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Tile roofs are made of individual tiles instead of shingles. Traditionally, tiles are made of clay or concrete, but there is a wide variety of tile materials available today, and clay styles and designs homeowners can install. The main reason tile roofing has become so popular is its durability and high resistance to hail, moisture, and flame. Tiles are also extremely energy efficient and, with proper care, can last up to 150 years. This is the lowest cost per life cycle among all roofing materials.
The national average cost to install tile roofing is between $19,000 and $35,000. Most people pay around $27,000 to install a 1,500 sq. ft. S-shaped clay roofing with moderate reinforcement, apply sealant, and inspect it after installation. At the low end of the spectrum, you can pay only $11,250 to install a 1,500 sq. ft. concrete roofing with underlayment. At the high end, you can pay up to $72,450 to have a 1,500 sq. ft. solar tile roofing installed, which includes inspecting the old roofing, removing it, adding support and underlayment, and sealing the roof.
|Tile Roof Installation Cost|
|National average cost||$27,000|
When you’re doing a tile vs shingle roof comparison, the first and most important thing you should consider is the cost difference. A shingle roof costs $2.50 to $25 per sq. ft. depending on the exact material used. Installing tile is a project for which homeowners pay around $7 to $41 per sq. ft. for the material and labor.
Another major difference between the two is that tiles are more versatile in color and shape but are more difficult to install, so they come at a higher cost. When it comes to durability, tiles also top shingles by supporting more weight and lasting twice as long. However, they are heavier, and not all home constructions can support the weight of this type of roofing.
Tile roofing can be anywhere between $7 and $41 per sq. ft. This cost includes all preparations for installation, materials, and the labor costs to install it. The big discrepancy in price is because of the multiple cost factors involved in the installation. The type of tile, its material, the pitch, the style, the brand of tiles, and the roofer that will install it are just some of the main factors that determine how much a new tile costs.
|Size||Cost (Material and Labor)|
|1,000 sq. ft.||$7,000 - $41,000|
|1,300 sq. ft.||$9,100 - $53,300|
|1,500 sq. ft.||$10,500 - $61,500|
|1,800 sq. ft.||$12,600 - $73,800|
|2,000 sq. ft.||$14,000 - $82,000|
The type of tile affects the overall project cost the most. Tile prices vary anywhere between $1.50 and $25 per sq. ft. without installation. Each tile type also requires a different installation method, which adds a different cost to the overall project. Every tile type is made of a different material with its own advantages and disadvantages. Make sure you analyze what you need to pick the right roofing type for your home.
|Type of Roof Tile||Cost per Sq. Ft. (Material Only)|
|Slate||$1.50 - $30|
|Concrete||$3 - $20|
|Composite||$4 - $16|
|Clay||$5 - $15|
|Metal||$6 - $15|
|Synthetic Barrel||$8 - $16|
|Solar||$12 - $25|
|Ceramic||$15 - $20|
The cost to install slate roof tiles is between $1.50 and $30 per sq. ft., depending on the grade 1, thickness, and overall quality of the slate 2 tiles you will use. The big discrepancy in cost is that some slate types, such as synthetic slate tiles, are more affordable than regular slate. Synthetic slate tiles are made of plastic and rubber, so they can be recycled and reused, which is another benefit of this type of roofing. However, synthetic slate tiling is not recommended in areas with a harsher climate as they can curl, crack, and disintegrate because of it.
While the material itself can be quite affordable, the installation is one of the most expensive. Each slate is individually drilled to make a hole in it and nail it to the structure, which is a time-consuming process that adds to the cost of the project. However, once installed, slate is one of the most durable and high-quality materials you can use that can last up to 150 years, more than any other roofing type.
Concrete tiles cost $3 to $20 per sq. ft., depending on the design, texture, and color of the tile. They are made from a mixture of sand and Portland cement, often with added binders, resins, and pigments. These tiles can last 50 years or more, depending on the conditions. A major advantage of concrete roofs is that they have a Class A fire rating, resist insects and moisture, and don’t rot. On the downside though, concrete tiles are pretty heavy, so many structures would need reinforcement before supporting this type of structure.
Costing only $4 to $16 per sq. ft., composite tiles are among the cheapest roofing materials you can pick for your home. Composite tile roofing installation is also easier compared to some other materials that are more difficult to use. They are one of the most versatile roofing materials that can be installed in any color or blend, giving homeowners the freedom to choose the appearance of their structure. The biggest downside of composition roofing 3 is that if it’s made of low-quality materials, it can soak, freeze, or warp. However, if they are blended with high-quality materials, they can last up to 50 years.
