Miami is known for its extravagant lifestyles, colorful beaches, wide-ranging population and its diverse styles of architecture, including Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival, and Miami Modern, to name a few. The Mediterranean Revival style encompasses much of the upscale construction in the Miami area and Spanish roof tiles are the preferred roof style.
The Spanish influence has been prevalent in Miami residential construction since the early 1900s when John Vizcaya and his brother built their homes in Biscayne Bay with clay tiles brought from Cuba. Florida is hot and humid and Miami homes need roofing materials that will last. Clay was the main ingredient in these tiles for many years, but innovation has introduced some competing materials. Is clay still the best Spanish roof tile for Miami?
What Are Spanish Barrel Tiles Made From?
There are 4 different materials that barrel roof tiles are produced from and each has its own advantages:
However, there are drawbacks associated with a couple of these materials that need to be discussed.
Clay Barrel Tiles
Clay has been the preferred source material for roof tiles for old Spanish villas and Mediterranean stucco homes. For centuries, clay roof tiles were made by hand in old wood-fired kilns and in some places, the practice still exists. There are many reasons that clay roof tiles have been prevalent in well-to-do 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, consider the shortcomings of this natural roofing tile:
- Clay roof tiles are extremely heavy and may require additional roof structure to support them.
- They are more expensive to install than most roofing tiles and will require experienced installers.
- As a natural material, clay is strong, but very brittle.
- If maintenance is required, it must be done by a professional, otherwise the tiles can break if not walked on correctly. This can make maintenance expensive.
Concrete Barrel Tiles
Concrete roof tiles were first introduced to America in the early 1900s as an alternative to clay. The goal was to produce a quality spanish barrel tile using readily accessible manufactured materials, and with less expense. However, concrete tiles have the same disadvantages of weight and maintenance of clay tiles.
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
- Performs well under most weather conditions in Miami
- Almost zero maintenance
Some disadvantages of metal barrel tiles include:
- Higher cost than many other roofing options
- Expands and contracts with the change in temperature
- Won’t break easily, but it will dent when hit with large flying objects
- Hard to color match if repairs are needed
Synthetic Composite 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 benefit of using synthetic Spanish barrel tiles in Miami include: lower cost, high impact rating, durability, and fade resistance.
Brava’s Spanish Barrel Tile Sets The Standard
Our synthetic Spanish Barrel tile is the best alternative to clay, metal and concrete 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
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.