Tile roofing is expected to last an entire lifetime, but you may find yourself in need of a tile roof replacement or repair due to leaks caused by damaged flashing, sagging tiles, cracks, worn-out underlayment, or slipping. Repairing the issues as soon as you notice them is one way to avoid a full roof replacement, but this may be necessary in some cases. The damage will get worse and worse if you don’t address it, and this can drive your costs up very quickly too. You can help justify the cost of your tile roof replacement because it’s very durable and it offers excellent weather protection in almost every climate.
It has a very classic style to it that looks good with most homes, and there are different materials you can pick with different style affects that will impact your costs. If you want to have a tile roof replacement, you’ll want to know exactly what you’re getting into with this project before you start because it can quickly become very, very expensive. It’s also not a project you can do on your own, so you’ll have to factor in labor costs for a professional too.
The average tile roof replacement cost ranges from $8,000 to $23,000. If you’re going to repair an area instead, you’ll pay between $900 and $2,500. This works out to between $8.00 and $25.00 a square foot. You’ll pay an average of $2.00 to $10.00 a square foot for materials and $5.00 to $18.00 a square foot for labor. It’s also important that you factor in the costs to haul the old materials away, which types of tile you want to bring in, the roof style, and more.
If you’re considering a tile roof replacement, this is for you. We’re going to break down the cost factors associated with this project, and you can take them and see which ones are relevant to your situation. Once you get the square footage of your roof, you can get a healthy cost estimate for this project. Then, you can call local contractors and see which ones line up well with your budget. You’ll get a new tile roof that can withstand years of abuse without cracking, leaking, or having a lot of maintenance.
If you don’t take steps to maintain your roof, it’s very easy for it to fall into disrepair and require a full tile roof replacement. This can be an expensive and time-consuming process, depending on several factors. Tiled roof. By Pilar F / CC BY-SA 2.0
Costs for Different Tile Styles
One of the first things you’ll notice is that there are various tile styles available. Each style has a different cost, texture, and appearance to it that can make your tile roof replacement project more complicated. The style impacts how expensive it is with simple and flat styles costing less while Roman tiles cost more. The most popular styles are:
French tiles are also called Profile tiles, and they have indents instead of humps in the design that helps water to runoff into your collection system. These tiles date back to 1850, and several French brothers created them. They’re extremely popular in Europe and France.
These are very tightly fitted tiles that are very durable, and you’ll need special roof caps and edge pieces to install them. You could run into problems with corrosion, underlayment issues, and cracked tiles down the road. A tile roof replacement using French-style tiles will cost between $9.00 to $11.00 per square foot.
These tiles connect via side joints that connect each tile on the roof. Interlocking tiles can be granular or smooth, and your contractor will lay them in a single lap to help enhance how strong your roof is. The interlocking design makes a tile roof replacement relatively easy and straightforward, and you get a very classic look. You can also find them in stone-coated metal.
It can be challenging to find this style in all materials, especially concrete. However, it’s easy to replace or repair these tiles if needed once you get them installed. You can use a mortar to disconnect them from the surrounding tiles and slide the new tiles back in before screwing them down. Your costs will range from $9.00 to $11.00 a square foot for interlocking tiles.
Mission tiles are also called Double Roman tiles, and they have a very obvious and distinct pattern to them. You’ll find these tiles widely used in the Mediterranean, and they give you a smaller water course look. You can use them as a ridge cap due to their size and shape. However, they are slightly more difficult to install, and this can increase your tile roof replacement costs.
You can use mortar or concrete to repair the damage when you see it, or you can use a crowbar to lift up any tiles that are too damaged to be fixed and replace it with new ones. Your prices will start at $8.50 per square foot and go up to $11.00 per square foot to replace them.
This is an S-shaped, single-lap, roof tile that gets made out of fired clay, and it looks like terracotta pots you use in container gardening. Single-lap designs have a bottom edge that will only overlap the row directly below it. In turn, you’ll get a rippling look, and it’s slightly lighter than other tile options. They come in many patterns and different styles to fit your home’s design aesthetic, but they have higher profiles that are more prone to damage because they’re fragile.
