Pros and Cons of Concrete Tile Roofs

concrete tiles on new roof structure

As one of the sturdiest roofing materials available, concrete tiles can stand up to pretty much everything Mother Nature can throw at them. But before deciding to use it for your roofing system, you must learn about the pros and cons of concrete tile roofs.

Apart from durability, there’s significantly more to appreciate with this material. Here’s a rundown of the benefits and drawbacks of concrete tile roofs, covering everything from maintenance and cost to long-term expectations.

What Are Concrete Tiles?

gray concrete roof tiles
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First introduced in Germany in the 19th century, concrete roof tiles became popular for their visual interest, durability, and affordable price point. Today, it can be found throughout the United States, where a lot of homeowners prefer it for its ability to protect against:

  • Wildfires
  • Water penetration
  • Insects
  • High winds

Concrete tiles have a textured surface with grooves and ridges for easy water drainage. During production, manufacturers mix cement, sand, iron oxide, and water, pouring the mixture into specialized molds and placing it under high pressure and heat. Once dry, the tiles are removed from the molds, sealed with masonry primer, and subjected to numerous quality stress tests.

Pros of Concrete Tile Roofs

Concrete tiles can be a functional and stunning addition to any home. If you’re not sold on this roofing type just yet, these advantages may very well convince you.

Long Lifespan

When it comes to durability, concrete tiles are well worth the investment. With proper installation and maintenance, this roofing type can last 50 to 100 years – significantly longer than asphalt shingles or metal roofing.


Most concrete tile roof installations often entail higher initial costs. But due to its long lifespan, this roofing material is one of the most cost-effective roofing options today. You’ll rarely have to worry about costly repairs since concrete roof tiles can withstand the elements and usually last as long as the homes they protect.


Able to imitate clay, wood shake, cedar shake, and slate roofing, concrete tiles offer impressive versatility and increased curb appeal. With countless color hues and blends, they can match pretty much any architectural style. Whether you like rich browns, reds, oranges, or pastels like blue and purple, the possibilities are endless and bound to meet your needs.

With three different profile options at your disposal, achieving the architectural design you want is as easy as ever. Whether you choose the crisp look of flat tiles, the gentle curves of medium tiles, or the Spanish terracotta appeal of high tiles, your home will look captivating and classy.

straight rows of concrete tiles
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Concrete tile roofing protects against pests, rot, and high winds of up to 180 miles per hour. They also provide fantastic hail protection – able to withstand the impact of hailstones as big as golf balls. The tough concrete tiles are an outstanding hail deterrent, especially when combined with special underlayment.

Ice and Fire Resistant

Concrete roof tiles adhere to freeze/thaw requirements and prevent ice dams thanks to the air pockets present between the tiles and the underlayment. During temperature fluctuations, the air pockets also minimize tile contraction and expansion.

Additionally, they have a Class A fire rating, with a fire spread index of zero to 25. This means that, unlike a wood roof, concrete tiles will rarely contribute any fuel during a fire.


If you’re environmentally conscious, concrete tile is the best roofing type for you. This eco-friendly material is made from non-toxic, natural, and recyclable elements like sand and cement. Not to mention that these tiles will rarely need replacing, further contributing to energy consumption reduction.


Their reflective and high thermal mass qualities allow concrete roof tiles to absorb, store, and emit heat – translating to lower heating and cooling costs. The tiles are installed directly over roof battens, creating air channels that form a second layer of insulation.

Lifetime Warranty

In case of damage, broken or cracked concrete tiles can comfortably be replaced without much effort or cost on your part. Plus, you’ll benefit from a lifetime transferable warranty, which usually means your roof will last as long as your house.


With an ability to reduce noise by 30 decibels, concrete tiles are often used in residential and commercial roofing because of their noteworthy soundproofing capabilities. This is more than twice the noise reduction power of other roofing materials.

Increased Home Value

Concrete tile roofs typically receive more credits during home appraisals than other varieties. You also can count on a faster sale than if you had another type of roof.

Easy DIY Repairs

Should they break, concrete tiles will not require much effort to repair. This roofing material is easy to fix or replace since all you have to do is lift the overlapping tile, remove the damaged one, and insert a new tile in its place. Despite all this, we recommend leaving roof maintenance to a professional.

Cons of Concrete Tile Roofs

There’s no question that concrete tile roofing offers remarkable benefits, making it one of the most popular roofing materials available. Still, these tiles have drawbacks that you need to consider before making your final decision.

