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Metal Roof Vs Tile Roof

Metal Roof Vs Tile Roof

It’s true: Buying and installing a new roof is expensive no matter the material. Before you make a purchase, you need to consider all the pros and cons of each option. Standing seam metal roofing is one option, while Spanish tiles are another. These tiles can be made from either clay or ceramic and are very common in roofing. There are many questions out there about the differences between the two roofing materials and which one is better. Here we talk about Metal Roof Vs Tile Roof!

The short answer is: It all depends.

Old Time Roofings favorite roofing material is metal roofing. However, we fully understand that not all homes or buildings are suitable for metal roofing. We do our best to inform buyers about all the options available.

This article will teach you:

  • Spanish tiles have both advantages and disadvantages
  • The advantages and disadvantages to metal roofing
  • Consider these factors before you make a purchase

Spanish Clay Tiles – Characteristics, Advantages, & Disadvantages

Clay tiles have been used as a roofing material for centuries. Some uses date back to 10,000 B.C. in China. Clay roof tiles were popularized in Asia and Europe where there was a wide range of styles and options. This material was used to roof homes in America after the colonization of America in the 17th century.

Spanish Clay Tiles: The Advantages

Longevity – Spanish tile roofs are known to last for decades. Clay tile roofs can last up to 100 years in some cases. However, proper maintenance and limited exposure to extreme weather can help prolong its life. A clay tile roof system might come with a 50-year warranty if it is manufactured by certain manufacturers.

Low heat transfer – Spanish clay tiles are a popular roofing material if heat transfer is an issue. The Tile Roofing Industry Alliance states that Spanish tiles offer natural thermal resistance due to their larger cross-sectional area. This is because the tiles are individually installed and not overlapping. This creates natural ventilation which acts as a barrier against heat transfer. This allows indoor temperatures to remain cooler in summer and warmer during winter.

A specific architectural look – The overall appearance of your property and neighborhood is something you should take into consideration. Particularly, Spanish tiles can stand out due to its terracotta, brown earth tones and rustic reds color palette. Traditional “S”-style Spanish clay tiles are a good match for the Mediterranean and Spanish architectural influences that are popular in areas like Florida, Georgia, Southwest U.S. and Southern California. Spanish tile may not be appropriate for your area if it is located in the New England or Pacific Northwest regions.

Eco-friendly – Most Spanish tiles are made of clay (or Terracotta clay), which is a natural element that regenerates and is not at risk of disappearing. Clay tiles can be made without chemicals or hazardous materials. Spanish tiles can also be easily recycled and ground up to make future products.

Spanish tiles require minimal maintenance and can be replaced easily – It is recommended that Spanish tiles be inspected by a professional at least once per year in order to identify any problems.

  • Water damage and leaks
  • Sticks, leaves, branches and other debris
  • Tiles that are cracked or damaged
  • Birds and other mammals

You don’t have to tear up your entire roof if you only need one or two tiles replaced. You can easily remove and replace damaged Spanish tiles.

High fire resistance – Clay tiles are often equipped with a Class A fire rating. (UL790 – Standard Test Methods For Fire Tests on Roof Coverings). This means that they are less likely to catch fire or combust.

Standing Seam Metal Roofing – Characteristics, Advantages, & Disadvantages

Metal has been used as a roofing material for centuries. Its origins date back to the 3rd Century B.C. Sri Lanka. Metal roofing, usually copper or lead, gained prominence in the 17th century. It eventually reached the United States in the early 1800s. As metal roofing options became more sophisticated, iron, steel and aluminum were added. Metal roofing is a popular choice for commercial, residential, architectural, and structural purposes.

Advantages of Metal Roofing

LifespanMetal roofs can last for decades and many manufacturers offer a 40+ year warranty on most aluminum roofs. This is true especially if the roof is installed correctly and maintained properly over time. Some metals like copper and zinc have been proven to last for up to 100 years.

Lightweight – Metal roofing is more lightweight than other types of roofs, but it’s five times lighter than clay Spanish tile roofs. A Galvalume (steel), 24-gauge roof can weigh anywhere from 1 to 1.5 lbs per square foot. A.032 aluminum roof is less than .5 lbs per square foot.

Durability – Metal is the strongest material and is most resistant to breaking down, puncturing, and degrading. This is especially important if the roof is exposed to:

  • Strong winds – Tornadoes, hurricanes, dust storms, etc.
  • Falling debris: Leaves, sticks, branches, and leaves.
  • Rain and wind-driven rainfall
  • Hail, snow, and ice
  • Mildew and mold
  • Rodents and other pests

Low slope – Metal roofing has a lower minimum slope requirement, but it still depends on the type of profile used. Snap-lock systems are not recommended for roof pitches below 3/12, unless approved by the manufacturer. For low-slope applications, mechanically seam double-lock metal roofing systems are ideal.

