Roof tiles are made in different shapes to cover different parts of the roof. They are normally made of concrete, or even of clay, and typically are sold in a range of brown, grey and greenish shades. They can be finished to have a smooth surface or to have a grainy appearance. The smooth surface allows rainwater to run off more easily, and these tiles then are not sloped as must as tiles with a rougher finish.
The profile of the tile and the finish which was used on the tile will normally determine what kind of slope it needs. Some tiles have deeper grooves or channels which will direct water away from seams in between the tiles, and other tiles, the amount of overlap onto the next tile can be increased to make up for a slope which is shallow. Normally a minimum angle or slope is recommended by the tile manufacturer.
If tiles are to be cut to fit a specific area, then this can be done with an angle grinder. These tend to cut very neatly and decrease the risk of the tile breaking. However angle grinders can be difficult to work with an all safety measures should be applied.
Here are some tiles commonly applied:
- Plain tiles: The tile surface is slightly curved, and there are two bumps behind the top of the tile to enable it to hook over the roofing planks, and some have nail cavities which allow some tiles to be fixed in place for added strength. Tiles can also be cascaded so that the gap inbetween the tiles are covered by the overlap of the top tile.
- Half tiles: Half depth tiles are made for certain areas on the roof such as the top layer and for the course under the eaves. Gable ends can be started and finished with half-width or 1.5 tiles.
- Single lap tiles: Usually the tile surface ripples from side to side so that one or more conduits run downwards on the tiles. The layers overlap with the tiles in one layer lined up with the tiles in the layers on top and underneath so that the conduits for one run down the slope of the roof. Each tile in a layer locks into the tiles on either side.