Clay vs. Concrete Roof Tiles

Posted on Wednesday, 1st March 2023

Clay and concrete roof tiles are both good options when it comes to roofing your home. In fact, these two choices have many similarities, but they also differ in a few significant ways. Therefore, if your goal is to decide between these two tile options, it’s important to learn all you can about each.

Differences Between Clay Roof Tiles & Concrete Roof Tiles

Clay Tiles


Clay roof tiles have been used for centuries and are considered the most popular roofing material globally. They are watertight, very durable, low maintenance, energy efficient, and even fire safe. Clay tiles are formed by molding clay into tile form and then baking it to produce hardness. The density of each tile is based on how long it's heated and what temperature was used during the process. The type of clay used is also important. Clay tiles are made from all-natural material which makes them an environmentally friendly option as well. In addition, since the tile is sealed through the baking process, the color will never fade or peel. Amazingly, clay tile roof lifespan can be as long as 100 years.


The disadvantages of clay tiles are mainly that they are expensive and that they cannot be installed on roofs with less than a 4/12 pitch. They can also be somewhat susceptible to high wind damage. They cannot be painted, so you are limited to natural clay colors for your design choices. In addition, clay tiles cannot withstand the weight of being walked on due to their brittleness.


Concrete Tiles


Concrete tiles are similar to clay tiles in that they provide a hard tile look. However, concrete is made with regular concrete, which is a mixture of aggregate, cement, sand, and water. The concrete tile is created by pouring it into a mold and then going through a heating process. As the tile dries out, a chemical reaction takes place, which is called curing. This process makes the end product strong, hard, and dry. Concrete tiles typically come in three styles, those being flat, meaning no curves similar to the look of an asphalt roofing shingle, low profile, which has one small curve, and then high profile, which features a large curve that looks very similar to clay tiles.


While there are many pros to concrete tiles, they are not as durable as the clay tile variety. However, they are much more affordable to buy and then have installed, so that is the appeal, and you can still get between 30 and 50 years out of a concrete tile roof. They can be painted any color and can withstand winds of up to 200 mph. Another disadvantage of concrete style is the fact that it is heavy, meaning any structure you install them on should be able to withstand between 500 and 720 lbs. Concrete tiles can also end up looking chalky if they are not sealed well.

Cost Differences

Concrete tiles are the more affordable roof tile on a short-term basis. They can run anywhere from $400 to $900 per 100 square feet. The high-end tiles can cost up to $1,000 per square foot. Clay roof tiles cost between $700 and $1000 per 100 square feet with high-end costs running as much as $3,000 per square foot.

Choosing a Roofer in Phoenix, AZ

No matter if you choose clay or concrete tiles for your roof, in order to get the most out of your investment, you should choose a roofer who understands how to work with each material, install it properly, and ensure that it looks amazing. Contact us at Gryphon Roofing and Remodeling to learn more about these types of tiles, their benefits, and drawbacks as well as how they can improve the overall value of your home.

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