How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Clay Roof? (Cost Guide)

September 16th, 2021 BY First American Roofing

One type of roofing that isn’t as popular as asphalt shingles, but has a proven record of being highly durable, is clay tile. Clay tile roofing may cost more, but there is also a longer lifespan and increased durability. Installation costs are typically higher than asphalt shingles, but what you pay for is what you get: 75+ years of a strong roof. Let’s find out just how much a clay roof replacement will cost you, plus the benefits of doing so!

What Factors Affect the Cost of Your Roof?

Many things can affect how expensive or not your roof replacement is going to be. It doesn’t just depend on the material itself but can also change based on installation requirements, the roof’s longevity, and labor cost. Plus, of course, the size of your roof and how easily accessible it is, and the cost of any material removal of an existing roof. So the overall cost can vary greatly, but the important thing is that you can make a valuable investment that will give you a roof that will last.

To recap, factors that affect the cost of your roof include:

The Benefits of Installing a Clay Roof

professional installing new clay roof

You may be thinking, why are clay roofs so expensive if they’re made of natural, renewable resources? Well, just like anything else, clay roofing is designed to do the job it was created for very well: protect your home from rain and extreme weather conditions. But clay tiles require a pretty extensive process to do so.

Clay tiles can come in various colors, but more often than not, they will come in terracotta and are very common in the Southwestern states. Either way, they blend in very nicely with most home exteriors. Clay tiles also offer multiple design options because they come with ridges and valleys, making them look more like traditional shingles or tiles instead of generic clay tile roofs. The natural material has an earthy aesthetic to it as well while providing natural fire resistance.

Clay roofing is highly durable and long-lasting, which means that your clay tiles replacement will be an investment in your home’s well-being for decades to come. However, it comes with a minimum lifespan of 75 years, so it’s worth the extra cost involved when you consider how much you will be saving in the long term.

Summary of Benefits

Of course, they can also come with a few downfalls, such as the increased weight it can put on your home. It’s lighter than concrete tiles but still averages around 600 to 700 pounds per 100 square feet. In addition, if your home’s structure isn’t solid enough, this can put added stress on your home’s frame and foundation.

Clay can also be susceptible to cracks and shattering, especially when exposed to freezing temperatures or significant shifts in temperature. This is why you’ll most often see them in warmer, desert climates.

How are Clay Roofing Tiles Made?

close up to clay roof installation process

You might be wondering how clay tiles get their durability and strength. How clay roofing is manufactured has a significant impact on the final product’s quality, affecting your clay tile installation cost.

Clay roofs are not made in one fell swoop like asphalt shingles; it’s actually done through several different steps that take place over multiple days. Clay tiles are made by baking molded clay until hardened. Depending on the clay, the end result can come in a wide array of colors, from white to yellow or orange and brown. But the most common color is terracotta, which is the familiar burnt-orange tint you might be used to seeing.

The clay roofing manufacturing process requires time to make sure the clay material becomes solid enough for installation, so it’s also more expensive because of this lengthy process. But clay roofing installation cost is worth it when you consider the benefits of a clay tile roof and its long-lasting durability.

The Cost of a Clay Tile Roof

clay roof and dormer of the large house

Clay tile roofs are on the higher end of cost when it comes to roof replacement, but that cost comes with all of the benefits we laid out above, one of which being its extra-long lifespan of 75 to 100+ years! Now that’s a big pay-off.

Installing a clay roof costs between $7 and $25 per square foot. The price you pay depends mainly on the style you choose but also on the size and complexity of the install. Materials generally run from $3 to $8 per square foot. The average total cost to install a clay tile roof is around $14,000.

Looking back in roofing history, you’ll find that clay is the oldest known roofing material. It’s come a long way since then, of course, but its benefits remain the same. It’s sturdy, durable, and easy to install. It’s not uncommon for the clay tiles to last longer than the house itself! Unfortunately, since it is heavier and more water-resistant than concrete or other roofing tiles, it will cost more.

Check out our comprehensive list of varying roofing types and the cost to install each one. This should help you make a well-informed decision when it comes to replacing the roof of your home. And when the time comes to get a new roof, make sure you contact the pros at First American Roofing.