A Detailed Look at Roof Tiling Costs

Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home and is arguably the most important part to the home exterior. Not only does it maintain the integrity of your house's structure by keeping rain, snow, sleet, and wind-blown debris outside, but it also is one of the main components for curb appeal and, thus, value of your home.

This means one thing: the roof tiles that you choose must add beauty and protection while providing cost-effective durability over a course of time. Fortunately for you, there are numerous options in today's market.

But which roof tile makes the most sense? (Keep reading.)

In this article, we will look at the cost of materials, underlayment, and installation to help you make a decision that's best for you.

Keep in mind, 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 (e.g. removing the existing roof and repairing damage) is not included in these estimates.

Roof Tiling Costs by Material

Terracotta/Clay/Spanish Style

Clay Roof Tiles

Terracotta and clay roof 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, especially because turning clay into a hardened roof tile only required fire. Modern techniques are more expensive, but many consumers still want terracotta roofing tiles, which are more waterproof and durable than standard clay.

Installing a terracotta roof, however, is difficult because of the bulkiness of the tiles and their brittleness.

To a similar extent, clay is very heavy and may require additional substructure for a house's 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.

Estimated Clay Roofing Tile Costs

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

Lifespan Maintenance cost: $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.

Despite the additional costs, clay roofing titles create a timeless, beautiful component to any house exterior.


Concrete Roof Tiles

Concrete tiles are comparable to clay and terracotta, but despite being manufactured in the same shapes and sizes, concrete is much lighter than clay. Concrete is also more porous than clay or terracotta, which causes it to hold moisture that could unfortunately lead to mold and fungus growth.

The installation process of a concrete tile roof is very similar to terracotta, as it requires multiple installers because of it's bulky and heavy composition.

The main difference between the two is in price and 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

Lifespan Maintenance cost: $1,500 - $3,000

Overall installation cost: $9 - $18 per square footThe 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 still gaining popularity as technology improves. Most homeowners would like to live more sustainably, and solar roofing can provide some or all of a home’s power needs, depending on the location.

But 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 actual name of the tile is “Building Integrated Photovoltaic systems (BIPV), and they are wired together and 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 may be maintenance costs associated with owning a roof composed of solar tiles, including tile and battery replacement, and installation time will be much longer than a regular tile roof - in some cases up to two weeks.

Because solar roof tiles are priced differently than regular tiles, instead of providing a square foot price, these systems are generally quoted as “installed,” ranging 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

Slate Roof Tiles

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 not just a durable roofing tiile option though; it is also available in different colors, fire-resistant, and resolute in most climates.

However, slate is very heavy. If your roof was not engineered for slate initially, you may need to purchase additional structural support. As for installation, it is best to only contract roofers who are experienced with installing slate 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

Lifespan Maintenance cost: $3,000 - $4,000

Overall installation cost: $10 - $30 per square foot for soft slate

Cedar Shake

Cedar Roof Tiles

Cedar shake roofing is the most natural-looking roof material (other than thatch) and the thick cut slabs of cedar—placed in a random pattern on a home—provide the rustic appearance many homeowners desire.

Wood is also an efficient insulator that helps reflect heat away from your home, saving homeowners money on cooling costs. Unfortunately, they do not perform well in areas of heavy rain, since wood needs to stay dry to be most effective. Another downside is that cedar shakes are also expensive to purchase and install compared to other roofing materials, meaning only roofers experienced with cedar shakes should be used for these types of projects.

Wood shake roofing tiles need 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

Lifespan Maintenance cost: $3000 - $4000

Overall installation cost: $8 - $13 per square foot

Synthetic Composite Tiles

Brava Roofing Tiles

Synthetic composite roof tiles are available in designs that mimic slate, cedar shake, and terracotta barrel tiles, but 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 you money in materials and labor —because there is little to no maintenance required. Plus, the average lifespan of a synthetic roof tile is over 50 years, making them a durable, cost-effective 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

Lifespan Maintenance Costs: None

Overall installation cost: $11 - $18 per square foot

Brava Roof Tiles: The Best Value

Brava Roof Tiles: The Best Value

Brava roof tiles are an excellent value in the synthetic composite roofing category. We offer an unrivaled color selection, and all our roofing 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. And Our Cedar Shake and Spanish Barrel Tile are offered in two “cool roof” colors that meet California’s Title 24 code requirements.

If you're looking to complete your next roofing project, contact Brava today or view our photo and video galleries.

We will also provide you with free samples and quotes of our roofing tiles and help you compare our composite products with real cedar shake, slate, asphalt, and clay. But more importantly, we'll help you find a contractor to finish your next roofing tile project.

For more homeowner information, please visit the links below:

Homeowner Tips

HOA Information


Title 24 Materials

Homeowner FAQ’s