Concrete Tile Vs. Shingle Roof – What’s Right For Me?
It’s not always easy to choose the right material for your roof installation. There are a lot of options out there. From asphalt roofing shingles to wood shake, clay tiles, metal roof products for a flat roof and more – it’s difficult to know which one is right for you.
But we’re here to help! In this article, we’ll take a look at the material and installation costs, pros, cons, and other details about asphalt shingles and concrete roofs.
Understanding Concrete Roof Tiles
Concrete roof tiles are made of organic cellulose fibre. This fibre is pressed into a mold, which is then injected with concrete, and then allowed to cure. The result of this is a tile that’s uniform in shape and structure, and available in a wide variety of colors.
Concrete roof tiles are also sometimes called “synthetic slate” because they are often built to imitate the appearance of a natural slate roof, but are much less expensive.
The Pros And Cons Of Concrete Roofing
Now that you understand the basics about concrete roof tiles, let’s discuss the pros and cons of a concrete tile roof.
- Affordable, compared to slate and clay – Concrete roof tiles are actually quite affordable, when they’re compared with similar materials like clay (terracotta) and slate tiles. A “square” (which is 100 square feet, or 9.23 square metres) of concrete roof tiles will cost you between $150-$250. That means an average cost of between $1.5-$2.5 per square foot. Slate tile costs between $500-$1,700 per square, while terracotta costs between $300-$600 per square.
- Durable, with a long lifespan – With proper installation, concrete tile roofs can easily have a lifespan of 50 years or longer, which is much better than an asphalt roof, and comparable to some metal and clay roofs.
- Wind and fire resistant – Due to its weight and density and inorganic structure, a concrete tile roof is very resistant to fire, and high winds. Unlike an asphalt roof, concrete roof tiles will not be blown away by the wind, except in the most extreme, gale-force, hurricane winds.
- Energy efficient – Concrete roof tiles are very dense, and usually colored a light gray. This means that the tiles reflect the sun’s rays, and the density of the material helps keep cold air inside in the summer, and prevent warm air from escaping in the winter. In turn, this leads to better energy efficiency.
- Heavy, may require reinforcement – Concrete tile weighs around 950lbs per square, so you may need to reinforce your roof to have a concrete roof installed, which will lead to higher overall costs.
- More expensive than asphalt – Some folks may not be able to afford the higher up-front cost of clay tiles.
- Difficult to install – You may need to hire a specialist to install your roof, which means higher project costs.
- Relatively brittle – Concrete tiles can be damaged by windblown debris more easily than asphalt shingles.
Understanding Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles are the most common and least expensive type of roofing material. While there are many different grades of asphalt shingles, they all consist of a fiberglass or organic base layer that is saturated in asphalt, and finished with special ceramic granules.
The Pros And Cons Of Asphalt Shingles
Let’s discuss the pros and cons of asphalt shingles in depth now, so that you can see if they’re right for you.
- Extremely affordable – Asphalt shingles cost as little as $70-$160 per square, so they’re very affordable compared to other types of roofing.
- Simple and fast installation – An asphalt roof can be installed in just 2-3 days, and the installation process is quite easy, which results in a lower project cost.
- Available in a huge variety of styles – There are thousands of colours, styles, and types of asphalt shingle available, so you’re sure to find one that suits you.
- Can be layered when installing a new roof – In most cases, you can install a new layer of shingles above an existing layer, which helps you save a lot of money on demolition and roof removal costs.
- Poor weather resistance – A properly-installed shingle roof is resistant to high winds, but can still be damaged by prolonged exposure, resulting in the “blow-off” of the lightweight tiles. Asphalt shingles are also not as fire-resistant as concrete tiles.
- Bad energy efficiency – Shingles are not very dense and are not energy-efficient, compared to alternative materials like metal roofing, clay, concrete tile and slate, so unless you insulate your attic and roof, you may notice a higher power bill.
- Short lifespan – Asphalt shingle roofs usually last only 15-30 years before they have to be replaced. This means that, despite the low initial cost of installing an asphalt roof, other roof materials like concrete tile provide a better long-term return on investment, because they last much longer, and do not require regular replacement.
- Quality can vary widely between products – It’s important to do some research and identify a trustworthy, high-quality brand of asphalt shingles. Using the cheapest possible material could lead to leaks, premature roof failure and other such issues.
Need Help Deciding? Contact City2Surf Roofing Today!
Need more help understanding the roofing cost and pros, cons, and other differences between asphalt shingle roofs and asphalt shingle roofs? At City2Surf Roofing, we’re here to help.
We specialise in roof repairs and new roof installation in Sydney and New South Wales, and have experience with just about every roofing material. So don’t wait. Contact us now, and see which roofing material is right for you.