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What Is A Slate Roof Made Of

Cost Of Composite Slate Roofing

How to SLATE a roof – Set out a slate roof & bottom row

Composite slate roofing materials are manufactured on-demand using a combination of plastic and polymers or plastic and rubber. They cost between $4 and $8 per square foot on average. Composite synthetic slate shingles are more costly, more durable, and come with a longer guarantee than the majority of other synthetics. Rubber-based tiles are more flexible than other synthetic shingles and must be installed carefully to prevent breaking.

What Is The Cost Of Synthetic Slate

One of the reasons that homeowners are so attracted to synthetic slate is its comparatively low cost. Real slate costs anywhere between $20 and $40 per square foot to install, which is far too expensive for most homeowners. By comparison, synthetic slate costs about $10 per square foot, depending on the product and manufacturer, the pitch of the roof, the size of the roof, and the hourly rate charged by the contractor.

What Slate Shingle Roofing Is

True slate roof shingles are 100-percent natural stone with no additives. Much like natural granite counters, slate roofing is quarried directly from the earth.

Slate can be identified by the way the light hits it from a certain angle. This is due to slate tile’s high mica content. Some slate can have up to 40-percent mica content. So, not only is it the texture of the stone that creates its unique lookit’s that low-level shine, as well.

One reason for slate’s superior roof-tiling quality is its cleavage abilities. Think of a good piece of slate much like a deck of cards. Because slate is a sedimentary rock, it is formed of many layers, and these layers can cleave, or slice, off like the individual cards in a deck of cards.

Slate shingle roofing requires installers who are experts at working with slate. Because of this, not all areas have companies that can install slate shingle roofing.

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Benefits Of A Slate Roof

Why is slate a great option for roofs? Slate roofing is one of the most valued features a home can have on today’s real estate market. Houses with slate shingles tend to attract lots of attention from prospective homebuyers. Slate is valuable because of its longevity and aesthetic appeal. In fact, slate can last for more than a century and match with virtually any style of architecture.

Slate Roof Cost Breakdown

Silver Mist Tile roofing made to look like slate!

Part of the reason why slate roofing can be expensive is due to the heaviness of the slate tiles and the labor involved. The cost of materials for a slate roof accounts not only for the quality of the material itself, but for the labor that has to be done by hand to acquire and prepare it. This includes cutting the slate into slabs and drilling holes that make installation easier.

Your roof surface area and the type of slate tiles you choose will impact the price. As of 2022, the average cost to install slate roofing on a home is $6.90 to $12.50 per square foot. However, the total cost for your roofing replacement can vary depending on where you live.

Slate is a heavy material, so this particular roof installation should be done with the utmost expertise and care. Labor to install a slate roof will most likely cost you anywhere from $125 to $225 per roofing square. If your current roof needs to be removed, or if you have a complex roof layout, this can add to the cost.

Other materials, like underlayment, drip edging, and special tools needed for the job, may cost you $100 or more per roofing square. You will want to get at least four quotes from local roof replacement contractors near you to see if a slate roof is within your budget.

Compare Local Costs

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Asphalt Shingles With A Slate Finish

Asphalt shingles are the least expensive sort of man-made stone available. These shingles, which are made of a viscous, black combination of hydrocarbons, have a slate-like look. Apart from the variety of stylistic options, they are also simple to install, which makes them an appealing alternative for many consumers. They are water-resistant due to their laminate construction.

Asphalt slate shingles typically cost between $1.50 and $4 per square foot.

What I Dont Like About Synthetic Slate:

Questionable Life Span Because synthetic roof slates are still new to the market, theres no telling how long theyll last. Manufacturers claim this will last for 100 years with a 50-year roofing warranty, however, theres hardly any hard evidence showing this to be true.

Not All Synthetic Slates are Class A Fire-Resistant This is where it gets a little inconsistent. Standard-wise, synthetic roofing slate materials are Class A fire-resistant however, not all models come with the same Class A rating. Some are either Class B or C, depending on the model.

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Can You Build With Slate

Using slate in architecture has endless design possibilities. It is very versatile and can be used to cover any shape of roof or façade. This versatility allows builders to incorporate intricacies in their design that would be impossible to achieve in other materials.

Can slate tiles be reused?

Usually, most slate tiles on the roof will still be in nearly perfect condition. This means that during a demolition or a re-roof, the slates and roof tiles can be salvaged and re-used, either on the same property or, more commonly on another project.

Does slate crack with heat?

Being that slate is a metamorphic rock then cant see how its going to be damaged by heat unless its immense.

Facts You May Not Know About Slate Roofing

Installing Man-made Slate Roofing Shingles

1. Slate is extremely durable. Its not unusual for a slate roof to last a century or longer. Although this type of roofing is more expensive initially, a slate roof is the last roof youll ever have to buy.

