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Tile Facts

What is the difference between concrete and terracotta tiles?
Concrete tiles are one of Australia's most popular roofing materials. They offer value for money and a wide choice of colours. Terracotta tiles have been used for thousands of years and offer natural durability in both colour and quality. Made to Australian Standards, terracotta and concrete tiles are manufactured to withstand harsh climatic conditions and marine environments. All roof tiles manufactured to AS2049 are salt-safe and frost resistant, making them suitable for any location, including coastal areas. Are roof tiles more durable than other roofing options? Tiles outlast most other roofing options. Roof tile manufacturers generally offer warranties of 50 years, while some metal roofing products are only covered by warranty for 30 years.

What is the best roofing material to endure storms?
Terracotta and concrete roof tiles offer more resistance to wind suction than lighter weight materials such as metal sheeting. When damage is sustained during a storm, you only need to replace the individual damaged tiles. When a metal roof is damaged, entire sheets need to be replaced, which makes for a more costly repair bill.

Which roofing material is better at blocking out noise?
The density of tiles helps reduce external sound, such as aircraft and road noise and particularly rain and hail. A tiled roof has a sound reduction potential of 30 decibels compared to only 12 decibels for steel sheeting. Also, tiled roofs won't creak and groan in reaction to changing temperatures.

I live near the coast. What is the best roofing solution for coastal conditions?
Concrete or terracotta roof tiles are ideal for coastal regions as most products are suitable for marine environments and their high salt content. In the absence of rain, metal roofing requires frequent hosing down in high salt concentration areas, which can pose difficulties with water restrictions.

Design facts
Different styles and colours can create a mood or make a statement, help you stand out in the crowd or blend in with the streetscape. It's an entirely individual choice. In many cases, the design determines your roofing material selection. With our wide range of traditional and contemporary tiles and extensive choice of colours, you can combine different finishes and shades to create a roof that is as subtle or dramatic as your design. Because choosing the right tile can be a time consuming process, expert product consultants are on hand at our display centres to assist in finding the style and colour that will best create that individual look. Once tiles are installed there is little or no maintenance. Should a section of the roof ever be damaged, there is the added advantage of individual tile replacement over large steel sheets. The use of a flexible pointing material to fix ridge capping enhances security in high winds.

Endurance and strength
Concrete and terracotta tiles are made to strict strength specifications that meet Australian and New Zealand Standards. Terracotta has been used for thousands of years both for its incredible durability and its beauty. The high density and strength of concrete ensure your tiles will be both waterproof and highly enduring. Concrete tiles do not become brittle or porous with old age. In fact, independent testing indicates that concrete tiles actually strengthen and become less porous over time.

Fire facts
Non-combustible materials such as concrete and terracotta provide the very best protection against radiant heat from bushfires.

Dry facts
Even during severe downpours, tiles absorb negligible amounts of water. This absorption does not affect the tile's weatherproofing performance. In fact, independent research indicates that tiles absorb less water with age.

Surface facts
In some climates, moss and lichen can grow on your tiles. They will not affect your tiles in any way, and can add character to your roof. However, if you prefer the clean lines of your tiles, both moss and lichen can be easily removed.

Cosy facts
The density of concrete and terracotta roof tiles provides highly effective thermal insulation relative to other roofing materials.

Wind facts
The weight of your roofing material will contribute to its performance in high wind areas. Terracotta and concrete roof tiles outperform in this regard by offering more resistance to wind suction than lighter weight materials such as steel sheeting.

Thirsty facts
If you collect or are planning on using tank water, the water from a tiled roof is as drinkable as water from any other type of roof.

Noise Facts
The density of tiles helps reduce external sound, such as aircraft and road noise and particularly rain and hail. A tiled roof has a sound reduction potential of 30 decibels compared to only 12 decibels for steel sheeting. Further, there is none of the creaking that comes with the expansion and contraction of steel.

What is roof sarking?
Sarking is a type of foil used as insulation and can reflect up to 95% of radiant heat away from your roof space on a hot summer day. Sarking also helps in keeping dust out and protecting your home during bushfires and storms.

I have a problem with my roof tiles. Who should I contact?
In the first instance you should contact the installer/supplier of the roof tiles to report the issue. For ongoing matters of complaint, contact the relevant Fair Trading Office in your state.

How do I get a job as a roof tiler?
Roof tilers undergo an apprenticeship to become fully qualified in their trade, which generally lasts 3 to 4 years, depending on state requirements. To find out more about apprenticeships, visit

How do I best maintain my roof?
Maintaining tiles requires minimal effort. However if your roof is old or you'd like to get it checked after storm damage, we recommend contacting a roof maintenance specialist who understands the correct safety procedures to inspect your roof.

What is lichen?
Lichen or moss can start to grow on tiles after long periods but does not in any way indicate deterioration or affect the performance of tiles. It can be easily removed with a high pressure cleaner by a professional cleaning contractor.

Can you respray tiled roofs?
Depending on the material and method used it is completely acceptable to spray concrete roof tiles. However never spray terracotta as it would interfere with the natural quality of the clay and over time will peel away from the glazed surface.

How expensive is it to re-roof?
Bring your plans to one of our members and they can provide an accurate cost estimate. There may be surprisingly little difference between the cost of respraying and installing new roof tiles.

Why is concrete not as colour-fast as terracotta?
Concrete tiles are not glazed so like all exterior building materials they are subject to UV radiation and atmospheric pollutants. As a result they will weather with age to a matt finish and will lose some colour over time. Terracotta tiles are kiln-fired with a vitreous coating that makes these tiles resistant to harsh UV exposure and pollutants.

What are the white streaks apparent on some roofs?
Sometimes the natural mineral salts in concrete can migrate to the surface in the form of a whitish grey discolouration called efflorescence. This is not harmful, has no impact on the performance of the tile and will weather away over time. This article sourced from the Roofing Tile Association of Australia.