• Over 35 Years of Trading
  • £3m+ Stock Value
  • Best Price Promise
  • 9 Branches in London

Slate roofing tiles – Pros and cons

Throughout history, slate roofing tiles have stood as a sign of class and elegance, adorning the rooftops of millions of properties nationwide. The popularity of slate roofing tiles is largely because of its status as one of the most visually stunning roofing materials around. As a result, it has seen wide use for centuries as roofing material for buildings of all sizes.


But what other benefits are there to a slate tile rooftop? Are there drawbacks that need to be considered? If you're looking for some helpful advice to help you to make an informed decision, then you've clicked on the right page. We've applied our expert knowledge to create a list of advantages and disadvantages that, with any luck, will make your decision that little bit easier.

What are the pros of a slate roofing tiles?

First up, we'll discuss a few of the key benefits to choosing slate tiles over other roofing materials. We'll start with the most obvious benefit, appearance.


As we mentioned earlier in this blog, nothing beats the classiness of a gorgeous slate tile rooftop. Compare slate roofing tiles with any other tiles, and you'll notice the difference immediately. As slate is 100% natural and forms in the ground, there is no uniformity to speak of.

What this means is that every slate tile is unique, featuring distinctive colours and patterns, so your rooftop will stand out from the rest. Plus, slate roofing tiles are available in many different options such as sizes, thicknesses and a dizzying array of colours including:

  • Grey
  • Red
  • Black
  • Green
  • Purple

Plus, for a truly awe-inspiring appearance, why not opt for mottled tiles which combine several colours into one?


Most conventional roofing systems have a life expectancy of around 20-30 years so you'll more than likely have to replace your roof at some stage or another. By comparison, slate roofing tiles can last for up to a century. It's worth noting that this incredible longevity will only occur in rooftops that have been correctly installed by knowledgeable professionals.

Environmentally Friendly

We only get one planet and only one chance to preserve it for future generations. We all have to live here, so it's only fair that everyone does their bit for the environment. One way to achieve this is by investing in slate roofing tiles. While other roofing systems need to be replaced once every 30 or so years, slate roofs can last for up to 100 years or more.

When you consider that materials such as asphalt shingles account for nearly 5% of total landfill waste, the immediate environmental benefits of slate tiles are clear.

Fire Resistance

While not something that immediately springs to mind when you think of slate tiles, fire resistance is, in fact, a key benefit of choosing this particular material. Unlike other tiles, slate roofing tiles are completely fireproof making this one of the most fire resistant roofing types on the market.

Whether it's protecting your home from wayward fireworks or adjacent house fires; slate roofing tiles will shield your home from anything that could ignite most other rooftops.

Slate roofing tiles - now for the cons

Having read all of the above, you might be thinking to yourself that slate tiles sound almost too good to be true. Well, as with most things, they are by no means perfect with several drawbacks that must be considered when making your decision. The biggest con is, of course, the cost.


Slate tiles are expensive. Very expensive. When compared with other roofing materials, the cost can be nearly as much as five times the amount! For this reason, careful research is important, so you avoid the risk of winding up with a roof that is fraught with issues.

If money is tight and you aren't overly fussed about appearance or a roof that is fire resistant, it might be worth considering an alternative. However, it is worth noting that while high, the cost does buy you a roof that will last up to three times longer than ones built using other roofing materials.


When you're sat wrapped up in front of the TV, the last thing you want is to be worried about the roof crashing down on top of you. As such, it's important to always have your property evaluated before investing in a slate tile roof as slate tiles weigh a lot more than man-made tiles.

Any rooftop that is fitted with slate roofing tiles must also be equipped with adequate support beams to ensure that the building possesses sufficient weight-bearing capacity.

Lack of knowledge

You might think that the majority of roofing companies would know how to install a slate tile roof €“ you would be wrong. In fact, it's not uncommon for companies to specialise in only certain types of rooftops. That won't stop them from trying; after all, they are hardly going to turn down the opportunity to make money.

The problem is that installing a slate tile roof is a little different and requires an expert understanding in order to pull it off successfully. Lack of experience and poor knowledge will result in a rooftop that leaves your home vulnerable to the elements - it also won't last very long.

Before you invest in a company to fit slate roofing tiles to your home, make sure you do your research first. This includes checking up on a company's history and asking for references so you can be certain that the company knows exactly what they're doing.


This is a funny one to end on as we've already established that slate tile roofs can last for up to a century. Oddly enough, slate roofs are also surprisingly fragile. If you hire a contractor and they require access to your rooftop, they could end up damaging the slate tiles if proper precautions aren't taken.

If any slate tiles are broken, they can be a nightmare to replace. As we mentioned earlier, slate roofing tiles are 100% natural, so every tile looks slightly different. This makes sourcing a matching tile next to impossible meaning that any replacement will stick out like a sore thumb. To ensure that a problem like this does not arise, ensure that any contractors are taking the necessary steps to protect your roof from damage.

Now that we have fully covered the various pros and cons of slate roofing tiles, hopefully, you will find it easier to decide whether these are the right choice for you. Remember, here at JJ Roofing, you will find everything you need, including slate tiles, to make your roofing project a reality.

To shop our Slate Roofing range - Click Here!

Published at: 12-06-2011

Our Top Videos.

How to install a Velux Integra Electric Roof Window (5 Parts)

In this five-part guide, we take you through the full installation of a Velux GGU Centre Pivot Integra Roof Window onto an...

Read More

How to install a Duratech Centre-Pivot Pine Roof Window

Once you begin unpackaging the window, you’ll find in the box the brackets, the handle and the fixings. And there will also be some instructions...

Read More

How to install a Velux Centre-Pivot Roof Window (4 Parts)

In this four part guide, Mark Dymond – Velux Technician installs a Velux GGU Centre Pivot Roof Window onto an Interlocking Tile Roof...

Read More

Ideas & Advice

How-tos, tutorials and videos

How and why to use or snap a chalk line

Chalk lines are the fastest way to mark straight guidelines on flat surfaces. They are used extensively in the building and construction industry to speedily and accurately ‘draw’ straight lines between two points. Chalk lines are inexpensive tools...

Skylight Blinds: A Guide To The Different Types

Like many household product, blinds for skylight windows come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. Some are designed with a tangible purpose in mind, while others are more for show. One thing’s for sure - buying any type of skylight blind...