If you opt to have clay tiles installed, the roofing materials will cost you between $5 and $15 per sq. ft. Clay tiles are made by baking molded clay and can have different densities depending on the length of time and temperature at which the clay was heated. It comes in different shades of white, yellow, orange, and brown, with the most common color being called Terra-Cotta. Clay tiles are resistant to fire, hail, and strong winds and provide high insulation due to their thickness, but are more difficult and expensive to install.
Metal roofing can be made of various types of metal, including aluminum, steel, zinc, copper, stainless steel, and titanium, depending on the homeowner’s preference. Each of these comes at a different cost in a range of $6 to $15 per sq. ft. Although they are more difficult to install and repair, they are extremely easy to maintain and are one of the most durable roofing materials that can last up to 100 years.
Made from 100% recycled materials, synthetic barrel tiles can be found for $8 to $16 per sq. ft. These tiles come in various colors, shapes, and textures, giving the structure a unique look. They offer excellent protection from the elements, as they are made from weather-resistant composite materials. Its installation is quite simple and involves using only a nail gun without any reinforcement or preparation.
The average cost of solar tiles is around $12 to $25 per sq. ft. for the materials only, making them the most expensive roofing materials currently on the market. Currently, Tesla is the most popular manufacturer of solar tiles in the U.S. You will mostly find its models on the market. Although the cost may be high, many states have tax incentives that go up to 30% of the price to lower the overall project cost. The obvious reason for the popularity of solar panels is their energy efficiency and long warranty that can go up to 25 years. The downside of solar tiles, on the other hand, is the high installation cost and complicated maintenance.
Ceramic tiles, also known as porcelain tiles, cost $15 to $20 per sq. ft. They are both types of tiles made of fired clay mixed with water and then enhanced with some additives like feldspar, petuntse, and quartz sand. The color of ceramic tiles varies from gray to reddish depending on the exact mixture used to make them and the temperature at which they were baked.
Terracotta is one of the most popular types of ceramic materials used on tile roofs, among other things. It’s made of natural clay, which is why it has a natural reddish-brown color and can be enhanced with other additives to improve its color, design, look, and durability. Terracotta tiles have a higher absorption rate than regular ceramic tiles but are less resistant to freezing temperatures and impact.
Depending on the look you want, you can opt to have flat or curved tiles installed for $3 to $20 per sq. ft. for the material only. The installation cost is determined by the material of the tile and the pitch, with the most common roofs being concrete in a Spanish style. The shape and type of tile also determine the cost to install tile, with most models being flat or curved.
|Type of Tile||Cost per Sq. Ft. (Material Only)|
|Flat||$3 - $15|
|Curved||$8 - $20|
Flat tile roofs are more affordable than curved tiles and typically cost homeowners $3 to $15 per sq. ft. for the material only. As their name suggests, the tiles are flat and don’t have any texture, but they can be painted to resemble clay, slate, or wood to give homeowners the option to personalize the structure. Most people install flat roofs because of their durability, versatility, and strength. However, keep in mind that tiles can’t be used on structures with pitches lower than 4:12, or else they won’t drain the water properly. As tiles are heavy, the structure may also need additional support to withstand the whole weight of the structure, which adds to the price.
Curved tiles are more decorative than flat structure, so they cost more. Their cost is $8 to $20 per sq. ft. The price of the tile is determined by the curvature. The more intricate it is, the higher the price will be. The most popular curved tiles are the S-shaped ones that are commonly seen on roofs. Because of their shape, curved tiles are very resistant to rot and mold build up, so they are installed in areas where there is high humidity.
Several manufacturers sell tiles for a cost of $3 to $15 per sq. ft. Each specializes in a particular material and type of tile, with most of them selling clay or concrete tiles in various styles, shapes, patterns, and colors. The leading manufacturers and the cost for which they sell their tile products are presented below.
|Brand||Cost per Sq. Ft. (Material Only)|
|Boral||$3 - $5|
|Eagle||$4 - $7|
|Auburn||$4 - $9|
|Ludowici||$9 - $15|
Boral roofing tiles cost $3 to $5 per sq. ft. They are one of the most popular and the largest concrete and clay tile manufacturers with over 12 production facilities across the U.S. and Canada. To back up their quality, they offer a Transferable 50-year Product Warranty that includes color fade (limited coverage) for all tiles they install.
The average cost for Eagle tile roofing products is between $4 and $7 per sq. ft. They are another popular choice for roofing materials because of the 25-year labor warranty they offer that covers any structural failure. Like Boral Roof Tiles, Eagle has several options of concrete tiles that are very affordable.
