Your roof may be the most important part of the exterior of your home. It maintains the integrity of the structure by making sure rain, snow, and wind-blown debris are kept on the outside. The roof is also an integral part of the curb appeal and perceived value of your home. Therefore, the roof tiles that you decide on must add beauty and protection, while also being durable and cost-effective over the long run. In today’s market, there are numerous options, but which roof tile makes the most sense?
We will look at the cost of materials, underlayment, and installation to help you make a sound decision.
The roof tiling costs are quoted per square foot, but a standard roofing quote will be priced per 100 square feet. Any additional work required (removing the existing roof and repairing damage) is not included in these estimates.
Terracotta and clay tiles are one of the oldest roofing materials known to man, and its popularity before the industrial age is easy to understand. Clay was abundant in most regions and was simple to access. Turning clay into a hardened roof tile only required fire. Modern techniques are more expensive, but many consumers want terracotta, which is more waterproof and durable than standard clay. Installing a terracotta roof is difficult because of the bulkiness of the tiles and their brittleness. Clay is also very heavy and may require additional substructure for your framing in order to hold the extra weight. Unlike asphalt shingles or synthetic roofing tiles, clay can break if it is mishandled or stepped on improperly. These concerns can add to the cost of installation. Material costs: $5 - $10 per square foot Underlayment: Minimum $2 - $3 per square foot (usually higher depending on roof design) Labor: $5 - $15 per square foot Maintenance cost over the life of the roof: $1,500 - $3,000 Overall installation cost: $10 - $25 per square foot A clay/terracotta tile roof requires substantially more labor and materials than any other roof, except slate. The underlayment cannot be installed by only one person, and the materials for the underlayment will include synthetic felt, batten strips, and other waterproofing flashings.
Concrete tiles are comparable to clay and terracotta. They are manufactured in the same shapes and sizes, but concrete is lighter than clay. Concrete is also more porous than clay or terracotta, so it will hold moisture and can create an environment for mold and fungus growth. The steps involved in the installation of a concrete tile roof are very similar to terracotta, so the main difference in price is the cost of the materials. Material costs: $2 - $4 per square foot Underlayment: Minimum $2 - $3 per square foot (usually higher depending on roof) Labor: $5 - $15 per square foot Maintenance cost over the life of the roof: $1,500 - $3,000 Overall installation cost: $9 - $18 per square foot The underlayment is the same as clay, as they both use the same installation system.
Solar power has received a lot of attention in the last 10 years and is gaining popularity as technology improves. Most folks would like to live more sustainably, and solar roofing can provide some or all of a home’s power needs, depending on the location. Solar roofing tiles are not the same as solar panels because they are part of the actual roofing material and not an add-on. The name of the tile is “Building Integrated Photovoltaic systems (BIPV), and they are wired together and then connected to the home’s electric panel. When it comes to pricing, solar tiles are priced according to the number of watts you want your system to produce, rather than the square footage to be covered. When considering the total cost of solar tiles, you need to include the tax benefits that may be available, as well as the savings in electricity. There will also be maintenance costs associated with owning a roof composed of solar tiles, including tile and battery replacement. Installation time will be much longer than a regular tile roof - in some cases up to two weeks. Solar roof tiles are priced differently than regular tiles. Instead of a square foot price, these systems are generally quoted as “installed.” They range in price from $17.25 - $42.00 per square foot or $6.40 - $15.40 per watt (this does not include the cost of batteries, which could add an additional $7,500 - $9,000).
Natural slate tiles are found on some of the most prestigious homes around the world, and they have a history of lasting up to a hundred years or more with proper maintenance. Slate is durable, available in different colors, fire-resistant, and holds up well in most climates. However, it is very heavy, and if your roof was not engineered for slate initially, you may need to pay extra to have additional structural support added. Only roofers experienced with installing slate should be contracted for this job.
Material costs: $5 - $15 per square foot (soft slate), $10 - $30 per square foot (hard slate)
Underlayment: Minimum $2 - $3 per square foot (usually higher depending on roof)
Labor: $5 - $15 per square foot
Maintenance cost over the life of the roof: $3,000 - $4,000
Overall installation cost: $10 - $30 per square foot for soft slate
Cedar shake roofing is the most natural-looking roof material, other than thatch. Thick cut slabs of cedar in a random pattern on a home provide the rustic appearance many homeowners desire. Wood is an efficient insulator and helps reflect heat away from your home, saving on cooling costs. Unfortunately, they do not perform well in areas of heavy rain, since wood needs to stay dry to be most effective. Cedar shakes are also expensive to purchase and install compared to other roofing materials. Only roofers experienced with cedar shakes should be used for this project. Wood shake roofing needs regular maintenance to ward off rot, mold, and fungus. Even with a fire rating, some areas of the country will not allow them to be used on the roof. The following are average prices for a cedar shake roof installation: Material costs: $4 - $6 per square foot Underlayment: Minimum $2 - $3 per square foot Labor: $2 - $4 per square foot Maintenance cost over the life of the roof: $3000 - $4000 Overall installation cost: $8 - $13 per square foot
Synthetic Composite Tiles
Synthetic composite roof tiles are available in designs that mimic slate, cedar shake, and terracotta barrel tiles. They are lighter than their natural counterparts and easier to install. You will generally have a greater selection of colors to choose from, and you won’t need a specialist to install them. Synthetic composite tiles will save money in materials and labor, and there is little to no maintenance. The average lifespan of a synthetic roof tile is over 50 years, making them a durable alternative to natural tiles. The following prices reflect the averages for the different styles of synthetic composite roof tile: Material costs: $7-11 per square foot Underlayment: $1 - $2 per square foot Labor: $4 - $6 per square foot No maintenance cost Overall installation cost: $11 - $18 per square foot
Brava Roof Tiles: The Best Value
roof tiles are an excellent value in the synthetic composite roofing category. We offer an unrivaled color selection, and all tiles come with a 50-year limited warranty. Brava tiles are available in Class C and Class A fire ratings, and are Class 4 impact rated. Our Cedar Shake and Spanish Barrel Tile are offered in two “cool roof” colors that meet California’s Title 24 code requirements. Contact Brava today for free samples or to speak with one of our professional customer service associates about the best option for tiling your roof.