tile roofing

The story of clay roofing tiles is as old as civilization itself, tracing back to ancient China and the Middle East over 5,000 years ago. These early societies recognized clay’s abundant availability and inherent durability, making it an ideal roofing material. Over the centuries, the basic concept of clay tiles hasn’t changed much, but advancements in manufacturing and design have made them more versatile and enduring than ever before. Today, clay tiles not only offer aesthetic appeal but also stand as a testament to architectural resilience, particularly in challenging climates like that of Orlando, Florida.

Lifespan and Durability

One of the most compelling attributes of clay tile roofing is its impressive lifespan. When properly installed and maintained, a clay tile roof can last over 100 years. This remarkable durability stems from clay’s resistance to the common adversaries of roofing materials: rot, pest damage, and fire. In Orlando, where the weather can swing from scorching heat to torrential rains, clay tiles offer superior durability. Their natural thermal properties keep homes cooler in the summer by reflecting sunlight, while their robust design withstands the harsh impact of heavy rain and wind.

Styles of Clay Roof Tiles

Clay roof tiles come in various styles, shapes, and colors, offering aesthetic versatility to match any architectural design. The most common styles include:

  • Mission Style (Barrel Tiles): Recognizable for their semi-cylindrical shape, creating a ripple effect across the roof.
  • Spanish Style: Similar to mission style but traditionally single-piece tiles with a distinct S-shape, allowing for easier water drainage.
  • Flat Tiles: As the name suggests, these tiles provide a flat, smooth surface, offering a more modern look.
  • French Tiles: Characterized by their high and low points, French tiles offer a unique profile and excellent water shedding capabilities.
Average Cost and Installation Time

The cost of clay tile roofing can vary widely depending on the tile quality, style, and the specific project requirements. On average, homeowners and businesses can expect to pay between $10 to $30 per square foot installed. While this makes clay tiles one of the more expensive roofing options, their longevity and low maintenance requirements can offset the initial investment over time.

Installation of clay tile roofing is a meticulous process that typically takes longer than installing more common roofing materials, such as asphalt shingles. Depending on the size and complexity of the roof, installation can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. This is why partnering with a skilled and experienced roofing contractor is crucial.


Clay tile roofs require relatively low maintenance, primarily involving regular inspections to check for cracked or broken tiles and ensuring that gutters and downspouts are clear. Despite their durability, individual tiles can sometimes crack and will need to be replaced to prevent water infiltration.

Pros and Cons


  • Longevity: Clay tiles can last over a century with proper care.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Offers timeless beauty with a variety of colors and styles.
  • Durability: Highly resistant to fire, rot, and pests.
  • Energy Efficiency: Excellent thermal properties help reduce cooling costs.


  • Cost: One of the more expensive roofing options available.
  • Weight: Heavy, requiring a reinforced roof structure.
  • Fragility: Individual tiles can crack under impact and require careful handling.
Working with a Quality Roofing Company

Given the intricacies involved in selecting, installing, and maintaining a clay tile roof, partnering with a trusted and experienced roofing company is non-negotiable. A reputable contractor will not only ensure a flawless installation but also provide invaluable advice on tile selection and ongoing maintenance, safeguarding your investment for generations to come.

In conclusion, clay roofing tiles offer a blend of timeless beauty, unparalleled durability, and energy efficiency, making them an excellent choice for Orlando homes and commercial buildings. Despite the higher upfront cost and installation complexities, the long-term benefits of a clay tile roof when installed by a quality roofing company far outweigh these initial considerations, making it a worthy investment for those seeking a lasting roofing solution.