Monday, April 15, 2024

How Are Slate Shingles Made

History Of Slate Roofing


Slate roofs first appeared in America in the 16th century but it wasnt until 1785 until the first slate quarry opened and slate was made available to general consumers. It wasnt widely used in the United States until the late 1800s.

Slate roofing is mainly sourced from the state of Vermont. Many of the original slate quarries in the US no longer exist. Slate production peaked in 1900 but declined as asphalt shingles became common. Due to their longevity, slate roof shingles continue to be in demand.

A Lifetime Investment In Quality

Wood or slate shingles help create curb appeal and give a home an old-world European elegance. But it comes at a considerable costand not just the price point. Real slate shingles are susceptible to damage and cracking, while mold growth from rain and other elements compromise wood and asphalt roofing material.

Nothing is as durable or able to withstand extreme weather conditions as tires. Euroshield® researched and invested in the best tire rubber to create our roofing materials. Traditional roofs last 12-15 years. Shake or Slate Euroshield® shingles can last up to 50 years in some of the worst weather events!

What Is A Bonnet Roof

You can think of a bonnet roof as a reverse mansard roof.

They are also referred to as kicked-eaved roofs and like mansard roofs, they feature a double slope but unlike mansard roofing, the upper slope has less of a pitch on a bonnet roof.

With a bonnet roof, the lower slope hangs over the front and back of the house, making it an excellent cover for a porch or outdoor patio.

These types of roofs are not particularly common in the U.S. outside of the southeast , but they do offer some advantages.

These include extra living or storage space under the roof, plenty of room for dormer windows, and the overhanging eaves help protect the siding and the rest of the structure from water damage.

Plus, the structure which is essentially a modified hip roof is more durable than a gable roof.

Keep in mind that if you have a bonnet roof, are considering purchasing a home that has one, or planning on building one, a bonnet or kicked-eave roof can be more expensive to install or maintain due to its complex structure and the possibility of water settling in the valleys between the slopes, so extra care will need to be taken when waterproofing those spots.

Bonnet roofs can be crafted from nearly any standard roofing material, including asphalt shingles, metal shingles, slate, or wooden shingles or shakes.

Recommended Reading: What Foods Are Good To Eat When You Have Shingles

What Are Asphalt Roof Shingles Made Of

Asphalt shingles have been popular since the industry started, and theyve evolved exponentially over the years. At present, there are two types available: organic asphalt shingles and composite asphalt shingles. The famous architectural shingles are the composite version of the old, organic asphalt shingles.

  • Organic asphalt shingles are made of a base layer of natural felt material saturated with asphalt. The asphalt makes the shingles waterproof and provides flexibility.
  • The asphalt is also mixed with various fillers made of mica, limestone, or talc to give the shingles added strength and durability.
  • On top of the base layer, a layer of granules is applied. These granules are made of crushed rock, ceramic, or other materials. They provide a protective barrier against the elements. The granules also give the shingles their color, so you can choose shingles in a variety of shades to match the look of your home.

Organic asphalt shingles are affordable, with a lifespan of around 15 to 20 years. However, they are less durable than composite asphalt shingles and may not hold up as well in extreme weather conditions. They are also more prone to fading and wear over time.

Standard Uniform Slate Roof

Crowne Slate Premium Shingles

According to the National Slate Association, there are several primary styles of slate roof systems, a few of which we will cover below.

The most common is the standard slate roof which uses 1/4″ to 3/8″ thick slate with tiles of standard lengths and widths and square cut butts.

A standard slate roof is laid in uniformly spaced courses in an offset pattern with alternating vertical joints.

Don’t Miss: Does Cvs Pharmacy Give Shingles Shots

How Are Synthetic Slate Shingles Made

Im sure the initial description of synthetic slate shingles makes them sound like some sort of super material. While they are not quite that, they are definitely making life easier when it comes to roof installations and repairs that were previously a very expensive endeavor.

These synthetic slate shingles are made through the process of injection molding. Petroleum-based materials are injected into these metal forms that are actually cast from authentic slate. There are certainly some brands of synthetic slate shingles that use virgin plastic or rubber in the manufacturing process. There are others that use recycled plastic or rubber as well as cellulose fibers or mineral dust. Really, there are quite a few ways to do this and using recycled content actually consists of using high-quality post-industrial materials there are only a few manufacturers that incorporate recycled materials that are post-consumer.

