The Spanish tile roof, also known as a clay tile roof, consists of clay slabs that have been fired in a kiln and then cut into roofing tiles. Clay tile roofs are common among Mediterranean-type climates, such as the American Southwest and the Mediterranean countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Today, modern tile roofs can also be synthetic or concrete materials, so you might want to know the right tile materials to choose for the roof of your home. The following tile roofing guide will help you choose the best materials for your roofing project:

Types of Tile Roof Designs

A Spanish tile roof is a style of roof that became popular in colonial Spanish and Mexican architecture. It is usually made from clay and comes in a wide variety of colors. They are usually flat and come in different shapes.

Clay and Spanish tile roofs are very common in Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America. Some areas have very large clay deposits, such as New Mexico, and clay is the most common roofing material there.

Spanish tile roofs use several different types of tiles. The best known are bullnose tiles, which are flat and curved. They look like tiles from a cigar box. The other tile types are:

  • Barrel tiles — These are flat tiles that are curved on the edges. They are usually used in northern Mexico and Texas.
  • Scalloped tiles — These are flat tiles that are curved at the top. They are used mostly in more southern areas.
  • Flat tiles — These are flat tiles that are flat on the top. They are used in southern and central Mexico.

In addition, there are also color variations that you can choose from for the different styles of tiles you choose to use for your home.

The Tile Roof Installation Process

The process of installing tile roofing is similar to other materials, but the roof structure might be a little different. This is due to the weight of tiles, which are heavy materials that require a stronger roof structure to support the loads.

The installation starts with slats or the underlayment that the new tiles will be installed on top of. The slats raise the tiles to allow for a slope for water to run off the roof. Some tiles have nail holes and are installed with nails or screws. Tiles are also installed with a mortar or a special spray foam that attaches the tiles to the roofing underlayment.

Material Options for Spanish Tile Roofing

Lastly, consider the type of tile material you want to use. There are several factors at play here. For instance, clay tiles are extremely heavy and might be too heavy for your roof. For lighter tile roofs, consider concrete or slate tiles.

Most people opt for a roof that will require little to no maintenance. Slate tiles are typically more durable but require frequent cleaning. Clay tiles are less expensive but are often stained by moss. Concrete tiles last the longest but may require frequent repairs due to their lightweight construction.

Here are some common options:

  • Clay tiles
  • Concrete tiles
  • Slate tiles
  • Composite tiles

In addition to the type of materials, consider factors like the architecture of your home and climate when choosing tile roofing.