How much does a terracotta roof cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does a terracotta roof cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does a terracotta roof cost?

$9 – $26cost per square foot
$21,000 – $60,000average total cost to install

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

$9 – $26 cost per square foot

$21,000 – $60,000 average total cost to install


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

Terracotta roof cost

A terracotta roof costs $9 to $26 per square foot installed or $21,000 to $60,000 on average, depending on location and roof size, condition, and complexity. Terracotta roofing tiles cost $4 to $13 per square foot for the tile alone. A well-maintained terracotta tile roof lasts 50 to 100+ years.

Terracotta roof cost
Roof size (square feet) Average cost to install
1,000 $9,000 – $26,000
1,500 $13,500 – $39,000
2,000 $18,000 – $52,000
2,500 $22,500 – $65,000
3,000 $27,000 – $78,000
3,500 $31,500 – $91,000

Average cost to install a terracotta roof

The table below shows the average cost to install a terracotta roof.

Average cost to install a terracotta roof - chart
Average cost to install a terracotta roof - chart
Average cost to install terracotta roofing tiles
National average cost $33,900
Minimum cost $9,000
Maximum cost $91,000
Average range $21,000 to $60,000

*Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.

Terracotta roof tiles cost factors

Roofing labor prices are $5 to $13 per square foot and typically makes up 50% to 60% of the installation cost. Roofers charge $50 to $100 per hour to install terracotta roof tiles.

Terracotta roof replacement cost
Factor Cost per square foot
Remove old roof $1 – $3
Terracotta roof materials & supplies $4 – $13
Installation labor $5 – $13
Total cost $10 – $29

Terracotta roof tiles installation on modern home
Terracotta roof tiles installation on modern home

Factors affecting installation include:

  • Geographical location – Cold, wet regions may require an ice dam barrier installed for $2 to $5 per square foot.

  • Roof size – Larger roofs require more labor and materials.

  • Roof slope & complexity – Working on multi-story homes, steep-sloped roofs, and around multiple roof penetrations increases the cost.

  • ReinforcementStructural engineers charge $100 to $220 per hour to determine if the roof is strong enough to hold the tile weight. Most building codes require structural reinforcement for tiles weighing more than 6 lbs. per square foot.

  • Tile grade – ASTM grade 1 terracotta tile is the strongest and most expensive. Grades 2 and 3 terracotta tiles are durable but not recommended for coastal areas or colder regions with freeze-thaw cycles.

  • Customization Custom roof tiles and extravagant roof designs increase the total cost.

  • Delivery – Shipping costs $600 to $1,500 on average when not included.

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

  • Installation method – Batten installation costs more than nailing tiles directly to the roof underlayment. Steep-sloped roofs typically require battens when installing a terracotta tile roof.

  • Roof underlayment – Tile roof underlayment costs $0.10 to $0.80 per square foot

    for the material alone and requires replacement after 20 to 30 years.

  • Drip edgeDrip edge installation costs $150 to $600 on average or $1.50 to $3.00 per linear foot and directs water away from the roof.

  • Soffit & Fascia – Soffit and fascia cost $4 to $22 per linear foot to replace.

  • SealingSealing a tile roof costs $500 to $2,000 and protects against leaks, extreme weather, and UV rays. Not all tile requires sealing. Some terracotta roof tiles already come glazed and sealed.

  • VentilationInstalling a roof vent costs$200 to $700.

  • RepairsRepairing a terracotta tile roof costs $5 to $25 per square foot.

  • Roof inspection – A roof inspection costs $100 to $400.

  • Permits – A roofing permit costs $150 to $500. Most contractors include permit fees in a roof installation estimate.

Terracotta prices vs. other clay roofing tiles

Terracotta prices are $4 to $13 per square foot for the tile alone. Other clay roofing tiles costs $3 to $11 per square foot on average. The main difference between terracotta and other clay is the color. Most terracotta tiles have a distinctive orange or reddish-brown hue.

Many roofers interchangeably use the terms "terracotta" and "clay" since terracotta is a finished clay product.

Terracotta clay roofing pros and cons

The following table shows the benefits and drawbacks of installing a terracotta clay roof.

Terracotta tile roof pros and cons
Pros Cons
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Class A fire-resistant
  • High impact resistant
  • Wind resistant up to 150 mph
  • Rot-resistant
  • May reduce energy costs by up to 20%
  • Eco-friendly, especially when locally sourced
  • Expensive initial cost
  • Fragile and crack-prone
  • Heavy; may require structural reinforcement
  • Require a waterproof underlayment
  • Some slopes need double underlayment
  • Not suitable for cold climates with freeze-thaw cycles

  • The minimum slope for a terracotta tile roof is 2.5:12.

  • Roof slopes of 2.5:12 to 4:12 require two underlayment layers.

  • Avoid using terracotta roof tiles on roof slopes greater than 4:12.

What are terracotta roof tiles?

Terracotta roof tiles are kiln-fired clay tiles known for their orange or reddish-brown color. Terracotta roof tiles are flat or "S" shaped and may be glazed or unglazed. Glazed terracotta tiles provide superior weather resistance and require less maintenance than porous, unglazed terracotta.

How long do terracotta roofs last?

Terracotta roofs last 50 to 100+ years when properly installed and maintained. Tile longevity also depends on location, weather, and tile grade. ASTM grade 1 clay tile is the strongest and best for coastal areas and cold regions with freeze-thaw cycles.

Tile roof underlayment needs replacing after 20 to 30 years on average.

Can you walk on terracotta roof tiles?

You can walk on terracotta roof tiles but be aware that terracotta tiles crack if walked on incorrectly. Walk on dry, overlapping tiles and step only on the bottom part of the curve, with weight evenly distributed. Stepping directly on the tile arch or in the valley causes breakage.

Hire a professional roofer experienced in terracotta roofs to avoid broken tiles.

How long does the color last on terracotta roofs?

Terracotta roof tiles are naturally fade-resistant because their color is baked into the clay during tile production. The tile color may fade slightly over time, depending on the location and sun exposure, but the color change is typically very mild.

Can you paint terracotta roof tiles?

Unglazed terracotta roof tiles can be painted. Choose paint explicitly marked for painting terracotta roof tiles. Glazed terracotta tiles are best left unpainted. Their nonporous surface prevents proper paint adherence, leading to premature flaking and peeling.

Getting estimates from terracotta clay tile roofing contractors

Before hiring a roofing company near you for terracotta clay tile installation, 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.

  • Obtain at least three estimates to compare.

  • Search for licensed roofing contractors with experience installing terracotta tile roofs.

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

  • Ask for references from previous projects going back at least five years to see how their work holds up over time.

  • Browse their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • Choose companies that are insured and bonded.

  • Avoid going 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 terracotta roofs?

  • Are you a member of the TRI or NRCA?

  • What shape of terracotta 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 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 do you charge to remove and dispose of my old roof?

  • What additional costs should I expect?

  • How long should the tile last?

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

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