiles date back to as early as 10,000 B.C., where they have been traced to China and then the Middle East not long after. Clay tiles then made their way across the world and stood the test of time, showing up in early English settlements in America as well as England, and to the place where they are most commonly associated, Spain and the Mediterranean.
Also referred to as clay tiles or barrel tiles, traditional Spanish tiles were shaped from clay, formed over a barrel to create their signature curve, and then laid in the sun to dry. Initially, they were laid in overlapping rows alternating between concave and convex placement. This was done to seal the roof and create paths for water to flow off of the roof, since the tiles were difficult to align and because they could crack or break, there was always the fear of leaks forming in the roof.
Eventually, roofers began to lay tiles in single rows without overlapping them after first covering the roof with a layer of plastic or other material to protect it from leaks. Unfortunately, clay tiles are heavy and, though durable, are prone to breaking, especially if someone needs to walk on the roof to make repairs.
Not only are traditional materials costly and hard to come by, but they also require expensive maintenance. Luckily, the beauty of clay tiles has inspired the creation of polycarbonate and synthetic tiles, so it’s possible to achieve the beauty and style of Spanish tiles without the downsides of fragile clay that weighs heavily on the home’s structure.
Polycarbonate Spanish Tile Roof Panels
Polycarbonate corrugated roof panels can sometimes be used in place of Spanish tiles with their undulating waves that mimic the barrel tile look. Polycarbonate panels are incredibly tough, almost unbreakable, and because they are translucent, they’re often used over pergolas or in greenhouses to allow natural light to shine through, offering the benefits of glass without the fragility.
One of the main benefits of polycarbonate roof panels is their ability to let in light, which is perfect for a variety of applications, but this benefit would be lost on a roof. Even if they are tinted, they still remain translucent and would be better suited for applications where natural light is a consideration.
Composite Spanish Tiles
A superior alternative to polycarbonate Spanish tile roof panels are composite Spanish barrel roof tiles. Brava Barrel Tile - Composite Spanish Roof Tile is lightweight and durable, and has all of the beauty and traditional feel of clay tiles without the concerns of damage or the additional weight.
In areas where there are temperature fluctuations and incidences of wind and hail or other adverse weather, clay tiles will age faster. Another concern with traditional clay tiles is that they tend to absorb water, which is especially concerning in areas with regular or extreme freeze/thaw cycles. When water freezes, it expands, so if it has seeped into the tile, it will increase the likelihood that the tiles will crack prematurely. Repairing or replacing broken tiles can be costly and require expert installation.
Traditional clay tiles perform best in warm, dry climates where the weather — rain, snow, sleet, wind — won’t cause damage, however, composite tiles can stand up to even the toughest weather conditions while maintaining their beauty and roof protection.
Composite Spanish roof tiles also provide the added safety of Class A and Class C fire ratings, along with Class 4 impact ratings and a 110mph wind resistance. In addition, Brava offers a limited 50-year warranty of all of our Spanish roofing tiles.
Achieve A Mediterranean Look That Lasts
Reminiscent of the tiles that grace the roof of Mediterranean style stucco houses, composite Spanish tiles offer the beauty of European Old World roofing but without the drawbacks. Our proprietary composition results in highly durable roof tiles, ensuring virtually no breakage over time, surpassing the ability of traditional clay tiles.
Synthetic Spanish roof tiles provide a long lasting alternative to clay or polycarbonate Spanish roof tile panels. They have a 50-year limited warranty, and these eco-friendly composite tiles will last much longer than traditional tiles.
Choose Tiles That Fit The Aesthetic
Polycarbonate Spanish tile roof panels are available in different colors, but they are still translucent and don’t fully capture the beauty of traditional barrel tiles. Composite Spanish roof tiles, however, not only capture the beauty of the Old World style, but they are also available in a variety of colors from Terra Cotta Brown to New Aged Terra Cotta and Green. The multi-colored blends capture the classic warmth and natural variations in traditional Spanish roof tiles and create a roof that is very nearly a work of art.
Choose The Best Alternative To Polycarbonate Spanish Tile Panels
Composite tiles are made entirely from recycled materials, can be gun nailed or screwed to the roof for easy installation, provide a range of color options that mimic natural materials, and will stand the test of time and the elements — making it the best alternative to polycarbonate Spanish tile panels and the best choice for a beautiful Mediterranean inspired roof.
Contact the experts at Brava today to explore all that composite Spanish roof tiles have to offer.