How to sample a clay roof tile

John Alderman from Traditional Clay Roof Tiles Ltd has some top tips on how to sample a clay roof tile to get the best results.

Many a time a mistake has been made where people will select a roof tile to go on their house after failing to follow the correct sampling procedure.

For example, you may be sent a one tile sample in the post where you then make a decision looking at this one tile inside your home or you have gone to your local builders merchants and selected a tile from their in house display.

Your roof is an important decision as this is a very large percentage of the buildings external material.

You can change the paint color or a floor finish or even a bathroom at a reasonable cost but to change your roof is very expensive.

So here’s a guide on how to choose a clay roof tile correctly. This process should be carried out preferably as works starts on your site.

Always ask the manufacturer where the clay for the tiles has been extracted from. If it’s from a country that has cold winters it should be fine but clay from a country with a warmer climate all year round may not withstand the English weather.

Always ensure your choice of roof tiles hold the Ceram certification for Frost and Impermeability.

Make sure you ask what guarantee the manufacturer offers. Choosing a roof tile with a long guarantee will give you peace of mind and confidence in your choice of tile.

Step one
Order your samples through a local distributor.

Step two
Set the tiles out on a old wooden pallet or if you don’t have a pallet on the ground as detailed below.

Step three
Now leave your tiles in this position for as long as possible. It is important to let the weather get to them as a clay tile has been fired at over 1,000 degrees heat and know no different. When the elements of the weather start to hit them they will start to mature and change colour, bringing out the natural colour of the clay.

Step four
Keep walking past them, looking at them and eventually you will always be drawn to one of the colours, a bit like paint samples on a wall in the house. This may sound surprising but this will happen.

Step five
When your brickwork is up to 4/5ft this is the time to make your decision on the colour you have selected. Call the manufacturer and ask them for some more samples. Then place the pallet against the brickwork that is being constructed and lay the tiles onto the pallet, this then gives you a good idea how the tiles will look against your brickwork when completed.

Step six
Let this sit there again for a few more weeks and then hopefully its decision made and the order can be placed in time for the roofer to fix the tiles.

Ref: 61295