  • 2-inch double lock profile – Depending on the location, it can often be installed to a pitch of.5/12 with in-seam sealing.
  • 1.5-inch double-lock profile: It is possible to install down to a pitch of 1/12 with in-seam sealant (depending on the geography).

Highly Recyclable – Metal roofing panels are 100% recyclable. Any unused panels, scrap metal or tear-offs can all be recycled to make new products. Some sheets and coils used in metal roofing panels might contain recycled metals. Metal roofing materials can be either pre-consumer- or post-consumer-recycled.

  • Pre-consumer recycled metals – This is scrap metal that was produced at the manufacturing stage and has been recycled for future uses.
  • Materials post-consumer-recycled – Excess material that has been used at one time by a consumer and has been recycled to be reused.

Low Maintenance – Compared to other roof types the maintenance required for a metal roofing is usually minimal, particularly if it was properly installed. However, it is important to maintain a metal roof. It can make or break your roofing system if there is a problem. A metal roof should be cleaned and maintained at the surface every 18 months, and structural maintenance every two years. This is usually done by a professional.

Unlimited Color Options – Metal roofs can be made in any color you choose, as long as they are coated with paint systems from trusted manufacturers like Sherwin-Williams. Manufacturers can order any color you desire, including a neutral or bright tone or a textured/metallic look (at an additional cost). The paint systems used for metal roofing have been tested in outdoor environments so that they can last for decades. Many metal roofs come with paint warranties.

Cool Roofing Energy Saving – The existence of cool metal roofing helps to reduce heat transfer into buildings or homes. According to the Green Building Alliance, this can lead to total cooling cost energy savings of 7% to 15%.

Metal roofing has a Class A fire rating and is noncombustible. This makes it resistant to setting fire to other materials. This is especially important for areas prone to wildfires as hot ashes/embers can fall onto a metal roof’s surface, causing it to not catch fire.

Things To Consider Before Buying a Metal Roof Vs Tile Roof


Spanish clay tiles and metal roofing are both premium roofing materials. There is still a price difference, standing seam metal roofing is less expensive. A metal roof is a good option if you are on a tight budget. Spanish tile may be the right choice if you have the budget for a more costly roof.

Location & Environment

Spanish tile is found in distinct areas of the country, depending on the architecture. You won’t see many Spanish tile roofs anywhere in New York, Colorado or elsewhere. Spanish tile is common in California and Florida. Metal roofing is also common in the United States, particularly in coastal and mountainous areas.

Both Spanish tile and metal roofs are strong in adverse weather conditions. They can be engineered to pass uplift and water penetration tests. For more information about testing requirements specific to your area, please contact us today.

Your Building/Home Properties

  • Slope – Spanish tile and metal roofing do not work well on flat roofs. However, Spanish clay tiles have more stringent slope requirements. A metal roof can be fitted if your roof slope is greater than 3/12. A Spanish tile roof can be installed on 3/12. However, it will require two layers of underlayment which will increase the cost.
  • Support Structure – Spanish clay tiles will add weight to your building’s frames and support structures. They are nearly 6x-10x heavier than metal roofing. Before you buy, it is important to understand the limits of what your walls and frames can withstand.
  • Heat Transfer – Heat transfer is always a concern in warmer climates. Both Spanish tiles and metal roofing ( cool metallic roofing, specifically), have heat-resisting properties that reduce heat transfer into buildings.
  • HOA And Municipalities – You should confirm that your roof material is permitted in any neighborhood that has an HOA or other municipal group.

Your Style

It’s important to choose the right style when deciding between Spanish tile and metal roofing. Both materials look very different. Metal roofing is sleeker and more modern, while Spanish tile is more rustic and traditional. Metal roofing is also available in a wider range of colors because it can be painted. This allows you to pick a color that best suits your vision.

Final Thoughts about Metal Roof Vs Tile Roof

When choosing between Spanish clay tiles and metal roofing, there are many factors to consider.

Both materials are great options for roofs. You’ll be better equipped to choose the right roof material if you have read the pros and cons of each.

These are some questions to ask yourself as a start:

  • What amount of money can I afford to spend on a roof?
  • Is there a skilled contractor who can install these materials at my location?
  • What roof material is most popular for other homes or buildings around me?
  • What colors look best on my roof? What are my personal favorite colors?
  • Is my HOA able to restrict the types of roofing that I use?
  • Can my building support a heavier roof system?

Old Time Roofing has been Installing metal roofing products for over 30 years. We know it is not an easy decision. We can help you make the right decision about whether you want a standing seam metal roof or a Spanish tile roof or shingle roof.

Contact us today for more information on the differences between Metal Roof Vs Tile Roof or to ask questions about a new roof installation.