Clay tile is most often thought of in the traditional “S” or “Spanish” tile look but clay can now be made in several other patterns as well. Tile is a very resilient material and is able to withstand some of the harshest elements such as hail, wind, and fire. The one drawback to tiles is their weight; they are very heavy, and require certain structural standards for the frame and decking of the roof. They have a great life expectancy, with a minimum duration of 40 to 50 years.
Tiles may need to be predrilled and nailed if you have a steep pitch roof, or even supported by metal brackets, all of which could increase the cost associated with this type of roofing system. Tile roofs offer one of the longest warranties in the roofing industry. Most tile manufacturers (both clay and concrete) will offer a minimum of a 50 year limited warranty on their products.
Concrete tile has essentially all of the upsides of clay tile but with the added advantage of being available in an even greater number of styles including traditional clay, slate, and even wood shake! It is ideal for communities with appearance codes because it has such a wide range of appearance options.
Pros: Long life, long warranty, strong material, available in a variety of shapes and colors, environmentally friendly
Cons: Material expense, a heavy material, which will not work on all roofs