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Types of Tile Roofs

How the Different Types of Tile Roofs Hold Up in Florida

If you’re considering getting a new tile roof, you may be overwhelmed by all of the options. From the material of your tile to the shape it’s cut into, tile roofing has a lot of opportunities for customization and personal taste. But how are you supposed to start learning about the different types of tile roofs and how they perform in Florida?

You start right here! We’re Classic Roofing and Construction, and we’ve been installing tile roofs in Florida for more than 20 years. That’s why we’re qualified to give you this breakdown on the different types of tile roofs and what they can offer you. To get started, let’s talk about the two most popular tile roofing materials in Florida!

Types of Tile Roof Materials

Types of Tile Roof Materials

In the Sunshine State, two roof tile types stand out as the most popular: clay and concrete. And depending on your budget and what you want to get out of your roof, either one could be the perfect tile roofing option for you. To help you decide, let’s talk about what each of these tile materials brings to the table.

Clay Roofing Tiles

Clay tile roofing is a classic luxury type of tile roof. If performance is your top priority, then clay tiles are great because they have an unmatched lifespan of over a century in some cases. And their durability is especially useful in Florida, where they can withstand hurricane winds exceeding 150mph. For context, that’s very nearly the wind speed of a category-five hurricane!


In terms of aesthetics, clay tiles can suit virtually any need. There’s the classic red tile aesthetic that gives a timeless elegance to your home, or you can opt for a less conventional color to perfectly suit your tastes. With just a bit of occasional maintenance in cleaning, your tile roof will keep its gorgeous looks for decades to come.

For clay tiles, the biggest problem that a lot of homebuyers have is their price. Clay roofing tiles are a luxury roofing material that comes at a luxury price. Specifically, they can cost up to $21 per square foot of your home. Still, if the cost isn’t an issue, clay tiles are one of the best roofing materials on the market.

Concrete Roofing Tiles

Concrete tiles are a more affordable take on the classic clay tile roof. Specifically, their cost tends to come closer to $15 per square foot. So if you love clay tile roofs but don’t love the clay tile roof price, concrete tiles have a lot to offer.

Similar to clay, concrete tiles can also stand up against 150mph winds. However, they don’t share their uniquely long lifespans of a century or more. Rather, concrete roofing tiles tend to last closer to 50 years. This may not be as amazing as clay tiles, but it’s still roughly double the lifespan of a high-quality shingle roof!

Concrete tiles come with all of the same aesthetic options as clay, from classic red to bolder, unconventional choices. However, they don’t stand up to Florida’s UV rays as well as clay. Over a few decades, your concrete tile roof may start to lose its color as the sun bleaches it. In cases like this, you may need roof restoration services to renew your roof’s color.

But when talking about the types of tile roof materials, it’s not just about the material. The shape will also have a profound impact on your roof’s performance and aesthetics.

Types of Tile Roof Styles

Types of Tile Roof Styles

When it comes to tile roofing, you have plenty of style options to choose from. And it’s not just an aesthetic decision. This is because how your tiles move water off of your roof could have a profound impact on how your roof stands up to Florida’s rainy season.

With that in mind, let’s look at some of the performance and aesthetic issues to take into consideration when choosing your style of roofing tile.

Barrel Tiles

Also known as mission tiles, barrel tiles are a type of tile roof named for their curved, rounded shape, like the side of a barrel. Together, they form a wave pattern composed of alternating hills and valleys. Perhaps the most attractive feature of barrel tiles is the way that they change appearance depending on how the sun hits them, with some beautiful shadow lines appearing throughout the day and especially at sunset.

Contractors install barrel tiles in pairs with one curved tile overlapping a flat tile to create dimension and help protect your underlayment against water exposure. This way, there’s no easy way for water to get beneath your shingles, and the little amount that does should be easy for your water-resistant underlayment to repel.

Spanish Tiles

Spanish tiles first came to the US via Florida, and they’ve been extremely popular ever since. This is partially for their simple design and installation—unlike barrel tiles, which can be uniquely patterned, Spanish tiles are one-piece, S-shaped tiles. While this makes them less customizable than barrel tiles, it also makes them much easier to install (and therefore much cheaper as well).

When properly installed, Spanish tiles create a rippled look on your roof. This lends itself exceptionally well to Spanish-style or Mediterranean homes.

French Tiles

If you really want to hurricane-proof your roof, french tiles are perfect. The tiles are composed of two raised flutes with valleys on either side of them. This creates an elegant, dramatic aesthetic that many homeowners love.

However, the design is just as functional as it is beautiful. The valleys on these tiles create unmatched drainage when it rains; they literally make small, beautiful rivers on your roof as they seamlessly move water away from your home. And with an interlocking installation, you can be confident that your French tiles won’t be going anywhere any time soon.

Get Expert Guidance on Types of Tile Roofs

The above information is a great primer on the various types of tile roofs. But if you want to talk with an expert about what type of tile roof would best suit your home, then the best thing you can do is schedule a free roofing estimate.

During the process of preparing your estimate, our friendly, knowledgeable roofing experts will talk to you about what you want to get out of your tile roof. Then, after conducting a brief roof inspection, they’ll prepare an estimate that covers your preferred tile roofing style(s) and exactly how much you can expect to pay. Because at Classic, we don’t think roofing should come with guesswork. Instead, we prefer clear, direct communication so you know exactly what you’re purchasing.

Classic Roofing and Construction has been a trusted tile roofing company in Florida for more than 20 years. We’ve got over 600 reviews from local property owners just like you. If you want to get the best tile roof for your home, reach out to Classic and see why, after 20 years of local roofing, we still do things the Classic way.


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