Pros and Cons of Barrel Tile Roofing in Florida

Barrel Tile Roofing
July 11, 2024

As a Florida resident, you’ve probably noticed how popular tile roofing is down here. It’s part of the local history, with Florida being one of the first places on the continent to have clay tile roofs. Today, barrel tile roofing is just as popular as it has ever been. But many homeowners still have questions about this tile roofing material.

What makes barrel tiles different from other tiles? How do I know if barrel tile roofing is right for my home? We’re PITCH Roofing, and today we’re answering all of these questions and more. Keep reading for a full breakdown and review of everything you need to know about barrel tile roof replacements in Florida!

What Is Barrel Tile Roofing?

What Is Barrel Tile Roofing

Barrel roofing tiles get their name from their iconic shape — rounded like a barrel cut in half. In Florida, the two most common types of barrel tiles are Spanish tiles and Mediterranean tiles, which reflects the classic and timeless appeal of barrel tile roofing. But beyond great aesthetics, these tile roofs are some of the most durable in the state of Florida.

Barrel roofing tiles function by locking together on your roof. With an alternating face-up and face-down pattern, these tiles seamlessly move water off your roof and protect it from wind, pests, UV rays, and all of Florida’s other major roof killers.

Barrel tiles are available in a variety of materials, with the two most common options being clay and concrete. Clay is the classic tile option and offers a longer lifespan, whereas concrete barrel tiles are more affordable but may not last as long. In this way, you can get a barrel tile roof that meets your unique needs and preferences!

Positives of Barrel Tile Roofing in Florida

Barrel roofing tiles have been a staple for Florida homeowners for centuries. Let’s talk about some of the biggest features that have contributed to this popularity!

Unbeatable Longevity

Many homeowners want a roof that they can install and then forget about. If this sounds familiar, then tile roofing could be perfect for you. A well-installed clay tile roof can last for upwards of a century, even in Florida. And while concrete barrel tiles don’t last as long, you can still expect to get 50 years of life out of your concrete tiles!

A big part of this long lifespan is the great wind resistance of barrel tiles. Since they’re heavy and lock together, wind doesn’t have much of a chance to remove them from your roof. Many barrel tile roofs are rated for 150 mph winds, which means your home will be protected even through major hurricanes!

Variety of Styles

In addition to choosing between clay and concrete tiles, you’ll be able to completely customize the aesthetic of your new tile roof. For one thing, you’ll be able to choose your type of barrel tile. Spanish tiles are a classic option, especially for homes with white stucco siding, and Mediterranean tiles are designed for the lower-slope roofs of Mediterranean-style homes.

Spanish barrel tiles are a high-profile S-tile, which creates an S shape with large, sweeping curves. This is the type of tile that you probably think of first when you imagine a tile roof. Homeowners choose this type of barrel tile roofing when they want to add a classic, old-world feel to their home.

Mediterranean tile roofs, on the other hand, use medium barrel tiles. These have a gentler, more measured curve, which creates a more contemporary look and adds visual interest to your home while still providing the classic appeal of a tile roof.

In addition to choosing the types of tiles, you’ll also be able to select a color that suits your home and your tastes. While tiles traditionally come in neutral tones and the distinctive clay tile red, nowadays you can get a barrel tile roof in virtually any color that you like.

Great Aging in Florida

As time goes on, every roofing system gets weaker. But of all the roofing materials in Florida, barrel tile roofing arguably holds up the best. Because of Florida’s year-round humidity, rot is a big concern for local shingle roofs. But because of the way that roofing tiles are manufactured, they’re all but impervious to rot and stay strong over the years.

Insects and other pests are also a big roofing concern in Florida. But because of their makeup, tile roofs don’t attract termites, carpenter ants, or other annoying pests. By keeping your roof dry and pest-free, tile roofs age well without giving you headaches over the years.

Negatives of Barrel Tile Roofing in Florida

Negatives of Barrel Tile Roofing in Florida

Barrel tile roofing is great, but it’s not right for everyone. Let’s talk about some of the biggest drawbacks to barrel roofing tiles to help you make a decision about your roof replacement!

High Roofing Costs

While the price of barrel tile roofs can vary, they’re never the cheapest option. When you account for both materials and labor, a clay tile roof can cost between $19 and $31 per square foot. While concrete tiles are more affordable, you can still expect to pay $14 to $28 per square foot for a concrete barrel tile roof.

If barrel tile roofing works for your budget, we encourage you to consider it. These roofs are durable, beautiful, and some of the most reliable in the state, so they’re well worth the up-front investment However, they’re simply not in everyone’s budget, and there’s nothing wrong with ultimately deciding that a roofing material isn’t right for your home.

Heavy Roofing Materials

Part of what makes barrel tiles so appealing is their heft — it makes them much more resistant to hurricane-force winds. But the weight of tile roofing can also be a problem. That’s because your roof has to support that weight, and not every home is prepared to handle the weight of a tile roof.

For this reason, before starting your roof replacement, experienced installers will inspect your home to make sure that your roof can handle the weight of clay or concrete tiles. If necessary, they may suggest ways to add extra support to your roof. This process will increase your total tile roofing costs, but when it’s necessary, it’s the only way to safely install a tile roof.

Get a Free Barrel Tile Roofing Estimate

If you’re still interested in a barrel tile roof, Pitch can help. When you sign up for a free, no-obligation roofing estimate, you’ll get personalized attention, answers to all of your questions, and a detailed, comprehensive quote that covers the full scope of your roof replacement.

To start the roofing process, call us at 727-607-4553 or schedule your free estimate online. As a local roofing company, Pitch has experienced contractors who know Florida roofing inside and out. When you get your free tile roofing estimate, we’ll demonstrate our friendliness and local know-how from the very first meeting.