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Clay vs Concrete Roof Tiles


When homeowners are considering a tile roof replacement, one of the most common questions they ask us is, "Should I choose clay tiles or concrete tiles?" This article covers every part of the clay vs concrete roof tiles topic to help you answer that question.

Tile roof

The Difference Between Clay and Concrete Roof Tiles

The difference between clay and concrete roof tiles goes beyond the materials used to make them. Concrete tiles absorb more water, which means they are more prone to mold and mildew. Clay, on the other hand, has a low water absorption rate.

Concrete tiles weigh much more than clay, so structures with concrete tiles must be stronger to bear the weight.

Clay tiles are sensitive to heat and freezing temperatures. They crack and break due to weather much more often than concrete tiles do.

Although they are less sensitive, concrete tiles generally need more maintenance due to the rot that can be caused by collected moisture.

Clay tiles have natural coloring, so it takes much longer for them to fade or change hue. When clay tiles have a ceramic finish, they can maintain their color for a lifetime. Painted concrete tiles will fade over time.

Clay vs. Concrete Roof Tiles: Advantages and Strengths

When comparing clay vs. concrete roof tiles, advantages and disadvantages can best be determined by looking at a few different categories:


A big difference between clay and concrete roof tiles is the way they look on a building. Concrete can be modified to have a lot of different appearances. It can be cut into different shapes and painted in whatever color you'd like. Clay can be altered in shape and size, but the terra-cotta coloring of clay roof tiles cannot be changed.


The value between the two of them is pretty comparable, with a few exceptions; high-end clay tiles can cost much more than concrete tiles. Clay tiles almost always cost about 20% more than concrete tiles. But consider that they last significantly longer than concrete tiles, barring cracks and breaks.


Clay tiles last longer in almost every respect. Their color will not fade. And concrete tiles can absorb a lot of water, leading to mildew and heaviness that causes strain on the structure. The only way that concrete may outlast clay tiles is that concrete is less fragile than clay, meaning it's less prone to cracks and breakage, especially in cold climates.

Red roof tile with chimney and cloudy sky on background
Red roof tile with chimney and cloudy sky on background

Which is more energy efficient?

Clay roof tiles are generally considered to be more energy efficient than concrete roof tiles, especially in hot climates. This is because clay tiles have a higher thermal mass than concrete tiles, which means they can absorb and store more heat. As a result, clay tiles can help keep the building cooler during hot weather by reducing the amount of heat that enters the building through the roof.

Concrete tiles, on the other hand, have a lower thermal mass than clay tiles and can absorb less heat. This means that concrete tiles may not be as effective at reducing heat gain in hot weather.

However, it's important to note that the energy efficiency of a roof depends on several factors, including the color of the tiles, the level of insulation in the roof, and the overall design of the building. In addition, other factors such as the location and orientation of the building, the local climate, and the type and size of the HVAC system can also affect the energy efficiency of a building.

Therefore, while clay roof tiles are generally considered to be more energy efficient than concrete tiles, it's important to consider all of the factors involved when choosing a roofing material for a specific building.

Which Is Better: Clay or Concrete Roof Tiles?

You'll have to consider your structure, climate, and personal preferences when deciding which is better; clay and concrete tiles both have their place.

Only a strong structure can support a concrete roof, but if you live in an area with a lot of snow and ice, clay might be too fragile and require too many repairs to be practical.

But no matter what style of tile roofing you choose, roofclaim.com can connect you with a professional you can trust to get the job done well. Make your roof replacement easy by contacting us today through email, phone, or chat!

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