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A Guide to Plain Roofing Tile Options


30th January 2018

Plain roof tiles are the most common style of roof tile found installed on homes within the UK. Their traditional look gives developers and homeowners the versatility required to match a whole host of property styles and roof pitches. Our plain roof tile guide can help you to understand more about their advantages and if they are the right style to suit your home. We have included information about the cost and durability of plain roof tiles, as well as the estimated number required for the size of a project. Read on for more information about plain roof tiles.

Advantages of Plain Roof Tiles

Although tiles had been in use for thousands of years before the Romans eventually introduced clay tiles to Britain, it wasn’t until almost 200 years later that plain roof tiles were standardised. King Edward IV set the standard size that existed until the European Standard replaced it in 1999.

Plain Roofing Tiles - Roof Stores
Plain Roofing Tiles

With such a broad range of traditional and modern architectural design found across the country, the plain tile has established itself as the go-to option that enables properties to blend in naturally with one another. Plain tiles are installed with a broken bond and maintain their watertight properties by the using triple-lay method.

Plain roof tiles are cost-effective, which also applies to the clay variety, due to the simple mould required to make them. They also provide great flexibility and offer a number of practical ways in which they can be installed, including dormers and conical roofs.

Their versatility extends through to their use in the vertical cladding of properties. This is very much a design preference and one that has become popular in a number of contemporary homes. It’s this sort of adaptability that has helped maintain its position as Britain’s most popular tile type.

Plain Roof Tile Options

There really is no limit to the colours available for plain roof tiles. This is because the source material they are made from will be either clay or concrete. Of course, in practical terms manufacturers do limit the colours on concrete tiles as the need for obscure shades are too low to justify mass production. Clay tiles will usually come in four or five colours, with terracotta being the most common, while concrete tiles will have a range of shades usually at a limit of nine or ten.

Plain Roof Tiles are Available in a Range of Colours - Roof Stores
Plain Roof Tiles are Available in a Range of Colours

You can see the difference in colour options when you compare the Sandtoft Barrow Plain clay tile with the Redland Plain Concrete tile. The former has five options to choose from, mostly in browns and dark reds, while the latter offers up to 13 colour selection. Black, red, brown and terracotta are just some of the colours available on the plain concrete tile, reflecting the materials overall versatility.

How Large are Plain Roof Tiles?

The standardisation of sizing that took place back in the 15th century has effectively remained in place for over 500 years. Plain roof tiles will typically be 265mm x 165mm in size, with some minor variance depending on the manufacturer.

For example, the Redland Plain Concrete tile is measured at 266mm x 165mm. This small variation will not make any difference to the square metre coverage compared to a plain tile sized at 265mm x 165mm, with both requiring 60 tiles.

How Long Do Plain Roof Tiles Last?

The life expectancy of plain roof tiles is dependent on the material rather than the actual style of the tile. This means the choice made between a clay or concrete tile will give an indication of how long a plain roof tile will last. However, we should mention that when it comes to lifespan there is little difference between plain concrete and clay tiles.

Sandtoft Goxhill Plain Clay Tiles - Roof Stores
Sandtoft Goxhill Plain Clay Tiles

As standard, manufacturers will offer a 30-year warranty for both types of tiles. It is expected that in most areas that do not experience heavy periods of rain, snow, wind or sun, plain concrete and clay tiles should last for at least 50-60 years. If the roof is well maintained, meaning broken tiles are attended to quickly and the roof cleaned at least once a year, there is every chance plain roof tiles will last for even longer.

What is the Minimum Roof Pitch for Plain Roof Tiles?

The style of a roof tile will not dictate the pitch it can be used for, as this will depend on the actual design. In this respect, plain roof tiles provide great flexibility as they can be used to suit almost any angle, usually above 35°

In most instances, 35° will be the minimum pitch for plain concrete tiles, which is another reason why the material is the preferred choice for those who use them regularly. Clay single camber plain tiles can pitch down to 30° manufacturer dependant, although the vast majority available have a limit of 35°.

The Sandtoft 20/20 tile is the exception to the rule for clay tiles being used on low pitches, as it can installed as low as 15⁰ with a 100mm headlap.

How Much Do Plain Roof Tiles Cost?

This section is intended to provide you with an idea of the level of pricing for interlocking tiles which can range from approx: £0.40 to upwards of £4.00 per tile. To see the most up to date prices for individual products, follow the links below or visit our plain roof tiles page.

An Example of Plain Tile Placement - Roof Stores
An Example of Plain Tile Placement

In general, singularly plain roof tiles will be the cheapest option available to buy. The biggest determining factor will be the material of the tile purchased. Budgeting how much you have to spend is the probably the first and most important thing that most people will need to decide.

To give you an idea of the outlay you can expect, these are some of the most popular options for plain tiles currently available:

  • Sandtoft Plain Concrete Tile
  • Redland Duoplain Concrete Tile
  • Koramic 301 Smooth Plain Tile
  • Sandtoft 20/20 Clay Tile

Whether the plain tile is being used for traditional roof tiling, or vertical cladding, choosing between concrete and clay will have the largest impact on the cost.


Sandtoft Clay 20/20 Interlock Plain LH Tile & Half (Verge)

Sandtoft Clay 20/20 Interlock Plain LH Tile & Half (Verge)

Sandtoft 20/20 Interlock Tile & Half, LeftHand. Sold in a variety of colours. Available for delivery across the UK. Buy online now.
Buy online now

How Many Plain Roof Tiles are Needed Per Square Metre?

We have a huge range of plain tiles that can be used for a variety of roof installations. Take a look at our selection of either plain clay or concrete tiles to see which one will work best for your property. If you are looking for a more traditional style, the information below will help you identify the right tile to suit your project.

Type Size Square Metre Coverage
Sandtoft Plain Concrete Tile 265 x 165mm 60 tiles per m²
Redland Plain Concrete Tile 266 x 165mm 60 tiles per m²
Marley Plain Concrete Tile 267 x 168mm 60 tiles per m²
Redland Duoplain Concrete Tile 268 x 330mm 17.7 tiles per m²
Sandtoft 20/20 Clay Tile 330 x 226mm 22.7 tiles per m²
Sandtoft Barrow Plain Clay Tile 265 x 165mm 60 tiles per m²
Koramic 301 Smooth Plain Tile 270 x 170mm 57.4 tiles per m²
Koramic 303 Sanded Plain Tile 270 x 170mm 57.4 tiles per m²


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