Category : Roof Tiles

Solar Roof Tiles – Your Own Energy Plant On The Roof

A new product – solar roof tiles – is the latest in string of innovative solar photovoltaic roofing products hitting the North American market. With energy prices zooming through the roof people are looking for alternatives to conventional energy sources. Solar energy has long fascinated the common for its limitless potential. But, as there was no effective way to tap in to it, people more or less has used it for limited purposes like solar garden lights or for heating water. Today, with billions being poured into research to find the next cheap energy source many new and improved technologies are hitting the market.

Solar roof tiles is being offered by SRS energy and its comes as an upgrade for all US Tile company customers. US Tile is the largest clay tile maker in America and the offer is irresistible as you can generate your own electricity with your roof top power plant. The tiles blend in with existing roofing tiles and is as a building integrated roofing product. The curved roof tiles will easily match curved tiles found in most of parts of the country.

You don’t have to worry that your roof top looks ugly as the solar roof tiles design is as same as the normal roof tiles. It won’t stand out or stick up like the old solar panels and make your roof look un-appealing even if energy efficient. Today’s design is both aesthetically appealing and functionally superior compared to products of the old.

The solar roof tiles are 18 inches long and 37.4 inches wide. With 3 inches overlap on either side the length exposed to sunlight is about 15 inches. Even assuming just 100 square feet of solar roof tiles are installed on your roof you will be generating around 860 Kw/h per year assuming you have around 6 hours sunlight per day. The thin film triple junction amorphous silicon is more efficient than crystalline silicon panels of same power.

If you are generating more power than you need then there are two options either you can save it in batteries or feed it back into the electricity grid. The utility companies will compensate you for the extra power you are generating through extra credits or getting free power when you need it. The net metering system will do this for you. You will be paying only for the amount of net extra power you use from the utility company. Many homeowners using solar roof tiles have seen a drastic drop in their energy bills.

Efficiency Monitored

Both the solar roof tile manufacturer and US tiles monitor the solar tile system on your roof to see that the system functions at peak efficiency in energy production. They claim that product will give homeowners years of trouble-free life. The system is monitored and tailored in such a way that even if one of the tiles stops funcitoning the other solar roof tiles will continue to produce electricity and are in no way affected by the failed tile. This is truly beneficial as you don’t want a whole row of tiles not working just because one tile has failed.


The solar roof tiles are made of thermoplastic polymers and can be safely recycled. So, any tile that has reached the end of its operational life or a failed tile can be easily sent for recyling.

Limited Color Options

Currently, the solar roof tiles are available only in one color – blue. The solar technology used in these tiles have certain limitations and hence the only option available is blue. As the technology advances more color options should become available. You can always match your roof tiles with solar tiles by going in for blue colored roof tiles.

The tiles were available for a limited number of customers when launched but today it is widely marketed and available to all customers in the USA and even outside the States. Because of a variety of reasons – including installation costs, the cost of transportation and manufacturing costs differences the solar roof tiles prices are not the same everywhere. For details you need to contact the company directly. But, you should also remember that there are number of financial and tax incentives available from both state and federal governments.

Retrofitting old roof tiles with solar roof tiles is also possible.


Roofing Tiles And Their Types

Roofing tiles are an elegant roofing option that has stood the test of times and survived almost in tact in design and form just as it was used by our forefathers. It speaks volumes about endurance of certain designs and innovations. Like the wheel this is one of most important inventions of man that has helped man keep the vagaries of nature at bay. It was fashioned out of locally available materials like abundantly available clay and fired in kilns to make them strong and long-lasting. Even today, at most archaeological digs fragments of tiles are commonly found in various parts of the world.

Today, the roofing tiles industry has evolved and branched out but at the core it retains the same design as the original tiles manufactured thousands of years ago. They are made using a variety of materials not just clay. Concrete, clay, plastic are a few of the materials used. Roof tiles in a variety of shapes and sizes, colors and finishes, designs and textures are made available to discerning customers.

Even though it make seem like there are numerous choices a closer look will reveal the fact that roofing tiles design has evolved from basically the four original roof types that has come to us down the ages. They have withstood all that nature, time and man has thrown at it and come out successfully. Here are the four roof types that you will encounter:

Plain Tiles – Clay tiles, these are the rectangular pieces made from clay with a smooth or sanded surface.

Slate Tiles – These are stone tiles that are quarried from mines and cut in to rectangular thin sections. They can be cut to varying sizes, shapes and thickness as required.

Pantiles – Are clay tiles which have distinctive ‘S’ shaped profile.

Roman Tiles – These are similar to pantiles but have flat cross-section with a small roll.

