The Story of Spanish Clay Roof Tiles


Terra cotta roofing tiles and clay roofing is perhaps the most ancient of historical building materials. Spanish clay roof are descended from a style that was popular in ancient Rome; this style of roofing is still common in Spain as well as anyplace on the globe that was touched by Spanish influence, including Morocco, the Philippines, Mexico, most of South America, the Caribbean and of course, former Spanish colonial possessions in present-day California, Louisiana and Florida.

What Are Spanish Clay Tiles?

Sometimes known as “mission tiles,” these predominantly terra-cotta roofing are generally quarter-round tubes that have ridges etched into them for directing rainwater off the roof while allowing them to be securely interlocked into place. There are also what are known as barrel tiles. Formed into a half-round shape, barrel roof tiles are like a half-round tube, and may be installed in alternating vertical rows of convex (outer curved side up) and concave placements. This is yet another unique type of Spanish roof tiles, but barrel roof tiles are less common than the quarter-round mission style of rooftile.

Every region has its own unique style of roofing, and Spanish roof styles are no exception. While terra cotta roofingtiles are common around the world, the shape of roofing materials in each of these regions is unique. Spain has been subject to numerous and diverse cultural influences over the course of its 3,000 year history; repeated invasions and settlements by Celts, Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, Goths from Scandinavia, Berbers and Arabs created a unique and vibrant culture that is reflected in the appearance of Spanish rooftiles.

Spanish Clay Roof Today

Mission, round and barrel roof tiles are all various kinds of kiln-fired tiles that you can purchase for your own home today. The only things to keep in mind are: (A) climate and (B) the structure of the home.

If you live in an area that experiences extremely cold and harsh winters. you’ll need to find a grade of clay roof tile that is specially treated to stand up to these conditions. In addition, spanish clay roof tiles are much heavier than comparable composite or even cedar roof shingles, and not all homes are built to withstand the added weight.

Finally, it’s important to understand that installation of these fine tiles requires a great deal of skill and patience. It is a job that is best left to experienced professionals.


Source by Wayne Hemrick