You may not live in the Mediterranean, but having a terracotta roof installed will bring that vibe to your home. Bright reds and oranges mixed with tans and yellows give your roof a festive feel while keeping it dry and fire-resistant.
Clay roofing has been around for more than 10,000 years and its frequent use was enhanced by the ease in which it could be turned into a useful building material. The fact that it was abundant and easy to source added to its popularity. Beautiful, inexpensive and functional, terracotta roofing can be found worldwide.
However, modern building codes and techniques have made today’s clay tiles much more expensive to purchase and install. The look is still in demand, but your budget will often determine what kind of roof material you will choose. Let’s look at the real cost of installing a terracotta roof and see if there are any viable alternatives.
What Are Terracotta Roof Tiles?
Basically, terracotta is clay that has been molded and baked in a kiln at a low temperature. It produces a slightly porous, but waterproof product that can be used for architectural products like roofing. In their natural state, most terracotta tiles are orange, red, or brown, but they can be glazed to produce additional colors. Historically, the tiles have been produced in either a barrel (“S”) shape, or flat.
Will My Roof System Support Terracotta?
Prior to having terracotta tiles installed you should have the support structure of your roof analyzed by an engineer to ensure that it will hold the additional weight. A standard shingle roof will weigh 400-430 pounds per hundred square feet while clay roofing weighs 700-1,100 pounds for the same area. A standard roof will require some modifications, as most trusses are engineered to carry a 15 lb. per square foot dead load and roofs engineered for clay will typically support 27 lbs. per square foot.
How Are Terracotta Roof Tiles Installed?
Clay tiles are either installed directly to the roofing underlayment or over treated battens. When using battens, the roof tiles are raised another 3” above the roof deck. Regardless of the method used, terracotta is a much more involved installation process than regular shingles, requiring extensive use of clips, hooks, sealing strips and sealants.
Adding to the difficulty is the fact that clay roofing must be walked on in a specific manner to avoid breaking the tiles. This is a consideration when installing the tiles as well as when maintenance is performed. Only roofing professionals with experience installing terracotta should be used.
What Is the Cost Of Installing Terracotta Roofing?
The national average cost to install a tile roof is between $19,000 and $35,000. Most people pay around $27,000 to install 1,500 square feet of S-shaped clay tile with reinforcement, sealant, and tapes, depending on the region you live in. Is there an option that will provide the beauty of terracotta without the high price of the additional supporting structure and installation?
Synthetic Barrel Tiles Cost Less To Install
There is a savings of $7,000 - $11,000 dollars when installing synthetic tiles rather than terracotta. The average cost for synthetics is $12,000 - $24,000 depending on regional labor costs. The savings are realized because less preparation work is required and the installers do not need to have specialized training and equipment.
Brava Synthetic Barrel Tiles Are the Better Option
provide all the advantages of natural clay but with substantially more benefits:
- Synthetic tiles are lighter (256 lbs. per square), which means there is no need for additional structural modifications.
- The clips and extra adhesives required with terracotta are unnecessary.
- Installation is simplified and can be done by most professional roofers.
- No specialized equipment is required.
- Our composite tiles can be walked on without damaging the tiles.
- Zero maintenance required.
- We provide the option of a Class C or Class A fire rating, and our tiles are rated up to 188MPH with ring shank nails and up to 211MPH with high wind screw
installation, giving them a Class 4 impact rating.
- Unlike clay, our tiles handle most freeze/thaw cycles without damage.
- Brava offers 2 barrel tile Cool Roof options that meet California’s Title 24 code.
Our tiles have a 50-year limited warranty and are available in an almost unlimited array of colors - including custom blends within the individual tiles. Brava Roof Tile is concerned about the environment and uses 100%-recycled materials in all of their roof tiles. This means they can be recycled again, keeping them out of landfills.
We ship our roof tiles all over the world and furnish free samples for your review. Contact us today and speak with one of our professional customer service specialists that can answer your questions about synthetic roof tiles.