Huge luxury home with new tile roof in Henderson, Nevada

Clay or Concrete Tile Roofing for your Las Vegas Home?

There are quite a few reasons for the enduring popularity of tile roofs. When properly installed, you get a potent combination of energy savings, durability, beauty and protection that many other roofing materials can’t match.

The two most popular types of tile roofing are concrete and clay tiles. But which one suits your home if you’re looking to build a new home or reroof your existing home? How well does each version hold up under various seasonal weather conditions, particularly here in Las Vegas? Let’s look at how clay and concrete roof tiles compare in some important categories.

Weight of Roof Tiles

Your home must be able to bear the weight of your roofing materials, which is why we’re looking at this category first. The weight of concrete tiles can be anywhere from 820 to 1,100 pounds per square foot. Compare that to clay, which comes to only 600-650 pounds per square foot. That means concrete tiles can weight up to 40% more than clay tiles.

If you’re considering going with clay or concrete tiles for your new or existing roof, and you have not previously cleared it for tile roofing, have the frame of your home inspected by a qualified roofing engineer. This will make sure the integrity of your home isn’t compromised. You may have to add additional support to handle the extra weight of the tiles.

Water Absorption

Clay roof tiles on a gently sloped roof brown and aged

Las Vegas experiences its own “monsoon season” which brings heavy rainstorms and even hail to the area. Both concrete and clay tiles have a high resistance to heavy winds and hail. However, clay tiles have an advantage when it comes to heavy rains. They only absorb around 6% of water, lowering the chances of mildewing and other water damage. Certain varieties of tiles come with ceramic finishes, reducing water retention rates and mildew concerns to nearly zero. 

Concrete tiles, on the other hand, have a water absorption rate of up to 13%, twice that of clay. While most homes are built to handle normal precipitation, you may have concerns the changing climate may bring instances of unusually heavy rainfall. Talk to your roofing engineer about the best way to protect your roof and home from damage in that situation.

Durability

Southwest style tile roof home and garden with new tile roof and roof fixtures

Both clay and concrete tiles leave most other roofing materials in the dust when it comes to longevity. Still, clay is king when it comes to endurance, capable of lasting through several generations of homeowners. Many clay roofs look fantastic decades after installation, with a lifespan of 60-100 years. Concrete tiles are highly durable as well, lasting 50 or more years.

Even though Las Vegas generally has relatively mild winters, we do have occasional snowfalls and freezes. Clay may shatter under extreme freeze-and-thaw conditions, while concrete tiles don’t have the same vulnerability.

Ease of Maintenance

If you have a tile roof, you are not off the hook for general roof maintenance. Remember the underlayment of your roof, including the membrane that keeps moisture from entering your home, may need repair or replacement before the tiles themselves have to be replaced. Have your roof inspected regularly to catch problems or wear-and-tear early. 

Appearance

Multicolor concrete roof tiles on sloped roof

Since it’s a natural material, clay tiles coated with the right finish can maintain their brightness for decades. The color-thru technology used to give concrete tiles their appearance can wear off over time, causing them to fade. The porousness of the material makes concrete tiles more prone to absorbing stains than clay tiles. Talk to your roofer about how your tiles will age before you decide so you have a good idea of what to expect. 

Concrete tiles are available in many colors and designs, including tiles that look like wood, clay, slate, and stone. That gives you a few more options over you choices in clay tiles. You can also give your roof a unique look by blending several different concrete tile colors and varieties.

For a unique, classic look, you may even decide to use antique or reclaimed tiles for your roof project. These tiles may be sourced from Europe or other places to provide a classic look to your home. Reclaimed tiles can enhance the beauty and value of your home and, properly prepared and installed, will provide the same protection as new tiles.

Consult a Las Vegas Roofing Professional

Tile roofing is a great solution for many homeowners. A tile roof provides you with a long-lasting, beautiful roof that is well-suited to our strong suns and southwest architectural styles. The cost of tile roofing is reasonable, providing good value over time due to its durability and protective qualities. And there are many color and design options that make tile an exciting choice so you can build the roof that fits your taste and needs. Both clay and concrete tiles are great options for any Las Vegas home.

For the best results of your roofing project, consult an experienced and qualified roofing professional before making a roofing material decision. A professional roofer can evaluate the state of your home and provide you with the choices that will best suit your needs. For more information on how to select a new tile roof in Las Vegas, call Prestige Roofing today at 702-646-7536.