Spanish Clay Tile Roofs: Advantages and Disadvantages

When a homeowner chooses a roofing material, aesthetics are often a primary concern. When it comes to style, we feel that a Spanish Clay Tile roof is second to none. Fortunately, clay tile is also very suitable for the drastic Florida weather, as it can withstand high heat, sun, and humidity. Listed below are some of the advantages and disadvantages to consider if you think this might be the right choice for you.



This is obviously a very important concern for people living in Florida. Roofing tiles have a natural thermal resistance in the raw materials themselves, which is created by the larger cross-sectional areas of the tiles when they are installed.  Also, since they are installed individually, the air space around the tiles creates natural ventilation that acts as a barrier, allowing indoor building temperatures to stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.


Spanish tiles do not require frequent maintenance to be performed, however it is recommended that they are inspected 1-2 times a year to look for things such as leaks and water damage, leaves, branches, and other stuck debris, cracked or damaged tiles, and birds and other animals. Fortunately, if there are one or more tiles that do need to be replaced, you don’t need to rip up an entire section of your roof, since the damaged tiles can be individually removed and replaced with relative ease.


Since Spanish tiles are made from natural materials which can easily be recycled, they are extremely environmentally friendly.  In addition, they are not made with any chemicals or other hazardous materials.


The curve in Spanish tiles’ appearance helps to provide ventilation, so in addition to being resistant to heat, they are also fire resistant, receiving a Class A fire rating, indicating the highest level of safety and the least likely to combust or catch fire.



Although if maintained properly these tiles will last for decades, they are fragile when they are met with enough force, such as someone walking on them incorrectly or a large object hitting the surface. When things like that happen, they are vulnerable to chips, cracks, or even falling apart completely.


Clay roof tiles are very heavy, typically weighing anywhere from 8 to 15 pounds per square foot. While there are some positive aspects to this, since the heavier the material, the harder it is for them to be lifted off of the roof deck, on the overall it is considered a disadvantage since the added weight puts more of a strain on the building structure. Thus, it’s crucial to ensure that the building frame can withstand the extra weight.


For a Spanish clay tile to be able to drain water adequately, if the slope is not too steep, it’s recommended that you use two layers of underlayment to ensure water doesn’t leak through. If the slope is steep, only one layer of underlayment is necessary.

Ross Brothers is the leading luxury remodeling contractor in South Florida, working with an exclusive clientele in areas such as Las Olas, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and Lighthouse Point. Our 200+ glowing reviews attest to the fact that we provide superior craftsmanship, as well as a first class client experience from start to finish. Contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation, and we will show you how our vast experience and unique process can help transform your space into the ultimate home of your dreams.