The average cost of Auburn concrete tile roofs is between $6 and $10 per sq. ft. One of their most popular products is their flat style of concrete roofing tiles that are smaller in size and have a natural "broken leading edge." Their concrete tiles are produced in several series that come in various colors and shapes.
Ludowici is the leading manufacturer of terracotta products, including tiles that cost $4 to $9 per sq. ft. As a brand with over 130 years of experience in the tile manufacturing business, Ludowici is a reliable brand that claims to produce one of the highest quality clay tiles on the market. They produce over 40 types of clay tiles backed with a 75-year warranty.
Labor costs to install tile roofing are between $4 and $16. The price varies due to several factors such as the material used, the deck on which the structure is being installed, the pitch, tile style, roof decorations, and whether or not underlayment 4, old roofing removal, and reinforcement would be needed. This means that to install a 1,500 sq. ft. structure, you would pay an average cost of $6,000 to $24,000 for labor costs only.
While every installation may differ to give you a unique structure, there are some things in common. Nearly every installation will include an inspection of the deck and removing the current material. If the deck requires reinforcement or repair, it will be done before installing the felt underlayment, protecting the deck from moisture and giving a surface for the tiles to be installed.
Depending on the type of structure you have, you may also need ridge tiles where two sides meet, apex tiles where three sides come to a point, end caps 5 or hip ends where the ridges finish, and verge tiles to protect the beams on the underside of the edge. These items are usually included in the labor cost. Vents and other openings will need covers, cowls, or caps to protect them. Each of these things will be unique to the style and material of tile you have chosen for your structure and will require different installation practices for each.
Below is a table with a breakdown of the common installation steps and costs for having a 1,500 sq. ft. structure installed on your home. Keep in mind that the costs may vary from our average range as not all structures will require every step of the installation. Tiles and labor are considered mandatory, while inspection, sealant, and reinforcement may be required or preferred by the homeowner. They aren’t always mandatory steps when installing tiles.
|Installation Step||Average Costs (Materials and Labor)|
|Roof Inspection||$75 - $700|
|Old roof removal||$750 - $2,250|
|Underlayment||$750 - $3,000|
|Sealant||$750 - $4,500|
|Reinforcement||$1,000 - $10,000|
|Tiles||$4,500 - $37,500|
|Labor||$6,000 - $24,000|
The cost to install tile isn’t overly impacted by the style. In most cases, there is only a negligible difference in cost between styles. The tile material drives most of the price point. The most common type of tile structure is the Spanish-tile, the curved clay tile most commonly seen in southern states. However, this isn’t the only tile style. More concrete and clay tile manufacturers offer a wide range of designs.
The traditional look and versatility of plain tiles make them easy to install on many property styles and pitches. As its name suggests, plain tiles are the most common and basic types known as flat tile roofs. The biggest advantage is that they are one of the most affordable roofing styles available and come in a variety of patterns. Because of their basic look, they are not as decorative as other tile roofs.
Mission style tiles are one of the tiles with a more complex installation process because of their shape. They are also known as “Double Roman” tiles and have distinct ribs that give them their Mediterranean look. Due to their size and round shape, mission style tiles are often used as a hip and ridge tile.
Interlocking tiles can be smooth or granular in appearance and installed in a single lap. Interlocking tiles are connected to each other and to the roof by side joints that facilitate the installation. When installed in the common metal color, they give a classic look to the roof. Other colors and material variations are slightly more difficult to find.
Spanish tiles or Mediterranean tiles are the most common type of tile roofs in the South. Spanish style models look like rows of waves because of the S-shaped tiles. They are made of clay, which is why they are ideal for areas with heavy rainfalls. On the downside, some clay tiles may crack during installation. The roofer has to be extra careful when installing these types of tiles.
A pantile tile is a single-lap, S-shaped tile made of fired clay. It comes in many different shapes and patterns, allowing homeowners to choose the design that matches their personal preference. However, whenever the structure needs repairing, the homeowner would have to find the exact color, shape, and dimension of the current tiles, which increases the maintenance costs.
Profile tiles, the name French tiles are known for, are very similar to Double Roman tile, but instead of having humps, they have indents. They are very durable because of the installation that requires roofers to tightly fit each tile, increasing the speed of water runoff. Roofers also need special caps and edge pieces to install French tiles, which slightly affects the overall project cost.
Riviera tiles have a rigid design with a closely repeating pattern that resembles Mission style tiles but have more intricate ridges and a flatter surface in between. Riviera tiles give the roof a symmetrical and unique look with deep shadows but are slightly difficult to find in stores and can start showing signs of cracking over time.
