Everything You Need to Know About Cement Roof Tiles

Everything You Need to Know About Cement Roof Tiles

When it comes to roofing materials, cement roof tiles stand out for a few key reasons:

  • durability
  • aesthetic appeal
  • ability to withstand harsh weather conditions.

These three reasons mean cement roof tiles are consistently popular options with Australian homeowners. But there’s more to explore to help you make well-informed decisions about your roof tiles.

We’ll explain:

  • What cement tiles are
  • Their benefits
  • Tips for choosing the suitable tiles
  • Cement tile maintenance

We’ll also highlight the importance of proper flashing and ventilation to ensure your roof's longevity.

Understanding Cement Roof Tiles

Cement roof tiles are made from a mixture of sand, cement, and water and are known for their long-lasting performance, ideally suited to Australian conditions. Cement roof tiles offer a unique blend of strength and aesthetic appeal while also being an affordable option compared to other roofing materials.

Making Tiles -  The manufacturing process of cement roof tiles involves mixing sand, cement, and water to form a slurry. You then mould the mixture under high pressure and heat to create tiles. Colour lock technology is an essential aspect of modern cement roof tiles -  a significant upgrade in the tile-making process. Colour lock technology helps maintain the tile's appearance and prevents fading over time. In other words, your money for tiles goes further thanks to this innovation. 

Types of Roof Tiles

People occasionally treat cement and concrete roof tiles as the same, but there are subtle differences.

Cement Tiles vs. Concrete Tiles

Both types are durable and suitable for various climates, but cement tiles tend to be lighter and offer more design flexibility. Concrete tiles, on the other hand, are denser and can provide better insulation.

Key Similarities and Differences:




Both types are heavier than many other roofing materials.

Cement tiles are generally lighter than concrete tiles.


Both types are more affordable than terracotta tiles.

Cement tiles tend to be less expensive than concrete tiles.


Both types are durable and suitable for various climates.

Concrete tiles generally have a longer lifespan and may offer better overall durability.


Both types use sand, cement, and water in their mixture.

Concrete tiles include additional aggregates that are not typically found in cement tiles.

The summary here is that cement tiles often do a fantastic job comparable to concrete roof tiles. But, they do so at a cheaper price point, making them the preferred option for many.

Cement Tiles vs Terracotta Tiles

Terracotta and cement roof tiles each offer unique benefits, making them popular choices for homeowners. Below is a comparison of these two types of tiles.

Terracotta Roof Tiles

Cement Roof Tiles


Made from natural clay

Made from sand, cement, and water


Distinct aesthetic reminiscent of Mediterranean coastlines

Versatile, can mimic various styles, including terracotta


Generally more expensive

More affordable, cost-effective


Extremely durable with a long lifespan

Durable, but typically with a slightly shorter lifespan


Heavier than many other roofing materials

Lighter than terracotta tiles


Excellent natural insulation properties

Good insulation, especially for heat

Once again, there’s not much to separate terracotta and cement roof tiles, but cement riles are significantly kinder on your finances. 

Price Breakdown

We’ve compared cement to concrete and terracotta here as being cheaper or more expensive in general terms. Here are some more specific price ranges to give you a better picture:

  • Concrete tiles - between $40 and $80 per square metre
  • Cement tiles - similar to concrete - between $30 and $65 depending on where you are in the country
  • terracotta/clay tiles - $80 to $120 per square metre

Benefits of Cement Roof Tiles

Let's drill down with more explanation on the many benefits of cement tile for your home.

  • Durability and Strength - Cement roof tiles resist heat, rainwater, and rust, ensuring your roof remains strong and intact for years.
  • Aesthetic Appeal - One key advantage of cement roof tiles is their versatility in design. These tiles can complement any architectural style since they’re available in a wide range of colours and textures, including popular profiles like Soho Night and Slate. A cement tile retains gloss thanks to colour lock technology, which means a sustained vibrant appearance over time.
  • Practical Advantages - Cement provides excellent insulation for roofs, helping to keep homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer (the latter being particularly important across Australia). They are also fire-resistant and require minimal maintenance, offering homeowners peace of mind and cost savings in the long run.

Choosing the Right Cement Roof Tiles

Okay, so you're leaning toward a cement tile roof. What next? How do you choose?

Factors to Consider

When selecting cement roof tiles, consider:

  • climate and environmental conditions of your area
  • the design of your roof
  • your aesthetic preferences

In other words, you need to tick certain boxes. 

  1. Choose tiles that can actually be installed on your roof to start with.
  2.  Next, make intelligent decisions regarding the environment 
    1. do you need tiles that offer better insulation? 
    2. Is fire a risk where you live? 
    3. Do you experience storms? 
  3. Only after you consider these should you then make decisions based on aesthetics (colour, texture, size, etc.)

Popular Colour and Style Options

Cement roof tiles come in a variety of colours and styles. Options like Soho Night and Horizon are popular for their contemporary look and ability to blend seamlessly with modern home designs. Matching your tiles with your home’s exterior can enhance (or clash with) the overall aesthetic of your home. It's also a major commitment, so take your time before coming to a decision.

Installation Tips

Proper installation is crucial for the performance and longevity of cement roof tiles, so hire professional roofers to avoid common installation mistakes. Ensure your roof includes proper flashing and ventilation to prevent moisture buildup and further extend the lifespan of your tiles. We offer a range of flashing and ventilation products to help in this process.

Maintenance and Care

Regular cleaning is essential to maintain the appearance and strength of your cement roof tiles. Remove debris, moss, and algae to prevent damage. Ventilation products like the Rapidridge dry fixed roofing system can help reduce moisture buildup, further protecting your tiles.

Routine inspections and timely repairs are also key to extending the lifespan of your cement roof tiles. There's no two ways about it: you've got to get up on your ladder every now and then to check what's going on up there!

Enhancing Roof Performance with Flashing and Ventilation

Flashing is critical in protecting your roof from water penetration as water is the enemy of any roof system. After all, you pay all that money for a great-looking roof; it makes sense you’d want to ensure it does its job and doesn't allow for any damaging water ingress to cause havoc in your roof cavity.

Properly installed flashing directs water away from vulnerable areas. It prevents leaks and structural damage, ultimately keeping your family safe. Check out our range of flashing products designed to enhance the performance of your cement roof tiles.

Importance of Ventilation

Ventilation is even more important than flashing in protecting your roof. Good roof ventilation prevents pesky heat buildup in the roof space and extends the life of your roof while maintaining a comfortable indoor environment for you and your family. 

Ventilation options through Roofstuff provide better airflow through the roof space with intelligent vent placement, reducing the risk of moisture-related issues in those hot Australian summers. 

When you’re considering roof tiles for a new home or a roof restoration, you need to combine them with proper ventilation for a functional, lasting roof system.

Wrapping Up on Cement Roofing Tiles

Cement roof tiles offer fantastic benefits that make them an excellent choice for any home.

By understanding their benefits, choosing the right tiles, and maintaining them properly, you can ensure your roof remains strong and beautiful for years to come, as you have decent flashing and ventilation to protect the roof, too.

 Visit Roofstuff for all your flashing and ventilation needs, as well as other roofing accessories, and take the first step toward a better, more secure roof.

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