How to choose clay roof tiles

How to choose clay roof tiles

The choice of tiles for your roof is an important one. Not only do they have to form a watertight and weather-resistant barrier between your home and the elements, they also have to look good from the street.

Specific roofing requirements in Bristol

There are some very specific planning regulations in force in the Bristol and Bath area, as you can see from the style of the houses and the type of stonework used. We’re rightly proud of the beauty of our region and this is in part due to careful consideration of the materials used in building and renovating houses. As well as fitting the overall style of your home, your roof should be in harmony with the properties around it. So, when choosing clay roof tiles for your roof in Bristol, it’s a good idea to be aware of the options.

Colours and shades of clay roof tiles

Everyone thinks of the classic red clay roof tiles, but there are actually a surprising number of shades available. Names such as Plum Red, Staffordshire Blue, Antique Brown or Dark Heather will give you just a small taste of the variety you can choose from. A popular technique is to mix several shades of the same colour to give a deeper and more complex finish – although be careful not to choose too great a contrast.

One of the joys of using real slate, instead of cheaper alternatives, is that their colour matures with age and weathering but they don’t lose the colour. So your roof will change throughout its lifetime but it will stay looking great even as it gets older. That’s a bonus if you plan on selling your house at any point, as an older roof can be a sticking point for many buyers. If it still looks on top form, it’s far less likely to raise any concerns.

Thinking about that lifespan, how long should you expect your clay tiles to last? Well, manufacturers claim that you can look at 30 years as a minimum. Sure, there’ll almost certainly be some minor repairs needed during that time, but the actual tiles themselves should continue looking good.

Weathered clay roof

Shape and texture of clay roof tiles

The next consideration with clay is the finish – you have a choice between smooth and textured (known as “sandfaced” in the business). A smooth finish is harder for moss to adhere to and allows easier runoff for rainwater.

Sandfaced is popular with homeowners who want a rustic look to their roof, but it does tend to weather more quickly – think “classic farmhouse” and you’ll get the picture.

Finally there’s the “surface profile” – or what shape the tile is. Flat tiles are very common, but you can also get S-shaped versions for an undulating roofscape not dissimilar to that found in classical Italian villas. Our local area has something of a regional speciality too, with the “Roman” roof tile – this has rounded ridges with a flat valley in-between.

Classic farmhouse with weathered clay roof tiles

Thoughts of a Bristol roofer

It’s very much a personal choice which type of clay roof tile you go for. Much will be decided by the style and period of your home and the neighbouring properties. Local Bristol roofing regulations may have a part to play, depending on exactly where you live. The biggest factor, however, is your own taste and the look you want to achieve. Whatever style and mix you decide on, always ensure you employ a professional roofer to carry out any work, so you can be sure of a safe, high-quality roofing job with the added backup of a guarantee.

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