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Tile Roof Costs

So much more than a symbolic element of comfort and safety, a tile roof not only protects the house itself and the people inside of it, but it also adds a significant amount to the look and value of a home. However, balancing the potential return on investment of a new tile roof and the actual cost of it is tough. While tile roofs are some of the most durable and aesthetically pleasing on the market, they come with higher price tags than more common asphalt shingle and metal roof options. Reviewing the reasons for and benefits of these costs is therefore important for anyone thinking of upgrading to or replacing a tile roof.

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Table of Contents

  1. Tile Roof Cost
  2. Tile Roofing Cost Factors
  3. Tile Roof Prices Compared to Other Roofing Types
  4. Tile Roofing Styles
  5. Tile Roofing Materials
  6. Advantages of Tile Roofs
  7. Disadvantages of Tile Roofs
  8. Tile Roof Maintenance
  9. Find A Pro

Tile Roof Cost

It’s no secret that tile roofs are more expensive than asphalt and metal. However, the average cost, which ranges from $700 to $800 per square (equal to 100sf) only tells half the story. In fact, tile roofing costs can vary from as low as $400 to as much as $1,100 or more per square, depending on factors such as roof pitch, custom tiles and size. This means that a tile roof can cost as little as $10,000 or as much as $60,000 depending on several factors.

Tile Roofing Cost Factors

Tile Roofing Cost Factors

The most important categories that affect the final cost of a tile roof include materials, roof pitch, removal of an old roof, structural considerations, installation requirements and freight charges. Take a deeper look into each category:

  • Roofing Materials: The tiles themselves are the single most important factor when it comes to determining the cost of a tile roof. Low-end concrete tiles cost as little as $4/sf. High-end terra cotta, on the other hand, can be as much as $15.
  • Roof Pitch: The steeper a roof, the more dangerous the installation. Higher pitched roofs may require special equipment or more experienced contractors, which can increase the final costs by hundreds of dollars.
  • Old Roof Removal: Removing an old asphalt or metal roof usually costs between $3/sf and $5/sf, depending on factors such as size and roof pitch.
  • Structural Considerations: Tile is a lot heavier than asphalt or metal and requires additional structural support to protect the home. Minimally, this requires hiring a structural engineer and may include additional labor and materials for reinforcement, costing about $500 - $1,000 minimum.
  • Installation: Different roofing professionals offer homeowners different installation costs and packages.
  • Freight Charges: Shipping heavy tiles for roofs is expensive. The distance between a home and the materials’ location directly affects shipping costs.

Tile Roof Prices Compared to Other Roofing Types

While tile roofing generally costs more than asphalt or metal, it’s by no means the most expensive roofing option on the market. The table below reviews the average costs for the most common types of roofing:

Roofing Material

Average Cost per Square

Average Total Cost


$700 - $800



$120 - $140



$400 - $650



$250 - $600


Wood Shake

$650 - $900


Like tile roofs, the cost of each of these roofing types varies widely based on everything from the size of the home and the pitch of the roof to the location of the installation around the country.

Tile Roof Prices Compared to Other Roofing Types

Tile Roofing Styles

While there are many variations of tile roof styles, a few stand out as the most common types installed today. They include:

  • Mission Style: Also known as “double Roman” roofs, the Mission style is distinct for its pronounced ridges or ribs that stick out far more than any other tile roof style. The look of these tiles is distinctly Mediterranean. 
  • Spanish Style: Popular in climates that receive little rain, such as the Southwest United States, Spanish-style tiles are notable for their undulating wave pattern that’s not as distinct as Mission tiles’ pattern.
  • French Style: Also known as “profile” tile, French-style tile roofs also have a protruding feature, but one that’s much more square than either Mission or Spanish tiles. This design allows French tiles to handle water in a much more efficient fashion and is therefore popular in more temperate climates.
  • Interlocking Shingle: Also known as “flat shake” tiles, the interlocking shingle-style tile roof is the one that most closely resembles other roof materials such as asphalt and wood. In fact, interlocking shingle tiles may resemble wood or slate, presenting a more affordable alternative to these luxury-roofing options.

Tile Roofing Materials

The materials used to make the tiles installed on a roof have a huge impact on the final project price. There are three main material types, each with varying quality levels:


  • Cost: $4/sf - $9/sf
  • Made of sand, cement and water, concrete tiles are easy to mold into a variety of shapes and come in many colors and textures.


  • Cost: $5/sf - $10/sf
  • Available in different colors and styles, one advantage of clay tiles is that the ceramic process uses the heat of the kiln to permanently bond color to the tiles, preventing fading.

Terra Cotta

  • Cost: $9/sf - $15/sf
  • A type of premium clay, terra cotta roofing tiles are notable for their reddish-orange color and lasting finish.

Advantages of Tile Roofs

Unlike asphalt shingles, which last between 20 - 30 years, tile roofs offer homeowners a lasting, durable option that saves money over time. In fact, many manufacturers offer 50-year warranties on their tiles, which actually represents a rather conservative estimate. Quality tile roofs can last upwards of 75 years or more.

In addition, modern manufacturing practices make it possible to customize tile roofs in any number of colors and shapes. Depending on budget and your style of home, using customized tile roofs to accent its curb appeal can add both aesthetic value and true originality to any exterior.

Disadvantages of Tile Roofs

The cost of tile roofing is clearly a barrier to many homeowners. However, the tiles’ long life and the added value can offset this cost somewhat. Homes without a previous tile roof may also need additional structural reinforcement, further increasing the total cost for tile roof installation.

In addition, depending on the material quality, tile roof colors may fade over time, even if the roof itself is still functional. This can take away from the added value.

Tile Roof Maintenance

Tile Roof Maintenance

The importance of maintenance for any type of roof cannot be overlooked as a component of its overall cost and value. When it comes to tile roofs, there are a few important points to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t Walk on Tile Roofs: Roof tiles can crack easily under pressure, which means that walking on a tile roof or performing DIY repairs isn’t always possible.
  2. The Underlayment Doesn’t Last As Long: While the roof itself can last for 50 years or more, once every 10 years or so, homeowners need to replace the underlayment or base layer below a tile roof.
  3. Washing & Moss Removal are Necessary: Maintaining the look of a tile roof involves yearly maintenance in the form of washing and moss removal, which eliminates dirt and debris from the roof and prevents water drainage issues.

Find A Pro

Installing a tile roof isn’t a DIY job. In addition to the very delicate nature of the tiles themselves, ensuring structural support and the integrity of the roof is essential for the roof to actually protect your home. Check out our roofing project starter today to get quotes and put yourself in contact with local pros who can install your tile roof the right way.

Last updated on Aug 1, 2016

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