Dwell Well > Improving > How to Choose the Right Roof Tiles for Your Home Renovation Project

How to Choose the Right Roof Tiles for Your Home Renovation Project

A standard roof is perfectly functional, but if you’re someone with discerning taste who wants to set your property apart from others in the area, changing the style of your roof tiles can make a big difference to the look of your home. Luckily, there are various styles to choose from to suit your renovation project. These are some of the most popular styles on the market that blend practicality with visual appeal.   

Concrete tiles

For a low maintenance solution that also offers fire protection, concrete tiles are the ideal choice. They look similar to clay tiles but are more cost-effective and boast a similar lifespan. The performance of concrete tiles makes them a great investment to make your money go further, which is always important during any renovation project. There are various colour options to choose from, from greys and browns to reds and oranges, so you can blend the roof in with the rest of your property seamlessly.  

Cedar roof shingles

Cedar shingles are becoming increasingly popular, providing a sustainable advantage and a beautiful natural timber look. Cedar is widely considered to be the best wood for roofing, as it’s not only aesthetically pleasing, but also lightweight and robust. When installed properly, cedar shingles can last as long as 40 years, depending on the climate you live in. While cedar shingles are considered to be a specialist material, they're surprisingly easy to install providing you have the right fixings and tools to secure them in place. It’s also worthwhile applying a high quality wood preservative to the shingles every few years to maintain them against rotting or mould damage.

Metal tiles

Copper, zinc, steel and aluminium are the most common materials for metal roofing, but these tiles also come in a variety of patterns and shapes too, from regular shingle styles to barrel tiles that evoke the look of Spanish roofs. Metal tiles are surprisingly lightweight and easy to install, which is why they’ve become such a popular option for homes around the country, but they can be noisy and repairs can be tricky since the tiles can dent easily, so these considerations should be taken into account if you’re thinking of installing metal tiles on your property. 

Slate tiles

Slate is a stunning material that can completely transform your property, and there are dramatic yet natural colour variations that develop over time through interaction with the elements. Slate has the added benefit of being fire-resistant, durable and long-lasting, providing a sophisticated and luxurious look to your home’s exterior. However, slate is a heavy material so your roof needs to be secure and potentially may need to be reinforced to support the additional weight. Because they’re trickier to install, installation can be more expensive than other materials too. Artificial slate tiles are an option if you love the look but want a budget-friendly solution. 

What else do you need to consider?

Beyond the material you choose, there are several other considerations you need to make when choosing roof tiles for your home. The first is the shape and size of the tile – there are various options, from flat tiles to Roman and S-shaped pantiles. Consider the exterior look of your home when choosing – are you hoping to achieve a more traditional look or something modern and contemporary? A cheaper and quicker option is to install larger-format tiles that cover a bigger area compared to standard tiles while also reducing the number of tiling battens required.

The second thing to consider is whether you want plain or interlocking tiles – this will depend on the style you choose, but also your budget. Plain tiles are rectangular in shape and typically smaller than interlocking tiles, but they need to be double-lapped to ensure the roof is weather-tight. Plain tiles are more traditional in appearance so if that’s a look you’re aiming for with your home, plain tiles could be the best option. Interlocking tiles are more unique in shape, fitting together securely in a single-lap to the roof battens. They’re often larger, so fewer are needed to cover the expanse of the roof, making them more cost-effective overall. 

You’ll also want to consider the roof pitch. Many tiles are suitable for vertical applications, but some can also be installed on pitches as low as 15o. However, it’s always important to check the pitch suitability when choosing tiles for your roof, as you don’t want to invest and then find out that they won’t work for the roof pitch of your property. 

Are you considering investing in solar panels? This could also impact your tile material. Although rooftop solar arrays work with several different materials, some are more effective for solar power than others. Metal roofing with standing seams is considered to be a great choice for solar panel installation, as it’s long-lasting and the standing seams make for easier, quicker installation of the panels. 

Wooden roofing can also be a great choice, depending on the way the roof is structured – shingles are the better option as this makes positioning easier. Finally, concrete and composite tiles are popular choices since these tiles are typically simple to install onto. Clay or slate tiles can be tricky as they’re more brittle and so installing panels onto them can be more difficult and ultimately expensive. 

Key takeaways

Roof tiles can completely transform how your home looks from the outside, so they’re a big consideration into your home renovation choices. From the style and material to the size and the foundations they’re being installed to, there are several choices to make when it comes to picking roof tiles. Before you invest, ensure you’ve done your research into the pitch suitability and how they’ll fare in your specific climate, as well as whether you’re striving for a modern or classic look for your home.

Live well with Moving and Improving


Click below to start your quote

Structural Engineers

Sign up to our newsletter!

No matter if you are moving, or improving, our newsletter is packed with the best tips, tricks and ideas to help you dwell well.