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The Ultimate Roofing Showroom


Concrete and Clay Roof Tile Showrooms

 Architectural Roof Tiles... A Pacific Northwest and Western Canadian Perspective

... Beauty, Elegance,  Durability, Fire Safety, Long Life, Peace of Mind...

Tiles: The ultimate definer of style, texture and definition of the roof and home.

Show me Clay Tiles Show me Clay Shakes Tiles That Look Like Cedar Shakes Show Me Spanish Villa TilesWhich Concrete Roof Tiles Have Been Popular What's the Trend in Roof Tiles for HomesMonier and Eagle Concrete Tiles Roof Tiles affects on home design Show me Lightweight Clay Tiles

See our editorials down the page for informative discussions on roof design fax:    604-585-9911



Roof Tile Showrooms and Product Info:

Click on blue bar to enter




Concrete and Clay Roof Tiles provide the home builder with the most elegant architectural looks and the thickest textures.  They can be the longest lasting roof systems in an affordable range,  as long as they are installed properly with all the correct detailing, and if routine maintenance is performed every year or two.

If they are installed poorly they will be a headache in a few years when some tiles could start to slide off the roof, or when vents, underlayments, or flashings begin to leak. At that point Concrete Roof Tiles could be a very expensive roof system. $800 saved at the expense of good installation practices and materials will likely cost the owner, the builder, or the warranty provider from $2,000 to $20,000 within 10 years to fix the problems created by shoddy workmanship and detailing. These amounts do not include ruined reputations of builders and the real drywall and interior damage caused by a poor roofing system.

Roof Tile systems that are not installed over solid plywood substrates and that don't include a rain-screen cross strapping system directly OVER properly installed and specified underlayments will probably leak (fail) within 10 years in our rainy West-Coast climate.

We do not recommend the local practice of installing 1x2 battens first over the plywood, then "Draping" a synthetic underlayment over those 1x2s (followed by the 1x4 straps at the correct spacing). We believe that this method does not assure the best water shedding characteristics, workmanship practices,  and "nail holes through the underlayment" avoidance, compared to the preferred method (rainscreen method described next).

The preferred rain-screen tile strapping method is described clearly in the Roof Tile institute guidelines, as well the CSA Canadian code for installation of concrete roof tiles. It comprises a raised fascia board (with anti-ponding metal drip edge protection over the fascia), a solid plywood substrate 1/2" minimum, an underlayment of No.30# Asphalt Felt (or better) {we recommend RoofAquaGuard UDLX synthetic underlayment plus peel and stick in the valleys, around skylights and chimneys, and critical details}, all penetrations and vents sealed into the underlayment {double flashed}, followed by minimum 1x2 SPF lumber battens {counter-straps} installed directly over each truss or rafter position, taking care not to impede water flow that gets on the underlayment. or that need to flow into valleys. this is all followed by SPF lumber 1x4s nailed into the vertical 1x2 counterstraps at the correct spacing for the tile selected. What little rain-flow gets on to the vertical counter-battens means that standard SPF lumber should be sufficient, unless the local code requires a rot resistant wood such as cedar or CCA Pressure Treated Wood for the 1x2s. The above described method of strapping a concrete roof tile system has proven itself to be a great system in preventing water ingress into homes in this rainy west-coast region, and we therefore suggest and recommend this method.

If you are not willing to install plywood over the trusses prior to installing tiles, then we recommend that you do not use concrete or clay roof tiles (regardless of brand) on your project.

If you are not willing to specify good detailing on clay or concrete roof tiles, and if you are not willing to pay a roofer adequate labour dollars to reflect the work required to complete a tile roof in good order, then we recommend that you do not use concrete or clay tiles (regardless of brand) on your project.

Detailing by the roofing contractors around around vents, B-Vents, Skylights, and flashings is often poorly executed when using draped underlayment, which of course is a required underlay when not using solid sheathing (regardless of brand name). Many roofers have been knowingly using SECONDS or B-Grade underlayments, as well as non-CSA approved underlayments (Underlayments which have not been tested by a Canadian CSA accredited and approved testing authority).

