Not Your Typical Roof: Nine Creative Alternatives

Not Your Typical Roof: Nine Creative Alternatives

Ways To Make Your Roof Stand Out

If aesthetics is a vital part of your everyday life, then a shingle roof-style house will likely bore you! While shingle roofs are both practical and pleasant-looking, the charms of tile roofs are far more alluring. Here are nine different types of roof tiles for consideration to boost your house’s visual appeal and to set it apart from everyone else’s. Need a supplier? Head on over to New Jersey roofing.

The Early Beginnings of Roof Tiles

The earliest recording of the use of clay roofs dates back to 10,000 BC and in the 17th century, people started using slate tile roofs. As they were easily accessible materials, slate and clay were popular choices of components to make roofs. The use of metal and concrete tiles only became popular in the 19th century.  

Preference for Tiles Over Shingles

The primary purpose of having a roof over your house is to protect it from water. While both shingle roofs and roof tiles are capable of keeping the water out, regular asphalt roofs are materially and aesthetically different from roof tiles. Roof tiles cater to an unrivaled myriad of design choices that simply are not possible with asphalt shingles. 

Nine Styles of Roof Tiles

#1 Slate Roof Tiles

Slate is a fine-grained ingenuous stone with an elegant look. Roof tiles made with this material come in a wide variety of colors as a result of time and the work of nature. Moreover, it is naturally a fire-proof, sturdy, and enduring material. However, one disadvantage of using slate roof tiles is that they are very heavy. Hence, the overall structure of the house needs to be designed in such a way that it can support the weight. Furthermore, the handling of slate roof tiles is costly and complex, making repair work a foreseeable issue.  

#2 Metal Roof Tiles

Steel, aluminum, copper, and zinc are often used for making roof tiles. Among them, steel and aluminum are highly favored over the rest. Metals for roof tiles are a popular choice due to their durability and light-weight quality. They also come in various forms and styles which allows them to mimic slate tiles, wood shake tiles, barrel tiles as well as common shingle designs.

Although these cutting-edge positive attributes set them apart from other roof tile materials, they are also their own flaws. Metal can be a source of noise pollution which is undesirable to many. In addition, it is malleable and easily dented, posing problems for repair work. On top of that, metal is a good conductor of heat and thus, is not a viable option for insulation.

#3 Slate Roof Tiles

The mid-1800s was when concrete titles were first created in Bavaria. At the time, the fundamental components needed to make concrete were affordable and easily available. Initially, concrete tiles were individually hand-made, but when demands grew and mass production practices began, concrete tiles became one of the most budget roof tiles available. Often, these tiles can be designed to appear like wood shakes, clay tiles, and even slate tiles. 

Like slate, concrete is quite heavy and will need a sturdy support structure to hold the weight of the roof. Proper installation of the concrete roof tiles should be left to the roofing experts who have the appropriate tools and required experience to do it.

#4 Composite Roof Tiles

Both organic and artificial materials form composite roof tiles which have generally better-attributes than tiles made of metal, clay, wood stone, or concrete. Their light-weight feature allows convenient installation for most roofing professionals. They can be made to resemble the appearance of any roof tile in addition to customizable colors and designs. 

#5 Solar Roof Tiles

Energy-saving and environmentally friendly, using solar panels for roof tiles helps to save expenses spent on electricity. Although a costly investment, solar roof tiles are actually economical in the long run. These electricity-generating tiles are wired to a solar battery inside your house as it gathers natural energy from the sun. While solar roof tiles are available in various designs, most homeowners tend to consider the energy conversion potential more than the visual appeal.

#6 Clay Roof Tiles

Clay roof tiles were originally hand-made and left to dry in the sun before use, but now, they are mostly produced in factories. Available in a myriad of colors, these tiles are usually sealed to repel water. 

As with most heavy materials, clay roof tiles require a strong foundation to support the weight of the roof. As they are fragile, the installation of clay roof tiles requires the careful work of an experienced roofing contractor.

#7 Synthetic Spanish Barrel Roof Tiles

Synthetic Spanish roof tiles are fire-proof, environmentally friendly, and available in many colors. Even though they look like the real deal, these tiles require lower maintenance as compared to regular clay roof tiles.

#8 Synthetic Slate Roof Tiles

Synthetic slate tiles look just like real slate roof tiles less the necessary consistent maintenance demands. Made from eco-friendly materials, the composite slate roof tiles are light and developed with a Class Four grade. In addition to that, unlimited color options are too. 

#9 Synthetic Cedar Roof Tiles

Instead of using authentic cedar shakes, synthetic cedar roof tiles would be a more viable option as it does not retain moisture and therefore, is not as fragile and prone to rot or damage like actual cedar shakes. Moreover, it does not encourage fungal growth either. With a Class A or Class C fire retardant grade as well as a Class Four impact grade, the cedar roof tiles are set apart from unprocessed wood shingles.  

Functional Aesthetics

Synthetic roof tiles can be customized to suit each individual’s practical needs and creative demands. Whichever roof tile of your choice, be assured that quality will not be compromised for the aesthetic value. 


Aesthetics and functionality shouldn’t be mutually exclusive considerations – You don’t have to sacrifice the beauty of your house for a durable roof. With this long list of roof tile options, you can build a visually-pleasing roof with confidence that it will last. Making a statement home begins with picking a personal favorite design.


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