How to Lay Clay Roof Tiles

Written by lacy enderson
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How to Lay Clay Roof Tiles
clay roof tiles (

Clay roof tiles hold up great in extreme weather conditions, but can break if you are not careful. Most clay roof tiles are half-round with interlocking contours that make them difficult to replace without tearing off the entire roof. Laying clay roof tiles is a simple procedure.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Clay roof tiles
  • Hammer
  • Galvanised 3-inch flat nails
  • Ladder/scaffold

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  1. 1

    Carefully stack the clay roof tiles on the roof. Have them within easy reach of where you are working. Make sure to use a sturdy ladder or, better yet, build a scaffold.

  2. 2

    Start at the edge of the roof and install your first row of clay roof tiles, one at a time. Line up the front edge of the tile with the edge of the roof and place a nail in the nail hole located in the centre of the back contoured edge.

  3. 3

    Continue laying the tiles next to each other until you complete the row.

  4. 4

    Lay a second row of clay roof tiles by starting back at the first tile. Place a tile behind the front tile, overlapping the back contoured edge of the first tile with the front contoured edge of the second tile. Place a nail in the nail hole in the centre of the back contoured edge.

  5. 5

    Continue laying clay roofing tiles until you complete the second row.

  6. 6

    Finish the roof by continuing to lay the clay roofing tiles in rows until the entire roof is covered. Complete one side of the roof and lay the tiles over the second half of the roof. After both sides of the roof have been tiled, lay a row of clay tiles over the ridge and secure them also with nails.

Tips and warnings

  • The clay tiles overlap each other in a way that hides the nails. If the nails are showing, you've done something wrong.
  • Spanish clay tiles only prevent 10 per cent of water from getting under the roofing material, so you must first install a water-proof roofing system. You can accomplish this a few ways: Either you can use a torch-down roofing system or a rolled-out modified self-adhesive roofing system.

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