Choosing Roofing Tiles: The Beauty of Slate

The Roofers TeamRoofingLeave a Comment

If your home is to be properly protected from the elements is has to be kept in good order. However, the roof serves more than simply a protective purpose. Besides keeping out the wind, rain, snow – and the sun – it presents a facade to the whole of the world and in some of the more picturesque parts of South Devon it is essential if you are considering having your roof renewed, to remember that it should not detract from the overall appearance of its surroundings. That is why we at The Roofers SW frequently advise our customers to consider employing slate tiles as the roof covering of choice. In this article we look at the benefits of slate tiles and go on to discuss some of the different types of slate tile that can provide your home with a stylish and classical roof that will be the envy of the neighbours. Finally, we briefly look at one of the alternatives to slate.

Benefits of Slate Tiles

Slate roofing tiles present a really attractive and pleasing appearance to a house. Slate is a natural stone, and it is one of the most popular of roofing materials presently employed. Furthermore, because it is natural, requiring little work other than cutting, it is extremely environmentally friendly. Slate is also highly fire resistant, an essential attribute in a roof covering material. Slate is also highly effective in resisting the effects of cold, water infiltration and heat, with a low coefficient of expansion. It can therefore withstand extremes of climate quite effectively. Another attribute of slate is its durability. Slate tiles can last for many years, resulting in relatively low maintenance costs once the roof has been fitted. Many roofers prefer to work with slate, considering it to be more versatile and easier to transport, store and work with than other alternatives. Finally, slate is an extremely attractive roof covering, providing a stylish finish to a property, particularly those that were constructed in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Roofing Repairs

Slate is attractive and durable

Types of Slate Tiles

As mentioned above, there are different types of slate tile, which come in a variety of shades and colours. The three most popular in current use are British Slate, Imported Slate and Synthetic slate.

British Slate

The most popular of all the British slates is Welsh slate, with its attractive grey/blue tone. Many roofing contractors consider this to be the best slate available for roof tiles. However, there are several alternatives to Welsh slate, most notably,  Burlington, Westmorland, Ballachulish and Easdale and – most local to Devon roofing contractors, Cornish Delabole.

Imported Slate

There are three main sources for imported slate. By far the most prolific of these is Spain. Incredibly, Spain is responsible  for somewhere in the region of three quarters of the slate used throughout the entire world.  China is fast developing significant inroads into the slate market, which is not surprising considering how vast  their territory is. Finally, some roofing contractors will recommend the high quality slate that is imported from Canada. Whatever the decision, these alternatives to British slate can prove somewhat less expensive, even taking account of the costs of importation.

Synthetic Slate

Synthetic slate, whilst lacking the classical look and style of natural slate has certain distinct advantages in the opinion of many roofers and homeowners alike. Firstly, they are produced in uniform shapes and sizes and often come with pre-drilled holes. These features make them easier and quicker to fix, saving significant installation costs. They also come in a wide variety of colours. The main disadvantages are  that they are less environmentally friendly than slate and they are also considered to be far less durable, requiring renewal and/or repair more frequently than slate tiles.


Many roofs in and around Devon and the  South West have slate roofs. If you are thinking of commissioning roofing work and want to find out more about our Devon roofing services please contact us at the address and/or telephone number below.

The Roofers SW
Sterling House,
Decoy Industrial Estate,
Newton Abbot,
TQ12 5NA
Tel 07515 393231 07710 621755 0800 0322213

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