Low Pitch Roof Solutions: Which Tiles And Slates Are Best For My Roof?

Low Pitch Roof Solutions: Which Tiles And Slates Are Best For My Roof?

Low pitched roofs are commonly used on domestic extensions, and having a range of low-pitch roofing solutions is, therefore, more important to our customers than ever.

There are currently many different options on the market that are ideal for those looking to tile a low pitch roof, including clay and concrete tiles as well as felt and cedar shingles.

Understanding the range of materials available as well as the different options will help customers select the optimum tiles or alternatives to protect their roof and create an aesthetically pleasing finish.

What is a low pitched roof?

A roof pitch is the steepness / angle of the roof bearers from top to bottom. Roof pitches will determine the amount of head room there will be in the room under the roof, though this is more of an important factor when planning a loft conversion or single story extension.

Roofs below 22.5 degrees pitch are generally considered to be a low pitch roof.

The Advantages of a Low Pitched Roof

  • Cost - there are financial savings to be made if you choose a low pitched roof, simply because there are fewer materials required to create it, and it therefore also costs less in labour time too. The roof will also be completed faster which can be useful if you have a particular deadline you are trying to meet.
  • Maintenance - another great advantage is that the tiles and slates used on a low pitched roof require little maintenance, are robust and durable and should last for several decades. If tiles do become damaged or broken, they are easily replaced or repaired, and so once your roof is installed you don’t need to worry about it.
  • Design flexibility - low pitched roofs can also be appealing to designers and architects with a particular creative vision in mind.

Why is the pitch of a roof so important?

The pitch of your roof will determine which roofing system and materials will need to be used. You are not able to use every type and style of roof tile or roof slate on a low pitch roof, as many are unsuitable for use at minimum pitches.

Due to capillary action, water can actually run up the tile and onto your breathable and batten if laid under the minimum pitch. Wet & damp breathable membrane and batten leads to rot, which would eventually require a whole new roof to be installed.

Be mindful of the minimum pitches of the roof tiles or roof slates that you are looking to install on a low pitch, especially if you are looking to match tiles on your existing roof, as what is suitable for use on a steep pitch main roof may not be suitable for use on a lower pitch roof.

What kinds of tile are available for my pitched roof?

  • Plain Tiles: Concrete plain tiles & handmade clay plain tiles will go down to a pitch as low as 35°. Some machine made clay plain tiles can go down to 30°; however double check the tile specification to clarify.
  • Interlocking Concrete Tiles: Profiled interlocking tiles & flat profiled interlocking tiles are a popular choice as they can be installed quickly and easily which keeps labour costs to a minimum. They can be used on low pitched roofs installed on pitches of 15°.
  • Clay Interlocking Tiles: Clay interlocking tiles; such as; Sandtoft 20/20, allow for use at 15° and quick installation. 
  • Concrete Double Pantiles: Concrete Double Pantiles allow for use at 15° pitch, whilst still offering a pantile style on the roof.
  • Concrete Pantiles: Concrete Shire Pantiles can vary depending on the finish of the tile. A smooth finish can be used as low as 22.5°; however, a granulated finish can only be used at 30°.
  • Double Roman Tiles: Similar to pantiles, the general minimum pitch for Double Roman tiles are usually set at 30°. However, more contemporary styles can now be used on roofs at 17.5°, this is mostly due to their integrated interlocking technology.

Mixture of tiles

Is There A Minimum Pitch for a Slate Roof?

There are many factors to consider when deciding on the pitch of the roof. Generally speaking lower the pitch, the larger the headlap. The location of the property and the climate are also important considerations. If, for example, the property is in an area that frequently experiences heavy rainfall, the pitch should be higher to ensure rainwater can drain from the roof with ease. For natural slate tiles the minimum pitch is typically 25°, for fibre cement slate the roof can be pitched at 20⁰.

Low Pitch Roof Challenges

  • Leaks - if the incorrect tiles are used, or the tiles are laid incorrectly water is likely to ingress the property. Any leaks should be dealt with as soon as they are discovered.
  • Maintenance - roofs should be regularly checked for any damage, such as cracks or broken or missing tiles, particularly after severe weather.
  • Poor installation or repairs - securing a professional experienced contractor to install the roof and repair any damage will minimise the risk of shoddy workmanship causing problems with your low pitched roof.

You can find more information of clay and concrete low pitch roof tiles from the top 3 leading manufacturers in the UK: Sandtoft, Redland and Marley.

Contact About Roofing for advice on low pitch roof options today!

To discuss pricing and the availability of low pitch roofing materials, please call us on 01737 763008 or email us here.

Where can I find roof slates and roof tiles near me?

You can view and order natural and man-made slates, as well as our wide range of clay roof tiles and concrete roof tiles in any of our branches listed below or we can deliver nationwide:

Dorking, Surrey branch

Redhill, Surrey branch

Esher, Surrey branch

East Grinstead, West Sussex branch