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The Difference Between Tiles and Slates

Good quality roofing materials are essential to protect the roof from water leaks and weather damage, providing a sturdy roof structure for your home.

Tiles and slates are the most commonly used roofing material, yet many buyers can be unsure as to what the differences are between the two.

Abbey Roofing believe that you need all of the relevant information to ensure you purchase the most suitable material for your home and your budget, which is why we’ve outlined the differences below.

Farm house roof repair

What is the main difference between tiles and slates?

If your budget can stretch to natural slating, it is a luxurious touch to your home and is great for maintaining the character of period or traditional homes.

The longevity and durability of the material means that you needn’t worry about having to replace your roof, and repairs can be tackled by professionals quickly.

However, if you are in need of more modern looking roofing solution, the colour and design choice of tiles may be much more suitable to your requirements.


Slates are available in 3 varieties: natural, artificial and zinc.

Natural slates are made from a fine-grained metamorphic rock that can be split into thin layers, and are the most resistant variety.

Whilst this makes them more expensive, they offer an authentic and pleasing aesthetic solution for traditional style homes.

Often found on upscale homes, natural slating offers a very long lifespan, good fire protection and an invulnerability to rot or insect damage, all of which ensures a very low-maintenance roofing solution.

Slates are mainly grey in colour but are available in different shades, textures and patterns.

Slates are fixed to the roof using pegs and nails and can be layered up for a textured aesthetic.

Whilst this may look more pleasing, it does lower the wind resistance of the roof and lead to more issues with the slates displacing and breaking.


Tiles are produced from either concrete or clay and are available in a wide range of designs and colours, which makes them more suited to modern houses than slates.

Whether you choose concrete or clay tiles, the tiles will have a life expectancy of 50 years and will be of equal durability and resistance.

Concrete tiles are available in plain or interlocking fittings and are usually bigger than clay, which makes them easier to install, however, for roofing with skylights or lots of chimneys, smaller tiles are needed to fit around the structures better, so clay will be used.

The flatter the tiles are, the quicker and easier the installation process will be, however you do have the option to layer up the fittings to increase weather protection – at an inflated cost.

Here at Abbey Roofing, we have a dedicated and skilled team of roofers with more than 20 years’ experience working in both the domestic and commercial roofing sectors.
We work hard all year round, carrying out emergency repairs and re-roofing, and take great pride in the reliable and quality service we deliver.

We offer a range of roofing services including; lead roofing, slate roofing, flat roofing, felt roofing, sheet metal roofing, emergency roof repairs, commercial roofing, new roof installations, gutter cleaning.

To customers in Hemel Hempstead, Watford, St Albans, Bedford, Slough, Milton Keynes, Watford, Barnet, Harpenden and beyond.

Why not contact Abbey Roofing for a free quote today, quality skilled tradesmen at great prices!

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