Concrete Tile

Photo Courtesy of Eagle Roofing Products

Less expensive than clay tiles, concrete roof tiles are also heavy but can last a long time and are very fire resistant.

  • Materials: Made from a mixture of Portland cement and sand.
  • Appearance: Can be made to resemble traditional clay tiles, wood shakes, or slate. Color can be throughout tile or only applied on the surface.
  • Eco-Friendly: Made from natural materials but requires significant energy to manufacture.
  • Durability: Long lasting and low maintenance but can break.
  • Weight: Heavy, require reinforced roof framing to support.
  • Slope: Can be used on moderate to steeper sloped roofs.
  • Fire & Wind: Excellent fire resistance, fair to low wind resistance.
  • Cost: Moderate. Read our concrete roofing cost guide.


Slate is one of the oldest roofing materials. Though brittle and expensive, it is very durable and resists both wind and fire.

  • Materials: Made from natural slate rock.
  • Appearance: Usually dark gray with irregular appearance.
  • Eco-Friendly: Made from natural materials.
  • Durability: Long lasting, durable (depending on where quarried).
  • Weight: Heavy, require reinforced roofing structure to support.
  • Slope: Steep sloped roofs only.
  • Fire & Wind: Good fire and wind resistance.
  • Cost: Very expensive. Requires specially trained workers to install.

Wood Singles and Shakes

Wood shingles and shakes made from rot resistant woods have low fire resistance unless treated.

  • Materials: Commonly made of cedar, but can also be made of other rot resistant woods, such as redwood.
  • Appearance: Gives natural look, weathers to a silvery gray. Available in sawn shingles or thicker split shakes.
  • Eco-Friendly: Made from natural materials.
  • Durability: Short lifespan and requires periodic maintenance.
  • Weight: Moderate in weight.
  • Slope: Can be used on moderate to steep sloped roofs.
  • Fire & Wind: Good wind resistance, poor fire resistance (can be treated with a fire retardant).
  • Cost: Moderate.

Roofing Comparison

The following table gives an overview of the various materials available. Weight and cost are listed per square of roofing (100 square feet) and include both labor and materials. Actual price may vary depending on the particular product used, the complexity of the job, and labor costs in different parts of the country. The cost per year indicates the price of the labor and materials per square over the roof’s projected life.

Product Weight/Square Lifespan Cost/Square Cost/Year
Asphalt (3-tab) 190-250 lb. 15-20 yr. $75-$125 $4-$8
Asphalt (laminated) 240-340 lb. 20-30 yr. $125-$200 $4-$10
Metal (coated steel) 80-150 lb. 30-50 yr. $250-$450 $5-$15
Plastic Polymer 70-300 lb. 50+ yr. $400-$650 $7-$13
Clay Tile 600-1,800 lb. 50+ yr. $800-$1,000 $13-$20
Concrete Tile 550-1,000 lb. 50+ yr. $300-$500 $5-$10
Slate 800-1,000 lb. 75+ yr. $1,100-$2,000 $10-$20
Wood (cedar) 200-350 lb. 15-25 yr. $350-$450 $14-$30


There are two warranties to consider when roofing your home. The manufacturer’s warranty covers defects in the roofing material. A separate warranty may be issued by the roofing contractor to handle problems arising from improper installation.

A warranty is no better than the company that writes it, so make sure the product comes from a reputable manufacturer with the financial resources to stand behind it. This applies to the roofing contractor as well, since a fly-by-night roofer may be long gone before their guarantee expires.

It is important to read the warranty carefully to see what is covered and excluded. Some warranties are not transferable when you sell your house while others are limited to the cost of materials or are prorated over time.

Your roof is your home’s single most important defense when it comes to protecting it from the elements, so it makes sense to make sure it’s done right.

Further Information




Plastic Polymer:



Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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