Instructions on Installing Clay Roof Tiles

Updated February 21, 2017

Clay roof tiles are versatile in design and colour and add texture to your roof. Applying new tile to your roof gives you many design choices. Clay roof tiles are expensive but are generally robust and need little maintenance or cleaning. Clay tiles are difficult to install. however. Measure your roof to ensure it has at least an 18-degree angle so that the clay tile guides water off the roof. Roofs with a pitch less that this cannot support clay tiles.

Dry-lay your roofing membrane onto the roof to see if it fits. Cut the roofing membrane with a sharp utility knife to fit it around chimneys and vents. Apply the membrane sticky side-down, slowly sticking it to the roof to remove bubbles.

Set all the tiles needed for your project onto the roof to let the house settle. Tiles are heavy and will cause a slight shift in the house. This is important for a new house that has no drywall installed.

Cut metal flashing with metal cutting clippers and place it around your chimney and anywhere an exterior wall joins the roof. Mark the metal flashing with a pencil and cut along the line. Place flashing along valleys to guide water off the roof. This prevents leaks. Nail the flashing into the roof structure with using a hammer and roofing nails. Apply one nail at the top and bottom of the flashing to hold it in place. Overlap pieces of flashing as you install them to keep the flashing leakproof.

Nail 30-pound felt along the roof over the membrane, cut to fit the roof size. This protects the roof from leakage.

Place 2-by-6 ridge boards parallel to the roof eaves and nail them to the roof. Nail your first layer of clay tile along the ridge board.

Stack the clay tiles according to the instructions from the manufacturer. Each tile stacks differently. It is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions to prevent damage to your roof or leaks.

Things You'll Need

  • Utility knife
  • Broom
  • Roofing membrane
  • Flashing
  • Tin snips
  • Hammer
  • Roofing nails
  • 30 pound roofing felt
  • Nails
  • 2 x 6 batons
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