Clay Tile vs. Metal Roofing: What You Need to Know

Trevor Underwood • June 29, 2020

Clay Tile vs. Metal Roofing: What You Need to Know


Clay tile was once the most popular roofing material of its time, far superior to wood for fire resistance and weather durability, with color, beauty, and form that flat asphalt shingles and common woodcut shakes simply couldn’t match. But there is a high price to be paid with clay tile roofing as it is one of the most fragile and high-maintenance roofing materials on the market.

Today, discerning homeowners have moved away from high-maintenance clay tile to metal roofing products that replicate the ageless beauty of clay tile with the unsurpassed strength and durability of steel.  

10 Reasons to Upgrade to a DECRA Metal Roof

Clay Tile

DECRA Metal Roofing

Ornate textures and vivid colors that enhance the traditional aesthetics of classic roof designs

Ornate textures and vivid colors that enhance the traditional aesthetics of classic roof designs

Requires continuous ongoing maintenance to fix cracks

Requires minimal maintenance over the lifetime of the home

Fractures easily due to storm debris and hail

Has the highest UL 2218 Class 4 impact rating

Absorbs as much as 15% of its weight in moisture, adding weight stress to the roof

impervious to the absorption of moisture, sleet, snow, and rain

Extremely limited and non-transferable warranty

The industry’s most comprehensive Lifetime Limited Warranty which is transferable for 20 years after the installation

Wind uplift and impact resistance are so minimal that they aren’t rated or covered by any warranty

Warrantied for winds up to 120 mph and lab tested at twice that velocity to provide a 100% safety margin (soften the 100% claim)

Walking on clay roofs for maintenance can easily cause damage

Fully walkable with the unmatched strength of high-grade multi-layered steel

One of the heaviest roofing materials with an average roof weight of 18,000 to 45,000 pounds

One of the lightest roofing materials with an average roof weight of just 3,700 to 4,500 pounds

Complete tear-offs of the existing roof are usually required adding time and expense to the installation

The lightweight characteristics of DECRA roofs often eliminate the need for a complete tear-off (if one DECRA panel is damaged, you can replace that individual panel)

Inevitable loosening around the tile fasteners can cause noise when loose tiles rattle against each other in the wind

Corrosion-resistant fasteners and a proprietary interlocking system to keep roof panels firmly in place

DECRA Metal Roofing products are designed to bridge the gap between durability and beauty, without the compromises in strength and longevity that come with clay tile.

Whether you’re looking for the robust form of barrel-style Spanish tile or the distinctive S-shape of Classic Meditteranean scalloped tile, DECRA has the style and color to effortlessly match any architectural theme.

DECRA Villa Tile: Spanish Style Barrel Tile

Elegant Old-World designs frequently rely on prominent, complex, round roof elements such as cupolas and towers. The semi-cylindrical barrel shape of DECRA Villa Tile perfectly mimics the traditional Spanish and Roman barrel styles to accommodate the elegant curves of Italian Villa, Spanish Colonial, and Mission Revival traditions.

DECRA Tile: Mediterannean Style Scalloped Tile

Scallop style tiles have the wavy S-shape which provides a distinctive rippled or scaled texture to complement classic roof elements so prevalent in Mediterannean Villa styles. DECRA Tile replicates the distinctive style and texture of scalloped clay tiles.

About DECRA Metal Roofing 

DECRA is the original stone-coated steel roofing manufacturer since 1957. DECRA products are manufactured right here in the U.S. at our state of the art facility in Corona, California.

While we have many imitators, none has yet matched the lifetime quality and ageless beauty of DECRA stone-coated steel roofing profiles, all backed by the industry’s most comprehensive Lifetime Limited Warranty.

When you’re ready for a roof that will endure for the lifetime of your home, contact an expert DECRA advisor today.