Which is better slate or tile roof?

slate roofing

Slate vs tile

Asphalt shingles is the most common roofing material across the country, but what about slate or tile roofing? Both tile and slate roof are making a comeback, so to speak, for many high-end homes, but why? If you’re considering tile or slate roof, why and what made you decide which is better? 

Today, we’re going to focus on slate roofing and what makes builders and homeowners choose a slate roof over other options, starting with the key question, what are the benefits of a slate roof?  While a slate roof isn’t for every home, but those who choose slate roof the benefits are few, but powerful: 

  • A Unique Beauty: A slate roof has an immediate and unique beauty that is classic, classy, and rustic all at the same time. 
  • A Durable Material: When a slate roof is installed, cared for, and maintained properly, it can have a lifespan of 150 years or more. 
  • Ultimate Protection: A slate roof is fireproof, fugus, mold, and water resistant.  
  • Eco-friendly: Slate is a natural material and is recyclable. 

Like anything else though, slate roof has its cons and downfalls too. These are things that need to be considered before making the investment: 

  • Expensive: Slate roof will give you sticker shock and that alone sends most people reconsidering slate roof or shingles that looks like a slate roof. 
  • Heavy: Slate roof tiles are extremely heavy, weighing as much as 15 pounds per square foot. Roofing contractors installing a slate roof will require the homeowner to have an engineering inspection to confirm the structure can hold the weight or if extra reinforcement will be needed.  
  • Fragile: A slate roof has a tough appearance, but in reality, it is a fragile material. Slate roof fixings for even a tree branch can do extensive damage and finding matching slate tiles to replace the damage can be difficult, even impossible. 
  • Installation –Slate roof installation requires a roofing contractor with expertise in working with slate to have it installed properly. A contractor that hasn’t worked with slate before can leave your roof subjective to big problems later. Additionally, the fragileness and weight of the slate makes this a labor-intensive job and will take longer than an asphalt roof. 

Why is Slate expensive?

Slate is a natural materials, but producing it for a slate roof, is all by hand. Arriving in blocks from the quarry, pieces are split off in 8”x8’x4’ slabs and inspected. Then it is hand saw into 2-inch slabs, split into small pieces by hand to a 3/16” inch or 1/4” thickness. Next holes are either drilled or punched where nails are used for a slate roof installation. Shipping the slate tiles is expensive from that point due to the weight. 

Does slate break easily?

Slate, the natural metamorphic rock has somewhat weak bonds in between the layers. That weakness allows the slate planes to split. As a slate roof, it is a durable material, although a tree branch can crack one.  When not in slate roof format, individual slate tiles will crack. 

Is slate tile waterproof?

A slate roof is one of the most beautiful and finest materials for a home. It is an all-natural material that is fireproof and waterproof, two of the most important features of a slate roof. A simple yet elegant material that is beautiful, effective, and ingenious that is protective on many levels. 

Can you walk on a slate roof?

Yes, homeowners are recommended to do routine inspections of their roof to check for aging issues and damages. However, when it comes to a slate roof, this should be left to a professional that has experience working with slate roofs. Anytime you have another contractor scheduled to service your satellite dish or other roof time service, confirm they have experience working on a slate roof. Why the extra care with a slate roof? 

  • First: A slate roof is durable, but it is also easily damaged. Damage to a slate roof can be expensive to repair.  
  • Second: A slate roof is not any different than other pitched roofs. A pitched slate roof is exceptionally dangerous and with its fragility, walking on a slate roof, is additionally dangerous. 
tile roof

Do they install slate roof without felt?

A correctly installed slate roof should have 30-pound organic roofing felt installed. The purpose for the felt is a layer of protection from the elements. Sometimes the felt has been known to disintegrate over time, which should not be any concern. 

A slate roof can be a beautiful addition to any home, adding a touch of character and style to a plain architecture or enhance an already beautiful, styled home. With routine care and maintenance, a slate roof with give a home protection for many years to come. Call 214-295-5500 today for slate roofing installation in Dallas, TX.