The above designs have become standardized over the last 50 years and most of newer slates or tiles fall into the above 4 categories. Today’s products are designed keeping mind the need for better performance at lower costs. So, as the modern manufacturing methods emerged makers of tiles moved from traditional materials like clay and moved to alternative materials like concrete which helped make economical plain tiles for the mass market. In the next step the manufactureres used the basic pantile design to come with the double unit concrete tiles. The newer designs are faster and easier to install.

Slate tiles, also a time-tested roofing option. As all things natural it is expensive. The cost of quarrying and fashioning them into desirable sizes is costly and so is the cost of installation. So, alternative materials like concrete and fibre cement were used to make tiles similar to slate but which were much lighter in weight and cheaper to install. Original slate is heavy, thick and difficult to install. There are alternatives to slate in clay too. So, over time a number of options to replace expensive naturally available materials have come up.

The advantage of natural products is that they retain their color and characteristics for their life-time and more, where as the man-made products start fading and losing their artificial induced natural characteristics as time passes. That is one distinctive disadvantage of man-made products. But, the cost savings more than offset for it.

One of the key constraints that manufacturers face is the need to stick to old design of the roofing tiles. They can’t stray from old too far as the people are looking for traditional and local styles to replace their old roofs. That is the reason why makers have to retain most  older elements and add newer design aspects to improve the products efficiency and ease of use.

The consumers of today are a spoilt lot. Stores are filled with dozens of choices both in natural and man-made materials to satisfy the whims and fancies of even the ficklest of customers. Innovation and modern technology have driven the costs down, made the products more efficient, durable, are fire safe, impact resistant, algae and fungus resistant are functional and simpler and easier to install.


Monier Roofing Tiles

Monier roofing tiles are a trusted brand as they are made to last and being of the highest quality they rarely need maintenance like other roofing materials. You won’t have to pay for costly repairs like for asphalt or composite shingles. They are quite affordable and versatile as the company is able to offer a wide choice of contours and shapes for a variety of needs.

People who wish for tile roofing usually select Monier roofing tiles as they offer some of the best options. Take for instance sound proofing, these tiles are known to cut noise levels by a large percentage making them highly in demand in such locations as near highways, airports and other noisy places.

The tiles are extremely durable. They last for 50 years or more. Unlike metal or wood they do not rot or rust. As Monier roofing tiles are known for their sound reduction capabilities homeowners can be assured of peace and quiet even in the busiest sections of the city. It is been found effective in blocking out even low frequency noises. If you had experience with metal roofs you would know about the sudden cracking noises associated with them. They are caused by the expansion and contraction of the metal. Tile roofs do not make any such noises. Even if there is heavy rain or hail you won’t hear the pitter-patter or pinging noises that other roofing materials can’t seem to block out.

If you plan on harvest rain-water then choosing Monier roofing tiles is perfectly safe option. The concrete tiles are inert and hence the water is perfectly safe for most uses as it does not contain ions of zinc or aluminum. Concrete tiles also allow for moisture to escape. So, it is very effective in moisture control.

Unlike, other roofing options which get ripped out in high wind conditions Monier roofing tiles are safe in such areas. When installed properly, anchored and secured to the roof decking they are an effective roofing in windy areas. They are a great value for money. Homes with these roofs are considered sensible investments by prospective buyers.

Monier not only produces concrete tiles but also terracotta tiles. The company has more than 100 years of experience in the field of making clay tiles and know the importance of making truly great quality products. They offer a wide range of truly spectacular designs and colors which match the surroundings. You can choose colors to match your landscape whether it is the green hills, lofty mountains, blue oceans or green grass lands, the rich tints will make your home look truly enchanting.

Monier roofing tiles come with 50 year guarantee. The color of the tiles never fade. They are fused into the material of the tile and retain the color for decades. They are made of concrete or clay and hence no danger of their rusting, warping or corroding. They are safe to use even in areas close to sea and ocean where salty air can corrode. They are immune to frost and ice which can damage metal and other roofs. These tiles provide excellent insulating capabilities. They keep you warm in winters and cool in summers.


Concrete Roof Tiles – A Roof For All Occasions

Concrete roof tiles are made from portland cement, water and sand. Sometimes other materials like fly ash are added to these tiles. There are very minor differences in the tiles made by different manufacturers. They have similar shape, size and color. So, there isn’t much to choose between different companies making these tiles.

These tiles are usually either flat profile, low profile or high profile depending on the curve when viewed from the back of the tile. The higher the curve the higher the profile. If the rise to width ratio is greater than 1: 5 then they are considered as high profile concrete roof tiles.

