Tile roofing, which lasts a long time and won’t rot or burn under a scorching summer sun, is a great choice for Arizona rooftops. And nothing says “Southwestern style” quite like it. The most common tile roofs on Arizona homes are clay, concrete and sand-cast.
Longevity. A concrete tile roof will last and last, and clay tile will probably last longer than any other kind of roofing material. Some manufacturers estimate their product will last 50 years, but many Arizona homes sport tile roofs that are older.
Style. Clay, concrete and sand-cast tiles make a beautiful roof that gives a home a distinctly Southwestern flair.
Improvements. Manufacturers are making concrete tile to look like wood shakes—but without the fire danger. And they’re coming out with lighter-weight tiles.
Other. Tiles are fireproof and resist rot and insects.
Weight. Most tiles are so heavy that your roof needs reinforcement to support its weight. If you’re replacing a shingled roof with tiles, you’ll need to hire a structural engineer (cost: $400 - $600) to tell you where to beef up the wood in the attic to hold the extra weight. Then you might have to spend $1,500 or so on adding that woodwork, in addition to paying for the tile.
Fragile. Walking on tiles can break them, so repairs and maintenance are better left to professionals who are skilled at maneuvering on a tile roof without damaging anything. That includes painting your home’s trim or cleaning rain gutters and chimneys.
Maintenance: Your concrete tiles will last just about forever. But the underlayment—the material they lie on—will go bad every eight to 20 years. If you don’t replace the underlayment, your roof could leak and your tiles could break. Your roofer will remove your tiles, replace the underlayment, and then re-install your old tiles on top of the new underlayment.
Price: Tile roofing is expensive. Concrete tiles, for instance, cost around $300 - $310 a square installed, depending if you are putting on a new roof or simply reinstalling the old tiles over a new underlayment (a square is a 10-foot by 10-foot area. The pitched roof of a 2,400-square foot home has about 35 squares).