2. Slate is environmentally friendly. Because a slate roof can last ten times longer than an asphalt shingle roof, much less roofing material needs to be produced over time when you opt for slate. Not only does this save on raw materials but also on the energy needed to manufacture the materials.

3. No two slate tiles are exactly alike. Because slate is made by mother nature, not man, each tile has a unique, individual look.

4. Slate is water-resistant. Rain and melted snow slide right off of a slate roof.

5. Slate is fire-resistant. Unlike wood or asphalt, which must be coated with a fire-resistant product, slate simply does not burn!

6. Slate requires little maintenance. Unlike most other types of roofing, slate requires little maintenance. However, make sure to have an experienced professional make necessary repairs when they are needed.

7. A slate roof will insurance your property value. Because a new owners know that they wont ever have to replace the roof, your slate roof can be a big marketing tool when it comes time to sell your home.

8. Slate is naturally insect-resistant. You dont have to worry about termites burrowing into your slate roof.

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Recommended Manufacturers To Go For

Youll find many manufacturers that offer different slate options for your roof.

If you prefer a look similar to metal shingles, CertainTeed offers slate products that align with this type. Euroshield and EcoStar lean more towards rubber types, while Brava Roof Tile, DaVinci Roofscapes, and Enviroslate lean more towards plastic and polymer types.

What I Like Most About Synthetic Slate:

Easy Installation Installing synthetic roof slate is as simple as driving nails in place. Using a pneumatic nail gun also speeds the process and makes it easier to apply to your roof. You can easily trim synthetic slate with a roofing knife, making it much less of a hassle in achieving ideal measurements.

Lightweight Frame You dont have to worry when it comes to the roofing structure. Since the roofing materials comprise mainly of plastic and rubber, your roofs weight load isnt at risk.

Not vulnerable to Foot traffic A common issue of tile roofing materials is their low resistance to foot traffic. This makes the installation much harder. A synthetic slate roof however, is shatter-resistant.

High Impact & Fire Resistance A synthetic slate roof comes with Class 4 impact resistance and Class A fire resistance.

UV protection The roofing material used for synthetic slate carries UV inhibitors that add protection and reduce UV damage.

Recyclable If your synthetic slate roof wears down, the sustainability and recyclability of its materials increase its usability, eco-friendliness, and resale value overall.

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Alternatives To Slate Roofing

If the price tag of a new slate roof is out of your budget, you have some alternatives to consider. Among these options are a traditional asphalt roof, a synthetic slate roof, or metal coated roof shingles.

Slate Roof

  • Life expectancy of 150+ years
  • Unmatched curb appeal
  • Heavy weight can strain roof
  • Most popular roof type in U.S.
  • Life expectancy of 15-30 years
  • Less eco-friendly than slate
  • Lifes expectancy of 30+ years
  • Excellent weather resistance
  • Noisy with heavy rain or hail
  • More expensive than asphalt

Does A Slate Roof Add Value To A Home

Tuscan Tile roof made to look like slate!

The longevity of slate is key to its value in the eyes of homeowners. After all, roofing can be expensive. Slate is one of the few roofing options that doesn’t need to be replaced within the span of a lifetime. In most environments, slate shingles will last at least 125 years and sometimes as long as 200 years. As such, slate will outlast multiple generations of occupants at a given address.

Slate is also widely considered one of the most beautiful roofing materials. As a stone, slate has a natural, timeless appeal that never goes out of style. Slate shingles complement classic homes from the 19th century as well as modernist homes built in recent decades. Moreover, slate is one of the most diverse roofing options when it comes to color. Slate tiles are available in tones of green, red, purple, grey and black.

The biggest of all benefits regarding slate is its strength. Slate can withstand all types of weather patterns, year after year. In areas where snow and hail are common during winter months, slate can bear the weather unscathed. Slate will not rust or attract mold. Furthermore, slate is fire-resistant. Basically, a home is a whole lot safer with slate roofing.

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What Is The Main Difference Between Tiles And Slates

If your budget can stretch to natural slating, it is a luxurious touch to your home and is great for maintaining the character of period or traditional homes. The longevity and durability of the material means that you neednt worry about having to replace your roof, and repairs can be tackled by professionals quickly. However, if you are in need of more modern looking roofing solution, the colour and design choice of tiles may be much more suitable to your requirements.

What Are The Other Benefits Of Synthetic Slate

Aside from the fact that synthetic slate is more affordable than natural slate, there are other benefits of this modern material. Heres what you need to know.


Synthetic slate is commonly made from recycled materials like recycled plastic, rubber, and mineral dust. These shingles can also be manufactured in any location where a factory can be installed, unlike natural slate, which must be quarried from the earth and transported great distances.


