How to lay ridge tiles

Written by samantha volz
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How to lay ridge tiles
Roof ridge tiles are the finishing touch of an installation. (ridge image by sming from Fotolia.com)

Installing a new roof involves a number of layers and steps, including underlayment to prevent water damage, the tiles themselves and battens to secure everything in place. The final step in the process is to install ridge tiles on ridges of the roof to complete the look. Some roofing systems allow for simple snap or nail installation, while others require mortar tile installation. Follow all roof safety procedures when installing ridge tiles to safely apply a new style look to your roof.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Sand
  • Mortar
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Ladder
  • Mortar trowel

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Mix 1 part sand to 3 parts water with enough water to create a paste. The paste should hold a consistency that allows it to stand straight up 7.5 cm (3 inches) high without slumping. Pour your mortar mixture into a bucket that you can easily carry to the roof with you.

  2. 2

    Dampen the bottoms of the ridge tiles, as well as the roof tiles to which you will attach the ridge pieces, with plain warm water.

  3. 3

    Spread a smooth line of mortar 5 cm (2 inches) wide across the line on which you will install the ridge tiles. Cover only enough area that you can easily tile with 15 to 30 minutes; excess mortar may dry and become unworkable if allowed to dry any longer than that.

  4. 4

    Firmly press the ridge tiles into their places. After installing three or four tiles, lightly tap the tiles down with a rubber mallet to compact the mortar underneath, ensuring a better hold. Check the level after every third or fourth ridge tile and tap the uneven pieces into place with the mallet.

  5. 5

    Use your mortar trowel to remove excess mortar from under the tiles or between the tiles. You can use excess mortar to install other tiles. Continue to install the tiles until all are in place. Avoid walking on the tiles on the way out; do not apply pressure to the tiles for at least 48 hours to allow the mortar to dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Follow all specific roofing product instructions regarding dry installation options or recommended mortar products. If you have questions or problems, contact a professional roofer or your roofing tile manufacturer.
  • Depending on the slope of the roof and your design preferences, you may need to install dentil slips or other spacer pieces.
  • Install tile when there is no rain in the forecast for a least 48 hours. If rain threatens, cover the tiles with sacking or carpet to prevent the mortar from washing away.
  • Do not attempt to install your own ridge tiles unless you have experience working at height and working with the materials in question. Amateur attempts at installing ridge tiles on roofs can easily result in falls or other injuries.

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