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All About Roofing Shingles and Materials (page 1 of 2)

Check out all you need to know about the four most common roofing components available.

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There are four main components common to most roof systems: a lumber framework, felt underlay, a roof covering, and flashing (waterproofing at joints). The options in these four areas are shown and explained here, along with some supplementary items used with the materials shown.

Roof Coverings

Seek advice from manufacturers when deciding how to install tiles or shingles on a roof. Although it may seem easy to replace like with like, newer regulations may require a different method. If you are planning a new roof, the installation method will be influenced by the pitch of roof, chosen tile type, and prevailing weather conditions. For example, some tiles hook over furring strips that help hold tiles in place. However, in an area prone to driving winds, it may be necessary to nail down some or all of the tiles. Special tiles for ridges and hips are usually secured with mortar, as are verge details. However, many new properties have ridges, hips, and verges finished using waterproof gaskets and screws.


Most popular. Wooden shakes are similar to shingles, but are handmade so have a rougher appearance. A wooden shingle (image 1) is usually made from cedar or redwood and is machine-sawn for smoothness. Asphalt shingles (image 2) may be reinforced with fiberglass for strength and fire resistance and come in sheets of several shingles.

Concrete Tiles

Concrete tiles mimic clay designs and are made to interlock easily. Examples are plain concrete tile (image 1); pan concrete tile (image 2); Roman concrete tile (image 3).

Clay Tiles

Clay tiles give a traditional look, but cost more than concrete. Plain clay tiles have nail holes and double-lap tile with nibs at the rear (image 1). Pan clay tiles are interlocking single-lap tiles (image 2), and Roman clay tiles have ridges that align all the way down the roof with interlocking single-lap tiles (image 3).

Slate Tiles

Strong and durable, slate provides long-lasting roofing and is more lightweight than other tiles (image 1). Cheaper synthetic slates are another option (image 2).

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