The idea of putting something on top of your roof to keep rain from soaking through goes back almost 5,000 years. The Chinese used to use glazed clay tiles on their roofs. The Greeks did the same thing almost 1,000 years later. In the 19th century, concrete became a more popular material for making roofing tile. Today you can find roofing tile of many different materials.
Types of Roof
Deciding which roof tile is best depends on the type of roof you have. There are two basic types of roof, the gable and the hip roof. The gable roof is the standard triangle roof . The hip roof is a pyramid shaped roof with triangle shaped sections on the shorter side and trapezoidal sections on the long side. The mansard roof is a variation on the hip roof that had the top cut off the pyramid so it is flat.
Tile has progressed a lot in 5,000 years. Now, instead of just clay, there are many different materials that tile is made of. Asphalt tiles, also known as composition tiles, are extremely durable. Wood tiles look good but are a fire hazard. Slate and concrete shingles are attractive and fire retardant. Metal and clay tiles are also fire retardant but are heavy and require a flatter roof to support the weight.
Manufacturers of roof tile are prevalent in the United States. A local hardware store will carry many different brands. If a hardware store is not available, there are many places on the Internet that list tile manufacturers. The Tile Roofing Institute has a list of over 15 different manufacturers ranging from importers like ALTUSA to domestic handlers like Eagle Roofing Products Company.
Deciding Which Tile Is Best
Many different factors go into deciding which is the best roof tile for a particular roof. Climate in the area in which the roof is being retiled is one factor. Clay tiles are good in warm weather climates since they absorb less heat but bad in cold weather because they are prone to water and frost damage. Durability is another factor to consider. Concrete and metal roofing tiles are the most durable while wood is the least. Depending on the person, appearance could also be a factor. However, with so many different materials, it shouldn't be to difficult to find the right style of tile.