McCoy Roofing Contractors

What You Should Know About Clay Tile Roofs

Have you considered installing a clay tile roof? It’s not a bad option. However, there are a few things to consider before you commit.

Picture of clay tile roofs placed over a roof after having a roof replacement.

The clay tile roof style is both timeless and beautiful. The tiles are durable, lasting upwards of a hundred years on your home. At the same time, they’re more expensive than a conventional roof and, despite their durability, can also be quite brittle.

We’re here to help you weigh your options and determine if a clay tile roof is right for your home. Check out our guide to learn more.

They’re Super Durable

The average lifespan of a clay tile roof is about a hundred years. This number varies, depending on the climate; not all clay roof tiles are the same.

Some types of clay tiles don’t do well in cold climates, for example. They wear down under constant stress from ice and snow. Always research ahead of time. Discover what type of clay tiles last in your specific environment before committing to a purchase. Also, it’s important to note that while clay roof tiles are durable, brittleness is a common issue.

If a horrible storm brushes through and a tree lands on your roof, tiles may shatter under its weight. If this happens, you’ll need to get some repairs done.

A Clay Tile Roof is Invulnerable to Rot and Insects

Once bugs infiltrate your wooden roof, they eat away at the material and do some serious damage. This isn’t something you have to worry about with clay tiles.

Insects won’t be able to dig into the clay. Another issue you’ll run into with wood, is that it will begin to rot at some point. Clay tiles may crack under heavy pressure, but are impervious to rot.

Clay is Good for the Environment

Clay is made using natural materials; not a single chemical is used. That means when its time for you to replace your clay roof, tiles can be broken down and reused on someone else’s roof. So, if you want to go green and reduce your carbon footprint, clay rooftops are absolutely the way to go. They’re one of the most environmentally friendly options available today.

Clay Tile Roofs are Low Maintenance

As soon as contractors finish installing your roof tiles, you can pretty much forget they’re there. You may have the occasional clay tile roof repair and inspection every now and again, but that’s it.

The tiles don’t leak, they can’t rot, and they won’t experience some of the other problems that most roof types experience.

Good for Energy Savings

If you’re tired of energy bills that leave your jaw on the floor, clay tiles will help; clay tiles carry a lot of thermal mass. In simple terms, this means they regulate the temperature throughout your entire home.

Since you won’t have to run an HVAC system as often, your energy bill should dip by a large amount.

Tiles Won’t Fit on Every Roof

Clay roof tiles aren’t without their drawbacks, however. One of the largest considerations is that they may not fit on your type of roof. Clay tile roof installation is only available on rooftops with considerably sharp slopes.

If your roof pitch isn’t at least 4:12 or more, you won’t be able to proceed with installation.

They’re Hefty

Even if your roof sits at the right slope for clay tiles to be installed, you may run into problems when it comes to their weight. Clay tiles are heavy. So heavy, in fact, that your roof may need reinforcement before tiles are placed. Consult an expert first to make sure your roof structure can support massive weight. If not, you’ll need further work done, which means more money.

They’re Not Easy to Install

Clay roof tile prices are generally more expensive than other types of roofs. The main reason for their high prices is because of complex installation. This isn’t a job you can do yourself.

Call a professional roofing contractor to come in and do the job. They measure every tile to make sure that they fit and lay them down in a precise pattern.

Types of Tile

Clay tiles come in different colors and styles. You’re guaranteed to find something that matches your home. With all the styles available, nobody on your block will have the same exact roof as you.

The following are only a few options that you can choose from.

Spanish Tiles

If your area sees a lot of rain, the best option for you is Spanish tiles. These tiles are laid down in a way which resemble ocean waves. These “waves” are good for catching water and sending it away from your roof.

Double Roman Tiles

Double Roman tiles look a lot like Spanish ones. The only difference being, that ribs are used in their design. Ribs are easy-to-see and ideal for keeping water away.


If you want a clay roof and are budgeting, then the pantile style works best for you. They aren’t as heavy as traditional clay tiles, and are laid down in somewhat of an ‘S’ pattern. They highly resemble ripples when finished.

Everything You Need to Know About a Clay Tile Roof

While a clay tile roof doesn’t come without its own set of problems, it has more advantages than disadvantages. They come in several different colors and styles which create a unique look, setting you apart from your neighbors.

They’re also durable and can withstand most things that Mother Nature throws at it. When you look at it this way, the expense is worth it.

Are you ready to have your tiles installed? Give us a call at 402-616-7304 to get a free, no-obligation estimate on our services.