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Essential Tile Types

AN ESSENTIAL

The one thing any house needs is a sound roof. Without it the elements can play havoc leaving repair bills of many thousands of pounds throughout the building.

The usual choices are tiles or slates - but if that sounds easy, well there are several different types of both.

Tiles traditionally are made of clay, usually of a type found locally, but today other materials are very common.

Pantiles

PANTILES

Clay pantiles are probably the most traditional and are usually singled lapped with the downward roll of each tile being placed over the upward roll of the preceding tile.

But nowadays even pantiles can be made from concrete.

Clay Tiles

CLAY TILES

Made from natural products, on the whole they come in two formats - plain tiles and profiled tiles. Nowadays the bulk is manufactured by machine but some are still handmade. The latter tend to have slight irregularities due to the process used to make them. Pre-cut slabs of clay are hand thrown into moulds. Their sand-faced finish is the result of the sand used to line the mould. Machine made tiles offer a choice of a smooth or a sand-faced finish.

Concrete

CONCRETE

Interlocking concrete is probably the most cost effective tile on the market. The drawback can be that they are not always as long lasting as their clay equivalent. But as they are large tiles with 10 covering about a metre they can reduce the cost substantially.

Plain Tiles

PLAIN TILES

These come in both concrete and clay, with the latter being the most expensive. Unlike interlocking tiles these are laid double or treble lapped (meaning that parts of at least two other tiles are beneath the tile), this brings the amount needed in at around 60 to the square metre.

Slates

SLATES

The huge advantage of a slate roof is its durability. It should last for up to 80 years. This natural product is far less likely to corrode than the nails holding it in place.

Slates can delaminate in which case they become absorbent and then need replacing.

A slate roof is not cheap, but because of its durability an option is to look for second hand slates - which could still have a lifespan of decades in them.

Natural Slate

NATURAL SLATE

This type of slate, a metamorphic rock, can have its origins in clay, silt, shale or volcanic ash that has been heated and then compressed over millions of years. The strong material is usually split into sheets before being cut into rectangular shapes.

Slate is most commonly found in Cornwall up through North Wales, into Cumbria and Scotland and is dark in colour.

Stone Slate

STONE SLATE

Stone slates are formed from sedimentary rock such as limestone or sandstone. It is dressed in slabs of a thickness between 19 and 35mm. They are lighter in colour than natural slate.

Concrete Slates

CONCRETE SLATES

Although these are designed to look like natural or stone slates they do not have the same durability. They come in various colours but, because of the cement content will not weather like a natural slate.

They also tend to be heavier than slates, so the roof timbers could need strengthening before they are laid.

Fibre Cement Slates

FIBRE CEMENT SLATES

The manufacturing process gives these tiles an appearance close to natural slate. Like concrete they offer a more cost effective option than real slate but again with a shorter life expectancy.

 

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