Your Guide to Clay Tile Roofs from Florida Roofing Pros

Clay Tile Roof in Florida
April 16, 2024

Did you know that Florida is the American home to the clay tile roof? Ever since Spanish settlers brought clay roofing tiles over to the New World, Floridians have loved the style and protection that they offer. And if you’re interested in getting a clay tile roof for your home, then you’ll be glad to know that their popularity is still going strong in The Sunshine State.

We should know! We’re PITCH Roofing, your trustworthy local roofing partner. Our founding roofers started this company with 60 years of collective roofing experience, and now we’re putting that expertise to work for you. Today, that means telling you all about the pros and cons of getting a clay tile roof in Florida!

Pros and Cons of a Clay Tile Roof

Pros and Cons of a Clay Tile Roof

While clay tile roofing is a signature Florida style, it’s not for everyone. So before you commit to a roof replacement, let us fill you in on everything you need to know to make an informed decision.

Pro: Florida-resistant Protection

Part of the reason that clay roofs are so popular in The Sunshine State is how well they can withstand the local weather patterns. For example, clay tiles can handle winds exceeding 150 mph. This makes them ideal for withstanding even hurricane-force winds!

Clay tiles are also carefully designed to help water move off your roof. How they do this can depend on the type of clay tiles that you choose, but each style has its own way of neatly moving water off your roof without giving it the opportunity to reach your vulnerable roof decking.

As the cherry on top, clay tile roofs don’t rot and are resistant to bugs. This is a major improvement over shingle roofs, which can soak through and lead to algae growth and pest infestations.

Con: Clay Tiles Are Brittle

In most cases, getting a clay tile roof is a great way to protect your home from the elements. But there’s one exception: Clay tiles are at a high risk of being damaged by falling branches and other types of impact damage.

In Florida, this can cause some problems as falling storm debris can crack shingles. But there is a silver lining here: Replacing clay tiles is a quick and low-cost roof repair. So while this is definitely a downside for clay tile roofs, it’s not usually a dealbreaker for most homeowners.

Pro: Fantastic Curb Appeal

Clay tile roofs aren’t just beloved for their function. Floridians also can’t get enough of the classic, timeless beauty that these roofs offer. And no matter what your vision is for your clay tile roof, you can bet that there’s an option that will let you achieve it.

That’s because clay roofing tiles come in a variety of styles. From French tiles to mission tiles, there are plenty of styles and tile patterns to choose from. In fact, some types of tiles allow you to arrange them in unique patterns, ensuring that your roof is completely original and suited to your tastes.

No matter what type of clay tile you choose, you can count on it increasing your home’s curb appeal considerably. This is doubly true of Spanish-style homes in Florida, which combine perfectly with the classic look of clay tile.

Con: High Clay Tile Roof Costs

There’s no denying it: Clay tile roofs are anything but cheap. This is a premium roofing material, which means it comes at a premium price. Specifically, clay tile roofs cost about $12 to $21 per square foot, including roof installation costs.

To put this another way, let’s consider that the average roof is around 1,700 square feet. On a roof of this size, assuming that there are no unique roofing features, you could expect a clay tile roof replacement to cost between $20,400 and $35,700.

This price tag is the biggest reason why more homeowners don’t choose to get a clay tile roof. But if this price is something that makes sense in your budget, then you should treat a clay tile roof as an investment in your home’s long-term protection. Because just like we can’t deny that clay tile roofs are expensive, we also know for a fact that they’re well worth that cost.

Pro: Unbeatable Longevity

Without a doubt, the stand-out, best-selling feature of a clay tile roof is its longevity. In fact, clay tile roofs can last longer than any other sloped roofing material — even metal roofs. So how long does a clay tile roof last? With the right maintenance and care, clay tile roofs have been known to last for longer than 100 years!

This is why so many Florida homeowners choose a tile roof replacement despite the intimidating price tag. Yes, clay tile roofs have high up-front roof replacement costs. But their unmatched longevity can partially offset the high costs, even with Florida’s harsh climate.

There is one important caveat to this, though. Your clay roofing tiles may last for a century, but your roof underlayment won’t. This part of your roof protects against water, and it will only last for about 20 years. So while you won’t need to replace your roof as often as with other roofing materials, your underlayment will need to be replaced more frequently (but this is a much less expensive job than a tile roof replacement).

Types of Clay Roofing Tiles

Types of Clay Roofing Tiles

If you’re still interested in a clay tile roof after reviewing the pros and cons, the next step is considering what type of tile you want for your new roof. And as experienced Florida roofers, there’s almost no limit to the types of clay tiles that we can install for you.

Some of the most popular types of clay roofing tiles include:

  • Spanish Tile: People also refer to Spanish tile as barrel tile because of its rounded, half-barrel shape. Not only does this create a classic Spanish feel on your structure, but it also allows for efficient water shedding and ventilation.
  • French Tile: Unlike Spanish tiles, these tiles are flat with divots in the center of the tile. This creates a pathway for water to flow seamlessly off your roof. If you prefer a more modern aesthetic, you can apply these tiles in a more staggered pattern that creates visual interest on your roof.
  • Mediterranean Tile: Also called S-tile due to its unique profile, Mediterranean tiles are meant to tightly overlap and interlock to ensure that nothing can get into the more vulnerable layers of your roofing system.
  • Mission Tile: These tiles get their name from the missions in the American Southwest, but their style fits just as well in Florida. Available in gorgeous earth tones, mission tiles are a versatile option for your clay tile roof.

No matter what kind of clay roofing tile you choose, you’ll need experienced roofers to install it. And nobody knows clay tile roof replacements like the experts here at Pitch.

Schedule Your Free Clay Tile Roof Replacement Estimate

As people who have been in the roofing industry for decades, we understand that it can be hard to tell which roofers you can really trust. But the best way to find out who the real pros are is to start collecting estimates. At Pitch, we make getting a roof replacement estimate as easy as possible.

To get your estimate, call us at 727-677-4824 or fill out our online contact form. We’ll promptly schedule you for a quick roof inspection so that we can customize your estimate to your structure and your preferences. And when you get an estimate from Pitch, you never have to worry about hidden fees. Our estimates are transparent and cover the full scope of work, so there shouldn’t be any unpleasant surprises at the end of your roof replacement!

Investing in a clay tile roof is a big decision. If you’re ready to protect your home for decades to come, reach out to Pitch and let us earn your business through our great customer service and even better workmanship.

Last Updated:May 31, 2024