Deciding on Roofing Materials? A Look at Clay Tile & Slate Shingles

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An option that can give your home a beautiful and unique look that isn’t often seen in the Midwest are clay tile or slate shingles. True clay tile and slate shingles are rare to see on modern homes in Missouri but were once very popular. In some cases, today, you may think you have seen a clay or slate shingled roof, but it may just be polymer composite shingles in the style of clay or slate.

What are Clay Tile & Slate Shingles?

True clay tiles are typically used on Spanish style homes that are popular in the southwest. They are made from clay that is molded and baked at high temperatures. These tiles can range in color from white, orange, yellow and brown, but the most popular is terracotta. The tiles also come in many shapes, some options are curved, flat, fluted or interlocking. The unique colors and shapes of clay tiles can give your roof a stand-out look.

Slate shingles are 100% natural stone with no additives. Slate naturally contains mica, some up to 40%, which gives the shingles a low-level shine when the light hits. Because slate shingles are all natural, they can vary in color, but they are generally a dark, cool gray. Slate shingles also have a unique texture, and no slate roof will ever be the exact same as another.

What Sets Clay Tile & Slate Shingles Apart?

In addition to their unique appearances, clay tile and slate shingles have many benefits structurally. Both clay tiles and slate shingles fire-resistant and wick off rainwater better than many other roofing options. Because of their water wicking abilities, both options are also less susceptible to algae damage. Both options are also impervious to insect damage and rot.

The benefit of clay and slate shingles that really sets them apart though, is how long lasting they are. In Southwestern climates clay tiles can last up to 100 years. In the Midwest’s harsh weathers, they may last closer to 40 years which still exceeds the life expectancy of most other roofing materials in Mid-Missouri. Slate shingles have a similar life expectancy but are even more durable in winter weather conditions.

Challenges with Clay Tile & Slate Shingles

While clay tile and slate shingles have many pros, they also have their cons. Clay tiles are brittle and can crack or break easily during installation or even during winter storms. Additionally, clay and slate shingles are both much heavier than asphalt or polymer shingles so they are more difficult to install and can only be supported by house frames built with this weight in mind. Clay tiles weigh 850-950 pounds per square and slate weighs 1000-1500 per square which is 3-4 times more than an average asphalt shingled roof.

Clay and slate shingles are also very expensive compared to asphalt shingles. Clay shingles can cost $675-$1,400 per square and slate can cost $1,000-$4,000 per square. Labor for these installations will also cost more because it takes longer and requires special skills and crews with experience in clay or slate.

Could Clay Tiles or Slate Shingles be Right for Your Roof?

If you are interested in clay tile or slate shingles for your home, or any other shingles call CoMo Premium Exteriors. Our roofing experts can perform a roof inspection and work with you to determine what shingle option is best suited for your home.

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