The humble tile is one of mankind’s earliest architectural developments, a durable and dependable staple for buildings the world over. The use of tile as a roofing material is so ancient and traditional that historians can trace the creation of clay and terracotta tiles back to the Neolithic period in China (approximately 10,000 BCE) and the Helladic period in Greece and Mesopotamia (approximately 3,000 BCE).
Why have tiles stood the test of time? The secret lies in three essential aspects that make tile different from every other ancient and modern roofing material: water resistance, durability, and the availability of materials.
How Are Tiles Made?
One of the primary reasons that tile is such an ancient architectural technology is due to the invention of ceramics. Naturally, you may worry about clay absorbing and leaking water instead of repelling a heavy downpour. However, ceramic tiles combat this with a simple technique.
The key to ceramics is high temperatures. Also known as firing, the water in the porous clay is burned away, effectively resulting in hardened stone. To further seal the ceramic, a glaze is applied for complete waterproofing. Glazes can add colors and designs to ceramics and tile. Traditional glazes are created using wood ash (resulting in lime and potash). Modern ceramics and tiles can be glazed with thousands of different variations and materials, making tiles stain-resistant, waterproof, patterned, and much more.
What Are Tiles Made of Today?
The most popular tile material is also the most recognizable: traditional orange clay. Best installed on high-angled roofs, clay tiles are excellent at reflecting heat from the sun and keeping that heat from entering the building.
Several other types of tiles have entered the construction and renovation industry. These include concrete tiles (better for low-angle roofs), slate tiles (very stylish and dependable), and even metal and plastic tiles. When renovating or designing your home, remember that there are tiles for every budget and color palette.
Are Modern Tiles Truly Durable?
Well-maintained clay tiles are dependable enough to last for decades. Need proof? Look at existing Roman and Greek buildings that remain protected by clay and limestone tiles! There are pros and cons to every type of tile, of course. If you have any concerns about tile materials for your roof, we would be more than happy to work with your design ideas and available budget.
Renovate Your Roof with United Roofing in Cedar City, Utah
February 23rd is National Tile Day, a day to celebrate this unique and timeless roofing material. Celebrate with us as we share what tile can do for your home or business! Whether you are planning a new construction project or renovating your aging building, tile makes for the perfect protective roofing material for all seasons.
Call us today for pricing and style availability. We would love to help you right away.