How to Install Clay Roof Tile

How to Install Clay Roof Tile

Basic information on how to install clay roof tiles.

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Clay roof tiles are very popular as they will generate a pleasant Mediterranean look to your building. Clay tiles are durable and lightweight, making it ideal in certain roofs as they will also bring some additional benefits to the building in general. Clay tiles offer better insulating properties when compared to other similar materials such as ceramic tiles. One important aspect that should be considered when installing clay tiles ,is that you need to pick the right size, color and the right installation method used depending on the type of clay tile being used.

Clay Tiles: The Right Roofing Underlay

One of the most important aspects to consider before installing the clay tile is to have a great roofing underlay. The material used below the clay tile, will be a decisive factor that will affect the durability of the clay roof tile. Normally, the underlay is made from asphalt-saturated roofing material covering all area below the tile clay cover. Be sure it is properly attached or installed or you can end up with overlying tiles pretty soon. As a minimum, all decks must be covered with two layers of No. 30 asphalt-impregnated roofing felt or one layer of No. 43 coated base sheet.

Clay Tiles: Choosing the Right One

Clay tiles need to be chosen depending on the geographic location on which it will be installed, Clay tiles are manufactured to withstand several environmental conditions but you need to make sure that you are installing the right one depending on the climatic conditions of the area. The most common type of clay tiles are:

    How to Install Clay Roof Tile
  • Slate — thin rectangular sections of rock that come in varying sizes and thicknesses.
  • Plain Tiles — small rectangular sections of clay with a smooth or sanded surface finish.
  • Pantiles — a distinctive clay tile with an ‘S’ shaped profile.
  • Roman Tiles — similar to the previous one, but has a cross section that is flat with a small roll.

Clay Tiles: Installing Tiles

After the underlay has been installed, now its time to install the metal flashing around chimneys, conduits, vents, and where a roof meets a vertical wall. It is recommended to use a 28 ga corrosion resistant flashing. Now follow these simple steps to install your clay tiles successfully:

  1. Position the first tile on the batten with the crown facing up and center the tile from side to side. Drive a 10d nail at the base of the clay tile into the batten. Do not overdrive the nail. It is important to verify that the tile overhang the end of the batten by two inches.
  2. Install another tile atop the inner end of the first. Measure from the outer end and adjust the end of the second tile.
  3. Nail the second tile to the batten the same way it was installed the first one.
  4. Now, place two tile to the opposite end of the ridge and install them as you did with the previous one.
  5. Measure the distance across the ridge from the outer ends of the first tiles at each end of the ridge. Subtract 16 inches and divide the result by 8 to determine the number of tiles to be installed.
  6. Now start at the second tile at one end of the ridge. Install the tiles toward the center of the ridge from end to end and install half the number of ridge tiles. Work from the opposite end and install the remaining tiles to the center of the ridge. A key tile installs at the center of the ridge with mortar.

Clay Tiles: Mortar

When mortar is used to install the tiles, be sure to obtain a medium consistency so it can be manageable and easy to apply. Install the mortar at the outer end of the first ridge tile. Pack the mortar under the outer edge of the tile to fill the gap at the tile and batten. Smooth it with the trowel. Keep adding mortar along the lower edges of the ridge tiles at each side. Install mortar at the outer end of the tile at the opposite end of the ridge. Be sure to apply enough mortar where the ridge tiles meet at the center point of the ridge. Place a key ridge tile at the center of the ridge and remove the excess mortar with the trowel.


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