Selection criteria for natural tiles: type, shape, size

7 min

Natural tiles are slowly and surely beginning to regain their former popularity in the domestic market. Today it is appreciated for its luxurious appearance, environmental friendliness, durability and excellent performance. Moreover, a roof made of such material does not have to be constantly repaired, which is probably the most important advantage of natural tiles. The market for this building material is extensive and offers two main types of natural tiles – ceramic and cement-sand. They differ in the way they are made and in the materials they are based on, but the general properties remain the same. What are the advantages of natural tiles and how to choose the most suitable option?

Advantages and disadvantages

Natural shingles today have received immense recognition and widespread use in the world due to their many advantages:

  • 11incredible durability, which is 100 years or more;

  • the ability to install, even if the roof has a complex surface;
  • environmentally friendly, and therefore completely safe, material;

  • the ability to withstand all environmental influences: precipitation, heat, frost, direct sunlight;
  • high strength, reliability, fire resistance;
  • excellent noise and heat insulation qualities, so the house will be as comfortable as possible: the rain will not knock out drum rolls on the whole house, hitting the roof, and the optimal temperature will be maintained in winter and summer;
  • chic appearance and a variety of options;

  • since the tile consists of individual small particles, it is easy to replace them in which case, so a minimum of time and effort will be spent on repairs.

In fairness, it is worth noting that natural tiles are not devoid of some disadvantages:

  • 12high price, because you have to pay for durability, naturalness and appearance. But cement-sand tiles are much cheaper than ceramic tiles, because the production process is not so expensive, and the materials for its manufacture are more common in nature;

  • the need to carry out manual installation, laying each element, but if the roof area is small, or it has a complex shape, then the disadvantage turns into the advantage described above;
  • with significant mechanical loads, such a property of the material as brittleness may appear, but for this the pressure must be very strong;
  • the material has a lot of weight, so you need to be sure that the building will withstand the load.

From all this, we can conclude that natural tiles, despite some disadvantages, are one of the most optimal roofing materials at the moment. And if the choice is on it, then you need to know the basic criteria for choosing natural tiles.

Rules for choosing natural tiles

Ceramic or cement-sand?

13 ceramicCeramic tiles are made from clay of certain rocks, the deposits of which are not so many in the world, which explains the high price of the material. The production of this material consists of three stages: preparation, shaping of the shard and its firing. The starting material is ceramic, it is also pottery clay, which is mixed until a homogeneous mass is achieved. Then plasticizers are added to it, which help facilitate the molding process. Roof tiles are made in two ways: stamping and tape. The first case involves the formation of a tape, which is subsequently divided into independent tiles. The second case involves pressing tiles in special metal molds. The semi-finished product, regardless of the method of its production, undergoes subsequent firing at a temperature of about 1000 degrees. You can find out more about the installation process and other advantages on the website of the manufacturer of ceramic tiles –

14 sandSand-cement tiles are not subjected to firing during the production process, and, as the name suggests, they include cement, sand, and coloring elements. The color of such a tile can be whatever, and on top the material is covered with a protective compound to achieve maximum resistance to environmental factors and durability. Since in this case there is no labor-intensive and resource-intensive firing procedure, the price of sand-cement tiles is much lower. Moreover, there are much more deposits of the required raw materials.

Outwardly, both types of tiles are very similar, and their performance is generally the same, however, sand-cement tiles even surpass ceramic tiles in strength and frost resistance. That is why today sand-cement tiles are becoming very popular, and often the choice falls on them, especially if there is a need to save money, while maintaining all the properties of ceramic tiles known from ancient times.

Color and shape

There are a lot of varieties of natural tiles, so everyone can equip the roof as they see fit. Ceramic tiles can be of the following types:

  • 16engobed when the material is covered with a thin layer of clay. It gives the tiles a matte finish and improves the resistance to sunlight;

  • glazed has a glossy surface, bright color, and also repels dirt;

  • you can also find natural tiles, which are not additionally stained, therefore they have a noble natural brown-red color.

15As for the shape, the ceramic tiles boast a decent variety. So, most often you can find tiles of such types as Spanish and German, smooth and wavy, diamond-shaped and two-slot, beaver tail and gross. In addition, each produce develops and produces its own original shapes and types of tiles. The variety of colors and shades is huge, and today many manufacturers have also begun to produce two-tone tiles.

17Cement-sand tiles can be of any shade, as they are colored in mass with pigments of a certain color. The variety of shapes is more modest, and you can usually find two- or single-wave S-shaped tiles, as well as double Roman and Old Germanic tiles.

It is worth noting that cement-sand tiles are larger than ceramic ones, and their size is 42 * 33 cm or 41 * 24 cm.In the first case, about 10 units are needed to cover a square meter of the roof, and in the second, 15 units are needed.

What size shingles are needed?

19The size of a tile is inextricably linked to its consumption: the larger the size of each element, the less of these elements will be needed. All those natural tiles that are on the market today fit into the range of use from 9.5 to 15 pieces per square meter of roofing.

Of course, the size of the tiles can significantly change the look of the house, and everyone has the right to choose those products that he likes best, but it is all important to take into account some expert advice. So, if the roof area is small, up to 400 m2, then it is better to refrain from purchasing too large tiles, the consumption of which is less than 11 pieces per square meter. Otherwise, the building will look inharmonious.

Connection reliability

20The tightness of the roof depends on a reliable lock connection. When buying, you need to pay attention to the number of locks: there should be at least two of them, one each on the top and side edges. The protruding part must lie tightly in the groove, which provides reliable protection against the ingress of snow and rain between the tiles. If the castle connection is made poorly, then the roof of the tile will deteriorate relatively quickly, after 10-20 years, and in addition, the thermal insulation may stop working.

Building requirements

18When choosing natural tiles for your home, it is important to remember that it is not suitable for every building for a number of reasons. This is a rather heavy material: a square meter of ceramic tiles weighs about 75 kg, and cement-sand – a little less, 45 kg. It creates significant pressure on the floors, and the rafter system must withstand not only the weight of the tiles, but also possible precipitation.

There are requirements for the slope of the roof: shingles can be used if the angle of inclination is from 20 to 45 degrees. At a steeper slope, natural shingles can also be used, but it is important to provide additional solutions to improve the reliability and tightness of the roof. It will also be necessary to pay maximum attention to waterproofing and ventilation if the roof slope is less than 22 degrees.

Natural tile care

21In order for this roofing material to serve you faithfully for decades, you need to properly care for it. This is not difficult. All accumulated pollution from the roof is removed with a high pressure of water every 3-4 years, and if the tiles have a glossy finish, then the dirt will not accumulate less intensively. If the coating is not cleaned with water, then, unfortunately, contaminants began to penetrate into the inner layers of the material, and special means will have to be used.

22If the roof of your house is decorated with old tiles, which were made when the technologies were not so perfect, and a layer of paint adhered poorly to the material of the tiles, then gradually it can begin to peel off. In this case, it will be possible to return the material to its previous appearance by staining with special paints. It is better to paint at a temperature of 15-20 degrees and at such a time of the year that during the drying process the paint does not overheat in the sun.

In conclusion

The choice of natural tiles today is huge; they have earned popularity for their amazing performance and ease of maintenance. To choose the material that best suits specific conditions, it is necessary to take into account a lot of factors: color and appearance, size, type of coating, as well as the material of manufacture, because cement-sand tiles will cost several times cheaper, and are almost identical in properties to ceramic ones.

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Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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