Denver Roofing Options: Clay vs. Concrete Tile Roofs

July 27, 2016

Roofing shingles assert a pivotal impact on the quality of your roof and the appearance of your home. Many people are now choosing tile as the premier material for roofing shingles. However, using tile roofs requires you to decide whether you want to use clay or concrete tiles. While both tile materials are exceptionally strong and can enrich the attractive beauty and luxurious atmosphere of your home, certain differences distinguish the two materials. If you are interested in having top Denver roofing companies install a tile roof, you should learn about the differences between clay and concrete tiles.  

When designing your Denver tile roof, price is generally an important consideration when comparing clay and concrete tiles. Clay tiles are slightly more expensive than concrete tiles due to the material, features, and manufacturing process of the clay shingles. Concrete tiles are engineered from cement, water, and sand. In contrast, clay tiles are produced from acquiring natural clay material and then baking the molded clay at extremely hot temperatures.  While this process provides the natural clay material with several advantages, the clay tiles are approximately 30 percent more expensive than the engineered concrete tiles.   

Concrete tiles are generally heavier than clay tiles. Although the specific weight difference can depend on the particular brand of the shingles, concrete tiles are typically up to 40 percent heavier than their clay counterparts. This can provide some installation difficulties. For instance, certain roof structures might not be able to support the weight of the concrete tiles, you might need to modify the roof framing to ensure that the framing can support the tiles, and this can add to the total costs of the concrete tile installation process.  

Water Absorption
The best Denver roofing companies can also provide information regarding the water absorption rates of different types of tiles. Concrete tiles usually feature higher water absorption rates than clay tiles. Whereas the absorption rate of concrete tiles is approximately 13 percent, clay tiles offer a water absorption rate of only 6 percent. The tendency for concrete tiles to absorb more water renders the material succeptible to incur moisture and mildew damage if the tiles are exposed to excessive amounts of rain or snow. The higher absorption rate can also further increase the overall weight of the concrete tiles, intensify the pressure placed on the roofing structure, and require you to periodically upgrade the roofing frame to withstand the pressure.


Clay tiles are relatively more durable for Denver tile roofs. Both clay and concrete tiles are very durable and can last for extensive periods of time without becoming cracked, torn, faded, or dislodged. Additionally, both types of tile feature longer life-spans than traditional wood shakes or asphalt shingles. However, the lighter weight and lower water absorption rate of clay tiles enables the material to be slightly more durable than concrete tiles. Whereas a concrete tile roof can generally remain intact for around 50 years, the superior durability and longevity can allow a clay tile roof to maintain its quality and appearance for up to 100 years.  

Contact the Roof Dr. to install your tile roof. With over 40 years of experience, our expert staff has accrued a prestigious reputation for providing superior and comprehensive roofing services throughout the Denver area. We can handle any of your residential or commercial roofing needs, we utilize the best roofing materials available, and we would be glad to install or upgrade your roof to maximize the quality of your home and the value of your property.
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