And it is clear that the current City and Municipal Building Inspectors either do not have the skill or the desire to complete proper roofing inspections on concrete tile roofs in the Lower Mainland region surrounding Vancouver. So it is almost a sure bet that the roof will have leaky details in a short period of time.

We also recommend that home construction warranty insurers seriously consider the risk inherent in installing roof tiles directly over draped underlayment, and  the risk of installing roof tiles on trusses that are not sufficiently stiffened and braced with the plywood sheathing added to strengthen the roof framing. Those projects are not as safe in our seismic zone (as the cities of Northlands and Oakland California discovered during their earthquakes as well as did Kobe Japan in the 90's). Situations like this do not allow for good waterproofing and flashing methods to be completed as efficiently as they would be on solid plywood roof decks.

Another silent issue with concrete and clay roof tiles is that there are many "cut" tiles installed on roofs. These include those installed in valleys, along hips, most gables, and anywhere roof intersections and angle changes occur. These "cut" tiles MUST be permanently mechanically attached to the roof system. But in this price driven marketplace ...often we have some of these "cut" tiles sliding off the roof within a couple of years due to improper roofing practices and poor quality attachment materials.

No matter whether solid sheathing is used or not, these loose tiles may be dangerous when sliding off of roofs with no warning, as well as create water ingress possibilities once they are no longer in place.

The time and material it takes to do the job right ... is not been paid for by the builders, the jobs are not being properly inspected, so rarely is the proper detailing being done. This is the reality.

Can concrete roof tiles be installed successfully over draped underlayments? Perhaps. But not in a "Price-driven" market where all the builders generally care about is "how much ?", not how well the tiles are installed, or how good the tiles are built ! The builders have experienced virtually no rejections of installed concrete roof tiles, even on the roofs which we all find are obviously deficient, so should they care ? My answer is ...yes...  if they care about their reputations...  but the reality is that most do not... they are simply concerned with lowering their costs (or increasing their profits).

If you don't mind paying more for a "better" installed concrete roof tile system ...then put them on a plywood sheathed substrate where the roofer can really show off his craftsmanship! The vents and penetrations can be easily sealed up, and flashings are a breeze ... just like shingling. With good anti-ponding details at the eave, the right gauge metals, good underlayments such as SBS Modified Base Sheets, synthetic high quality underlay such as BP Deck Guard,  or Self Adhered membranes such as Winterguard, all completed with the right assembly and roofing practices, one can achieve a good roof.

Or, ensure that all the details of the tile roof are properly installed and assembled on the draped underlayment system ... if you believe you can find an installer who can actually complete this task in today's market, at a price that a builder would be willing to pay.

If you find that roofer, after spending an hour or two measuring and discussing detailing,  that contractor will likely hear the following from the builder ..."I found another guy who was cheaper..., so I gave him the job".

We live in a rainforest, yet the all important roof system is selected on price alone. Welcome to the "Leaky Condos" and leaky homes of the future or near future.  

Informative Discussions on roof design:

(Click on following green bars for further editorials)






Most Asphalt Shingles cannot compete with the executive class appeal that most Concrete and Clay Tile roofs bring to the home or a development's curb appeal. But there are exceptions.

Super-Thick and luxurious styles are now being produced by Certainteed . These include Landmark TL, Presidential TL, Presidential Shakes, and Grand Manor. These shingles may cost similar to installed concrete roof tiles, or even a little more, but they will save thousands including savings from not beefing up your structure and trusses, as well as fixing leaky concrete roof tiles and detailing.

And the Super Thick Architectural Shingles mentioned above certainly will perform better over the long haul, while looking newer for a longer period of time with the Copper Granule Algae Resistant granules these Super-Equipped Shingles all utilize. These shingles are an elegant executive class touch to any home design.

But, we do not recommend 30 year and 40 year shingles (regardless of brand name) on executive class homes. They will always look cheaper and make the home appear less valuable because of their low-end texture.

30 year and 40 year laminated shingles are the lightest shingles the Asphalt Shingle Industry can produce. They are "Builder's Grade" shingles. These thin shingles probably will affect the resale value of the home and even the neighborhood. Many builders either don't realize this or don't care as they just want fast turnover of their home inventory.

