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How Much Do Terracotta Roofing Tiles Cost?

Due to the size of a roof project, the act of installing terracotta roofing tile is one that requires a great deal of forethought and planning. It should also be understood that the quality of these tiles can vary rather drastically, which will always have an effect on prices. It is possible to get good quality tiles for less. Continue reading to see why terracotta is worth the investment.

The Costs 

  • Minimum cost of Terracotta roofing tile: $6 per square foot.

  • Maximum cost of Terracotta roofing tile: $15 per square foot

As is stated above, the minimum cost of terracotta tiles is set at around $6, while the maximum costs are around $15 per square foot. For the high end of the spectrum, the homeowner using the product will receive the absolute best quality that money can buy, quality used even by professionals. The low end tiles are less than half the cost of the best, but lower cost is traded for lower quality. $8-$10 per square foot will draw good quality tiles, so it doesn't have to be a hugely expensive project. In order to distinguish between low- and high-quality terracotta, it's essential to notice the grade the tile is marked with, which allows the purchaser to ascertain the level of weather resistance and elements protection the tiles provide. If living in a harsher climate, a higher grade variant should be considered.

Aside from the actual tiles, there are a number of other costs that need to be taken into consideration. Given the cost and fragility of the tiles along with the dangers of working on a roof, a contractor is often highly recommended. While this will raise project costs by a substantial amount, it should ensure success in a timely fashion. The labor costs of the contractor will usually be calculated by hours spent on the job, which is why quotes by multiple contractors are necessary to make sure that they will provide the best quality craftsmanship. This will likely cost around half or less of what the tiles will end up being priced at. Additional minor costs include the typical supplies that may be needed to complete the project, though these costs can be greater for a homeowner on their own instead of working with a contractor who will often purchase materials in bulk.


While the terracotta roofing tiles are the most important aspect to the overall project, there are a number of materials and supplies that will be needed to complete the project successfully. If the installation of the terracotta roofing tiles is not being performed by a contractor, then it is extra important to obtain every necessary material and tool needed for the installation. In regards to terracotta, the installation should begin with an underlayment. For tile roofing, underlayment is an essential piece to ensure that any runoff that gets under the tiles is still kept out of the home. Because of the way terracotta tiles are fashioned, they are not able to act as the top layer of drainage. Since any hole or tear in the underlayment could result in water damage to the home, it's important to only buy weather-resistive underlayment, which can be found in sheet metal flashing, such as aluminum, copper, lead-coated copper, lead and stainless steel. Aluminum flashing is likely among the least expensive, though still durable, running at a cost of around $10-$30, depending on the size. Steel is the most expensive, running at about $20 more than aluminum, though is well worth it. No matter what quality of roofing tile is bought, the underlayment should be as high-quality and weather-resistive as possible.

After the underlayment is placed onto the roof, roof battens are needed to provide a structural basis for the steep tiles. Roof battens are simple strips of wood, plastic or metal that the terracotta tiles should be nailed to, so as to keep them securely in place. Wood is most often used for this task and is highly recommended. These strips of wood are priced at anywhere from $3-$5 per square foot. Pretty much the only other materials needed for the installation of terracotta roofing tile will be the hammer and nails that will be used to secure the tiles in place. These can be found at any local hardware store.

Advantages Terracotta Roofing Tile

Unlike many other roofing materials, the color of terracotta roofing tiles is able to hold up strikingly well over time, retaining their reddish-clay hue no matter the type of weather that strikes. Terracotta is highly frost-resistant, which is particularly useful during the winter months, though the level of this resistance can vary based on the tile quality. It does not require much work to properly maintain these tiles. Terracotta tiles are highly fire-resistant.

Disadvantages of Terracotta Roofing Tile

The cost of the materials, as well as the installation of them, is relatively high compared to many other roofing options, though not substantially. With the way terracotta roofing tiles are sloped, it may be difficult to reach certain rooftop amenities, such as chimneys and air conditioners. Though beautiful, terracotta tiles do tend to weigh much more compared to other roofing materials. This may not be a problem, as many rooftops can handle the weight, but this means that the roof in question needs to be tested to ensure it can handle the extra weight.

As is displayed above, there are a number of advantages that are simply too good to pass up. While it can be a bit more expensive than other roofing materials, if the purchaser is not on a tight budget, then terracotta roofing tiles are perfect for those that are looking for a mix of a fantastic aesthetic that would add greatly to any type of residence, as well as a material that is highly weather resistant.

Last updated on Aug 22, 2014

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