With approximately 5 millennia of existence in the building world, clay roofing tiles continue to be a classic element of great distinction and architectural beauty still today.
In this article, we will talk about the advantages and disadvantages of traditional clay tiles, as well as the most recent innovations that have come out in the tile roofing industry over the past few decades, including the introduction of several new alternative materials. You may follow our table of contents whenever you need it:
Table of contents
Advantages of clay roofing tiles
Clay roofing tiles are materials with a very ancient tradition
The first known use of clay tiles dates back to China approximately 2,500BC. Clay tiles became a very important material for the development and protection of ancient civilizations because before that, materials such as straw, branches, wood, animal skins and various types of leaves were used in building the roofing for homes and of other types of buildings, which had many disadvantages, especially when it came to protecting these against the elements of the weather
Main characteristics and advantages of the clay tiles
Roof tiles revolutionized the way houses were protected in the ancient world due to a series of important factors and benefits, among which included; its resistance, durability, impermeability and thermal insulating characteristics.
However, perhaps one of its main benefits is that clay tiles brought much greater safety by considerably reducing the risk of fires compared to other materials such as straw, wood, leaves, etc. which were commonly used in the ancient times.
Thanks to these new advantages, the use of clay tiles was able to spread throughout the world to become one of the most important materials in the building industry.
Unparalleled architectural beauty, one of humanity's legacies.
In addition to the aforementioned benefits, clay roofing tiles left a great architectural legacy in many parts of the world where they were used throughout history due to their aesthetic beauty.
Even today, the use of clay tiles continues to be a great tradition thanks to the architectural richness that has developed over the centuries in places such as: China, the Middle East, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the rest of Europe and the American continent since the era of colonization.
Disadvantages of traditional clay tiles
There are two main types of problems that clay tiles present, and they are the following:
Clay tiles are very fragile
Clay tiles break very easily with seismic movements, or other movements caused by the wind, hail, animals, etc. This is the reason why they also cannot be walked on, which sometimes can be problematic when roof level repairs are required. The fragility of the tiles generates a high risk of leaks, so they always require other layers to prevent water leakage into the internal parts of the building.
Clay tiles are very heavy
Traditional roofing clay tiles are considerably heavier vs. other new materials. Above all, clay tiles have the characteristic that due to their porosity they absorb water, which can easily double their weight. This is a significant difference meaning that traditional tiles require a much stronger and therefore more expensive structure.
New materials and innovations created to replace clay tiles
Although in the present, traditional clay tiles present more problems than many other types of roofings that have been developed over the centuries such as metal roofs; these still exist, particularly due to their beauty and architectural tradition.
It is worth noting however; that in recent years, new materials and products have also been developed and have had great market success, so they are beginning to replace the use of traditional tiles. The reason for this is that some of these materials have the same aesthetic appearance as traditional clay tiles, but at the same time, they also provide the benefits and good performance of modern metal roofing products.
The aesthetics of clay tiles continues to endure
Traditional clay tiles have undergone continuous changes throughout their history; and quite possibly, they will continue to change as new materials are developed in the future. However, one thing that has remained over the years is the great distinction offered by the different styles of tiles and their formidable aesthetic finish.
Among some of the most recent options created in the world of tiles which have great advantages over traditional clay tiles are the clay tiles
Plastic tiles that mimic the look of traditional clay tiles
Plastic tiles provide the same aesthetic appearance as clay tiles and do not require maintenance. These types of tiles even clean themselves on their own with rainwater, which allows the beauty of the tiles to always be in optimal conditions.
Some advantages of plastic tiles over traditional clay tiles
Other advantages of plastic tiles start during the building process, as some can be less expensive because some do not require a waterproofing layer underneath them to prevent leaks, which lowers material costs and installation labor.
In addition, plastic tiles are much lighter and stronger than clay tiles. This means that they are much more resistant to breakage and do not require such a robust or expensive support structure. Plastic tiles resist strong winds, hail, seismic movements, and even the passage of animals or people without breaking or getting damaged.
There is also a great advantage that some types of plastic tiles offer, and that is that they are produced from recycled plastic waste. This is very important because, on one hand, it allows these to take advantage of the benefits provided by high-tech plastics in giving resistance and durability to products; and on the other hand, it allows the industry and users to contribute to solving the plastic waste problem and to help make improvements to the environment.
Ecomateriales CR increases its commitment to the environment and to its customers
Currently, roofing tiles continue to be widely used products of great importance to the building sector as they are materials of great beauty and tradition. With this in mind, Ecomateriales has decided to invest to offer its customers the largest selection of eco-friendly plastic roofing tile products in the market, as we considere them to be the best building option among all the types of roofing tiles that exist.
For Ecomateriales CR, the commercialization of eco-friendly plastic tiles, moreover, is another solid step in our fight for the widespread use of the best sustainable materials in the building industry. Because building or remodeling eco-friendly spaces is possible.