Los Angeles is a confluence of beautiful people and wealth in Southern California, and that combination has produced some of the most beautiful architecture in America. Almost every conceivable home style can be found here, including variations on each style.
You can find the Spanish influence that has been prevalent for centuries living directly beside twentieth century practicality. This eclectic blend has come to be defined as the “American style.” There are four styles that have remained popular in L.A. for at least 100 years:
- Spanish Colonial
- Mission Revival
- Mediterranean Revival
Of course, there are many other home designs that are fashionable, but these four have one thing in common: Spanish Roof Tiles, or Spanish Barrel Tiles as they are sometimes called. Spanish roof tiles have been a part of Los Angeles residential architecture since the city was founded in 1781.
In fact, the history of clay roofing tiles goes back almost 5,000 years to the Greeks. However, they have been popular everywhere that clay is abundant, especially in regions that experience high temperatures, such as southern California. Clay roof tiles provide long life, exceptional weather protection, and they add a touch of European beauty to any home they grace. In Los Angeles, clay is a preferred roofing material because of its resistance to fire.
Different Types of Spanish Barrel Tiles
There are 3 different materials that barrel roof tiles are manufactured from and each has something to consider.
There are some drawbacks associated with a couple of these materials that also need to be discussed.
Clay Barrel Tiles
Without question, clay has been the preferred source for manufacture of roof tiles for old Spanish villas and Mediterranean stucco homes. For many years, clay roof tile was made by hand in old wood-fired kilns and in some places, the practice still exists. There are a number of reasons that clay roof tiles have been used for so many upscale homes:
- Useful life span. Clay can easily last 30 plus years, and in some cases, 100 years if properly maintained.
- Clay roof tiles are usually low maintenance.
- They are durable and resist the elements better than other natural materials.
- They are beautiful.
However, there are definitely drawbacks to this natural roofing tile:
- Clay roof tiles are extremely heavy and may require additional roof structure to support them.
- Clay barrel tiles are more expensive to install than most roofing tiles and will require experienced installers.
- Clay is strong, but very brittle.
- If maintenance is required, it must be done by a professional as the tiles will break if not walked on in the correct manner, which can make maintenance expensive.
Metal Barrel Tiles
A relative newcomer to the Spanish barrel tile market, metal has become a strong competitor in this category. One reason is the ease of manufacturing. Any company that is already producing different designs of metal roof panels can easily add another line to produce the barrel tiles. However, as with the clay tiles, metal roofing has advantages as well as drawbacks. Some advantages are:
- Wide variety of color options
- Lightweight and easy to work with
- Can be installed by most roofers familiar with metal roofing
- Provides the beauty of barrel tiles
- Performs well under most weather conditions
- Almost zero maintenance
Some disadvantages of metal barrel tiles include:
- Higher cost than many other roofing options
- Noisy, and some find this romantic - many do not
- Expands and contracts with the change in temperature
- Won’t break easily, but it will dent
- Hard to color match if repairs are needed
Synthetic Spanish Barrel Tiles
Synthetic roof tiles have been around for years, but there have been a number of important advances made in their construction. Often called composite roofing, these barrel roof tiles are made from recycled materials, thereby reducing the negative effects that clay and metal products put on our natural resources. The most prominent benefit of using synthetic Spanish barrel tiles in Los Angeles is the lower cost and high fire resistant ratings.
Brava Roof Tile’s Spanish Barrel Tile Checks All The Boxes
Our synthetic Spanish Barrel tile is the best alternative to clay and metal for a number of important reasons:
- Class A Fire rating - highest in the industry
- Class 4 impact rating that offers the best protection against a hail storm
- Available in almost unlimited colors and the color is throughout the tile
- 50- year limited lifetime warranty
- Handles the heat without the excessive contraction and expansion that is associated with metal roofing
- Lightweight - no need for additional structure in the roof
- Easy installation, no need for specialists or special tools
- Almost maintenance free - and the roof can be walked on without fear of breaking or denting the tiles.
- Made from 100%-recycled material and can be recycled again, reducing the amount of waste going into landfills.
Best of all, we offer two colors of the Spanish Barrel tile that meet the standards for Title 24 “Cool Roof” use in California: Terra Cotta and French Clay. Title 24 affects all 16 climate regions in California, including Los Angeles. Brava Barrel Tile also makes a cool white roof option with a Class C fire rating, making it a great choice for some non-residential applications.
We are ready to help with your next roofing project by shipping you samples from our line of Synthetic Cedar Shakes, Old World Slate and Spanish Barrel Tiles, free of charge.
Contact us today and let one of our professionals direct you to our online resources or help you with seasoned experienced advice.