Slate Roofing Tiles – An Elegant And Classic Roofing Option

Slate roofing tiles is not an invention of the modern times. It has a long and chequred history dating back several centuries. It has survived the ravages of time and history to survive as a highly prized roof because of its quality, its durability and it’s elegant looks. It has its downsides as any roofer handling slate roofs would inform you – its heavy, difficult to handle and install, has to be handled with care in order not to break them and as everything natural is expensive.

Let’s examine the advantanges of picking slate roofing tiles:


These tiles are natural stone. The slate roof tiles are mined from sedementary rocks and each batch of tiles will be unique with their distinctive tint and design.

Long Life

The roof will last for several decades. In fact if you see most of the old churches have slate roofs some of which had been installed over a century ago. Most slate roofs are installed so, that they last not less than a century. The installation has to be done right to get the maximum life out of the roof. It is a pleasant change from other roofs that need to be changed every 2 decades or so.

Beauty And Elegance

Slate roof tiles are a favorite among homeowners because of their beauty. No other roofing option matches the peerless classic looks of slate. Even though slate is a natural product and so it would seem the options are limited, the opposite is true. Each batch of tile mined has its own distinct appearance. They come in different sizes, thickness, colors and tints. Gray, red, green, purple, black are standard colors while a mixture of different shades is more common.

Fire Safety

Slate is stone product and it won’t catch fire. So, slate roofing tiles can be safely touted as the most fire-resistant roofing option. So, if you live in a home with slate roof you can be assured that your roof won’t catch fire from any forest-fires or accidental sparks.

Environmental Impact

As it lasts for hundered years or more the slate roof tiles carry least amount of landfill imprint. Asphalt and other roofs need frequent replacement and every time the old roof is pulled down it needs to be sent a landfill. This adds to the woes of city planners who need to keep assigning new areas for landfill. Slate has very low environmental impact.

Disadvantages of choosing slate roof tiles

The biggest disadvantage of slate roofs are the high cost of the material and also the expense of installing it. The installation process is not only expensive but it is also very tough. It is a found agile and delicate material that if handled roughly can break, also replacing damaged slate tiles is complex and needs skills and expertise. The cost of slate roof tiles is around $6000 to $8000 per square foot including installation cost. It’s huge investment in your home which is 5 times more than what you would spend with a normal composite shingles.

Second problem is that most roofers do not have the skills needed to do slate roof tiles. They assume that doing it is same as other roofs and get into difficulties when attempting slate roofs. Bad installation jobs can ruin the roofing and vastly reduce it’s life-span. So, hire a contractor only after verifying their experience and skills from people who have used them earlier.

Third problem is the weight of the slate roof tiles. It is estimated that slate tiles can weigh 400 to 800 kgs per 100 square feet. So, if you planning on installing slate roofs you will need to make sure that your roofing structure can handle that huge amount of weight. Otherwise you will need to strengthen them to take the extra load.

Another negative of slate roof tiles is that people can’t walk on them unless you know how to do it. Being extremely fragile they can break apart and replacing them is a huge problem. You will not be able to find the same type of slate tiles and you might have to settle for something that is close enough.

You may also like
7 Most Important Reasons To Choose Terracotta Roof Tiles
Tile Roof Repair – A Beginner’s Guide