Slate Roof Vs. Terracotta Roof

admin Uncategorized

If you’re thinking about replacing your roof, you have a wide variety of roofing materials to choose from. From asphalt shingle roofs, to metal roofing, clay roofs, slate roofs, timber shingles and so much more.

With so many options, it’s hard to know which types of roofing may be right for you. So, in this article, we’ll break down the difference between two of the most common types of roofing – slate roofs vs. terracotta roofs – in detail. Read on, and find out which of these roofing materials may be right for you.

A Brief Overview Of Slate & Terracotta Tiles

Slate is a natural roofing material, quarried from all across the world. Natural slate tiles have been used in roofing for centuries, and slate is well-known for its durability, heritage style, and long lifespan. It can be used in a wide variety of architectural styles.

Terracotta roof tiles are made of clay, which is fired in an oven for a durable, wear-resistant finish. Clay tiles are usually curved, and are available in a wide range of colors, though an orange-red finish is the most common. They are commonly associated with the Mediterranean and warm climates, as they are very good at reflecting sunlight and have excellent energy efficiency.

Overall Durability

When it comes to durability, slate and terracotta are actually quite similar. Terracotta is, as a rule, a bit more brittle and less durable than slate. It can be more easily damaged and cracked by impacts from wind-blown debris and hail, and is also very susceptible to damage from individuals walking directly on the tile.

While slate is also vulnerable to damage from walking, it’s not quite as fragile. It also holds up to heavy impacts more effectively without cracking. Slate is also more water-resistant than terracotta, which can become damaged if water is not properly channeled away from the tiles.

Slate Roof Vs. Terracotta Roof | NSW Slate Roofing Sydney


With proper installation, a terracotta roof structure can easily last 50 years before requiring roof replacement, and some roofs can last up to 75 years. This makes terracotta a very durable material compared to other types of roofing like metal roofs and asphalt roofs.

However, terracotta still is not quite as durable as slate. Slate roofs can easily last over 100 years with proper care, and with regular roof repair to replace any missing or damaged tiles.

Maintenance And Repairs

Both terracotta and slate are considered to be mostly “maintenance free” roofing materials. TO care for your roof, you should simply have it inspected regularly to replace any damaged tiles, and clean it to remove algae, moss and dirt.

Slate roof repairs are usually easier than repairs to terracotta roofs. But in most cases, you should leave roof repair to the professionals, whether you pick slate or terracotta, so this is a relatively minor issue.

Energy Efficiency

Slate and terracotta are pretty much tied in this regard. Both materials are very dense, and can reflect the sun’s rays. This can help lower your energy bills during the summer. In addition, the dense, non-porous nature of both slate and terracotta will help keep warm air inside during the cooler months.

If you’re looking for an energy efficient roofing material, it’s hard to go wrong with either terracotta or slate. They’ll both provide you with some great savings on your heating and cooling bills.


Each square of slate usually weighs somewhere between 360-700 kilograms, depending on the thickness of the slate tile you’re using. Terracotta weighs about 400-500 kilograms per square, so the weight of both materials is quite similar.

Both products are very heavy in weight, so your roof may need additional reinforcement before a terracotta or slate roof can be installed.

Price And Overall Cost

Terracotta, since it’s an artificial, man-made material, is usually less expensive than natural slate. It’s easier to produce in bulk, which means you’ll pay less for a terracotta roof than a slate roof. If you choose terracotta, you can expect a roof costing about ⅔ the price of a slate roof.

However, some high-end terracotta tiles will cost just as much as natural slate, and the installation costs for both slate and terracotta are quite similar, so the price difference between these two roofing materials can vary quite a bit, based on your roofing project.

NSW Slate Roofing Will Help You Make The Right Choice

Both slate and terracotta are excellent, long-lived roofing materials, and are a good choice for your home, but they do have different qualities.

If you have more questions about slate and the benefits of slate roofing, the team at NSW Slate Roofing is here to help. Just contact us now, and we’d be happy to provide you with more information. Call NSW Slate Roofing on 1300 102 908.

Related Posts