The Pros and Cons of Concrete Roof Tiles 

Are you having second thoughts about using concrete roof tiles for your home? We get you. After all, concrete roof tiles didn’t exactly have the best reputation among builders in the past. As a result, some renovators would still tell you to steer clear of them even up to this day. But times have changed, and so has the technology behind manufacturing concrete roof tiles. 

Concrete roof tiles have made serious upgrades in recent years. Today, cement-based concrete makes an excellent choice for your roof as it is affordable, efficient, and customizable – perfect for homeowners looking for something practical and reliable. 

So if you’re still on the fence about concrete roof tiles, allow us to convince you otherwise. Then, continue reading to find out more.

concrete roof tiles pros vs. cons

What Are Concrete Roof Tiles? 

Before we jump further into the world of concrete roof tiles, let’s first talk about what they are and how they are made in the first place. To put it, concrete roof tiles, as the name suggests, are tiles made of regular concrete. It’s a mixture of cement, sand, and water that is then molded to take shape and form of a roof tile. 

Compared to other types of roof tiles, concrete isn’t exactly what many would consider a premium material. Up until recently, concrete roof tiles have been overshadowed by their pricier or fancier competitors such as metal, slate, and many more. But are concrete roof tiles all that bad? We don’t think so but let’s investigate together… 

Pros and Cons of Concrete Roof Tiles 

There is no such thing as a perfect roof tile, but there’s one type that would fit the needs of your home and budget. In our opinion, concrete roof tiles tick all the boxes when it comes to practicality and affordability. 

But of course, there are a few setbacks that may or may not be a significant concern for your home – we’ll let you decide. But to help you gain some more clarity, we’ve made a list of the pros and cons of concrete roof tiles and here’s what we came up with: 

PROS

Despite what many would say about concrete tiles, we believe that there’s a lot to love about them. As they say, never judge a book by its cover, and the same can be said about concrete roof tiles. At first glance, these tiles might not look like much but don’t dismiss them just yet Below are some of the reasons why we love concrete tiles: 

  • Budget-friendly 

The price of a concrete roof tile depends on a couple of factors, such as your home’s location and the style of your tiles. Although it’s hard to pinpoint a specific price, concrete roof tiles are one of the most inexpensive materials you can find for your roof in comparison to other types. As mentioned before, roof tiles come in several kinds – concrete being on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to cost.  

How much do concrete roof tiles cost? 

Concrete roof tiles cost around $4 to $10 per square foot. The prices vary depending on the style or cut of your chosen tile. And depending on the size of your home, the installation would cost around $400 to $1600. It is best to contact your local roofing contractor for a more accurate estimate, as prices may also depend on your location. 

  • Low Maintenance 

Nobody wants to spend extra money on roof maintenance. After all, if it’s expensive to keep up with, why not just have the whole roof replaced with a roof that has better upkeep? Like concrete roof tiles, for example? 

Concrete tiles are absolutely easy to maintain. After a couple of years, they would need to be recolored once efflorescence kicks in (more information down below). Other than that, they do not require any other technical processes to maintain their appearance. 

  • Versatile 

Concrete tiles can be used for residential and commercial roofs, making them a versatile option for your renovation or building project. However, there is a slope 3:12 slope requirement for them to be installed. On average, many homes already meet these standards, and so chances are, nothing is holding you back from choosing concrete as your tile type of choice for your home as well. 

  • Design 

If you’re someone who likes to play around with different styles and designs, then concrete tiles should definitely be on your list of options. First, we talked about how concrete tiles can be molded into any shape. This also means it can copy the textures of clay, slate, stone, and more – perfect for homeowners who want to mimic the look of other tile types without breaking the bank. 

  • Fire, Wind, and Impact Resistant

Your roof’s job is to protect you and your family from extreme weather conditions, possible natural calamities, and even unforeseen accidents such as a fire. Just because concrete tiles come at a lower price doesn’t mean that it doesn’t help your roof do its job. 

Did you know that these tiles have a Class A fire rating, a.k.a the highest fire rating possible out there? So not only does it make your roof fire-resistant, but it also protects your home from falling ash in the event where there’s a fire nearby. And if its fire resistance isn’t enough to convince you of its powers, concrete roof tiles also have a Class 5 impact rating, making your roof durable against impact from 2-inch sized hail. 

