Slate roofs are regaining their popularity as homeowners are looking for natural materials to build and recondition their homes. Sustainable, eco-friendly, beautiful and energy-saving, slate roofs are a smart and cost-effective choice. Many older buildings are still showing off their gorgeous slate roofs, relying on its durability for protection against the elements and for insulation. And, that’s a testament to their sturdiness, classic appeal, and long-term performance.
If you are interested in this roofing solution, here is a short history of slate roofing and an objective comparison of two of the most recognised types of slate roof tiles: Welsh vs Spanish.
History of Slate Roofs
Slate is a type of fine-grained natural stone that can be cut into thin sheets. In spite of that, slate manages to preserve its durability even after being heavily processed. It is not crumbly or fragile, but its formation allows it to come apart in layers, indicating the sedimentation process of clay or volcanic ash. This makes it a great material for roofing tiles, and it has been used as such since the 12th century.
The first known use of slate roofing was in North Wales, around 1300A.D. For a long time, it has been reserved for cathedrals and churches because it was so expensive.
Spanish slate started with the mining of slate in the 1800s. The Spanish quarry exploitation was so effective that it could provide slate rooftops to regular households. Spanish slate is still produced successfully, with over 80% of Europe’s slate originating there.
One of the top producers in the world, Spain gives good quality slates that are recognisable by their paler color and natural earthy look. Quality Spanish slate can be shipped to anywhere in the world, and it is found everywhere in Europe.
Because it has formed over less time than Welsh slate, it can suffer discoloration or degradation sooner than a Welsh slate would, needing more roof repairs. The advantages of Spanish slate are the availability and better price.
Welsh slate is older than Spanish slate, both in tradition and in geological age. Some Welsh slates are also called Bangor Blue, because of their astonishing blue-grey color, often dark grey, which gives the buildings an elegant distinction. Another type of slate in Britain is the Welsh Penrhyn, which is considered “the Rolls Royce of slate,” one of the best slates in the world.
Welsh slate is harder than Spanish slate and absorbs less water, making it a bit more durable. It can last for 100 years and more, maintaining its high quality and properties. It can be compared with Canadian slate, which has the same durability and range of cool color tones.
Which One Do You Prefer?
When it comes to natural slate, any choice is good in its way, and it is important to find the type of slate roofing materials that you can get for a good price, can be transported easily to your construction site and will complement the rest of the construction.
Regardless of what you choose, make sure that the roofing company you are working with knows how what they are doing. Sure, slate is a great and durable material, but its performance will suffer if the installation process goes wrong.
For more about Welsh vs Spanish slate, give NSW Slate Roofing a call on 1300 102 908.