You use lime and mortar to fix any tiles, but don’t use cement as it has a negative effect since the tile is softer. You want to make sure your entire roof uses the same shape, color, and dimensions to allow them to link properly on your roof to create a seal. The tile roof replacement cost will range from $8.00 to $10.00 a square foot.
A plain or flat tiled roof is one of the most common styles installed in residential homes throughout the world. It has a versatility coupled with a traditional look that makes it easy to install on different pitches and property styles. They also won’t trap rainwater since they have a flat design, and they’re also cost-effective and easy to install in a variety of patterns.
However, this type of tile isn’t as decorative as other picks on the list, but it’s a solid choice if you want to budget for your tile roof replacement project. You can easily use a crowbar to lift any heavily damaged tile and replace it too, and this can help with maintenance costs. You can expect to pay between $8.00 and $9.00 a square foot for plain tile.
Riviera has a very similar look to the mission tile design, but it’s extremely intricate with a rigid feel and a semi-flat look. It’s a nice choice if you want to have a repeating design with a very dramatic pattern. It’ll create a symmetrical roof with deep shadows and classic lines, but it can be harder to find. Cracking and slipping are also common, so you’ll have more maintenance costs. The tile roof replacement cost per square foot for this option ranges from $9.00 to $11.00.
This tile will give you a very classic design that mimics Rome’s monumental buildings. They have flat pans and round caps, and you can have single or double curves that look like the Spanish S-shaped tile. There are different heights and curve styles available, but they’re fragile if you use a higher profile with them.
Once you get the tile in place, you can repair them as they crack using mortar or concrete. For a full tile roof replacement using this style, you’ll save on labor costs because it’s quick and easy. You can remove each tile using a crowbar and interlocking the new tile into place. There are also pre-drilled alignment marks on each tile, and you’ll pay between $9.00 and $12.00 a square foot.
These tiles come with a scalloped shape, but it curves downward rather than upwards. This lends a very European appearance to it, and you can find them in use throughout Europe. The unique design is a big draw for a lot of people. They do have a higher cost and they’re more difficult to source, and this is why the average tile roof replacement using Scandanavian-style tiles ranges from $12.00 to $14.00 a square foot.
This is a natural stone tile that has a beautiful and unique appearance to it. They have a very long lifespan, they’re environmentally-friendly, and they have fire-resistance. However, they are fragile and do weigh more than other types of tile, and installation can be challenging. It can be hard to source a contractor to install these tiles. However, they have low maintenance needs.
You will have trouble fixing these tiles if they break after your tile roof replacement. You’ll have to use a ripper to cut through the nails before replacing them. If you include the material, you’ll pay between $12.00 and $14.00 a square foot for this option.
Mediterranean or Spanish tiles are very popular on homes in warmer climates, and you’ll get an S-shape with them. They give you a waved look, and it’s ideal for any planting zone that routinely gets heavy rainfalls. One tile will act like the lower and upper portion, and this can save you both labor and time when it comes to your tile roof replacement. They are more fragile because they come made out of clay.
If you notice any small cracks, you can use a membrane patch to fix them. You can also apply mortar to any cracked or broken areas when you notice them to seal it. You can replace them one at a time using a roof membrane to attach them. You’ll pay between $8.50 and $11.00 a square foot with this style.
The tile type you pick out will influence your total tile roof replacement cost because some are much more budget-friendly than others. Decide what look you want and see which tiles match that aesthetic. Up on the Roof by Keith Williamson / CC BY 2.0
Tile Roof Replacement Price by Material
The tile roof replacement cost will get heavily influenced by the material you pick out. The roofing material cost will vary according to your roof type. Some roof types need more materials and labor, especially if you have a steep pitch. The most budget-friendly option is concrete tiles, and composite or clay tiles fall in the middle of the price spectrum. The following outlines popular materials used in tile roof replacement projects and their associated costs per square feet.
You can get clay tiles in a large range of patterns, shapes, and colors, and the contractor will usually install them in an S-pattern that overlaps. You’ll often see these tiles in historic buildings because they have a wealth of color, longevity, and they look good for years. Since you can’t re-mount the tiles in the same way, the process can be more labor-intensive when it comes to tile roof replacement with clay. If you include labor and materials, you’ll pay between $9.00 to $21.00 a square foot.
