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Tile Roof vs. Shingle RoofEvery home needs a roof. That’s an obvious statement, but every homeowner has to make important decisions about their roof. You will have to compare repair options if your roof has been around long enough. You may even need to replace your roof and look into what materials and styles are best. Perhaps you’re building a new home and have to choose an original roof. No matter the case, one of your most important decisions will pertain to the material used on your roof. For residential housing, the two most common options are shingles and clay tiles. Let’s see how they compare.

In a Nutshell

In case there is any confusion out there, tile roofs are the red or terracotta tiles you see on many roofs. They’re made from clays (typically terracotta clay) or slate. While they’re a little less popular in the United States, they’re one of the most popular roofing choices around the world.

Conversely, shingle roofs are the gray rooftops you see everywhere in the States. They’re asphalt and quite common.

Comparing the Two

With the basics out of the way, we can start to delve into the deeper and more meaningful differences between these roof options. We’ll compare prices and durability, and we’ll cover a few other key points that would be easy to overlook.

Before getting to that, it’s important to understand one thing. These are popular roofing choices for a reason. They each have a lot to offer and their own sets of strengths and weaknesses. As long as your roof comes with a proper warranty, there isn’t a strictly correct choice here.


When it comes to pricing, these are not comparable rooftops. Shingles cost significantly less than tile. While high-end shingles can get into the same price range as low-end tile, that crossover is small. If you are looking to minimize costs, shingles will easily win.

There are plenty of reasons for the difference in costs, and they’ll inform the rest of the following comparisons. One thing you might assume is that price reflects quality, and in some respects, this is true. Clay tiles offer interesting colors and variations, making them aesthetically superior. Clay can also be made stronger and tougher than shingles, and that brings us to the next major point.


The biggest reason tile costs more than shingles is because it is so much stronger and tougher than asphalt shingles. Shingles are typically expected to last around 20 years. There are top-performing shingles that can get up to a 40-year lifespan, but they are expensive and uncommon.

Clay tiles dwarf these numbers. Forty years is a bad lifespan for a tile roof. Even in the middle tiers in terms of price and quality, tile roofs are known to last up to 100 years. There are plenty of examples in Europe where the clay tiles are well over 100 years in age.

If you compare cost per age, then tile often outperforms shingles.


The truth is that these roofing materials shine in substantially different climates. Shingles are at their best in dry, sunny, and bright regions. It’s why they dominate the South and Southwest. All of that sunlight and heat bears down on the roof for long summers. Shingles are good at reflecting sunlight, which causes the roof to absorb a lot less heat. When it comes to cooling efficiency, shingles are much better than tiles.

Tiles thrive in cooler climates, hence their popularity in Europe. Because they absorb more sunlight, they’re great at keeping houses and buildings warm when it’s cold. In a mild summer, the heat absorption won’t present a problem, so tile is better all around when you don’t have extreme heat.


The last major difference between these roofing materials is their weight. To the surprise of absolutely no one, clay tiles weigh a lot more than asphalt shingles. For many buildings, the weight doesn’t matter — except that it adds to the cost of installation.

That said, some designs make heavy tiles prohibitive. If weight is even an issue for a build, shingles are going to prove an enticing option.

If you want to know exactly what it would take to get a tile or asphalt roof for your home, Bert Roofing Inc. can help. You can explore these options in depth, and you can look into all of the other types of roofing. You can compare costs, get estimates, and really understand what you’ll be investing in. Regardless of what you choose, you’ll be able to rest with the confidence that you have a quality roof over your head.

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