Orange County

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Roofing Showdown - Shingles vs Tiles

orange county roofing typesWhen it comes to southern California roofing, the primary choices are shingle and tile. Both options have their advantages, and the most important thing is to ensure that you’re using the best Orange County roofing contractors for the job.

But if you’re wondering about the major differences between these two types of roofing, we’re here to help. Here are the main differences between shingle and tile roofs:


These days, many Californians are looking for eco-friendly home options, including roofs. As far as eco-friendliness, tile roofs win hands-down in California. Shingles can actually be better in some colder climates, but concrete and clay tiles are generally more energy-saving with our warm weather.


Light-colored concrete tiles may be your best option if eco-friendliness is the top factor on your list. The color will reflect more light, meaning they head up less altogether. However, even traditional red clay tiles are great here in SoCal. With its curved tiles, the roof is naturally vented, leading to less heat gain inside the home.

Winner: Clay tile.

2. Character

The traditional look here in Orange County is a red clay tile roof. Now, you can get the same or a similar look from dyed concrete tiles. However, the clay look works best on homes with a traditional Italian or Spanish Mission design. It may look out of place on other styles of homes.

New technology, though, means that clay and concrete tile roofs come in different designs and colors now than ever before. This may expand your options, making a tile roof more suitable for a different home style.

Plus, asphalt shingles are now available in a variety of colors, and you can even create designs with them in some situations. The bottom line here is that style and character are mainly a matter of taste, so this one’s up to you.

Winner: It’s a draw.

3. Cost

Replacing a roof or putting one on a new construction home is no financial joke, so this is often a huge consideration for homeowners. And this is a pretty tricky factor, since you need to account for things like maintenance and the longevity of a roofing material.

Clay tile roofs are hands-down one of the most expensive options around (besides natural slate), but they can last over twice as long as shingles. Generally, clay tiles will cost about three times as much as asphalt shingles. Many industry experts put the lifespan of a tile roof at around 50 years, but it could be much longer.

Again, this is a tough decision to make. If you’re not planning to be in your home for the next 50+ years, an asphalt roof may be a better investment. But if you’re planning to own the home forever or pass it to your children, a tile roof might be a worthwhile investment.

Of course, you should also look at the property value impact of switching from asphalt to tile. Not sure how to get this information? Talk with a local real estate expert or appraiser to get a feel for whether or not you can get your investment back in a tile roof.

Winner: It’s a draw.

4. Maintenance

Typically, any type of roof needs to be regularly maintained. You’ll want to keep the roof free from debris, and ensure that your gutter system is working properly so that you don’t have built-up water on the roof. Maintenance for tile and shingle roofs is fairly similar.

However, different types of weather will affect these roof types differently. Tile roofs can experience breakage during storms, while tile roofs are more likely to be damaged by excessive heat. It’s easier to replace a few loose or missing shingles on an asphalt roof, while repairing a tile roof may be a bit more difficult.

Winner: Asphalt shingles.

Bottom Line

The bottom line here is that both asphalt shingles and clay or concrete tiles have their advantages and disadvantages. Choosing one over the other is a calculation of preference, budget, and even how long you plan to stay in your current home. The best way to get a feel for the differences, and to decide which roof is best for you, is to talk with a local contractor.

If you’re on the fence about this issue, talk with the best Orange County roofing company you can find who does both tile and shingle roofs. They won’t be looking to necessarily sell you one over the other, so you can get some great, unbiased advice to aid you in the process of choosing between these great roofing options.

If you have any questions, be sure to reach out to Luke Roofing. A long-established Orange County roofer, we provide prompt, reliable expertise for every residential roofing need and situation. Wherever and whenever you need roofing services in La Palma or anywhere else in OC, you definitely can count on Luke Roofing.

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