- 7 February 2018
A Guide to Slate Roofing Tiles
We have many years experience working with new and refurbished roofing installations. This guide will help you understand more about slate roofing.
When it comes to slate roofing there are a number of options to chose from, it is those variations which can be confusing. From the overall cost, durability to the amount of tile required and the ease or difficulty to carry out the installation.
The Different Types of Slate Roofing?
As with all types of roofing tiles, there are plenty of options to chose from, some people prefer the more natural finish which is offered by slates. The use of slate roofing is very popular across Clitheroe, Lancashire and around the UK both for its affordability and aesthetic benefits.
Types of Slate Tiles
When choosing slate for your roofing project it’s well worth knowing what’s available.
There are three main types of slate available:
- Natural Slate: Sourced from natural environments to produce a beautiful finish.
- Fibre Cement Slate: Made primarily from cement and a few other elements, this is a very cost-effective option.
- Man-made Slate: made up of mostly reconstituted slate and is a more low cost alternative to the natural version.
What are the benefits of the types of Slate roofing?
Here are the main benefits and differences between the three types of slate, natural, fibre cement and man-made.
Natural Slate Roofing
Like clay, natural slate offers an authentic look that cannot be replicated by manufacturers of man-made slate.
Natural slate is usually the preferred choice for properties which need to reflect the natural environment around them. It has a long lasting lifespan which goes beyond that of both clay and concrete, in fact there are many slate roofs which have outlasted the buildings they where placed upon.
Natural slate is durable and does not fade or deteriorate over time, which is a reflection on the length of time it will protect a roof structure. Another big advantage natural slate offers is low maintenance, which means little effort is needed to keep them in good working order.
How Long Does Natural Slate last?
Roofs made up of natural slate are extremely durable even against the harshest of weather conditions, this guarantees a long lifespan, lasting up to around 150 years, although there have been numerous occasions where it has lasted far even longer.
How Much Does Natural Slate Roofing Cost?
The total cost of your roofing project will of course depend on the type of slate purchased and quantity required, bulk buying may help bring down the overall cost per unit. Slate tiles which are higher quality will cost more, such as imported Spanish slate. On average though the prices range from between £1.00 and £2.00 per slate.
The Importance of Carbonate Content
Manufacturers will provide information on how much carbonate content is found in the material, this is important because it will reflect on the quality of the slate you wish to buy.
Slate with a high carbonate content, may affect the slate colour in the short term, turning lighter slate tiles darker once they have been exposed to the elements.
Over the last few decades, the importation of Spanish slate has grown significantly due to its affordability and pleasing aesthetic appeal. One of the leading suppliers of Spanish slate is SIGA, who offer a guarantee of up to 75 years on some of their slate product ranges.
SIGA offer four types of slate, categorised into excellence, specification, commercial and classic, with each recommended for use with specific types of project.
Is Fibre-Cement Right For You?
One of the main benefits of fibre cement slates is that reduce installation time. You buy then with pre-drilled holes which requires less time being spent in the roofing installation, this can reduce labour costs making it a cost effective solution.
The Benefits of Man-Made Slates
This type of roofing slate is made from ground down slate and synthetic resin
It offers a good alternative to both natural slate and fibre cement slate. The lower cost is appealing to many and is the main advantage the have over the other types. When putting together a quotation for your next roofing project it is well worth comparing the cost of all 3 types of slate on offer.
Man-Made slates are larger in size which can be another way to cut costs, also the installation required is generally a lot faster, again, another way to reduce your overall budget.
This type of slate tile is very lightweight which reduces the need for extra reinforcement in the roofing underlay and as they can be recyclable they have become a very eco-friendly choice.
How Long Do Man-Made Slate Tiles Last?
Just as clay or concrete tiles, man-made slates are designed to last for up to 30 years in normal weather conditions. So when you add together its durability up lower cost, man-made slate is a very attractive option for many buyers.
What is the Cost of Man-Made Slate Tiles?
The price is often the deciding factor when it comes to buying one type of slate over another. Man-Made slates offer durability and their use on low pitched roofs and the natural appearance make them great value for money.
Man-Made slates range from around £1.20 to over £40 per slate.
What is the Minimum Pitch for Man-made Slate?
Man-Made slates offer great versatility for roof installers such as ourselves. The ability to use it on lower pitches has allowed us to use this type of slate on a wider range of property types.
The minimum pitch for man-made slates can vary, however ones with interlocking technology can be pitched at 15°
How Easy is it to Install Man-made Slate?
Like fibre ceent slate, this variant can be installed quickly and in most cases with relative ease. Many man-made slate tiles are now manufactured with interlocking technology and come in larger sizes which is a big positive when it comes to labour costs as the installation time is significantly reduced.