Unlike solar roof tiles that available only in one color blue – concrete roof tiles are available in different colors and textures. You could choose between really smooth and rough texture and a host of colors. You will find that the color is part of the tile and it is not something slathered on top of the cement tile. This makes the color long lasting.

When buying concrete roof tiles you get a choice of light-weight or heavier tiles. Choose a tile that meets your local needs and that of your home. Light-weight tiles are not recommended as they easily break and it is tough to walk on them without damaging them. Even a little amount of snow can place undue stress on the lighter and thinner tiles. Heavier tiles on the other hand are durable and strong and can take higher loads with ease. Light weight tiles are in fact expensive and used by homeowners as they feel that the structure of their home can’t take the extra load.

But, experts recommend the heavier concrete roof tiles which are cheaper and use the money saved to strengthen the roofing structure in consultation with a structural engineer. These tiles are extremely long lasting. They are marketed with 50 year guarantees. Even though the roofing material – concrete is long lasting, the underlayment under the tiles will not last long and will need replacement in about 30-40 years. Coupled with bad installation procedures these underlying materials may not last very long. These means the life we are looking at is about a decade or less. The color also starts fading with time due to leaching by the rains and fading due to sunlight.

Concrete roof tiles is notorious for moisture penetration compared to other roofing types. This reason makes it doubly important for the installation to be perfect with right installation procedure to be following and all the underlying battens, flashing and underlayment used should be of good quality. These tiles are single ply roofing systems. And also all kinds of debris gets under the tiles. Rain, snow, leaves, mud, insects, small birds and animals easily get into the tile roof system. These factors are distinct disadvantages but not deal breakers as otherwise the roof is a perfectly good option for many homes.

The following facts explain concrete roof tiles in a nutshell

1. It is one of most difficult roofing types to install.
2. If the concrete tiles are installed properly and with appropriate materils then it works out to be more expensive than asphalt shingles but less costly than clay tiles. It compares with cedar shake shingles.
3. The whole process of installation is slow, time consuming and labor intensive. Cutting valleys is tough around roof bulges and needs a special saw to do this. If you attempt any other method you might end up damaging the tiles.
4. The roofer needs to be skilled craftsman with expertise to do this job right. It takes about 6 months on the job training for a new roofer to learn concrete roof tiles installation.
5. The tile being single ply allows easy penetration which is necessarily not a good characteristic for roofs. Careful drilling needs to be done when screwing or nailing in place.
6. Allows moisture penetration which is again not a good quality about this roofing option hence the stress on good underlayment.
7. Easy to repair and re-install damaged tiles
8. Walking on these tiles easily damages them hence limited walking only is allowed using proper techniques of walking.
9. Lasts from 30-40 years depending on the underlayment, batten and flashing used and how it is installed.
10. It is extremely resistant to fire and has Class A rating
11. Resistant to hail damage.
12. Does not blow off easily in windy conditions if nailed properly.
13. For small areas and for more complicated roofing types as the tiles can be easily cut or made to shape.
14. Snow and water easily slide off this roof.
15. The color starts fading fast and replacement tiles won’t blend in easily for years.
16. Finding replacements of the same color are difficult and you may have to make do with close matches.
17. Suitable for a variety of temperatures from 0 to 120 degrees.
18. The concrete roof tiles can get really slippery in wet weather. It is dangerous to walk on in wet weather.


Clay Roof Tiles – Installation Tips

Clay roof tiles have been around for centuries. There is proof of its use even in the ancient times. It is produced by the simple process of baking tiles which have been molded from clay. Depending on the amount of time the clay is heated, the length of time and the temperature of heating you will end up with tiles of differing densities. Some tiles are glazed or other surface treatments applied to give them different textures and feel. If you have recently been to a store selling tiles you would have noticed a bewildering array of designs, styles, colors and sizes in clay tiles. Not only that you will also find a matching accessories for your roof tiles. So, special tiles for ridges, hips, valleys, eaves are sold to help your roof look professional. Installation instructions are provided with the tiles but, it is quite simple depending on whether it is one piece, interlocking, two piece or flat tiles. Professional roofers will know how to install clay roof tiles.

As far as clay roof tiles are concerned the color of tile is not slathered on top of the tiles. On the other hand the color is baked into the product and remains fast even after years of use. The red terracotta tiles of the old still retain their color after several decades of use only fading slightly.

Deck Preparation:

The application of clay roof tiles requires that the deck be prepared in certain way. The roof tiles are applied over wood decking that is continuous. If plywood sheets are placed on roof frame make sure they are at least 5/8 inches thick to take the load of the tiles. Clay roof tiles are rather heavy compared to asphalt or other commonly used roofing materials. Hence in certain conditions the roof frame need to be strengthened.

