Artificial Slate Roof Tiles – Everything You Need To Know!


All You Need To Know About Artificial Slate Roof Tiles

Natural slate tiles have decked the roofs of structures in the United Kingdom all the way back to the back from the Victorian era. At the time, Welsh slate was seemingly the universal slate tile of choice. Natural slate tiles are lauded for its sleek appeal, durability, longevity, and overall timelessness.

Many period homes across the country still have their original natural slate tiles on. These tiles are estimated to last up to 150 years. Amazingly enough, there have also been many instances of the tiles outlasting the structures as well!

Unfortunately, these exceptional qualities come at a premium. Natural slate tiles are costly and need to be installed by specialists. Only roofing companies well versed in both British Standard 5534 and BS 8000 Part 6 have the level of expertise required to properly install these prized tiles. On top of that, the installation period of natural slate can take anywhere from a week to several depending on the size and complexity of the structure it’s being installed upon.

However, despite its enduring popularity, the roofing industry introduced artificial slate roof tiles in the past decade as a more cost-effective option for the current market. And the demand for them continues to rise. Read on and find out whether artificial slate tiles are right for your home or project.

The Two Types Of Artificial Slate

There are currently two types of artificial slate available in the market today: Fibre Cement Slate and Man-made Slate. Fibre Cement Slate is made primarily from cement and other elements and is a versatile, cost-effective option. Man-made Slate, on the other hand, is largely made up of reconstituted slate and is a cheaper alternative to the natural version.

Advantages of using artificial slate tiles:

Artificial slate tiles are more affordable compared to natural slate. The savings you incur from choosing the alternative tiles aren’t entirely from the material itself but rather from labour cost, as the tiles do not require specialist installation. Furthermore, you will be able to save more if you choose to use the interlocking variety rather than the double lapping variety as it can be laid using a single nail and clip, saving you from further material purchases.

The difference between artificial and natural slate are subtle and can be missed by untrained eyes. Artificial slate tiles are bigger in size and can be used on roof pitches as low as 15° as opposed to the traditional 20°roof pitch recommended for natural slate. Fibre Cement Slate is also lighter compared to natural slate, which is ideal if your roof structure isn’t equipped to support the weight of natural slate.

What are the disadvantages of using alternative slate roof tiles?

Roof tile manufacturers try to make the slate effect tiles to look as convincing as possible. However, the uniform and smoother appearance is a dead giveaway that the tiles are not natural slate where every tile has a unique texture and size. The uniform look of these alternative slate tiles are preferred on modern builds, while traditional homes continue to favour the uneven appearance of the real thing.

Authentic, high-quality Welsh slate tiles can last for more than a century. Newer natural slate from reputable European or North American manufacturers will last around 60 years. On the other hand, the average life span for artificial roof tiles range between 20 to 60 years. Cheaper options will definitely have shorter life spans, so if you want your roof to last, it’s better to make an investment instead.

Another cause for concern regarding these alternative slate tiles is that their colours are more prone to fade within its first 10 years. However, it is important to note that manufacturers are hard at work in addressing this issue. Someday, the color steadfastness of slate effect tiles may truly be able to rival its natural counterpart’s.

Consider this before choosing between natural and artificial slate:

If you are restoring or renovating a period property, then go for natural slate to preserve its authenticity. However, if you’re simply giving your modern build home an update, artificial slate to achieve the sleek and stylish appeal you want your home to exude.

Buy your artificial slate tiles from these manufacturers:

If you’re currently in the market for artificial slate tiles, we at Concept Roof Cleaning recommend that you consider the selection offered by these three manufacturers:

Marley Enternit manufactures both concrete interlocking and fibre concrete slate tiles that come in various colours, styles, and prices.

Monier Redland also has a fantastic range of artificial slate roof tiles made from concrete. They have a range of smooth slate tiles and also have great imitations like the Saxon 10 which is essentially a more affordable replica of Welsh blue slate or Scottish black slate.

Weinerberger’s Sandtoft’s tiles, such as their interlocking Rivius slate made from alluvial clay, are also worth considering. The Rivius slate’s surfaces made to look like natural slate and Weinberger claims it is 50% more cost-effective than traditional slate.

Professional Slate Roof Cleaning

Call us today on 01908 596009 for a professional roof cleaning service throughout Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire & Hertfordshire – we at Concept Roof Cleaning have roof cleaning teams based in Milton Keynes, Luton & Bedford

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