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What is the best type of roof tiles?

When deciding upon a new roof covering for your home one of your biggest choices will be picking between the type of roof tiles. Whether it be clay, slate or concrete each roof tile has its own unique benefits and drawbacks making the decision a tough one. Your roof tile decision will come down to factors such as recommendations from your roofer, the longevity of the roof and ultimately how much it will cost you.  With roof tiles quality matters so the more you pay the better-quality tile you are going get however with materials there are a range of differences that may affect your decision.

This article will walk you through your roof tile options and the benefits and drawbacks of each tile type to hopefully make your decision easier!

The three main roof tile types you can pick between are:

  • Clay Tiles
  • Slate Tiles
  • Concrete Tiles

The Benefits Of Clay Tiles 

Durable & Long Lasting

Clay tiles are one of the most recognisable roof coverings not only because of their look but how durable and long lasting they are. You would of without doubt seen a clay tiled roof on older buildings as the are manufactured to last and withstand weathering. Modern manufacturing techniques has further improved the durability of clay tiles meaning new clay tiled roofs can last upwards of 100 years!

Aesthetic Appearance

Clay tiles are by far some of the most popular roof tile choices across the UK. Clay tiles give you a timeless look as seen on many Mediterranean style buildings across Europe. Clay tiles maintain their deep colours for years meaning your roof will look completely unique, the most popular clay tile colour is terra cotta.

Weather Resistant

When it comes to weather resistance clay tiles are second to none. Clay tiles are incredibly durable and can withstand the coldest and hottest temperatures. If you live in a coastal area such as the Wirral or Liverpool, then you will know how storms and heavy downpours are frequent. Clay tiled roofs can survive even the toughest of storms with the integrity of the tile not being affected by consistent water exposure.

Clay tiles roof installed by Alpine Roofing Liverpool.

Thermal Efficiency

Clay is a naturally occurring material, clay tiles are not made of any harmful glasses of composite materials making their manufacturing process the most eco-friendly tile product solution. Clay tiles also allow air to circulate throughout your home cooling it in the warmth of summer and insulating warm air during the winter. Your clay tiles will work to ensure that your home is staying at the right temperature saving you money on ever rising energy bills.

The Drawbacks of Clay Tiles

Easily Broken

While clay tiles are incredibly resistant as a unit the singular tiles are quite brittle and can easily be broken in the installation process or from larger impacts or pressure. Clay tiled roofs can withstand weathering, storms, and even the most violent hailstorms. However then can still break easily if walked on or left unmaintained.


Due to their quality clay roof tiles are expensive, costing much more so than concrete tiles. However, with clay tiles you get what you pay for so if you want a long-lasting roof covering then clay tiles would be the way to go.

Very Heavy

A clay tiled roof is incredibly heavy meaning not all homes can have one. Your roofer will have to inspect if your home can support a clay tiled roof. If not, then additional structural supports may need to be installed.

The Benefits of Slate Tiles


Slate tiles are incredibly durable with modern slate roofs able to last upwards of 80-100 years. Your slate tiles roof will be able to withstand any weathering effects including even the toughest storms.


Slate roofs look beautiful even after decades of use. Slate tiles give your roof a modern look that is truly unique and will without doubt improve the “Kerb Appeal” of your home. While many slate tiles are grey and that is the most popular choice you can get slate tiles in a variety of colours such as dark greens or deep purples. A slate tiled roof is certain to give you the aesthetic look you want for your home.

Fire Resistant

A slate roof is incredibly fire resistant with its formation taking place in the hottest of temperatures. Because of this manufacturing process a slate tiled roof is completely fire resistant adding much needed protection to any home.

Environmentally Friendly

Slate roof tiles are also an environmentally conscious roofing choice. Many cheaper roof types such as concrete or flat roofs will need to be replaced after a couple of decades while many slate roofs will last upwards of 80 years.

The Drawbacks of Slate Roofs

Clay tiled roof installed by Alpine Roofing Liverpool.


Due to its durability and longevity slate roof tiles are relatively expensive than other lesser materials, meaning it will cost your much more. But like with all roof coverings the longer lasting materials such as clay or slate will always be more expensive.

Requires Experts for Repairs

Slate is an incredibly intricate material and requires trained professionals to maintain and repair it. As it is easily broken untrained roofers can cause more damage to your slate roof if they do a poor job of the repairs. When it comes to slate roof repairs, they will be more expensive to repair than other roof types such as concrete or clay.

Easily Broken

Slate tiles cannot withstand any large amounts of weight so if walked on or any equipment placed on them, they are likely to break. This also means getting solar panels will be out of the question for a slate tiled roof.

The Benefits of Concrete Roof Tiles

Low Maintenance

A concrete tiled roof will be relatively low maintenance for you. They will only ever really require occasional cleaning to ensure there is no build up of moss around the tiles. Providing you get your roof maintained yearly once it is over 7 years old you shouldn’t run into the need for frequent maintenance.

Lots of Colour Choices

Concrete tiles will offer you a range of colour choices including greys, greens, reds, and browns. You will without doubt find a concrete tile choice that suits your home perfectly. When it comes to design there are many other aesthetic choices such as the finish including granular or smooth options.

Affordable Price

Concrete tiles are much more affordable than their slate or clay counterparts making them a go to roofing choice for homeowners looking to stay within their budget. The affordability of concrete tiles also makes repairing them much cheaper.

The Drawbacks of Concrete Roofs

Concrete tiled roof installed by Alpine Roofing Liverpool.


Concrete tiles are incredibly heavy and can cause strain on home, especially older ones. Your roof will have to be inspected to see if it can withstand the weight of a concrete tiled roof. If it can’t then you may need additional roofing supports to help with the roof weight.

Requires Waterproofing

Concrete tiles will also require waterproofing, they are nowhere near as water resistant as slate or clay tiles. Without proper waterproofing your concrete roof will absorb large amounts of water leading to further damage to your home.


Concrete tiles will fade over time meaning brightly coloured concrete roofs can lose their aesthetic appeal. Faded tiles really reduced the aesthetic look of a home and will cost as fair amount to replace each tile individually.


Concrete roofs don’t last nearly as long as clay or slate roof tiles. A concrete roof if properly maintained can probably last you 50-60 years.

In Conclusion

When it comes to choosing a roof tile there is a lot of considerations from price to aesthetic and the overall longevity of a roof. With roof tiles there is no golden ticket and if you want a roof that is going to last for up to a century then it will be an expensive investment. You can of course opt for a cheaper roof type however this may lead to more repair and maintenance bills as the roof ages. For a relatively low hassle roof covering we would recommend slate tiles offering you exceptional durability and unrivalled aesthetics.

If you need a new concrete, clay or slate tiled roof then contact Alpine Roofing today for a free quote.

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