How much does a clay tile roof cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does a clay tile roof cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does a clay tile roof cost?

$8 – $25cost per square foot installed
$20,000 – $55,000average total cost to install (1,500 – 2,500 SF)

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$8 – $25 cost per square foot installed

$20,000 – $55,000 average total cost to install (1,500 – 2,500 SF)


Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
Tara Farmer
Written by
Tara Farmer
Edited by
Kristen Cramer
Fact-checked by
Tom Grupa

Clay tile roof cost

A clay tile roof costs $8 to $25 per square foot installed or $20,000 to $55,000 on average. Clay roof tile prices are $2.50 to $18.00 per square foot for the material, depending on the type. Clay roof tiles come in many styles, including Spanish, French, barrel, and flat.

Clay tile roof cost
Roof square footage Average cost installed
1,000 $8,000 – $25,000
1,500 $12,000 – $37,500
2,000 $16,000 – $50,000
2,500 $20,000 – $62,500
3,000 $24,000 – $75,000

Average cost to install clay tile roofing

The following table shows the average cost to install clay tile roofing.

Clay tile roof cost - chart
Clay tile roof cost - chart
Average clay tile roof cost
National average cost $37,000
Minimum cost $8,000
Maximum cost $75,000
Average range $20,000 to $55,000

Clay roof tiles prices by type

Clay roof tile prices range from $3 to $11 per square foot on average, depending on the type. Unglazed tiles fall at the low end of the price range. Glazed clay tiles cost the most, but the protective glaze makes them more durable and allows for a wider color variety.

Clay roof tile types and prices
Type Average price per square foot*
Mission / true barrel $4.00 – $14.00
Spanish / Roman $2.50 – $11.00
Flat $2.50 – $18.00
Interlocking $2.50 – $18.00
Terracotta $4.00 – $13.00
French $8.50 – $18.00 each
Ridge $3.00 – $19.00 each

*Material prices only. Shipping and installation not included.

Mission / true barrel tile prices

Mission tile prices are $4 to $14 per square foot on average for the tile alone. Mission tiles are also called true barrel tiles for their semi-cylinder, barrel-like shape. Mission tile installation uses an overlapping cover and pan method.

Clay barrel tile roof replacement on residential home
Clay barrel tile roof replacement on residential home

Spanish tile roof cost

A Spanish tile roof costs $8 to $25 per square foot installed or $2.50 to $11.00 per square foot for the material alone. Spanish roofing tiles are among the most popular clay roof tiles, with an interlocking "S" shape forming a wave-like appearance.

Spanish and mission tiles require eave closures or bird stops to keep water from getting under the roof.

Ridge clay tiles prices

Ridge clay tile prices are $3 to $19 each for non-decorative tiles running along the top roof ridge. Most clay ridge tiles are 16" to 20" long. Decorative ridge ends, apex, and corner tiles cost $20 to $90+ per tile and come in many shapes and sizes.

French clay roof tiles

French clay roof tiles cost $8.50 to $18.00 each. French or profile tiles interlock and have long, deep grooves or chutes that drain water effectively and create a dramatic shadow effect.

Interlocking clay roof shingle tiles

Interlocking clay roof tiles cost $2.50 to $18.00 per square foot for the material and may be flat, Spanish "S" style, or French. Flat interlocking clay tiles have the most modern appearance and can resemble other shingles like asphalt, wood shake, or slate.

Terracotta clay roof tiles

Terracotta clay roof tiles cost $9 to $26 per square foot installed or $4 to $13 per square foot for the material alone. Terracotta roof tiles are known for their distinctive reddish-brown color and come in many shapes and styles.

Clay vs. concrete tile roofing cost

A concrete tile roof costs $7 to $19 per square foot installed or $10,500 to $47,500 on average, while a clay tile roof costs $8 to $25 per square foot or $20,000 to $55,000. Concrete and clay tiles are fire- and wind-resistant and longer lasting than other roof materials.

  • Clay tile weighs more than concrete, requiring structural reinforcement before installation on most homes.

  • While both tile types outlast many other roof materials, clay tiles typically have a longer lifespan than concrete.

  • Concrete tiles offer more color variety and are more readily available in the U.S. than clay tiles.

Cost factors to install a clay roof

Many factors affect clay tile roof installation cost, including:

  • Region – A water shield or ice dam barrier costs $2 to $5 per square foot

    Ice dam barriers are often necessary for homes in cold, wet climates.

  • Home size – Bigger roofs require more labor and materials.

  • Roof complexity and slope – Multiple stories, steep slopes, and additional roof penetrations increase the cost.

  • Roof reinforcement – Hiring a structural engineer costs $100 to $220 per hour

    to determine if the roof needs extra support due to the tile weight. Most building codes require reinforcement for tiles heavier than 6 lbs. per square foot.

