Which Roof Tiles Are The Best And Cheapest?

Roof Tiles

Which Roof Tiles Are The Best And Cheapest?

Roof tiles in South Africa come in different forms, sizes, materials, and cost per tile. We are also fortunate to have several manufacturers of all the popular tile profiles located locally. Architects normally guide the potential property builder or developer in choosing the best tile that matches functionality, aesthetics, and costs. In this article, we are going to investigate the different types of tiles as well as soma aspects relating to cost and estimation.

Types of roof tiles


Lusa Interlocking Clay Roof Tile

Burned clay tiles have been in use for centuries and are still used. The cost of these roof tile types is more expensive than the more common concrete alternatives. Clay roof tiles enhance warmth and character to a building with permanent colour that weathers over time, but never fade.

The fact that these tiles are natural and durable results in the enhancement of the appearance of the roof, which improves with age. Clay roof tiles are available in the ever-popular Broseley, Constantia, Cordova, Portuguese, and Marseille.

Here, the Portuguese and Marseille types are the most cost-effective in the range. Various manufacturers such as Coverland and Marley provide them in a variety of colours like terracotta and other multi-flashed colours. These tiles form a beautiful roof which becomes more appealing to the eye as the years go by.


Concrete Double Roman Roof Tiles

The most common roof tile on the market are made from a concrete mix, hence it is called concrete roof tile. They are manufactured by manufacturers such as Marley, and Coverland in an extensive range of profiles, colours and finishes. These tiles also enhance the visual appearance of any roof whilst giving designers a very large scope for expression. Please take note that we have found that finishes vary from one manufacturer to another.

What is very beneficial is the fact that surface finishes are categorized according to SABS specifications. All manufacturing and application of surface coatings are done under factory-controlled conditions. Manufacturers must adhere to the SANS 542: Standard specification for roof tiles and by members of the Concrete Manufacturers Association.

Pressed metal (Also known as Harvey roof tiles)

Harvey Roof Tiles

This alternative tile is lightweight with medium strength. Please note that once installed these tiles cannot carry a lot of weight. Especially when a person stands or walks on them. The fact that they are lightweight contributes towards the lesser amount of timber required to support the structure.

In many instances, these tiles are sold with the listed benefit of a lesser maintenance requirement. In our years of roofing work, we have noticed that this is not the case. Where other tile types require different amounts of maintenance, the same applies to pressed metal roof tiles. A common drawback which results in roof leaks is the nails on the butthead coming loose through the years. Rainwater then seeps in from the front of the tile.

Metal (Harvey roof tiles) come in different profiles, colours and finishes. One can choose either a standard acrylic or a textured roof coating. Tiles are complimented by a full range of accessories such as ridges, hips, gable trims, bargeboard covers and flashings. Due to their lightweight attributes, these tiles are ideal for re-roofing as they can be laid over existing roof structures. Professional advice from an engineer should be required before one embarks on such an exercise though.

How many roof tiles per m

Care should be taken to follow the roof area method of calculating the amount of roof tile requirement. This method lends itself to wrong calculations if used at minimum headlap without checking whether the tiling is practically possible on the eaves- and rafter length.

In practice, we follow the rule that the roof must always be covered with full horizontal courses. To arrive at the correct estimate of tiles required, the appropriate batten centres and tile headlap must be established. This method is more accurate as it gives the number of tile courses and one can then simply adjust the tile headlap to suit the rafter length.

An easier method is where suppliers such as Cashbuild, Builders Warehouse, or Chamberlains are consulted. They normally have dedicated roofing sections which can help you with the estimation. They normally require a copy of the approved building plans and do a site inspection when it comes to additions to new buildings.

When it comes to estimating wastage, we follow the following rule of thumb:

  • The main quantity of roof tiles: Allow for 2% extra tiles.
  • Ridge tiles and verge tiles: Allow for 5% extra tiles.
  • We also keep 20 extra tiles for possible after-trade damages.
  • Hips: Allow 3 extra tiles per linear metre of hip.
  • Valleys: Allow for 4 extra tiles per linear metre of valley.

Price of roof tiles

The prices of tiles in South Africa vary from supplier to supplier as well as from region to region. We strongly advise that the reader should contact suppliers such as Marley, and Coverland and request a brochure with a pricelist.

For any advice concerning roof tiles and appropriate roof coverings give us at Roof Buddies a call. The correct choice will also impact the possibility of roof repairs and roof painting in the future.

We hope the above information on roof tiles types and prices will be of help you to make an informed decision about the best roof covering option for the roof of your building. In our experience we can recommend the Concrete Roof Tiles. They are truly widely available at a great variety of profiles, colours and reasonable cost. Aspects that helps your pocket as well as the value of your property.




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