Clay Roof Tile Styles

Written by j. lang wood
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Clay Roof Tile Styles
Clay roof tiles go well with southwestern, Italian and Mediterranean building styles. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Clay tile is a roofing material seen in many areas of the U.S., including California, Florida, Texas and Arizona. Clay roof tiles are available in many different styles and colours. Clay tiles tend to be more expensive than other types of roofing material, according to RoofGenius, and they are heavier than other types of roofing, requiring more substantial underlying support, but are low maintenance and last for decades.

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Barrel Style

Also called the Mission Style, barrel style clay tiles have a half-barrel shape that were originally moulded by workers over their thighs, according to ThisOldHouse. These are overlapped and nailed into position on structures for a distinctive appearance and long-wearing roofing material. Clay tiles tend to be fragile and cannot easily be walked on, so any repairs should be done by professionals that have experiencing walking and working on this kind of surface.

"S" Mission Style

The S-style of Mission clay tile is a variation of the barrel style. The "S" shapes are interlocked for a more tightly-woven effect. These are also known as Spanish tiles. The names for the various styles can vary from region to region, according to the National Park Service. The S-shape mission tile also comes in a tapered style

Flat Style

Flat clay tiles are sometimes referred to as the English or Cambridge style. They come in various shapes and colours, with ends rounded or straight. These tiles are interlocked and held into place with nails. French flat clay tiles have a slightly higher profile, as well as being more contoured. They create a unique Old World European look for residences.

Oriental/Japanese Style

Oriental clay tile, also known as Japanese tile, curves upward instead of curving downward like the barrel or S-style tile. This creates a distinctive look that enhances oriental architecture. The traditional colour used on tea houses is C09 Japanese black, a tone created in China that was brought to Japan over 1,400 years ago, according to MCATile.

Turret Style

Turret style is a fan-shaped tile developed to fit rounded sections of roof such as those on turrets. These shapes allow for more cost effective tile roofing on custom designed residences with turret features. These tiles range in size from 10 inches to 2 inches to fit any size or pitch of roof. Wood stringers are laid on the turret roof surface, then booster, starter tiles and top tiles are layered to the top peak. Coloured mastic can be used to seal the top area.

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