  • Replacing roof trusses costs $60 to $500 per truss for materials or $5 to $14 per square foot with installation.

  • Roof decking replacement costs $2 to $5 per square foot.

  • Tile grade – Grade 1 clay tile costs the most and is the most durable. Grades 2 and 3 still outlast other tile materials but are not recommended for coastal regions or northern climates with freeze-thaw cycles.

  • Tile style – Flat shingle tiles take more time to install than interlocking roof tiles.

  • Customization – Custom roof tiles and elaborate roof designs cost

    $30+ per square foot.

  • Delivery – Shipping and delivery add $600 to $1,500 on average when not included in the tile price.

  • Labor – Roofers charge $50 to $100 per hour to install a clay roof.

  • Old roof removal – Removing and disposing of an old roof costs $1 to $3+ per square foot, depending on the roof size and shingle type. Some contractors include old roof removal in a roof replacement estimate.

  • Installation method – Installing tiles on roof battens costs more than installing them directly on the roof deck. Tiling a steep-sloped roof typically requires roof batten installation.

  • Underlayment – Tile roof underlayment costs $0.10 to $0.80 per square foot for materials.

  • Drip edgeInstalling a drip edge costs $1.50 to $3.00 per linear foot

    to direct water away from the fascia and roof.

  • Sealing – Tile roof sealing costs $500 to $2,000 and protects against leaks, extreme weather, and UV rays. Not all tile requires sealing.

  • Repairs – Tile roof repairs cost $5 to $25 per square foot.

  • Soffits & Fascia – Repairing soffits or fascia costs $500 to $2,600.

  • Inspection fees – A roof inspection costs $100 to $400.

  • Permit fees – Roofing permits cost $150 to $500. Most contractors include permit fees in the roof installation estimate.

Clay tile roof pros and cons

The following table shows the advantages and disadvantages of clay tile roof installation.

Clay tile roof pros and cons
Pros Cons
  • Increased energy efficiency
  • Eco-friendly; recyclable
  • Low maintenance
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Fire-, water-, mold-, insect-, and wind-resistant
  • Color variety
  • Expensive
  • Heavy; typically requires structural reinforcement
  • Requires hand or soft washing
  • Brittle; crack-prone in freezing temperatures
  • Darkens over time (except terracotta)
  • Installation and repairs require a professional
  • Underlayment needs replacing earlier than the tile.

Clay tile roofing FAQs

How long do clay tile roofs last?

Clay tile roofs last 50 to 100+ years with proper installation and maintenance. Location, weather, and tile American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) grade also impact the tile lifespan. Grade 1 clay tile is the most durable and best for coastal regions and cold climates with freeze-thaw cycles.

Tile roof underlayment wears faster than the tile and typically needs replacing after 20 to 30 years.

How long does the color last on clay roofs?

The color on clay roofs lasts 50+ years or the life of the tile itself. The clay tile production process bakes the color into the tile, so there is no color layer to wear off. Some clay tiles may start fading after 50 years. Terracotta clay tiles do not fade.

Can you paint clay roof tiles?

You can paint most clay roof tiles with proper primer, coating, and sealant. Still, most experts advise against painting clay roof tiles. Painting the tiles creates additional maintenance as the tiles require repainting to keep their aesthetic.

Getting estimates from tile roof installers

Before hiring a nearby roof contractor, be sure to:

  • Have a structural engineer inspect and determine if the roof needs reinforcement before tiling.

  • Know your approximate roof square footage so you can confirm the estimate details.

  • Get at least three estimates to compare.

  • Look for licensed roofing contractors with experience installing clay tile roofs.

  • Look for members of the Tile Roofing Industry (TRI) Alliance and the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA).

  • Ask for references going back at least five years to see how their work holds up.

  • Browse their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • Select companies that are insured and bonded.

  • Avoid choosing the roofer with the lowest quote as quality may suffer.

  • Get a detailed contract and warranty in writing before the work begins.

  • Never pay in full before the project starts. Use a payment plan instead for work completed.

Questions to ask

  • Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?

  • What experience do you have with clay tile roofs?

  • Are you a member of the TRI or NRCA?

  • What tile do you recommend for my roof, and why?

  • Do you have a portfolio of your previous jobs?

  • Will you use subcontractors?

  • How long will the project take?

  • Will you install new flashings?

  • How will the crew leave the site at the end of each day?

  • How will you protect my yard and driveway during the installation?

  • Is underlayment included in the estimate?

  • What type of underlayment do you use, and how many layers do you install?

  • Does the estimate include removing the old roof? If not, how much extra do you charge?

  • How long should the tile last?

  • Is there a warranty, and if so, what does it include?

  • What additional costs should I expect?

  • Do you need a permit to install the clay tile roof? If yes, will you obtain it?