Tile Roofing vs. Shingle Roofing

It’s easy to say that roofing is important. A good roof over your head is one of the essential components of protecting you and your stuff from the elements.

But what type of roof should you have? What’s the best? You have a lot of options. For pitched roofs, which dominate residential roofing, there are two materials that are more common than the rest: tiles and shingles. Which is right for your home (or building)? That depends on more than a few things, so let’s break down the pros and cons of both roofing styles to help you with your decision. To learn more, give Alpine Roofing Construction a call.

Tile Roofing

Tile roofs are among the most common in many parts of Europe and across the Mediterranean. Tiles are usually made of clay or slate. While they are a little less popular in the United States, you can still find plenty of examples in just about every city in the country. For the most part, tile roofing is more complicated but offers benefits for your trouble.


The leading reason to get a tile roof is that it lasts a long time. With minimal maintenance, tile roofs can last 50 years or more. Warranties will vary, but this is a roofing style that stands up to severe weather and most conditions without batting an eye.

In addition to toughness, tile roofs come in a variety of colors and aesthetics, so your roof can be part of what makes the home or building unique. Tile roofing can also be repaired (when needed) in small sections. If a tree branch damages some tiles, a roofing expert can replace those tiles without having to tear up the whole roof.


Tile roofs sound great, but they aren’t on every building. Why is that? Mostly, it comes down to cost. While tile roofs last a lot longer than shingles, they also cost a lot more. In many cases, people don’t have the budget to opt for the more durable tile option, and that settles it.

Also, tile roofing is much harder to work with. It’s not really a DIY material when it comes to installation. Even maintenance is hard to do without special tools.

You also can’t safely walk on tile roofing, which is part of what makes care so much more difficult. Roof space covered by tiles is not usable space.

Shingle Roofing

You’ve seen plenty of shingle roofs. The style is by far the most common in the US, and you can find shingles around the world. They are traditionally made from asphalt. That makes them easy and cheap to produce, and because they are so popular, you can find the materials and roofers who work with shingles just about everywhere.


So why are shingle roofs so common? The leading reason is price. Shingle roofing is the most affordable roofing you can find — in most cases. The materials are cheap and easy to work with. You don’t really need a bunch of specialized tools, so the labor costs for installation are lower too.

On top of that, shingle maintenance is mostly easy. Keep it clean. Replace shingles that get damaged. That’s the gist of it, and a lot of that maintenance is DIY friendly.

Because of the lower cost of shingle roofing, it’s often easier to get insurance companies to foot the bill (or at least part of the bill). This also contributes to their popularity.

Shingle roofing handles foot traffic just fine. It’s easy to work with and adapt to a bunch of different roofing designs. It’s also a bit of a standard. Owners know what to expect from shingles, so they often stick with what they know.


For all that makes shingle roofing great, it’s nowhere near perfect. As you already know, shingles don’t last as long as tiles. That leads to an important difference. Shingle roofing is one of the least cost-effective roofing materials you can get. It might be cheaper today, but because its lifespan is so much shorter, shingles usually cost more in the long run.

Shingles also aren’t the most recyclable roofing material. Some aspects of shingles can be and regularly are recycled, but the entirety of the roof doesn’t hold to that standard. On average, shingle roofs produce more waste than any other common roofing material. Based on their limited recyclability and frequent replacement intervals, they definitely contribute to waste more than other roofing materials.
The truth is that tiles and shingles can both be right in different circumstances. No matter what you choose, you are making trades between the pros and cons of your different materials. So if you want to be sure you have the right roof for your home or building, contact Alpine Roofing Construction. We’ll discuss all of your options so you know exactly what you are getting before you commit to a decision.

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