Both clay and concrete can be used to manufacture a range of plain tiles, overlapping tiles and interlocking tiles for various applications.
Clay has been used to produce an effective roof covering since Roman times. Clay tiles are made from naturally occurring clay deposits, which are processed, shaped and fired in kilns.
The material is highly durable and weather resistant, meaning that clay tiles do not normally require any maintenance during their design life. Modern production methods create products with improved durability and an increasing variety of colours and textures. A prime feature of clay tiles is their colour-fastness - their colours do not fade, but rather improve during their lifetime.
Concrete tiles are manufactured from Portland cement, aggregate and water under a high pressure compaction and extrusion process. They usually have a colour pigment added to the mix, and some smooth faced tiles are surface finished with an acrylic coating.
Their large size (up to 10 per square metre for interlocking tiles) makes them easy to fit and they are the cheapest form of roofing tile. They are available in a large range of colour, profiles and textures, with fittings and accessories to complement them.
Concrete tiles are durable (a minimum guaranteed life of 50 years) and do not require maintenance.