Slate Versus Tile – Which is Best? Sheffield Roofing Services

Slate Versus Tile – Which is Best?

Two of the most popular types of roofing material in the country are slate and tile. Both have their pros and cons so how do you choose between the two when you are looking for the best roofing material for your property? Here we look at the two to help you decide which is best for you.

Opting for tiles

Clay tiles are, like slate, one of the more distinctive types of roofing material used around the world. The most famous versions come in rich colours such as terracotta, burnt orange and brown but other shades are also available. Clay tiles are a natural material and this means they will mellow and weather with age but won’t lose their aesthetic appeal. They are also a popular choice for period homes around the UK and there are still companies making them by hand using traditional methods.

Tiles can also come in ceramic or concrete and there are hundreds of formats, designs and colours available within the category. However, regardless of the exact nature of the tile, all have a lifespan of around 50 years.

Concrete tiles tend to be larger than ceramic tiles and therefore are easier to install. This keeps installation costs down. On the turn side, smaller tiles and ceramic versions are better suited for roofs that aren’t your typical square or rectangular shape because they can better work around the unusual contours. Basically, the simpler the roof design, the larger the tile can be used on it.

Tiles also comes in different designs starting with flat ones and working up to other shapes and profiles. Again, the flatter the tiles the easier it is to install as the more complicated styles may need double or triple fitting. However, this can also lead to a stronger roof design that is more resistant to wind and rain than the flat, easy to fit styles.

Choosing slates

Slate has the authenticity factor going for it – it is a natural material and has been used in roofing of structures for centuries. Modern techniques have also created artificial slates that have the look of the natural material but are more cost effective. Natural slate is made from schist while there are also zinc slates available.

As with tiles, slates come in different designs and sizes as well as requiring different methods to fit them. Unlike tiles, which tend to be fitted to the roof, slates are fixed in place by pegs or nails and need to be double layered in most styles to create the look as well as the wind resistance.


In cost terms, slate is often the most expensive of these options with concrete tiles being the most cost effective. Natural slate will last the longest in most cases but isn’t suitable to be walked on if there is a balcony area. Clay tiles are popular in period homes along with slate and may be required on listed buildings if this is what is already in place. Concrete tiles are great for matching up with other properties in the area and is the easiest to work with from the installer’s view point. So the question of which is best between them lies among what you, the buyer, are most interested in.


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Call: 0114 407 0142