Does your area have strong winds and heavy snow? You’d be glad to know that concrete tiles also have a strong wind and snow resistance. Wind speeds of up to 180 mph do not faze concrete tiles, so you’re sure that your roof is kept intact even when there are high winds. 

  • Easy to Repair

Spot a broken tile? If it’s concrete, then it’s an easy fix. Compared to other tile types, concrete tiles don’t require you to replace a huge part of your roof to make repairs. All you have to do is lift the parent tiles on the affected area and slip in a new tile. Of course, it’s easier said than done, so it’s best to enlist the help of a professional roofer, especially if you’re not a DIY type of 

person. 

What Is The Life Expectancy of A Concrete Tile Roof? 

So exactly how long does a concrete tile roof last? On average, concrete tiles are said to last as long as 30 to 50 years. It may sound like a reasonable amount of time for a roof. But when compared to other materials like clay, for example, its life expectancy can last up to 100 years. 

  • Energy-saving

Concrete tiles are made of low heat transfer material, which means that it can keep your roof cool in the summer and warm during the winter months. This energy-saving feature can help you save more money in the long run. Plus, concrete tiles are said to have good UV protection as well. Who said that a roof should be about protecting you from the heat?

  • Recyclable

If you’re an advocate of environmental causes, then you should definitely consider choosing concrete tiles for your home. As mentioned above, concrete roof tiles are made out of the sand, cement, and water – all of which are recyclable materials. So when it’s time to replace and dispose of your tiles, at least you’re not contributing more toxic waste to your surroundings. 

CONS

  • Installation 

Replacing broken concrete tiles maybe a piece of cake but installing them for the first time is a whole different story. Like all other tile types, concrete would also require the helping hand of an expert to install. But, again, accuracy and precision are essential as the job involve cutting and fitting the tiles in a specific pattern. So if you want your roof to look good, it’s important to hire a roofing contractor to install your concrete tiles. 

  • Weight 

It’s no surprise the concrete roof tiles are considerably heavier than their counterparts. After all, we’re talking about cement. A typical concrete tile weighs about 900 lbs to 1200 lbs per square. Even lighter options ranging from 500 lbs to 720 lbs per square outweigh a standard asphalt shingle. That said, it is best to check the current framing structure of your roof and see if it can hold the significantly added weight. If your roof previously used asphalt shingles, talk to your roofing contractor about reinforcements to accommodate your concrete tiles. 

  • Fading Colors 

Concrete tiles are not all made the same; some are prone to color fading as time passes by. But of course, this does not happen to all concrete tiles. Whether or not your tiles will fade their color after a couple of years depends on how color was added during the manufacturing process. 

If color was added to the tiles using a concrete-based pigment, you could be sure that fading will occur sooner or later. Now you might be thinking; fading colors aren’t a problem – repaint it! However, it may be challenging to match the colors to the rest of your roof when replacements or repairs are needed to just some areas of the roof. 

To avoid this problem, look for concrete tiles mixed with pigment before the tile was shaped and formed. 

  • Efflorescence

A lot of homeowners prefer not to use concrete tiles because they tend to have a chalky look and feel to them after some time – this is also known as efflorescence. Don’t be put off by this scientific term; it’s not as complicated as you think. 

Due to the porous nature of concrete tiles, they absorb more water than other tile types. When water and carbon dioxide are combined, a chalk-like substance appears on the surface of the tiles. To solve this problem, roofers clean off the stains. You also have the option to seal the tiles to prevent moisture absorption in the future. 

  • Cracking 

In general, concrete is a strong and durable material, but it isn’t perfect. Concrete tiles tend to be brittle, which means they can also easily break when you make a wrong move while walking on them. To avoid unwanted accidents, we always suggest that you work with a roofing professional to install or replace your concrete tiles. 

Bottom Line: Are Concrete Roof Tiles Any Good? 

Whether or not concrete roof tiles are a good option depends on you and the needs of your home. So, in the end, the real question is: what are your priorities when it comes to your roof? If you’re looking for tiles that are affordable, easy to maintain, and efficient, then concrete tiles will satisfy your needs. 

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