Elegant and sober, the flat tiles have their origin in the wooden rugs that dressed the roofs of our ancestors the Gauls. Today they cover with the same distinction the old buildings as the contemporary constructions. They are suitable for steep roofs and windy and rainy climates.
What is a flat tile?
As the name suggests, a flat tile is a tile that looks like a terracotta rectangle having no relief on the front. On the back, it has a hooking heel or holes to keep it on the wooden battens of the frame.
Note that although flat, it is slightly curved to facilitate the flow of water.
Historically it is the tile of the Paris Basin. Originally made of terracotta, it was made slate tile in areas rich in slate deposits. In Burgundy, she became a glazed tile to dress in color the greatest monuments. In the east of France, its lower edge is rounded in "beaver tail" (Bieberschwanz) or in scales. Some of the oldest ones even have a triangular edge.
Today it is also declined in concrete tiles.
The advantages of flat tile
The many advantages of the flat tile make it present in almost all regions:
- It is specially adapted to steep roofs: 45° and more.
- It is very suitable for complex roofs: turret, curve, slope difference, skylights, etc. It is the only tile that can be fixed almost vertically.
- It allows a lot of creativity like the design of geometric patterns.
- It is very suitable for rainy areas because it is much more watertight than the channel tile.
The flat tiles are laid in quincunx and overlapping each other. The purle, that is to say the visible part of the tile that receives the rain water finally represents only 1/3 of the tile.
- Thanks to its system of lapping it consists of a heavy roof that resists the wind.
The different characteristics of the flat tile
The flat tile knows how to adapt to modernity while retaining its traditional values. And each manufacturer offers a large choice of sizes, colors and finishes to meet all needs in new, renovation or restoration for historic monuments.
The dimensions of the flat tiles vary according to regional particularities but also according to the architectural style of the buildings:
- Standard dimensions 16 X 27 cm or 17 X 27 cm. Which represents 60 to 70 tiles per m².
- Smaller dimensions 14/15 X 24/25 cm. Which represents about 80 tiles per m².
- Larger dimensions 17 X 30/33 cm or 27 X 35 cm.
Non-standard or beaver-tail formats are more for renovation.
The main disadvantage of flat tiles is the large number of tiles needed to cover a roof which increases the cost per square meter. On the other hand, it is necessary that the frame can support this weight.
Although manufactured industrially, flat tiles have a large number of colors and finishes: Smooth, sandblasted, plain, enamelled.
Some reproduce the same "imperfections" characteristic of old handmade fabrications: Irregularities, variable dimensions, old patina, etc. This makes it possible to use them in renovation or restoration for historical monuments.
Very aesthetic, the flat tile knows how to adapt to a lot of configuration, from the most classic to the most contemporary. The varied choice of colors and shapes allows its integration regardless of the regional style and the particular character of each home.