Any composite tile is a mixture of several materials like asphalt, plastic, laminate, and wood. This combination gives you a long-lasting roof that will stay whole for 30 to 50 years. Even though they offer a higher level of durability, it is possible to damage them. Extreme weather can peel the tiles back or cause chips or cracking that can lead to leaks if you don’t fix them quickly. It’ll eventually lead to a full tile roof replacement if you’re not careful.
The contractor will have to use a crowbar and hammer to lift any shingles before removing them from the adhesive. If it’s just a minor crack, you can apply a layer of roofing sealant under the crack to seal it. You may need a caulking gun to apply a sealant to the corner of your shingles to prevent curling. Your tile roof replacement cost with composite tiles ranges from $10.00 to $21.00 a square foot. This includes both materials and labor.
Concrete is a very cost-effective and popular choice when it comes to your tile roof replacement project. Concrete also requires very little maintenance and offers good fire protection along with having a lifespan of 50 years. This is why it’s also a popular driveway material. They’re also lightweight, and this can help prevent structural issues.
Concrete tiles can slide out, crack, or show signs of general wear and tear after years though, so there is some maintenance required to keep your roof looking good. You’ll have to keep an eye out for any damage and fill any small holes or cracks with roofing cement. If you need to replace tiles, you can lift them with a crowbar and gently slide an undamaged tile in place. Your tile roof replacement project cost will range from $8.00 to $20.00 a square foot, including labor.
Metal offers you very little maintenance, high durability, energy-efficiency, easy installation, and longer warranties. However, repairs are more difficult in the event of damage since most metal roofs are sheets of metal that you have to replace all in one go. If you only have small holes, you can patch them relatively quickly to keep your labor costs low.
Metal is also a very stylish option that comes in several colors, and this is why it’s popular throughout the United States. It can handle a host of weather conditions without a problem, and your roof replacement cost will range from $9.00 to $23.00 a square foot. This is slightly higher, but it can also last much longer than other options.
The Greeks and Romans used terracotta tiles for thousands of years, and they use a natural clay material that they fire at a very high temperature until it fuses to form shingles. Terracotta tiles come with a very low maintenance need, and they can easily last up to 100 years or more. They’re fireproof, durable, environmentally-friendly, and they offer an attractive look to help boost your home’s curb appeal.
You will need to hire a professional when it comes to using terracotta tiles on your tile roof replacement project because they can be very difficult to install. Improper installation can cause damage due to freezing, rain, or severe weather. They use a vertical or horizontal overlap to stop water from leaking inside. The cost for this type of tile ranges from $11.00 to $23.00 a square foot, so it’s not the most budget-friendly option on the list.
Your material will have an impact on the tile roof replacement price, but it’ll also dictate how much maintenance you have to perform and how long it lasts. The goal is to pick out the materials that last the longest and are the lowest maintenance without going outside of your budget. Tejados by Nacho / CC BY 2.0
Cost to Replace the Underlayment
When you perform a tile roof replacement, you’ll want to replace the underlayment at the same time. This is a waterproof and water-resistant barrier that the contractors will lay underneath the tiles to help seal the roof. This protects it from more severe weather. It’s a common practice to replace the old underlayment when you’re installing a new roof, especially if the roof itself is much older. This is very important because it can protect the house if the roof sustains damage from things like leaking or mold.
You can pick your underlayment from a few different options. Most contractors will include the cost of the underlayment in your tile roof replacement cost estimate. However, you do want to double-check. The most common types of underlayment include:
Roofing felt is better known as asphalt-saturated felt. This is one of the first types of underlayment used, and it’s been used for decades. It works and looks just like traditional tar paper, but it has a combination of asphalt, bitumen, cellulose, and polyester that gets soaked in a waterproofing agent. You can choose from 15 or 30-pounds for the thicknesses. The thicker option is a good choice because it better resists damage from any outside elements.