The following materials are not recommended for use as roof decking when clay roof tiles are applied. A lot of caution and precautions need to be taken. OSB has problems holding to the fastener and so dimensional stability is affected. Moisture also affects OSB adversely. Woods that are treated with preservatives are also problematic and so are fire-retardant treated woods.

Batten and counter batten systems are are used to hang the tiles which have head lugs. The battens have to be spaced to match the length of the tiles and exposure of particular tiles to provide for overlap. Battens have to be properly secured to the decking using nails at the center.


This is a crucial element in clay roof tiles. The underlayment is the felt paper that is installed over roof deck to provide both temporary protection against the elements while the roof is being laid and secondly it forms an important second line of defense against the elements. It is a weatherproof barrier that traps moisture that get through the clay roof barrier. A problem here is the clay tiles often far outlive the underlayment materials. So, it is important to get good quality under lying materials that will last as long as the life of the tiles being placed over them.

The best felt paper is the one which is impregnated with asphalt and is made of non-perforated organic felt. Called Type 15 or Type 30 felt, it indicates the pound per square feet. Another option is to use synthetic underlayment. The material is light-weight, it is water-resistant and won’t wrinkle. It is also stronger and tear-proof. These materials allow for walking over them even in wet weather. Even if you clay roof tiles is taking forever for installation with a synthetic underlayment you can be sure that the roof is much protected than organic felt. There are no industry standards when it comes to underlayment materials so, be sure you pick products that have met building code requirements.

For medium pitched roofs, two layers of 30 felt paper is recommended. For higher pitches one layer of 30 felt is enough. Clay roof tiles are not recommended for low and flat roofs. For areas that have low temperatures in the range of 30 degree Farenheit, ice dams shields are suggested for extra protection against the build-up of ice. The layer should start at the eaves and go up to minimum of 24 inches for high-pitch roofs and 36 inches for high pitch roofs.

Securing Tiles

There are many securing methods to keep the tiles in place depending on a number of factors the most commonly used method is nailing. You should follow the guidelines set down in your local building codes. Other methods include to tie them with wires where decks can’t support nailing, clip nose method in combination with other attachment is used where the area is prone to high winds or earthquakes. Lug hung method is where the tile is hung over batten using the lug at the head of the tiles and bedding it in a bed of mortar is another method of secure-ment that is usually used. Most of these have to be in combinations depending on needs.


Roof Tiles Types – 5 Most Popular Types Of Roof Tiles

Roof tiles types are an important consideration when building a new home or replacing an old roof. Factors that influence this decision are architectural style of the home, the expected life of the roof, the aesthetics of the roof, the budget of the homeowner and so on. As some tiles are heavy, certain homes are not suitable for them. Some tiles cost more and yet others are durable. Some are energy efficient, some are environment friendly and some require very littel maintenance.

So, from the maze of different roof tiles types selecting a tile is dependent on what factors are more important to a particular homeowner than others. For our discussion we will consider the 5 most popular roof tiles that are widely used.

Slate Tiles

– These naturally available tiles are the most expensive of the different roof tiles types because they the cost of installation for them is the highest. It is mostly preferred by homowners who have colonial, Italian or French styled home. Homes with slate roofs have distinct charm and natural elegance. The slate roof is fire-resistant and lasts for a century or more if installed and maintained properly. It needs very little maintenance. But, on the other hand the installation is a very difficult and time-consuming process requiring lot of expertise on the part of the installer. The tiles themselves need to be handled with care as they are heavy and fragile.

Cement Tiles

– These roof tiles types are suitable for different types of homes like prairie homes, mission style homes, Italian and Mediterrarnean homes. Cement is immune to fire and the product is manufactured in a variety of shades to match your home color. The roofs lasts a long time with a little bit of maintnenace. They are heavy and need very strong structure to be able to take the weight. Hence this is almost always used in new construction where the roof structure can be adjusted for weight of the cement tiles. Like slate these are also difficult to install, repair and replace. Like slate they also get damaged if walked upon.

Fiber Reinforced Concrete Tiles

– A innovative product these roof tiles types are designed to look wood shake tiles, stone tiles or slate tiles. These are light-weight and easy to install. They are resistant to fire, insects and have long life. They are also low on maintenance. But, like other tiles they are quite expensive.