But architectural style is important, the home will be around hopefully for a long time,  its your neighborhood, and its YOUR CHOICE ! If you are going to install shingles on your executive class home instead of concrete or clay roof tiles, make sure you select Super Thick shingles.

See Certainteed Showroom





For less cost than a typical cedar shake installation in Southwest B.C.  and the Pacific Northwest, you can have the pleasure of adding concrete tile to your new home. A minor structural upgrade, normally in the trusses, is all it takes to have your home ready for tiles. Usually costing about $5,000 for the average new home's changes in its framing, this upgrade still has the budget at less than the price of installed cedar shakes.

If solid sheathing or plywood is required add another $2,500 (Canadian$) extra for the wood and possibly $3,000 for the plywood framing labour. This will make concrete tiles similar in cost to cedar shakes, especially if they are installed with good roofing practices. But, concrete and clay tiles will definitely outlast cedar shakes if installed correctly, and will be more valuable after ten years on the roof. Cedar will already be looking old in ten or twelve years, they will be in the last few years of life "expectancy", and re-roofing plans and budgeting may already have to begin for the next roof.

But aesthetics aside, clay tiles and concrete roof tiles resist fire, rain, and the extremes of weather better than most other roofing materials available. As long as you don't walk on your roof too much, and as long as the tiles were installed with proper methods, flashings and waterproofing techniques, they should prove to be a long term solution.

If you need a walk-able roof that takes reasonable foot-traffic, we suggest Certainteed Presidential "TL" Ultimate Shakes, Certainteed Landmark "TL" Ultimate triple layer Laminates, Certainteed Presidential Shakes, Certainteed Landmark Pro Laminates, or Consumer Reports number ONE rated shingle in North America ...the Certainteed Grand Manor architectural shingle. The above shingles have enough texture and desirable elegance that they can achieve the executive class look many builders and homeowners are looking for.

When comparing concrete tile to clay tile I can only say that those who select concrete roof tile are expecting a long term solution, but in the rainy west-coast region the obvious erosion of the surface on concrete after only ten years means that concrete will not look as nice as clay tile in ten years (or less). Real Clay tiles, if made using Grade One clay as a raw material, will always outlast concrete roof tiles. Good clay tiles will also show hardly any colour change or fade, while concrete will certainly fade, certainly get more moss or algae growth on them, and concrete will look old much faster.

If you are expecting a long term, durable tile that also looks good for a long period of time, your only choice is real clay tiles. They have centuries of proven track record...actually a Millenium, as they were used as roofing since before year 100 BC ... as clay is one of the original roofing materials installed by human-kind.

If you want a flat tile, then take a look at Boral Tile's Monterey Shake 600. It is a lightweight tile made from real clay {Grade One} that is built for severe weather regions, as well as normal weather areas. These real clay tiles exude a realistic appearance of cedar handsplit shakes. The original version of this product was called Cedarlite, a lightweight concrete shake tile, but it has been vastly improved with the new Grade 1 clay formula rather than concrete.

A new flat tile profile is now available for 2013 ... Monterey Slate 600. It is constructed in the same style as the already popular Monterey Shake, but instead has the old world and more contemporary appearance of real slates. These come in Black, Grey, and other real slate evoking colours. With their uniform size, and authentic slate style, these add class to either new construction homes, or re-roofing. Because they weigh only 600 lbs per square they can easily be considered for re-roofing most homes engineered and designed to support cedar shakes and heavy asphalt shingles.

If you want the Mediterranean Look, then we can get real European Clay tile from manufacturers that have been around more than 100 years, at a price that is still effective to install on middle to upper end homes. These same European Clay tile producers also have Structured Slate and Traditional Slate look tiles that are an outstanding choice compared to synthetic and plastic simulations.

These last two clay styles cost not much more than $3 per square foot for the tiles itself, and many synthetics cost from $3.35 per square foot and up to $6.00 per square foot. Real clay is always a good investment. The European Clay often requires no underlayment and they have leak free roofs lasting for generations. So if we combine our Canadian and American code required underlay and flashings with good quality clay roofs, you will have an outstanding durable roof solution built to withstand severe rain.

For more information, visit one of our outstanding roofing showrooms.

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 All Weather Products Ltd Copyright 2013

Updated 21 May 2013