What are the pros and cons of tile and metal roofs?
Published by Design 360 on
Oct 23, 2020 10:22:15 AM
There are plenty of decisions to make when designing a new custom home. Having a wide variety of options is great for the home buyer as there are no limits to the home you can create. But too many choices can turn the decision-making process a bit chaotic.
Just think about it. You need to decide on everything – from the floors to the walls, to the roof. And choosing the right roof is a major decision as there are so many factors that come into play. It sounds like a simple enough decision – tile or metal. Take a closer look though and you’ll discover there is more to learn about the roof over your head.
Roof tiles are typically made from concrete but can also be made from clay. Metal roofs are commonly referred to in Australia as Colorbond roofs. Colorbond is a highly popular coated steel roofing material which is manufactured by Bluescope Steel.
Both Colorbond and tiled roofs have their pros and cons. There’s no right way to go, only what’s right for your situation. Metal and tile roofs are cost comparative. Tiles are generally more cost-effective to install but are more expensive in terms of upkeep. In the end, it comes down to your personal preference.
Here are some of the pros and cons of both tile and metal roofs. It may help you decide what is the best solution for your home.
The pros of tile roofs
• Tiles are extremely durable. Many come with a 30 to 50-year warranty.
• Being made of concrete, roof tiles act as a better heat insulator than metal roof sheets.
• Roof tiles come in a range of styles such as round, flat or wavy, allowing for some great customisable looks.
• Tiles tend to hold their colour very well. This is attributed to the natural sources of the mixtures and materials used when making tiles.
• Many people place a high value on tile roofs due to durability and looks.
• Roof tiles are resistant to fire, insects and rot.
• Tile roofs are environmentally friendly and do not lead to the depletion of natural resources. They also don’t require any chemical preservatives through the manufacturing and production process.
The cons of tile roofs
• While roof tiles act as a better insulator than metal, once they warm up, they take longer to cool down. This means your home will be hotter for longer after the hottest hour of the day if the correct insulation is not installed.
• Roof tiles are much heavier than metal sheets. Your home will need specific structural reinforcement to be able can handle the weight.
• Tiles are not suitable for low pitch roofs. Most tiles require a minimum roof pitch of 15 degrees whereas some have a minimum of 12 degrees.
• Tiles need some extra care to keep them looking great. Roof tiles are susceptible to mildew. The grout along the edges needs to be periodically cleaned and ridges may eventually need repointing.
• Replacing damaged tiles can be a very intricate process that needs the skills of a specialised expert.
• You need to exercise more caution when climbing up on a tiled roof. Loose roof tiles are always a hazard.
• For someone who knows what they are doing, roof tiles are easy to remove. This can be a bit of a security risk. Break-ins through tile roofs have been known to happen.
The pros of metal roofs
• You have more flexibility in terms of creativity and design. Metal has a low minimum pitch of five degrees without leaking and can also reach very steep pitches, allowing for the creation of more dramatic shapes and features.
• Metal reflects radiant heat from the sun, minimising midday heat gain. This is of particular advantage to homeowners in Queensland and means you’ll save on electricity costs to run air conditioning during the day.
• Metal roofs allow you to have insulation applied directly under the roof and above the ceiling which keeps your house cooler. Tiled roofs, on the other hand, can only have insulation applied above the ceiling. This means that a fully insulated metal roof will effectively stop heat from getting into the ceiling space. It’s important to note that despite reflecting heat, the ceiling space of a metal roof still heats up and the insulation stops the hot air getting out, so you’ll need a whirlybird to help combat this.
• If you’re inexperienced in roofing work, it’s easier to climb up and walk around on a metal roof without damaging it.
• Metal is resistant to mildew, insects and rot.
• Many homeowners choose metal simply because they enjoy the relaxing sound of rain hitting the metal sheets.
The cons of metal roofs
• A metal roof must be installed correctly. Roofs with exposed fasteners are particularly vulnerable to improper installation. If screws are attached through the flat surfaces (rather than the raised ridges), rain water can run down the roof and seep into the screw holes, leading to water damage.
• Metal roofing materials installed in large panels are more difficult to replace and colour match if damaged in comparison to sourcing individual tiles.
• If your new home will be near the ocean, you’ll need to use a roofing sheet that comes with a special salt water treatment, such as Colorbond Ultra steel. This type of roofing sheet is specially designed for coastal environments to prevent rust occurring but can add an additional 30% to the cost of your roof.
Looking for a trusted home design company to help create your dream home?
Let Design 360 help remove the guesswork from designing your new home from planning and design to materials, colours, fittings and fixtures – all in the one showroom.
You can even walk through your new home before construction begins thanks to our innovative digital studio which projects your plan on a 1:1 scale enabling you to see how everything will fit and feel.