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Difference Between Concrete Tile and Clay Tile Roofing

Difference Between Concrete Tile and Clay Tile Roofing

Clay Tile vs. Concrete Tile Roofing

For decades, clay tile roofs have been universally recognized as exclusive high-end roofing. The popularity of clay tile roofs is based on their beauty and longevity over other alternatives. This popularity is also partly due to the ambiguous use of the term tiles in many other, less expensive varieties. Then came the concrete tile roofs, a less expensive, cement-based tile roofs commonly found in many growing, South- Florida housing areas. If you are looking to get a new tile roof in Largo, St Petersburg or other nearby town, Fortress Roofing would be glad to give you a free no obligation quote. We can also provide you with free samples and color guides.

What Is the Difference Between Concrete Tile and Clay Tile Roofs?

1. Building Material:

Clay tile roofs are defined by the material they are made from clay. The clay used to make these tiles is obtained by digging clay from the same sites used for brick. This brick clay is then baked in a kiln and formed into the shape of roofing tiles. There are many different types of clay roofing tiles available. One variety is made from clay that has been baked in a furnace instead of a kiln. This furnace-baked tile is then covered with different coatings to produce a more water-resistant result and is often used as a flat roofing tile.

Concrete tile roofs are made from a mixture of stone, cement, and water hardened in a process similar to concrete. While concrete tile is heavier than clay tile, the sand, stone, and other additives determine whether the tiles are more resistant to the elements than clay tile.

2. Appearance:

Clay tiles come in a variety of colors and shapes and do not need to be painted. While plain clay tiles would be expected to be grey or tan in color, there are many types of clay tiles available that are manufactured and coated to create beautiful, eye-catching patterns. Basic coatings are available in a variety of earth tones, but more advanced coatings can create stunning, patterned tiles. Several types of clay tiles are also available in a glazed finish and do not need to be sealed.

Concrete tiles can be manufactured to create a variety of colors and patterns. While some concrete roofs are fired to create patterns, most concrete roof tiles are simply stamped to create a design, similar to tile flooring. These stamped designs are often not very attractive and are only created to stand out from the run-of-the-mill, grey concrete tiles.

3. Price:

The price of a clay tile roof is directly related to the tile’s original cost and the quality level of the manufacturer. At the time of this writing, the average cost of a standard clay tile roof is between $7.50 and $8.50 dollars per square foot, depending on the quality and features of the tile.

Concrete tile roofs are usually sold by the square or square foot, at the cost of between $6.75 and $7.50 per square foot. This cost is significantly less than that of clay tile and often decreases with increased square footage. While the price difference between the two products is dramatic, the advantage should be in the durability of the concrete tiles. A comparison of the two roofing products, however, is incomplete without the quality of the tile manufacturer. Some companies will use the term “cement tile” to describe concrete tile, as opposed to the real clay tile. This practice allows the contractor to keep the price down; it is up to the customer to be sure that they are getting an actual clay tile roof. Although concrete is more common Fortress Roofing has installed by clay and concrete throughout the Tampa Bay area on residential roofs and commercial roofs.

On the other hand, the real clay tile is durable, water-resistant, and beautiful to look at. Both clay and concrete have superior durability and will eventually result in long-term savings in maintenance. Although concrete tiles are more durable than asphalt roofing materials like shingles, they do have a higher upfront investment.

4. Maintenance:

Clay and concrete tiles are both very low maintenance products that require little or no additional care after the initial installation. Living in a clay tile roof does require a certain amount of caution around the areas where the roof wraps around the sides of the house. In colder climates, snow may build up in this area, which could need to be removed as it melts.

The low cost, easy installation, and low maintenance of concrete tiles make them an attractive alternative to more traditional roofing products, such as asphalt. This is an alluring feature to customers that want the look of clay tiles but balk at the price.


Clay tile roofs have distinct advantages over concrete tile roofs, namely beauty, durability, and lower maintenance requirements. If you are on a budget but want a beautiful, easy to maintain the roof, concrete tiles can be a great option. The two products are very similar but vary in their building material, appearance, and price. Fortress Roofing has installed hundreds of tile roofs in St Petersburg, Largo, Seminole and other surrounding cities nearby. Please call today to get a free quote.