Japanese tiles are also known as kawara tiles. Recently, kawara tiles are mainly made of clay. They are a hallmark of Japanese architecture, with almost every temple and shrine having a roof made of them. Kawara are unique J-shaped tiles that often end with a traditional Japanese decoration or symbol. While they have been known as a slightly weaker type of tile that doesn’t withstand typhoons and hurricanes, the manufacturers of these tiles have worked to make them extremely disaster-proof as they are installed in over 50% of homes in Japan.
Roman tiles are mostly made of fired clay but can also be made from marble, bronze, or gilt. They have round caps and flat pans and can be made with different curve styles and interlocking tiles. As their name suggests, Roman tiles have been used in Greek and Roman architecture because of their durability and waterproof properties. However, they can easily break and aren’t suitable for high profile roofs. However, when they break or get damaged, the repair is easy.
Barrel tiles are one of the most expensive styles, costing between $10 and $13 per sq. ft. to install. The high cost is because of its unusual design with a higher curve than standard S-style tiles. This shape is ideal for areas with frequent hail and high humidity as it prevents mold buildup and mold formation.
All roofs require an underlayment before they can be installed. The cost of underlayment is typically fairly low, between $0.50 and $2 per sq. ft. While tiles can last 50 years or more, many underlayments can only last about ten years. This will mean you would have to hire a contractor to remove the tile and underlayment to replace it and then reinstall the tiles over it. If this is not done, the tile could crack or leak over time.
If you want to replace your tile, you can expect to pay approximately $0.50 to $1.50 per sq. ft. to remove and dispose of old roofing materials first. Then, you would have to pay an additional cost of $5.50 to $36 per sq. ft. to install the new roofing tiles. This may sound like a high cost for replacement, but considering tiles are made to last over 50 years, it’s not a cost homeowners are subjected to more than once or twice in a lifetime. However, as the job is complex and risky, it’s always advisable to hire a professional to do it.
Tiles can only be installed on roofs with a pitch between 2/12 and 12/12, with the first number referring to the vertical rise of the structure in inches while the second one refers to the horizontal length of the structure. If the structure is any lower than 2 inches, it may not drain sufficiently, and any higher than 12 inches and the structure will be too steep to accommodate the heavier tile. The most common roof pitch in residential homes is between 4/12 and 9/12.
A 4-degree pitch structure is also called a 4/12 roof. This means that for every 12 feet of horizontal length, the roof is pitched 4 inches. Roofs with a pitch between 2/12 and 4/12 are considered low slope roofs. Anything lower than that is considered a flat roof. Because of their shape and weight, tiles aren't recommended for low-slope roofs as they wouldn’t be visually appealing. It is recommended to go for a pitch higher than 4/12 if your roofing is made of tiles or shingles 6.
A 9-degree pitch structure is also called a 9/12 structure. This means that for every 12 feet of horizontal length, the roof is pitched 9 inches. Roofs with a pitch higher than 9/12 are considered steep slope 7 roofs and tend to last longer than lower-pitched structures as water, snow, and ice can go through them easier without getting stuck, as it may happen with flat or low pitch roofs.
A 12-degree pitch structure is also called a 12/12 structure. This means that for every 12 feet of horizontal length, the structure is pitched 12 inches. As mentioned above, roofs with a pitch higher than 9 are considered a high-slope structure. They are generally considered more visually appealing than lower pitched roofs. However, they cost more because of the added material needed for the installation.
Sealing is $0.50 to $3 per sq. ft. with labor cost included, which means the average cost to seal a 1,500 sq. ft. structure is $750 to $4,500. However, not all homes require a sealant. Concrete tiles, in particular, will require a sealant, and some types of clay tile will as well. Flat structures and homes in regions with hot summers also need a sealant to protect the roofing and increase the energy efficiency of the home.
The sealant is usually a liquid applied to the roofing after installation and allowed to dry. This creates an outside barrier that protects the structure against leaks, moisture, and cracks. Some tile roofing requires resealing five to ten years later. Ask the manufacturer of your particular tile to find out if this is necessary.
You can do a few basic things to protect your roofing and ensure it will last for longer. You can schedule regular inspections to assess the roof and locate any holes, cracks, or underlying issues that need your attention. If there are some, make sure to do all repairs to make sure they don’t become a bigger problem in the future. If needed, replace the damaged area of the structure. Another thing you can do as part of regular maintenance is to clean the roof. It will ensure any debris, leaves, or branches that get stuck to it will be removed and allow water to flow freely without getting stuck and causing stains, mold, or mildew.
