Britain’s most popular roofing materials

Slating and Tiling

Pitched roofs are often clad in either slate or tiles (Glossary).  These terms are often used interchangeably but there is a difference between the two.  Slates are made from natural stone and typically grey in colour.  Whereas tiles are manufactured and can be in a range of colours.

Slates and tiles are layered in a slope to direct water from the roof apex down to the valleys and guttering.  Each slate or tile is fixed to the roof by a nail with ridge tiles used for the roof junctions.  There may also be chimneys, vents and windows that feature on your roof.  Guttering and downpipes are also elements of your roofing infrastructure.  Due to these numerous components to a slate or tiled roof there are several areas of maintenance required to keep the roof watertight.

When we work on slate or tile roofs we take measures to repair to extend the life of the roof.  For example, we use galvanised steel or copper nails to fix new slates to the roof.  The non-corrosive properties of these types of nails assist in extending the life of the roof.  We source the best quality slate or tiles to match your existing roof.

At Advanced Roofing all our roofing technicians are trained to CITB Advanced City and Guilds level (Glossary) in pitched roof slating and tiling.  We have a wealth of experience working on slated and tiled roofs across Edinburgh city, the Lothians and Borders as well as further afield across Scotland.  We offer a minimum 10 year guarantee on all of our pitched roof slating and tiling systems.

Slate Roofs

Many of Edinburgh’s rooftops were clad in slate over 100 years ago. This means that many old slate roofs now require complete re-roofing. This is due to either slates becoming porous and soft or the fixing nails rusting and failing known as nail sickness. In addition, when these roofs were first built the slate was fixed directly on the roof timbers. When re-roofing we install a breathable waterproof membrane that provides a further level of protection to the roof. Each roof is different which is why we carry out a full roof review to provide a free estimate to our clients. This way we can clearly identify the areas of concern and the best approach to remedy.

Types of Slate

In Edinburgh the slate most frequently used is Scotch Slate which is grey, random in height and width with a rough surface. We make every attempt to match the existing slate on your existing roof. Variations in slate appearance are due to the natural origin and source of the slate.

Welsh slate is a purple or grey colour with a smoother surface to that of Scotch Slate. Welsh slate is also more uniform in terms of its height and width.

Spanish slate tends to be charcoal grey in colour with a uniform height and width with a smooth surface. Spanish slate is a great alternative as it is cost effective to use, hard wearing and less porous than other slate types.

Burlington Slate is a blue grey colour in appearance and is quarried in the Lake District. Like Scotch Slate Burlington is random in its height and width with a textured surface.

Westmorland Slate is again quarried in the Lake District. This slate has a textured green grey appearance. Westmorland slate is random in height and width.

Norwegian slate similar to that of Westmorland slate has a textured green grey appearance. In contrast the Norwegian slate is uniform in height and width.


Tiled Roofs

Tiled roofs can be found on a range of properties from new builds to 1960’s renovations replacing old slate. Tiles work in a similar fashion to slate with the difference that they are manufactured rather than natural. Tiles do have a lifespan depending on the material the tiles have been manufactured from.

Tiles are typically fitted and supported by timber battens which can suffer from degradation. At the point where the roof timbers fail this would require complete renewal of the roofing system. When we replace roofing systems we install a breathable waterproof membrane and new pressure treated timber battens to fit the new tiles.

Types of Tiling

There are many options when it comes to tiles. Roof tiles can differ greatly in size, colour and profile.

Interlocking tiles are made from concrete. This means that the tile is uniform in height and width. There is also a choice of colours and profiles available.

Plain tiles are uniform in height and width, again with multiple colours available. Plain tiles tend to be smaller in size than of large concrete tiles.

Clay tiles are most commonly manufactured in an orange red colour. Again, these tiles are uniform in size and can be made in multiple colours and profiles. Read more...

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    Our customers satisfaction is of the upmost importance to us. Who’s best to tell you about our customers and their experience using Advanced Roofing? We believe that it is the customers themselves. We have worked with Advanced Roofing for many years. They would be our default go-to contractor for all types of roofing projects. Advanced

    Nigel Somner

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