What is the difference between a slate roof and a tiled roof?

When homeowners in England consider re-roofing, a common question arises: “What’s the difference between a slate and a tiled roof?” Both options are prevalent in the north east and throughout the UK, but they have distinct characteristics. We’ve dived deep into this topic to give you a comprehensive answer.

Origin & Material

Slate Roofs: Slate is a natural stone that has been used for centuries as roofing material. Mined and cut into thin sheets, slate roofs offer a more uniform and elegant appearance. British slate, particularly from Wales, is renowned worldwide for its high quality.

Tiled Roofs: Tiles can be made from various materials, but in England, they’re commonly made from clay or concrete. The process involves moulding the material into shape and then firing it to harden.

Lifespan & Durability

Slate Roofs: One of the primary advantages of slate is its longevity. A well-maintained slate roof can last over 100 years, resisting the harshest weather conditions. It’s also fire-resistant and doesn’t attract pests.

Tiled Roofs: Clay tiles have a significant lifespan too, typically lasting up to 60 years. Concrete tiles, however, might require replacement or maintenance a bit sooner. Both types are durable but can be prone to breakage if walked upon.

Aesthetic & Style

Tiled roof using double roman tiles.

Slate Roofs: Offering a smooth and refined appearance, slate roofs are often seen on historic buildings and homes aiming for a classic, timeless look. They come in shades of grey, blue-grey, and even purples and greens.

Tiled Roofs: Tiled roofs provide more variety in terms of colour and shape. Whether it’s the classic red clay tile or a bold, contemporary design, tiles can give a home a distinct character.

Cost & Installation

Happy roofer installing a new tiled roof in washington

Slate Roofs: Given its longevity and the quality of the material, slate tends to be more expensive than tiles, both in terms of material and installation. Specialized skills are required to install and repair slate roofs.

Tiled Roofs: Tiles, especially concrete ones, are generally more affordable. The installation process is more straightforward, meaning homeowners might find more contractors offering tile roofing services.


Choosing between slate and tiled roofing depends on your budget, aesthetic preference, and long-term goals for your home. Both materials have their merits, so consider what’s crucial for your home in England’s ever-changing weather.

Considering a roof replacement or repair? Trust Monument Roofing, where service, quality, and reliability come first.