Tile vs. Shingle Roofs: What’s the Difference?








It’s a debate as old as time itself. We’re not talking about chocolate or vanilla. We’re not talking about Star Trek or Star Wars. We’re not even talking about the Yankees or the Mets (Yanks, of course). We’re talking about tile or shingle roofs.

Each has their own benefits and their own drawbacks. We’ll explore them in-depth below. The most important thing to know, right off the bat, is that shingle roofs are less expensive upfront than tile.

Find the difference between tile and shingle roofs below. Contact us today if you’d like more information on either or to schedule your residential roof repair.

Shingle Roof 101

Shingle roofs are made up of many shingles (small slates) that overlap and provide protection from the elements. The individual shingles can be made from a variety of materials, including: fiberglass, slate, asphalt, shake, wood, or copper. Most shingle roofs now use a fiberglass/asphalt mixture due to this combination’s durability.

Shingle installation is simple and straightforward. Maintenance is also simple, due to the overlap between each shingle which helps to keep water and debris out. The average lifespan of a shingle roof is between fifteen and thirty years.

These factors lead to shingle roofs being significantly less expensive than tile roofs.  

Tile Roof 101

Tile roofs are similar to shingle, but differ in a handful of key ways. First, the tiles themselves are usually made of clay or concrete, rather than fiberglass. They’re also sealed to the roof, which increases your roof’s protection and durability. This point is especially important in Florida, where hurricanes and inclement weather can be a big problem.

Another difference is the variety of styles that tile roofs come in. You can do almost anything with a tile roof, from a Mediterranean look to classic Southwest style. The installation process is a bit more complicated than shingles, and if you add in a special style, can often result in a much higher upfront cost.

Tile roofs last for between thirty and forty years.

Tile vs. Shingle

Having explored the basics of tile and shingle roofing, the question becomes which is better? Unfortunately, there isn’t a single answer. Each roof has its own unique set of perks and problems.

Tile roofs are going to cost more upfront, but will last for about twice as long as shingle roofs. Shingle roofs are going to offer a quicker and easier installation process, while tile will take a bit longer. Tile roofs hold their value better than shingle.

Another major difference between the type is the amount of weight they can support. Tile roofing is heavier than shingle. If your home can’t support a heavy roof, then you’re going to want to go with shingles.

Whichever material you decide on, it’s important to make sure it’s installed properly and coated adequately. These will increase the lifespan of your roof and general make it stronger and more durable. Contact us today to get a free roofing estimate and learn why we’ve been South Florida’s premier roofing contract for three decades!