If you need to repair your roof, expect to pay an average cost of $900 and $2,300. The exact cost depends mostly on the problem you’re having. The cheapest problem might be a slipped tile that will be easily returned to its place, while the most extensive repair might be a leak in the roof, requiring more work and cleaning to bring the roof to its initial form. The material also affects the repair cost. The cheapest material to repair is concrete tiles, while the most expensive tiles to repair are terracotta tiles.
Tiles come with many advantages and have their disadvantages that turn some homeowners away from installing one. The biggest pro of tile roofs and why they are so popular is their durability and resilience. Thus, they are ideal for places with exposure to salt air or areas with frequent, heavy rainfall or snowfall. Once the tiles are installed, manufacturers offer a 50-year warranty to back up their quality.
Aside from this, tile roofs are also impervious to insect damage and rot and are very easy to maintain as leaks are rare. Because they are thick, they prevent water, cold air, or hot air from penetrating the interior, making them one of the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly roofing materials available on the market. Homeowners can choose from various colors, styles, patterns, and textures when they install tiles, giving them the freedom to choose the look of the exterior of their home.
Because of their many advantages and longevity, tiles are one of the most expensive roofing types that can cost double or triple more than concrete or metal structures. The high cost is also attributed to the complex installation that requires professional contractors with extensive roofing experience. Another one of the major downsides of tile structure is that they are heavy. Not all home structures can support them, which would require an additional support structure.
The first difference homeowners want to know about clay and concrete tiles is the cost. Both roofing materials are among the more expensive ones and come with a similar cost. Clay tiles cost $9 to $20 per square foot compared to $3 to $20 per square foot for concrete tiles, so they are a slightly more expensive option. Clay tiles last a lot longer than concrete tiles. Their lifespan is around 100 years compared to the 50-year lifespan of concrete structures.
Another difference to consider is that clay tiles tend to crack in freezing or thawing temperatures, so they aren’t fit to install in all climates. Concrete tiles can handle extreme temperatures easier. Because of their water absorption, concrete tiles are more difficult to maintain than clay tiles that are more resistant to water damage.
Slate tiles are made using intense heat and pressure to split the rock into smooth, flat pieces that form the tiles. They give a more natural look to the structure and are more appealing. However, concrete structures are the most common option homeowners select because of their affordability. Although the cost of slate 2 tiles is $1.50 to $30 per sq. ft. compared to concrete tiles that cost homeowners $3 to $20 per sq. ft. to install, most homeowners pick natural slate. Concrete tiles are lighter in weight than slate tiles and cheaper to replace as any tile can easily be replaced if needed. Both options are quite durable, but slate structures are the clear winner when it comes to durability, with a lifespan that can go as high as 150 years or more.
The old roofing material must be removed before installing a new structure. This service typically costs $0.50 to $1.50 per sq. ft., depending on the material being removed. While it is possible to layer asphalt shingles at least once, you cannot layer tile shingles over an existing material; it must come off. By removing the old material, you expose the deck. This lets the roofer see more clearly how well the deck can hold the new material structurally and if the deck will require repair, replacement, or additional material to hold the new tile.
If you want your structure to have a unique look or change its current appearance, you can opt to repaint it for an average cost of $1 to $10 per sq. ft. This is an effective way to change the look of your structure without having to replace it completely, which is a far costlier project. Sometimes, homeowners opt to repaint the structure to cover its worn out look or as an alternative to repairs.
The average cost homeowners pay for a roof inspection is $350, although the exact cost can range between $75 and $700. Because the structure acts as the first defense against storms but can deteriorate or develop problems, having an inspection ensures that the structure has been installed properly and meets all state and local requirements.
Tiles are heavy roofing material, weighing about 225 pounds per square, so in some cases, additional roof deck support will be needed to hold up the structure. This can cost you between $1,000 and $10,000, depending on your home, which includes a one-time modification that will add strength to the frame and walls. A building inspector should be contacted before construction begins to determine if the current structure can handle the weight, and if necessary, what type of bracing may be required. Because the tile structure can last so long, everything used in its construction also needs to last.
For some newer homes, reinforcing the deck is less of a problem, but older homes that may have one that has already been in place for years and that may be sagging or have experienced some degree of wood rot will need to be completely replaced before tile can be installed.
Tiles will last significantly longer than an asphalt shingle but are more expensive, harder to install, and require more maintenance.
Manufacturers typically give a lifespan of 50 years or more to tile roofs. Although, with proper maintenance, they can last a lot longer.
You can walk on some tile roofs, although it’s not recommended to do so as the tiles can crack or break under the weight.
Tiles can be repaired, which is a far cheaper option than replacing the entire structure.
If installed properly and in the right conditions, tiles increase the value of your home.