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A great intro to tiles and slates
There are many different types of roof tiles and slates which are produced from various materials and come in a variety of shapes and sizes, all of which come in a plethora of different colors and closes.
To help get the brain around the all these options it’s worth understanding just a little about roof tiles design. Most roof tiles available today have started out just four original types of roof covering that have been first introduced hundreds of years ago and still stay popular today. These are:
Slate – thin rectangle-shaped sections of quarried metamorphic rock that come in varying sizes and thicknesses.
Plain Tiles – small rectangular sections of clay surfaces with an easy or sanded surface finish.
Pan-tiles – a distinctive clay-based tile with an ’S’ shaped profile.
Roman Ceramic tiles – similar to a Pan-tile, but has a cross section that is flat with a tiny move.
The main designs outlined above have evolved over the previous 50 years with the majority of new ceramic tiles and slates falling into one of the above family of products. Flooring design evolved with added features to improve performance and minimize cost. This kind of first made its debut in the 1955s when manufacturers commenced to use concrete to produce more economical plain tiles and pan-tiles. In the sixties and 70s after efficiently copying clay tiles in concrete the manufacturers traveled one step further, by taking the traditional pan-tile and roman tile designs and forming them into larger double unit solid tiles. These new designs were quicker, easier and so cheaper to install. The same approach was applied to slate, which spawned the creation of alternatives made from tangible and fiber cement. Lately, new clay tile designs have appeared that match concrete in size and usefulness. There are also new clay tiles that take on a record appearance, creating cost effective natural alternatives to traditional slate.
It’s worth observing that a person of the key constraints on roof tiles design, is the look system, which demands that new and refurbished roofs echo traditional and local styles. This is one of the reasons that new tile designs do not stray too far from the original traditional designs. Instead, manufacturers create mixed-style models that introduce added benefits but remain respectful of each tile’s origins.
Today consumers are now spoilt for choice. The resurgence in demand for traditional designs, such as plain tiles and slates, made from materials such as slate and clay, means there is now a greater choice of natural roofingmaterials than has been available for many years.
There has also been plenty of innovation, driven by the need to minimize build costs, with a growing demand for larger labor saving designs. Many of these innovations are made from clay, which means that there are now more cost effective options available to satisfy planning constraints, which can mean big savings for many homeowners.
It also means that the aesthetic benefits of natural materials are now within reach of most budgets. One of the reasons clay tiles and slates remain popular today is that natural materials such as clay will never lose its colour. However, due to their size, traditional materials have been beyond the reach of many budgets. Up until recently, those wanting their roof to keep its looks in the long term had to buy traditional designs such as clay plain tiles, pantiles or natural slates. These products can range from double to even four times the cost of a large format concrete tile roof. Today, the arrival of larger more affordable clay tiles, means that you can put on a clay roof for only a few hundred euros more.