Metal vs Clay Tile Roof

When purchasing a new roof, two of the more common roofing styles on the west coast tend to be metal roof panels and clay tiles. Below, you will find a breakdown of the pros and cons of metal roof panels and clay tiles.

Metal Roof

Metal roofs can last for decades. A metal roof typically will last as long as the house, with an expected lifespan of 40 to 70 years.

Steel metal roofs have an Impact Rating of Class 4. This means that the steel panels have withstood four different sized metal balls being dropped from different heights to simulate hail. Having this Class 4 rating translates into lower insurance premiums and less repairs or replacement of your roof.

Metal roofing is typically Class A fire-rated and noncombustible, making it the most resistant to catching fire.


clay tiles

Metal roofs are available in a wide variety of styles and colors. They can make a bold architectural statement or complement any home or business.

Metal is considered the most environmentally friendly and sustainable roofing material available. Steel metal roofs are 100% recyclable and are made with up to 30% recycled material., depending on the specific metal.

A metal roof can handle just about anything Mother Nature can throw at it. Metal roofing can protect your home against extreme temperatures, hail, high winds, and fire—all with minimal maintenance. Each year, hail causes about 1.6 billion dollars of damage to residential roofs in the United States.

Metal roofing is a more lightweight material than most other roof types, but it’s over five times lighter than a clay Spanish tile roof.

When compared to other roof types, the required maintenance for a metal roof is generally minimal.

Clay Tile Roof

Clay roofs can last for decades.

The air space around the tiles creates natural ventilation that acts as a barrier of heat transfer

Most clay tiles are made without the use of chemicals or other hazardous materials. Additionally, clay tiles can easily be recycled and ground up for use in future items.

Like metal roofing, clay tiles often carry a Class A fire rating.

Cons of Spanish tile clay and metal roofs

Durability is often a concern with clay tile roofs. They are fragile and can easily chip, crack and fall apart which can lead to expensive repairs.

Clay tile roofs are heavier than metal panels and can cost more because of the installation. When looking into buying a new roof, make sure you take into consideration the cost to install and the ability of the roof framing and substrate to hold the added weight.

Metal roofs require experienced, qualified, and knowledgeable metal roof installers to ensure a metal roof will perform to its high standards. If not installed or correctly handled, you can have issues with oil canning.

HOA and neighborhood restrictions can be an obstacle for metal roofs. Some neighborhoods may not allow metal roofing to be installed on properties within its jurisdiction.

Deciding factors

There are several different factors that need to be determined before purchasing your roof. The biggest factor is usually your budget. A metal roof is typically cheaper and can offer many of the same performances as a clay tile roof.

Aesthetics play a big part of the decision-making process. No one can argue the striking appearance that metal panels have to give your home instant curb appeal. However, some home designs lend themselves to the classic look that a clay tile roof can offer.

Another factor will be neighborhood and HOA restrictions. You should verify that the roof material that you choose is allowed.

About Metal Sales

Metal Sales Manufacturing Corporation is the premier nationwide provider of metal panels for the construction industry. Metal Sales works with architectural specifiers and commercial construction professionals to create inspirational design solutions. With the industry’s largest and most knowledgeable sales and technical support team, Metal Sales has the expertise to address today’s challenges in high-performance, sustainable and Net-Zero building. Metal Sales has outreach around the world. Delivering outstanding roof, wall and fascia metal panels from its 21 facilities throughout the U.S.

For more information, visit
To find the nearest branch near you, please visit here.