Synthetic slate is easy to install and easy to maintain. Its comparatively light weight means that roofers can install it easily.


Natural slate can only be installed on a home that has been specially reinforced to bear the weight of natural stone. Synthetic slate can be installed on a roof that has not been specially designed for this purpose. This means that you can probably install synthetic slate on your pre-existing home, even without going to the trouble of preparing or reinforcing the structure.


Natural stone comes with jagged edges, a naturally rough texture, and surprising color variations. The same can be said of synthetic slate. Its often hard to tell the difference between these two materials. From a distance, synthetic slate looks just like the real thing. Work with your contractor to find a type of synthetic slate that matches your home siding and appearance.

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Slate Roof Or Roof Tiles

Tiles and slates have got their own pros and cons. These are the most remarkable differences between both roofing materials:

  • Assembling slates is a time-consuming task which takes more time than the installation of roof tiles. As a result of this, costs of a slate roof are higher than those of a tiled roof.
  • Roof slate prices are higher than these of roof tiles . Natural slates are anyway more expensive than clay tiles.
  • Slate tiles are much lighter than roof tiles and therefore suitable for a light roof structure.
  • Slates are better protected against storm than roof tiles.
  • Several roof shapes can be realised with slates. Slates may also be used as facade cladding.
  • Reliable information for builders, renovators and do-it-yourselfers
  • Free and non-binding price proposals for your project

Is Synthetic Slate Flammable

TPO Rubber Slate Roof Installed on Victorian-Style Roof

Many types of synthetic slate have a Class A fire rating, which means theyre as fire-resistant as they can get. This makes synthetic slate a desirable roofing product in parts of the country where wildfires are common. To ensure that the roofing material youve chosen for your home is fire-safe, find out the fire rating before purchasing that roofing material. If the fire rating is not Class A, your roofing installer may be able to improve the fire rating by installing a fire-retardant material under the synthetic material.

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Slate Roofing Vs Asphalt Shingles

Natural stone is the ultimate eco-friendly, durable, and beautiful roofing material. Unfortunately, high cost and weight concerns make slate a rare sight on run-of-the-mill homes. You will most often see a slate roof on churches, libraries, and government and university buildings.

Slate tiles will not saturate with water, and offer a completely fireproof option for your roof. Since slate roofing is made of stone, it is impervious to weather, sun, heat, and cold so you can expect a slate roof to last up to 150+ years.

On the other hand, asphalt shingles , lasts only 15 to 30 years. However, it is much more affordable than a high-end slate tile roof.

What Kind Of Things Can Slate Be Used For

Slate is such a flexible and varied material that not only can we create a roof, snooker tables, roof coating and windowsills, but it can even go as far as desktop items. Look around you, do you see anything slate on your desk? Slate can create stunning lamp bases, clocks, candle holders and many more accessories.

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The Benefits Of Slate As A Roofing Material

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, slate is an extremely durable and ideal barrier against the elements. Slate can last for hundreds of years if cared for properly one reason why it is a prominent feature of many older properties.

Slate is available in a number of attractive colours and shades, so it can easily match the existing decor of your home. Slate is also resistant to heat, so it can be the perfect roofing solution for homes located in hotter climates.

The waterproof properties is another major benefit of slate. This can help prevent a buildup of moisture inside your home during wet seasons, which may cause damage to the structure and interior.

Slate is also an eco-friendly roofing material because it does not emit any harmful gases when exposed to extreme heat or fire.

Facts About Slate Roofing

Vermont slate

A century ago, slate was one of the most popular roofing materials in the United States in older neighborhoods, especially around Miami you can still can find a few early 20th-century slate roofs. As cheaper man-made materials, like asphalt shingles, came on the market, slate fell out of fashion. Slowly it is making a comeback as homeowners across the nation discover that slate roofing has a lot to offer:

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Metal Slate Roof Tiles

With the durability of metal roofing systems, metal offers another alternative when seeking the look of slate with the convenience of metal.

Metal slate roof tiles offer a nearly unlimited variety of shape and color options.

While most metal roofing options are fabricated from steel, metal slate roof tiles can also be made from aluminum and copper.

Below is an example of brown colored metal slate roof roof tiles installed on an industrial building.

Slate Is One Of The Most Expensive Types Of Roofing Materials

Remember, slate roofs are one of the most durable and longest-lasting roofing materials on the market. But its also one of the most expensive types of roofing materials.

You can actually expect to pay at least 4 times more for a slate roof than you would for an asphalt roof. If youre looking for affordability, a slate roof is probably not the right type for you.

But if youre looking for a beautiful roof thatll last and you can handle the cost, its going to be the last roof you ever install.

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What Is Metal Tiles Prices Metal Building Materials Roof Slate Stone Coated Roofing Shingles Bond Classic Roman

1,000 0US $2-3 / 0

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