How to Lay Clay Roof Tiles

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.


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.

Things You'll Need

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

Lacy Enderson is an Addictions and Recovery Counselor. She is Certified with the American Association of Christian Therapists and holds a Master's Degree in Biblical Counseling. She is currently enrolled in Liberty University's Master of Divinity Degree program with Chaplaincy. Lacy is a graduate of Rhema Correspondent Bible School and has completed the first section of Berean School of the Bible. Lacy is the author of, "Addiction: A Personal Story" and "So You Want to Lose Weight But You Can't Stop Eating." Her newest novel is a teenage Christian fiction titled, "Honey Sweetheart."