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Tile is the most used roof covering material in France. She is the one who protects our homes. It must be waterproof, resistant to wind, shock, weight and aesthetics. But it is difficult to find among the many types of tiles: terracotta, concrete, slate, slate, wood to name only traditional materials. Let's get to know the big family of tiles...

Terracotta tile: Classic and timeless

Terracotta tile is probably the most common roofing. And since the time she dresses the roofs of our houses, she has really given proof of her qualities:

  • Excellent quality of thermal insulation.
  • Good impermeability.
  • Strong resistance to wind and shocks.
  • Robustness: It can last from 30 years to a century!
  • Elegant: Depending on its color and shape, it adapts to all architectures and styles.
  • Easy installation

It is sometimes criticized for its tendency to crumble under the effects of freezing. But this puts all its qualities less in question because the last years manufacturers have innovated to make it more solid and more insulating.
Terracotta tile is one of the least expensive traditional hard roofs.

Concrete tile: Almost similar to terracotta

The concrete tile is an imitator! Much less ancient than the terracotta tile that it copies, it is a mixture of sand, clay, limestone and mineral pigments poured into molds.
It has its own qualities:

  • Exceptional resistance UV, frost, pollution.
  • Almost perfect sealing of the roof.
  • Robustness: It lasts at least 50 years.
  • Easy installation.

On the other hand, it requires a framework and solid load-bearing walls because it is heavy.
Efflorescence, that is to say, whitish deposits can appear on the surface of concrete tiles. Similarly, mosses and lichens tend to appreciate its surface to settle. These two major defects have been corrected by concrete tile manufacturers.

Slate tile: Distinguished and resistant

Slate tile is a natural material. Slate is a rock belonging to the schist family. Its color varies from black to bluish black. Traditionally, slate roofing has developed in regions where there was little or no clay to make terracotta tiles: Brittany, Pays de Loire, Paris.
Slate has many qualities:

  • Robustness: its duration of sight is at least 100 years.
  • Good thermal insulation.
  • Very aesthetic.
  • Excellent resistance to mosses and lichens but it can rust which weakens it.
  • Its color does not move almost throughout the decades.
  • Ecological and recyclable.

But slate is heavy. The frame that supports it must be able to support its weight. Moreover if it is robust, it remains fragile. We can not walk on it. Its installation must be done by a professional roofer.
The cost of a slate tile roof is quite affordable.

The lauze tile: Rustic and artisanal

The lauze tile it's a bit like a slate tile but more rustic! It is also a natural rock belonging to the schist family. Its thickness is between 20 and 40 mm and it has a massive and raw appearance.
Its qualities are those of slate but more robust and resistant:

  • Excellent resistance to frost, rain, sun, wind, snow.
  • Good thermal insulation.
  • Very aesthetic.
  • Very sturdy: Well laid and well maintained, a lauze roof lasts several generations.

And just like slate, lauze tile is heavy, to see very heavy: About 500 kg / m². It is therefore necessary to have a frame capable of supporting it. His pose requires real expertise and is particularly long and delicate.
The slate of a lauze roof is heavy both literally and figuratively! It is a very expensive artisanal material.

The wooden tile: Ecological and sustainable

The wooden tile has had a great empty passage remaining only present in mountainous areas and still... Its many qualities make it back on the front of the stage:

  • Excellent thermal and sound insulation.
  • Strong resistance to wind, shocks, fire.
  • Raincoat.
  • Rot.
  • Good durability, as much as terracotta tile or slate.
  • Lightness.
  • Ecological and recyclable.

The wooden tiles often also called cloths are made semi-industrially with local woods. The cost of a roof tile wood is almost identical to that of a roof tile or slate of high quality.


Video Instruction: How Athangudi Tiles Made - Handmade tiles from Tamilnadu, India.