This underlayment is a low-budget choice that is relatively easy to install with basic tools. It also gives you a very nice seepage barrier, and it’s flexible and easy to fix. It does have a slightly shorter lifespan to it when you compare it to other options, and the repairs may not look as aesthetically-pleasing. Including labor and materials, replacing this type of underlayment will add between $0.50 and $0.70 a square foot to your tile roof replacement cost.
Many contractors use synthetic underlayment as their go-to product during tile roof replacement projects. It uses hard-wearing plastics in the makeup like polyethylene or polypropylene, and they saturate it in asphalt to make it even more durable. It will resist fungi and mold, and it has a high elasticity, durability, waterproofing rating to help safeguard your home. Additionally, it also holds up against UV damage and light without breaking down. It rarely tears around the fasteners, and it’ll stay smooth once you install it.
You will need caps and cap nails during the installation process instead of using common tools like roofing nails and staples. It may also not meet some building requirements since it’s not standardized and different manufacturers can make it however they like. This can impact your roofing warranty and leave some issues uncovered. To replace this type of underlayment, your tile roof replacement project will increase by $0.75 to $1.00 a square foot for labor and materials.
You will want to hire a professional roofer to take on this project. On average, they’ll charge anywhere from $45.00 to $75.00 an hour for their work, and this will depend on your location. Your labor costs will go up if you have a slope on your roof that is steeper than average or if you have an unusual roof style because it’s more dangerous to work.
The roofer will have to perform a visual inspection of the roof to determine how much damage is around and whether or not you need a full tile roof replacement or just a partial one. They’ll discuss their findings with you and set up a plan. How large your roof is and the shape will directly influence your labor costs, and even the smallest project can take several days to finish.
The cost for a tile roof replacement varies, but you can expect to spend between $8,000 and $23,000. The labor will account for around 60% of the total costs, and the material will account for the final 40% of the project’s total. The costs work out to between $12.00 and $35.00 a square foot, and it includes removing your current roof, getting rid of it, and getting new underlayment and tile and installing it.
Maintaining Your Tile Roof
Your tile roof comes designed to last for years, and it can withstand harsh weather conditions without a problem. However, you do want to work and maintain it. Make a point to occasionally inspect your tile roof following any major storms. Remove any debris you find during your inspection and check on the tile condition, sealant, and fasteners. If you see any damage, take steps to fix it as quickly as possible to reduce the chances of the problem getting worse.
If you notice mold, stains, or mildew forming, you should clean the tiles. You want to do this using a wire brush and a hand trowel. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, there are companies who will do it for you. Never pressure wash your tile roof because this can cause a lot of damage. You can take other steps to maintain your roof once you clean it like priming, buffing, painting, or resealing it.
Where to Find Tile Roof Installation Professionals Near You
This is a project that will require the help of a professional. You want to contact several local companies to get quotes before you settle on one, and you can start your search here:
Frequently Asked Questions
Asking questions gives you a much better scope of your tile roof replacement project, and it can help you understand why the total costs come out to what they do. Remember to ask your contractors the same questions when you’re shopping around to get solid estimates. Roofer’s Next Step by Wayne S. Grazio / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
1. How long does a tile roof last on average?
Depending on the type of tile you get, your roof can have a long lifespan. Some tiles will only last between 20 and 30 years, but other types of tile can last upwards of 70 to 100 years with proper maintenance.
2. How long does underlayment last?
If you get a high-quality underlayment and have it professionally installed, it can easily last for 25 years. However, each manufacturer has different standards for their underlayment, so some can last longer than others.
3. Is maintenance necessary for tile roofs?
Generally speaking, tile roofs need very little maintenance. However, performing routine maintenance can help your roof last years longer. You’ll want to inspect the roof after storms, remove debris, and fix any damage you see to the sealant, fasteners, and tiles as soon as you notice them. Also, make a point to remove any mildew, mold, or stains you see.
Your tile roof replacement cost will vary depending on a wide range of factors, and it’s very easy for this project to get expensive. We’ve outline the biggest things you want to consider for this project, and you can take this quick guide to get a rough estimate before you call any local companies to get your tile roof replacement.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.