A natural product often copied, but never equaled
The clay roof tile council in England explains why genuine clay roof tiles are a cut
above the rest.
To look skywards today reveals many different styles and types of roofing covering our
buildings. Nowadays people have an enormous selection of roofing materials to choose from,
but this wasn’t always the case.
The main reason clay roof tiles enjoy such popularity is because of the product itself.
Clay roof tiles have been around for centuries and have proven their durability. Their
color is permanent and unlike other materials, does not fade over time. Indeed, the elements
work with the clay to produce a weathered and mellow appearance, improving their looks
with age. What is more, clay tiles are fire resistant, able to withstand harsh chemicals
and are not susceptible to biological degradation, they do not harbor excessive mold growth
and are not affected by extremes of heat or cold. These properties coupled with the fact that
clay tiles are a natural and sustainable product (qualities that are appreciated by an
increasingly discerning public who care about the environment) make clay tiles an ideal
roofing option for new build and re-roofing work.
One of the greatest
challenges to architects, planners and designers must be to consider
not only how the building will look in the immediate future, but
also how it will look in 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 or 100 years time. This
is the greatest legacy that they can bequeath to future
generations—an architecture that is as beautiful, if not more so, in
decades to come as it was when first constructed.
The roof is arguably
the single most exposed face of any structure. It has to withstand
rain, ice, ultraviolet light and, increasingly, the effects of
damaging acids caused by the atmosphere pollution. All the more
reason for consumers to choose a natural roofing product that is
able to sustain these harsh elements and still mellow and improves
with age. Not only will clay roof tile hold an authentic time worn
appeal, but its low maintenance cost will mean that its whole life
cost is relatively low—a factor which consumers should certainly
consider when comparing the costs of different roofing materials.
Clay Roof Tiles:
Are natural and durable
Are High Performance
Are of premium quality
Are cost efficient
Enhance the aesthetic appearance of a roof
Can withstand the climate elements
Improve with exposure
Offer flexibility and choice
Why Clay Roof?
It's the competetive edge
A little History from Europe:
Clay roof tiles have played an important role in the historical development of architecture. The
Romans and ancient Greeks were the first to make use of fired clay
tile roofing in the world. Today museum collections bear witness to
the widespread use of this material.
In the medieval period, the revival of the craft took place first along the eastern seaboard,
where contacts with the continent were strongest and provided a
strong fire proof alternative to thatching. In 1212 AD, King John
issued building by-laws for London to eliminate combustible roof
coverings and replace them with tiles. Since that time, clay has
been a highly sought-after material.
By the 18th century, tiles had become the standard roof covering wherever there was an abundant
local supply of suitable raw materials, a source of fuel and a
thriving craft tradition. The production of clay tiles began as a
very small scale industry, with many districts having only one
source of supply. Over time, roofers developed their own
construction detailing and distinctive methods of laying roofs that
provided their neighborhoods with distinctive local appearance and
indigenous form old building.
The process of industrialization and the improvements to the national transportation network in the
19th century led to a widespread use of machine made, though still
distinctive, clay roof claddings.
Clay roof tiles are a beautiful and understated legacy from the past that continue to echo
generations of craftsmen’s skills in fashion rich and colorful roof
shapes out of common clay. Generations to come will still be able to
enjoy the authentic beauty of clay—on their homes, schools, office,
hospitals, churches and public buildings.
Now, in the 21st century, the quality of the built environment is becoming increasingly important
and planners are kept to preserve the heritage and regional
variation that remains. A panoramic look across the rooftops
everywhere with each region set apart from the rest by its own,
distinct clay roof tile heritage.
For homeowners, protecting their property is second only to protecting their
families. Sustaining damage to a home in a fire is understandably
one of their worst nightmares. But one proven way to reduce the
chance of sustaining damage is by using clay or concrete tile
roofing. The first, and most important step, in ensuring that a home
is fire safe is to install appropriate roofing material. The vast
majority of fires first spread through homes via embers igniting
wood-shake roofs. In independent testing, clay tile roofing has
proved to be safer than traditional roofing materials such as
shingle, shake or metal. The Roof Tile Institute assisted the
Committee for Fire safe Dwellings (CFFD) in the creation of
legislation to ban combustible roofing materials in California. Clay
tiles are safety-tested as Class A fire resistant roofing.
The Roof Tile Institute and CFFD recommend the following guidelines for homeowners
to prepare for and prevent home fires.
Roofs should be replaced with a non-combustible Class A roofing system.
The roof is the most vulnerable part of any home during a wildfire, and
fire retardants applied to asphalt and wood wear out quickly over time.
Not only is clay or concrete tile roofing safer, it is also more durable
and longer lasting than other materials. Also, because it is loose laid,
it allows better air circulation, which reduces heat transfer to the
attic during a fire. A properly installed tile roof comes with the
longest warranty in the roofing industry. Manufacturers typically
guarantee their products from 50 years to the life of the structure, and
warranties are often fully transferable. Class A rated clay tile roofs
should be installed in accordance with the printed installation
recommendations using approved fastener and assembly systems, and should
conform to local building codes and/or trade practices in that specified