Flat Tile vs. Barrel Tile Roofs

The time has come, you’re ready for your new tile roof and there’s an important decision to make, “Do you install flat tile or barrel tile on your roof?”

The answer really depends on the age of your home. The trusses that support your roof, the concrete walls & the structural tie-beams all settle differently over the years, especially in our South Florida climate. This is not a defect or a sign of poor craftsmanship, wooden roof trusses expand & contract with the change in temperature and humidity.

Flat Roof Tile: Pros & Cons

flat-cement-roof-tile-08Aesthetically, flat tile roofs look best when installed over new trusses and decking/sheathing or trusses that have been adjusted with abutted 2×4’s to level the roof decking. This allows for the flat tile edges to line up better, giving you nice straight lines across your roof. Of course, the additional truss and decking work will increase the cost of your new tile roof, but it will provide the best look when finished. If you install flat tile over a 20+ year old roof without leveling the roof deck, the tile edges will not line up as well.

Barrel Roof Tile: Pros & Cons

Finished photo of Multi-Color S Tile Roof in MiamiIf you would like to avoid the additional cost associated with leveling your roof trusses and decking, we would recommend a barrel tile instead of a flat roof tile. Installing a barrel tile helps hide such dips and offsets caused by the natural settling of your home’s trusses. There are several other rounded roof tiles that will also help hide these imperfections like S-Type & Double Roll roof tiles.

Double Roll Terracotta Tile installation in Coral SpringsRounded / barrel roof tiles are mostly made of 2 materials, clay or concrete. Clay tiles tend to be more fragile and are often imported from other countries, making them more expensive. Concrete roof tiles are more durable and are manufactured domestically. The concrete roof tiles we install most are manufactured right here in the State of Florida, making them the more economic option.

6 Comments

Miami Roofing Contractor

Hello Chris,
Pricing varies slightly from S-Tile to Flat Tile to Double Roll Tile, etc. The big difference in cost would be noticeable in the materials used to fabricate the tiles, such as Clay Tile vs. Concrete Tile. Clay Tiles are often imported, making them more expensive, whereas Concrete Tiles are manufactured domestically (our manufacturer is in Florida).

You will also see a difference in costs depending on the color or blend of the roof tile. The process used to apply colors/blends varies and will also affect costs. A nice Clay Tile that we install is made by Verea and supplied locally by ComaCast.

Thank you for your inquiry!

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Miami Roofing Contractor

Hello John,
In response to your question, “Is one tile (flat vs. barrel) more durable?”, the answer is yes. Flat Tile will be more resistant to cracking, especially when being walked on for pressure washing, roof repairs, etc.

The material of the roof tile also affects durability. Concrete Roof Tiles are more durable than Clay Roof Tiles. Then Flat Tiles from those materials will be more durable than the Barrel Tiles from the same material.

Thank you for your inquiry & feel free to contact us with anything else.

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Sai Korada

Can you compare cost perspective? If you already have flat tile, is it easier/cheaper to replace with Flat or barrel?

Can you give a rough estimate in this scenario to replace 3000 sq ft?

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Miami Roofing Contractor

Thank you for your inquiry Sai,
You bring up 2 good topics, tile roof materials and roof size.
As for pricing of tile roof materials, there should be little difference between flat roof tile and barrel roof tile as long as they are the same material, for example cement roof tiles. They are available as flat, barrel and “S” tiles and slightly vary in price.
A different material, such as clay roof tiles will have a much higher cost and are also available as flat, barrel and “S” tiles. Clay tiles are often imported and are more fragile, therefore bearing a higher cost.

As for roof size, a 3,000 sq. ft. home does not necessarily have a 3,000 sq. ft. roof. For the purpose of this example and without accurate measurements, we estimate a 3,000 sq. ft. home to have a 3,900 sq. ft. roof, due to the pitch/rise of the roof from the ridge to the eave. Below is the difference in cost from flat to barrel roof tiles and from cement to clay roof tiles.

Material: Cement Tiles
Size: 3,900 sq. ft.
Material: Clay Tiles
Size: 3,900 sq. ft.
  • Flat Roof Tiles
  • Barrel Roof Tiles
  • “S” Tiles
  • Flat Roof Tiles
  • Barrel Roof Tiles
  • “S” Tiles
Cost: $35,000 Cost: $38,500
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