Slating vs tiling: what’s best for your property?

There are plenty of options for roofing in Edinburgh. Slating is the classic choice, while tiling is versatile and budget-friendly. As roofers in Edinburgh, we’re often asked what’s best for a property. And we know factors like budget or style of property can influence your choice. But whether you’re looking for roof repair in Edinburgh or options for a new build, here’s what you need to know about slating and tiling.

Slating or tiling – what’s the difference?

Slate and tile can both be attractive options for your roof. But it’s essential to understand the crucial differences between the two materials before making an informed choice.

Slate is a natural material with a lifespan of up to 100 years. It’s a traditional choice for roofing in Edinburgh and is often the choice for upscale properties. In addition, slating offers excellent protection against fire and insect damage for a low-maintenance roofing solution.

Tiles, on the other hand, are a manufactured roofing material. You’ll have a choice of concrete or clay tiles which have different applications depending on the features of your roof. While less durable than slate, roof tiles are more versatile. They’re readily available in a variety of sizes, colours and formats.

Slating or tiling – what’s best for roofing in Edinburgh?

When selecting the ideal roofing material for your property, several factors come into play. You’ll need to consider your property’s style, aesthetics, roofing durability, and budget.

Your property style

Scottish slate was once one of the country’s major industries because of the abundance of natural slate on the islands of Belnahua, Seil and Luing. As a result, most Edinburgh properties were roofed in elegant dark grey slating. However, most natural slate today comes from Spain and Wales.

However, if you decide to use slate as a roofing material, you must factor in weight. Traditional properties are built to withstand the additional stress of a slate roof. And while a slate roof is an excellent choice for a contemporary home, ensure that the roof structure can bear the extra weight.

On the other hand, roofing tiles can adapt to any property style. They’re even suitable for roofs with an ultra-low pitch where slates aren’t an option. Available in various types, colours and forms, they suit period and contemporary properties effortlessly.

Desired aesthetic

Slate is a highly prized roofing material due to its sleek and classic aesthetic. In comparison, roof tiling has a more rustic or Mediterranean look and feel. Roof tiles are also available in various styles to add a distinctive flair to your roofline.

However, slate roofs have a beauty and luxury that no other roofing materials can match. What works best for your property will ultimately depend on what works best with the period and style of the property and the surrounding landscape.


Both slating and tiling are highly durable roofing options. For example, a slate roof can have a lifespan of one hundred years or more before it needs replacing. Slate is also highly resistant to extreme weather and temperatures. And a slate roof is naturally fire-resistant, giving additional protection to your home.

By contrast, roofing tiles have a lifespan of around fifty years, although they can last longer if well-maintained. Tiled roofs are also fire-resistant and can withstand poor weather, although they can be brittle if placed under heavy pressure. However, any damage generally requires a repair rather than a roof replacement. Additionally, algae can grow under your tiles, shifting them out of place, but this can be easily rectified.

Again, both slates and tiles can be highly durable and long-lasting additions to your home.


Both tile and slate roofing options are all-natural throughout their lifespan. So either make an excellent choice for a sustainable roof. Additionally, slate has good insulating properties and can be highly energy efficient.

By contrast, roof tiles are highly recyclable and emit heat into the air, keeping your home cooler. A lighter-coloured tiled roof will also reflect the sun’s rays, unlike a darker-coloured slate roof which absorbs them.


There’s no doubt a slate roof can be a significant investment. After factoring in the cost of slating and the expertise to install it, this is by no means a budget option. However, a well-installed slate roof can significantly add to your property’s value.

Depending on the style of tiles installed, a clay or cement-tiled roof is a more pocket-friendly option. However, you don’t need to compromise on kerb appeal as tiling adds aesthetic value that can also increase resale.

Roof Repair Edinburgh for your roofing needs

Whether you love the elegance of slate or the vibe of tiles, you need quality roof installation for the best results. At Roof Repair Edinburgh, we specialise in repairs and roof replacements that deliver client satisfaction and superb aesthetics. So contact the Roof Repair Edinburgh team today, and we’ll be happy to discuss our stress-free roofing solutions.