From Shingles to Tiles: Comparing Different Roofing Materials

When it comes to protecting your home from the elements, the importance of a sturdy and reliable roof cannot be overstated. Selecting the right roofing material is a decision that can have a significant impact on the aesthetics, durability, and overall value of your property. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of roofing materials and conduct a comprehensive comparison between two popular choices: shingles and tiles. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clearer understanding of which roofing material might be the best fit for your needs.

Shingles: An In-Depth Look

Asphalt Shingles Overview

Asphalt shingles are one of the most common and affordable roofing options available. Comprising a fiberglass or organic mat coated with asphalt and granules, these shingles come in two main types: 3-tab and architectural (also known as dimensional or laminated) shingles. 3-tab shingles are flatter and more uniform, while architectural shingles have a layered, textured appearance.

Pros of Asphalt Shingles

  • Affordability: Asphalt shingles are a budget-friendly choice for homeowners seeking a reliable roofing material without breaking the bank.
  • Ease of Installation: Their lightweight nature and straightforward installation process make asphalt shingles a preferred option for many roofers in Houston.
  • Variety: With a plethora of colors, styles, and designs available, asphalt shingles offer homeowners the flexibility to match their roof to their home’s aesthetic.
  • Durability and Lifespan: Although not as durable as some other materials, modern asphalt shingles can still provide a serviceable lifespan of 20 to 30 years.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance, such as inspections and minor repairs, can help extend the lifespan of asphalt shingles.

Cons of Asphalt Shingles

  • Less Longevity: Compared to some other materials like tiles, asphalt shingles have a relatively shorter lifespan.
  • Vulnerability to Extreme Weather: While they offer decent weather resistance, asphalt shingles might not be as robust as other materials in withstanding severe weather conditions.

Tiles: Exploring the Options

Clay Tiles, Concrete Tiles, and Slate Tiles Roofing tiles come in various types, with the most common being clay tiles, concrete tiles, and slate tiles.

  • Clay Tiles: Known for their distinctive terracotta appearance, clay tiles are durable, fire-resistant, and have a lifespan that can exceed 50 years.
  • Concrete Tiles: These tiles offer similar benefits to clay tiles but come in a wider range of styles and colors. They are also more affordable than natural materials like slate.
  • Slate Tiles: Slate tiles are renowned for their elegance and longevity. With a lifespan of 75 to 100 years, slate tiles offer unparalleled durability and a unique, natural appearance.

Pros of Roofing Tiles

  • Aesthetic Appeal: Tiles are often chosen for their stunning appearance, adding a touch of elegance to homes of various architectural styles.
  • Longevity: Tiles, particularly slate and clay tiles, boast impressive lifespans that outshine many other roofing materials.
  • Weather Resistance: Tiles are highly resistant to fire, wind, and extreme weather conditions, making them a reliable choice for homes in areas prone to natural disasters.

Cons of Roofing Tiles

  • Higher Cost: Roofing tiles tend to be more expensive to purchase and install compared to asphalt shingles.
  • Weight Considerations: Roofing tiles are heavier than shingles, so the home’s structural capacity must be assessed before installation.
  • Professional Installation: Given their weight and installation complexity, roofing tiles often require professional installation, which can add to the overall cost.

Shingles vs. Tiles: A Comparative Analysis

Cost and Budget Considerations When it comes to cost, asphalt shingles are the clear winner. They are more affordable both in terms of material cost and installation expenses. On the other hand, roofing tiles, while pricier, offer unmatched longevity, potentially offsetting their initial cost over the long term.

Longevity and Lifespan Roofing tiles, particularly slate and clay tiles, are the champions in this category. With lifespans ranging from 50 to 100 years, they can outlast multiple generations. Asphalt shingles, while offering respectable lifespans of 20 to 30 years, fall short in comparison.

Weather Resistance and Durability Tiles are superior when it comes to weather resistance. They can withstand intense sun exposure, heavy rain, and high winds without deteriorating as quickly as asphalt shingles. If you live in an area prone to extreme weather, tiles might be the more reliable choice.

Energy Efficiency and Insulation Properties Tiles, especially clay and concrete tiles, offer better thermal insulation than asphalt shingles. This means that during hot summers or cold winters, your home will be better protected against temperature fluctuations, potentially leading to energy savings.

Maintenance Requirements and Lifespan Both asphalt shingles and roofing tiles require some level of maintenance. However, tiles generally demand less frequent repairs and replacements due to their superior durability. Asphalt shingles might need more attention over their lifespan to ensure they stay in good condition.

Environmental Impact and Sustainability Tiles, particularly clay and slate tiles, are considered more environmentally friendly due to their natural composition and longevity. Asphalt shingles, while recyclable, have a shorter lifespan and may contribute to more waste over time.

Factors to Consider When Choosing

When deciding between shingles and tiles, several factors should be taken into account:

  • Climate and Weather Conditions: If you live in an area with harsh weather, roofing tiles might be the better choice due to their superior durability and weather resistance.
  • Budget Constraints: Consider your budget not only for the initial installation but also for long-term maintenance and potential replacements.
  • Aesthetic Preferences: Your home’s architectural style and your personal aesthetic preferences will influence your choice between the two materials.
  • Home’s Structural Capacity: If you’re opting for tiles, ensure that your home’s structure can support the added weight.
  • Local Building Codes and Regulations: Check with local authorities to ensure that your chosen roofing material complies with regulations in your area.

Maintenance and Repairs

Both asphalt shingles and roofing tiles require maintenance to extend their lifespan. Regular inspections, cleaning, and addressing minor issues promptly can prevent costly repairs down the line. For asphalt shingles, replacing damaged or missing shingles is relatively straightforward. Tile repairs might require more expertise, but their durability reduces the frequency of repairs.


In the end, the choice between asphalt shingles and roofing tiles depends on your priorities, budget, and the unique demands of your location. If you’re looking for affordability and a range of style options, shingles might be the way to go. On the other hand, if you value longevity, weather resistance, and a touch of elegance, roofing tiles could be the perfect fit. No matter which option you choose, investing in a quality roof ensures the protection and value of your home for years to come. Consider consulting with a roofing professional to make an informed decision that suits your specific needs and circumstances.