island with houses using clay roof tiles

How To Make Clay Roof Tiles, Shapes & Colours?

Most of the people who are trying to renovate their roofs at the present time want to go with the clay roof tiles. It is because this is not only going to give a perfect aesthetic to the property but also has the ability to enhance the thermal performance of the roof tiles in a more effective way. Well, it is a well-known fact that a roof is the major protective shell in every house and also has the ability to decisively affect the appearance of the house in the best possible way. However, when it comes to roofing styles then the more effective options which are being used for decades are the use of clay roof tiles. More interestingly, clay tiles and pitched roofs are also known as a European culture symbol. an amazing range of colors, formats, shapes, and types of clay roof tiles has the ability to reflect the level of traditional craftsmanship.

However, when it comes to clay roof tiles then there are multiple things that are important for you to know. However, here we have brought some amazing aspects of clay roof tiles which is certainly going to be the best for you to know. Have a look at the information below to get better knowledge.

stacks of clay roof tiles

What clay do they use?

In the clay tiles production, natural clay minerals are being used along with shale and kaolinkaolin to make the exact and small body of the clay tiles. Even more, a smaller amount of barium, manganese umber and some other blends are also being used in the fundamental materials which can help the manufacturers to create different shades of the bricks. Even more, these materials can also help to improve the chemical resistance of the clay tiles in the best possible way.

houses around a port with clay roof tiles

How do they make the clay?

The initial step of how to make clay roof tiles is the use of a jaw crusher to crush entire materials and then entire materials will be blended in the crushed raw materials. After that, the clay tiles material is being sent to the three important processes which are extrusion, molding or pressing. In these processes, the shape of the clay tiles will be completed. Once these have been given a particular shape then the next step of drying and firing will be held there. After they have been fired in ovens then they will be left to cool down and stacked at the end.

Types of clay roof tiles

stacks of clay roof tiles

Here are some of the most common shapes and types of clay roof tiles which you must know:

  • Plain tiles
  • Hollow tiles or overlapping tiles
  • Monk & Nun tiles (Over and under tiles)
  • Flat tiles
  • Pantiles

How do they make different roof tile shapes?

There is a different kind of tools available which are being used to convert the clay into the desired shape. These shapes are being developed during the three consecutive processes of extrusion, molding, or pressing. These processes are meant to convert the clay materials into the intended shapes.

The benefits of the different shapes

When it comes to the different shapes of roof tiles then the most common categories which you can find are tiles with interlocking or tiles without interlocking. Each shape type has its own benefits:

  • Overlapping tiles are the most classic shapes and meant to provide an interesting roofing design. These can provide enhances protection.
  • Interlocking clay roofing is being considered as an ideal choice for additions and extensions in the roofing systems.
  • Plain tiles are perfect to get an amazing old-world theme.
  • Pantiles contain unmatched performance and style to give a perfect look and high durability.
clay roof tiles

How they colour the clay to get different colours?

There are different types of materials or products which are being used during the manufacturing processes to get different colors in the best possible way.  K37 black roof tile colourant is being used to create different color forms which can be ranged from dark brown to rich shiny black, depending on the requirements of the user. However, Manganese for roof tiles can also be used to change the color of clay tiles. When manganese umber is going to be added to the perfectly firing red clay then it will help the manufacturers to create highly attractive brown colors which can be ranged from speckled to nutmeg and to chocolate brown depending on the sizing and quantity. While, Chrome Flour is also an amazing product  which is an environmentally friendly option to consider and effective trivalent chromium to consider for grey clay roof tiles.

multi coloured clay roof tiles

How do they dry the tiles?

Before firing the clay tiles, it is highly important to dry these to remove the moisture from the clay. If these are not going to be dried before firing then the presence of water in the clay will burn off very quickly and will cause cracks. However, there are two types of dryers that are being used for this process.

Tunnel dryers can move the clay tiles via humidity-controlled zones to avoid cracking. These dryers consist of a long chamber where the ware will be pushed slowly while hot air will be forced to enter the dryer from external fans. Well, the second type of dryers that are also being used for this purpose is Automatic chamber dryers. In these dryers the clay tiles will be placed consistently and then will be pushed for drying.

How do they fire the tiles?

The clay tiles can be brought to the high-temperature furnaces which are also known as kilns. These kilns are designed in a perfect way to maintain the required temperature zones for a longer period of time to fire the bricks in the best possible way. However, most of the kilns which are being used at the present time are designed for lower fuel consumption and improved temperature range in a uniform manner.

multiple coloured clay roof tiles in different shapes

What types of equipment/ furnaces/ kilns used to make roof tiles?

A kiln is an insulated chamber thermally, which you can consider a specific type of oven which has the ability to produce temperatures which are sufficient to get done with the various process during the making of clay roof tiles including hardening, chemical changes or drying. Kilns are being used to turn the objects which are being manufactured with the clay into tiles, bricks, and pottery. However, various industries are using kilns for pyroprocessing. A kiln is being used for brickworks to burn or fire the bricks. Even more, for drying tiles, a drying shred or yard is being used and a clay preparation plant is required to get the process done.

dark coloured clay roof tile

How long does it take?

Clay tiles are quite popular as a perfect roofing material but when it comes to seeing how much time it will take to get the process done then this aspect depends on the various factors including materials which you are going to use in the process, dryers capacity, kilns capacity, environment and much more. So, the time duration can be varied accordingly.

What temperature?

Clay can become pottery at 1,000 F temperatures. However, it may start to glow red at about 540 C. However, traditionally, tribal earthenware may be fired at 1,400F or 760 C. Heat has the ability to remove the molecular water present in the clay and will convert the clay into the molecule which will not go to be dissolved into the water anymore. However, in the present modern societies, the brick and pottery are being fired in the temperatures which are ranging from 1800 to 2400 degrees F in the kilns or 950 to 1280 degrees celcius.

town with terracotta roofs

The benefits of clay roof tiles

Clay tiles are being in use for roofing for centuries. However, due to various benefits clay roof tiles are continued to use till present. Do you want to know the benefits of clay roof tiles? Have a look at following amazing advantages to getting a better idea about the things in this regard:

  • Clay roof tiles can provide strong protection.
  • These have the ability to create a perfect aesthetic appeal.
  • These are available in different colors including manganese Brown roof tile oxide, K37 Black roof tile oxide, Grey roof tile oxide along with terracotta color.
  • The iconic clay roof tile color could be maintained for years.
  • Clay roof tiles are able to offer great flexibility in terms of size, shape, and designs.
  • These can easily incorporate with the design of every pitch range in the best possible way.
  • Clay roof tiles are the more durable and reliable option you can ever have.
  • Clay roof tiles are known as the best for their long-lasting factor. It is because these can stay on the buildings for years with ease.

Roofing is one of the most important options which demands high-level care to get the process done in a more effective way. However, when it comes to choosing the best roofing materials then no one can deny the effectiveness and importance of the clay roofing tiles at all. These are the best options that can stay with you for longer with ease and can serve you with more protection.

K37 Powder in a pot
manganese umber powder in a pot