DIY Roof Tiling Tips

Written by tami parrington | 13/05/2017

Tile is a durable and attractive method of covering a building's roof. Although much heavier than shingles, tile provides an excellent waterproof material to protect your home. Roof tiles come in stone, clay, and concrete. They are easy to install, and roof tiling is a popular do-it-yourself project for homeowners.

Measurement

Measure the area of your roof for roof tiles in the same way as for any other roof material. However, roof tile does not cover a predetermined space the way "squares" of materials such as shingles do. A square equals approximately 10 foot by 10 foot of area space. Roof tiles do not have a single predetermined setting and overlap. How many tiles you need to cover the same area depends on how much overlap you (or your contractor) wants, what direction you lay the tile, or patterns you pick for the tile.

Colour

Roof tiles come in a wide variety of colours. Choose your colour wisely according to the type of climate you live in. In hot climates, choose light-coloured tiles. They do not absorb heat and help keep your cooling costs down. In cold climates, choose dark colours that absorb heat and help offset heating costs.

Purchase

Realise that tile is uniform to a point. However, there are variations in colour and pattern as well as thickness. Buy all of your materials at one time to ensure a good match for colour and thickness. Even when you purchase the entire amount of tile you need at once, there will likely be variances in thickness throughout the order. Prior to installing them on the roof, sort the tiles according to thickness and colour variances. Before you buy tile, make sure the brand you choose offers a guarantee. Fifty years is a fair lifetime guarantee for roof tiles. During that time, the company should replace tiles that discolour.

Preparation

Slate, clay, or concrete tile roof materials are heavy. Each "square" area of slate, for instance, has a load weight of as much as 544 Kilogram of installed materials. Make sure your framework is sturdy and can handle the weight load placed on it by a tile roof. Re-batten the roof trusses with 3/4-inch thick plywood for a firm surface. A weak or flimsy wood base will expand, and contract with changes in temperatures. It will also shift and sag with pressure from someone walking on it to do repairs or installations. Those types of movement are OK with a flexible material like shingles, but tiles will buckle or crack.

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