Concrete vs. Clay Roof Tile Cost 2021: Pros & Cons of Tile Roofs

Do you love the distinctive and attractive look of roof tiles? If the answer is yes, then you are among a growing number of homeowners who pick tiles as the roofing material of choice for their homes.

Clay Roof Tiles installed on a traditional roof hip roof

A tile roof is a costly upfront investment, especially if you opt for clay tiles rather than concrete ones. However, tiles offer many great benefits including durability, longevity, energy-efficiency, great curb appeal, low maintenance, hurricane-grade wind mitigation (with proper installation and maintenance), fire safety, and more.

Traditional (non-metal made) tiles are most commonly available in either concrete or clay, and come in a multitude of shapes, profiles, and colors.

The Difference in Cost Between Concrete vs. Clay Tiles

For all the reasons mentioned above it should come as no surprise that clay tiles can cost about 20% to 30% more than concrete tiles, with an average cost of clay tiles hoovering around $12.50 to $24.50 per square foot installed.

Ludowici tile roof – Flat slab Georgian. Source: Ludowici.com

More exotic tiles can easily cost as much as $20 to $30 per square foot installed, though. Thus, there is a lot of variation in price to be expected, depending on how fancy a tile you want to pick.

In terms of total costs installed, a basic tile roof could cost anywhere from $25,000 to $49,000, depending on the size of your house, roof difficulty, tile choice, and location of your property.

New Shingle Roof

$7,500
Average price
New Metal Roof

$14,500
Average price
New Flat Roof

$8,225
Average price

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Since both, clay and concrete tiles are expensive in comparison to most other roofing choices, you’ll need to consider whether all the added benefits that real tiles have to offer are worth the extra expense.

Keep in mind that the total life-cycle cost of tiles is actually quite low compared to composition shingles, since clay tiles can last for as long as 100 years, while concrete tiles should protect your roof for 50 years plus.

Verdict: if unique style and authenticity is what you are looking for, then tiles can be a sound choice for your home, provided you are also willing to invest in the structural reinforcement of your roof truss structure.

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Tamko vs. Owens Corning Roofing Shingles: Cost, Pros & Cons, ROI

Owens Corning and Tamko are two asphalt shingle manufacturers sharing the adage, “we’re second-best, so we try harder.” CertainTeed is the consensus leader for overall asphalt shingle quality.

GAF is the largest producer of shingles, and its products get high marks. Right behind those giants are Owens Corning, certainly one of the most recognizable names in roofing products, and Tamko (or TAMKO), a brand that has its fans, too.

The Bottom Line from the Beginning

The bottom line, which all the details in this guide lead to, is that the Owens Corning vs. Tamko comparison is about as even as it gets in the roofing products industry, with Owens Corning getting only a slight edge in the main architectural shingles category.

Owens Corning’s flagship Duration shingles outshine Tamko Heritage shingles in wind performance — thanks to the Owens Corning standard 130 MPH wind resistance design and warranty (even with the standard 4-nail installation method) compared to the standard 110 MPH wind performance warranty for Tamko Heritage shingles (with the standard 4-nail application method). However, this 20 MPH gap in the shingle wind-resistance performance can be overcome with a 6-nail enhanced installation method for Tamko Heritage shingles.

Owens Corning Roofing Shingles Display

Both brands get ratings in the “good” to “very good” range from roofing contractors who install them every day and from home inspectors who have seen their share of durable shingles and shingles that have failed before they should.

What it comes down to is the quality of the installation. You’ve got two above-average shingle brands that can deliver superior durability for 20+ years, fail in just a few years or perform somewhere in the middle.

What makes the difference is how well the installers do their job.

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More on the installation below. Along the way, we’ll address where each brand has bragging rights. While OC and Tamko are close to equal in total score, each brand has strong and weak points.

OC vs. Tamko: Quality and Reliability

Quality is a product of the materials used and the production process. Here’s an overview of Owens Corning and Tamko shingle construction.

  • Owens Corning: OC makes three tiers of shingles in the basic Supreme (3-tab shingle) and Oakridge (entry-level architectural shingle), better Duration (OC’s best-selling architectural shingle with a standard 130 MPH wind uplift rating and warranty), and best or premium category shingles in (Devonshire, Woodmoor, Woodcrest, and Berkshire) categories.
  • Tamko: This brand makes a very similar lineup with basic (Elite Glass-Seal), better (Heritage, Heritage Woodgate) and best (Heritage Premium, Heritage Vintage).

All shingles from Owens Corning and Tamko feature fiberglass mat bases saturated with asphalt and dressed in coated granules to resist the sun’s UV radiation. Each shingle is constructed with fused layers.

When installed, less than half of each shingle is exposed. The result is that 3-tab roofs (OC Supreme and Tamko Elite Glass-Seal 3-tab) have 2-3 layers of coverage at any given point on your roof.

All other shingles from both brands are architectural style shingles with 4-5 layers of coverage. The result are shingles with wind ratings of 60mph for 3-tab products and 110/130mph for all others.

The two brands have the same ratings in most ASTM materials and fire rating tests. Both are on par with CertainTeed and GAF.

Bad shingles are often the result of production rather than the materials used. The production processes for these brands are similar. The processes are slightly tweaked, even from run to run (runs of shingle batches).

When errors occur, a bad batch of shingles, such as layers that don’t properly fuse, are produced. What makes a brand worth considering is the consistency of the quality from run to run. Owens Corning and Tamko deliver good consistency.

Slight Advantage for Owens Corning: We’re not afraid to take; our general view is that both brands are as equal as you will find in terms of the overall quality and reliability. However, we give a slight edge to Owens Corning in the most important flagship architectural shingles category where OC Duration shingles outshines Tamko Heritage in wind performance.

OC TruDefinition Duration shingles come with a standard 130 MPH warranty thanks to the OC SureNail, triple-reinforced nailing fabric and widened nailing zone(for faster and more precise installation).

OC SureNail Technology: Triple Layer Protection and widened nail strike zone for faster installation

Tamko Heritage shingles come with a standard 110 MPH wind uplift warranty for regular applications. A more costly enhanced installation method would be required for Tamko Heritage shingles to attain the 130 MPH wind uplift warranty.

Owens Corning vs. Tamko: Cost

Since these brands compete aggressively head-to-head, their prices are comparable across all products (and are very competitive with GAF, too).

Here is a breakdown of the shingle series and their costs from both brands:

Prices are per square, which is 100 square feet of coverage (and 3 or 4 bundles of shingles, so check product specs for the bundles-per-square).

3-tab shingles:

  • OC Supreme: $75-$85
  • Tamko Elite Glass-Seal: $72-$77

Flagship (most popular and best-selling) architectural/dimensional shingles:

  • OC Duration: $90-$120
  • Tamko Heritage: $84-$100

Other popular architectural/dimensional shingles including specialty sub-lines:

  • OC Duration Storm, Flex, and Cool (CA): $115-$130
  • Tamko Heritage Premium: $90-$120

Premium Designer architectural/dimensional shingles:

  • OC Devonshire, Woodmoor, Woodcrest, Berkshire: $175-$280
  • Tamko Heritage Woodgate, Heritage Vintage: $180-$215

Advantage – Tamko: As you can see, Tamko offers a slightly better value in terms of costs in each tier of products. It always makes sense to get written estimates on the specific roofing materials you’re considering so you can get a direct comparison of costs and product attributes including features and benefits.

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