Metal Roofing Tiles

– Steel, tin, aluminum, copper are the commonly used in making metal roofing tiles. Depending on the metal used the cost will vary. The metal roofs go well with cottages, modern homes, ranches and bungalows. These roof tiles types are designed to look liek slate or wood tiles. They are available in a variety of colors, are lightweight and are easily installed over the old roof. They have long life of around 50 years or more. They can withstand winds, rain, hail, snow and any extreme weather conditions. These tiles are also difficult to install and are costly. They might need to be repainted if the color fades or gets chipped due to exposure to sun and the elements.

Synthetic Roofing Tiles

– This is another innovation from the roofing industry. These roof tiles types use modern method of design and manufacture to make new roofing types that are able to withstand all types of weather and last longer than their natural counterparts. They are manufacturered using polymers and rubber which are then combined with filler elements. They have high impact resistance and light weight. They are installed easily with little difficulty.

From the above roof tiles types you should have a fair idea about the various roofing options open to you as far as tiles are concerned. They are classfications of roof tiles based on their design and style too. Tiles have evolved over the centuries and have come down to us almost in the same form as when they were first invented. Some of most popular styles inclue plain tiles, pantiles with s-shaped profile and roman tiles with a flat cross-section and a small roll.


Cement Roof Tiles: Guide To Concrete Homes

Cement roof tiles are an inexpensive alternative to high-cost clay tiles. Not only are these tiles attractive, but they also last longer than other roofing options. Cement tiles were used in Bavaria in the mid-19th century. In fact even after so many centuries these roofs survive todate and are in find condition. Later with the addition of pigments these cement tiles began to resemble terracotta tiles and most tiles in those days were handmade. Today, with the automation of the production process manufactureres are able to produce dozens of colors, profiles and designs in cement tiles to suit a variety of needs.

Why Choosing Concrete Roof Tiles Is Advantageous?

It is long-lasting roof that will outlast your home. Most other roofs have limited lifetime and come with warranties ranging from 15 to 50 years. Actually, most fail much before that. Concrete will not contribute unnecessary debris to landfills because the roof it is for life of the building. It is versatile roof that is suitable for all types of weather from rain, snow to hail and storms. It can resist strong winds, heavy blizzards, harsh summers and heavy rains. If built to correct standards concrete roof tiles can withstand even earthquakes.

Are Concrete Tiles Expensive?

Concrete roof tiles are mass produced and sold in large quantities, hence they have achieved economies of scale. Their prices have in fact become competitive compared to asphalt shingles and other petroleum based roofs as the prices of crude has soared. So, compared to 100 years or more life-span of concrete, asphalt becomes expensive as the roof lasts for 20 years or less in most cases and need frequent replacement over of the course of the life of your home.

Choice And Variety in Concrete Tiles

A variety of colors, styles and design options are available in concrete roof tiles. The tiles are designed to look like clay tiles, wood shake tiles, slate and stone tiles. The surface of the tiles can be textured, smooth or ragged. Homeowners can choose different shades and textures and use them in set patterns or make random designs. Pigment blended in with portland cement helps to get any desired shade ranging from whites, pastels to darker shades.

Maintenance Of Concrete Roof Tiles

Annual maintenance with visual inspection helps to keep the roof clear of unwanted debris and gutters clean to help the water to flow out without pooling. It is important to remove dirt and soil as this can accommodate plant life and growth of oraganisms which are detrimental to the roof. Power washing the tiles will remove this and help keep your roof clear.

After any adverse weather events it is best to make inspection of all parts of the roof to see that there are no cracks or broken tiles. Replace them immediately to avoid worsening the problems.

Roof Installation Basics

Concrete roof tiles or any other roof is a one of biggest investments in a home. So, both the quality of installation and the quality of materials ordered to install roof have to be of better than good quality. Next, important point is to get a good roofing contractor. Get referrals and recommendations about contractors who have done a good job of installing roofs on other peoples homes. Make sure they have experience in dealing with concrete tiles. Concrete is heavy and it needs additional structural support unlike light-weight roofs like asphalt or metal. So, it is important that you choose a contractor who has the experience and the skills to work with concrete. They should also have a committment to quality installation.

Make sure that the roofing contractor who will do the concrete roof tiles has requiste papers that show that he has insurance policies to cover any accidents and liabilities, that he has the licenses to operate in your state and area. Also ensure contractor does not have claims against him in the Better Business Bureau. Make sure that both of you have a signed contract before the contractor begins work on your roof.

In conclusion, these roof tiles are durable and trouble-free roof provided they are installed with care. Also, it is important to buy concrete roof tiles from reputed manufacturers who provide a long warranty on their products. Also, buy only those tiles that are suited for your local climate and nature.

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