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Roof Shingles vs Tile: What's the Difference?

Trying to decide between roof shingling and tile? This articles breaks down the key pros and cons of each.

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Trying to decide between roof shingling and tile? This articles breaks down the key pros and cons of each.

Every so often, we have homeowners call us wanting to switch from their common shingle roof to a new “Spanish” tile roof.  There are pros and cons to each type of roof, and we always do our best to help them pick the right fit for their house.  Here are some of the ways that asphalt shingles and concrete tiles compare, so you can decide which is best for you.

Shingles Roof Comparisons

Pros of Shingle Roofs

Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material on the market today.  And there’s a reason for that.  These shingles are designed for two very specific purposes:  

  1.  Asphalt shingles are designed to seal your home from the elements and to shed water, preventing leaks.
  2. Shingles are made to be an economic solution to keeping houses protected and dry.

The modern asphalt shingle does these two things incredibly well.  When you go with a shingle roof, you can expect it to last you for years with no problems, as long as nothing comes along to damage it.  And, while replacing a roof isn’t exactly cheap, it’s within a range that allows homeowners to plan and budget for this cost every couple of decades.

Cons of Shingle Roofs

Unfortunately, engineering shingles to be both economic and effective also lead them to have several drawbacks. 

  1.  Asphalt shingles have a decent life expectancy and should last over 20 years, as long as they are installed correctly.  But that still means that you’ll need to be planning and budgeting for the long term since this will be an ongoing expense over the lifetime of your home.
  2. While shingles are durable, they can be damaged by hail, wind, and other threats. Because all the shingles on your roof connect together, if there is damage to one area, it will often require a large portion of the roof to be repaired.  If the damage is bad enough, it can even require the whole roof to be replaced.

Tile Roof Comparisons

Pros of Tile Roofs

Because of the drawbacks of shingles, and just because many people like the look of tile roofs, we often have people ask about switching.  And there are some great reasons to choose tile roofs, like:

  1.  They last forever. Tile doesn’t degrade over the years as shingles do. So once you have a roof in place, it can last a really long time.  Here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, there are tile roofs that have been around for many decades and are still going strong.
  2. Tile is strong, but with our hail season, they can get damaged.  But tile isn’t interconnected in the way that shingles are. So if one or two shingles break, you’ll just have to replace them, without having to worry about fixing large areas of the roof.

Cons of Tile Roofs

So why doesn’t everyone use tile?  There are some pretty big drawbacks that keep pretty much everyone using asphalt shingles.

  1. A new tile roof is expensive. And I mean EXPENSIVE.  Installing a tile roof is 7-8 times more expensive than installing a shingle roof.  So, even if you have to replace your shingle roof every 20 years, it would take 150 years to equal the cost of installing a tile roof.
  2. Concrete tile is heavy. So heavy that many houses are not able to structurally handle it. A lot of times, engineers have to be brought in to make sure that the walls or roof won’t collapse under the weight.

Because of these major drawbacks, very few people choose to change over to tile.  If you’ve already got a tile roof, that can be a great asset, but making the shift is usually just too expensive.  We’re happy to help you look at your options so you can decide what roofing material is right for you. Reach out for a FREE consultation today!

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When you need your roof repaired, Parish Roofing Solutions is the company to call! That’s because we know that roof repair is more than just construction – it’s about protecting your home and family from the harsh power of the elements. And according to our amazing clients, we’re the best roofing company around.


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