Substantial Weight

Since concrete can place substantial pressure on a roof structure, a structural engineer will need to inspect your home and determine whether your roof needs reinforcement before installation. Reinforcing your roof is especially important if you live in an area with frequent, heavy snowfall.

Higher Installation Costs

Concrete roof tiles have a higher price point than other roofing materials. Though cheaper than slate or clay tile roofing, concrete tiles won’t suit every budget. This is mainly due to the challenging nature of the installation process.

An asphalt shingle installation can cost between $1 and $8 per square foot, while installing concrete tiles can cost anywhere from $3.50 to $9 per square foot.

Impact Vulnerability

Concrete tiles feature outstanding resistance to fire and high winds, but that’s not to say they’re all-enduring. If exposed to heavy foot traffic, severe hailstorms, falling tree branches, and other heavy impacts, these tiles can crack. Remember to keep tree branches as far away from your roof as possible to prevent damage.

Color Fading

Over time, exposure to the elements and UV rays will cause concrete tile colors, such as orange or red, to fade. Though not a major problem, you’ll have a more challenging time matching the new tiles to the rest of the roof when it comes to tile replacement.


While concrete tiles require minimal maintenance, efflorescence is a common problem with this roofing material. Due to their porous quality, concrete tiles absorb more water than clay tiles. When water mixes with carbon dioxide and the lime component in concrete, a white substance appears on the tiles. Heavy efflorescence deposits require professional removal, though smaller stains can fade on their own.

Additionally, the roof underlayment may require replacement approximately every 20 to 30 years. This process involves removing the concrete tiles, installing new underlayment, and re-attaching the tiles, all of which costs time and money.

Moisture Retention

Since concrete tiles are porous, it’s a serious drawback in areas with heavy rainfall. If improperly weatherproofed, concrete will absorb and retain every type of moisture you can think of. Not only will the tiles become even heavier than they already are, but they’ll develop mold and mildew issues.

How Do You Know if a Concrete Tile Roof Is Right for You?

light gray roofing tiles
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With the advantages outweighing the drawbacks, it’s no wonder many homeowners choose concrete tile roofing. In addition to their visual interest, concrete tiles are an obvious choice for their longevity and low energy costs.

On the other hand, the structural adjustments needed for concrete tile roofing and the significantly higher resulting costs may be enough to make some homeowners hesitate.

You can choose concrete tiles if:

  • You want a long-lasting roof with low maintenance requirements.
  • You live in an area with harsh weather conditions and need reliable protection against fire, wind, and pests.
  • You’re not one to shy away from complex projects.
  • Money is no object.
  • You’re eco-conscious and want to reduce your energy consumption.

At the end of the day, your roof should match your budget and taste. It should check all the boxes you’re looking for in a roofing system and require minimal maintenance long term. Speak to an experienced roofing contractor for guidance and professional installation services.

FAQ About Concrete Tile Roofs

Is it possible for me to walk on my concrete tile roof?

Walking on your roof can be risky and cause damage, such as tile cracking or breaking. For inspections, cleaning, and potential repairs, opt for the services of a professional roofer.

Can concrete tiles be painted?

Though painting concrete tiles isn’t necessary, some homeowners opt for it during remodeling. The tiles must be washed, primed, and completely dried before the painting phase.

How can I make my concrete tile roof weather-resistant?

Professional roofing technicians provide weatherproofing in one of two ways: resealing or recoating. With resealing, you simply apply a coat of acrylic sealer to your freshly cleaned tiles. Recoating involves thoroughly cleaning the tiles, applying a high-quality alkyd primer, and coating the tiles with acrylic paint.

Professional Installation Services at Your Fingertips

Now that you know the pros and cons of concrete tile roofs, you can decide whether its benefits outweigh the drawbacks. If so, you may be surprised how concrete tiles can transform the overall look of your home.

Start reaping the benefits of a new concrete tile roof. Contact a licensed roofing professional to discuss your project in detail and get expert advice, cost estimates, and quality services.

Main Photo Credit: Pramote Polyamate’s Images / Canva Pro / License

Andie Ioo

In my free time, I enjoy traveling with my husband, sports, trying out new recipes, reading, and watching reruns of '90s TV shows. As a way to relax and decompress, I enjoy landscaping around my little yard and DIY home projects.