Once the molded materials harden, you have a shingle that is synthetic slate that is made to stand up to the test of time for a far lesser cost than the shingles of their namesake.

What Are Slate Shingles Made Of

Slate shingles are made from thin layers of natural stone that are split into uniform shapes and sizes. Slate shingles are known for their durability and luxurious appeal, as they can last for 70 to 100 years with proper care. The thickness of the shingles determines longevity. Slate shingles are also resistant to fire, wind, and hail, making them a popular choice for high-end residential and commercial buildings. However, slate roof shingles are expensive and heavy, making them difficult to install, and you might need a stronger roof frame and decking than the old, withered ones.

Finally, you have metal roofs. They come in various forms and looks, including standing seam panels, corrugated sheets, metal shingles, shakes, and tiles.

Recommended Reading: Side Effects From Shingle Shots

What Is Composite Slate Roofing

As mentioned above, composite roofing is created by combining various components that contribute to a strong roof, including asphalt, slate, shake, laminate, and/or wood. Each of these components contributes to a highly durable, unique shingle variety. Composite slate roofing, also known as synthetic slate, is designed to look like natural slate roofing but it is much more affordable, durable, and versatile than traditional slate roofing. This is great news for homeowners who appreciate the beauty of authentic slate but dont want to deal with its high cost and fragility.

Making The Difference In Slate Production

How are slate tiles made? – Honister Slate Mine Tour part 1 of 4!

CUPA PIZARRAS, the world leader in natural slate, goes beyond the regular slate production process. Our exhaustive control of the whole process enables us to offer the widest range of slates exceeding all the international quality standards.

On the same day the pallets are packaged, they are sent to our central warehouse where they are given another label with a bar code to guarantee the traceability of each item from the place of origin to the final destination.

Unlike other brands, CUPA PIZARRAS produces and transforms its natural slate in its own quarries and units, enabling them to control product quality from source.

Get to know here more information about our traceability system.

Recommended Reading: Can You Get Shingles From Shingles Shot

How Long Does A Slate Roof Actually Last

Now you know 4 important things about getting a new slate roof. After reading this, you should have a good idea if a slate roof is right for your replacement.

If you know a slate roof isnt going to be right for you, youll find a button at the bottom of this page thatll take you to a free 3 question quiz. The Roof Type quiz helps you find the right type of roof based on questions every homeowner needs to consider.

But if youre still considering a slate roof, theres still one crucial thing we didnt cover here. Thats how much life youll get out of your slate roof investment. To help you even further, we already broke it down for you in another article.

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided high-quality roof repairs and replacements in Nashville and surrounding areas since 1990. We take pride in providing you an experience rare in the roofing industry based on advising, honesty, and a strong workmanship history. If youre local to Nashville, dont hesitate to contact us for your slate roof or any other roofing needs.

To learn the lifespan of a new slate roof, check out this article on How Long Does a Slate Roof Last? .

Metal Slate Roof Tiles

With the durability of metal roofing systems, metal offers another alternative when seeking the look of slate with the convenience of metal.

Metal slate roof tiles offer a nearly unlimited variety of shape and color options.

While most metal roofing options are fabricated from steel, metal slate roof tiles can also be made from aluminum and copper.

Below is an example of brown colored metal slate roof roof tiles installed on an industrial building.

You May Like: How Do I Get Rid Of Shingles Nerve Pain

Slate Roof Tiles Manufacturing Process

Once the natural slate is excavated from the earth, the slabs are transported to a mill or manufacturing facility to determine its finish quality. While other slate building materials require a heftier manufacturing process, natural slate roof tiles are produced by simpler processing methods. Architectural slate comes in select polished finishes, for instance, while slate for roof tiles does not require a polished finish. The beauty of manufactured slate products exists in slates ability to be applied in its natural state, as seen on roofs, or a manufactured state, as you might see in a finely-finished contemporary kitchen sink.

To produce slate roof tiles, the large slabs of slate are cut-to-size to produce blocks, a bit larger than the intended finished size. Those blocks are then halved then, quartered and finally cut into eighths. Once they have been broken down to eight pieces, those pieces are packaged as a book. Each book has eight singular pieces, which are called chips. Those chips are appropriately shaped and cut to the final roof tile size. Each chip/tile then receives two drilled nail holes for their final application to the roof. After that, they are stacked for transport and storage until use. Due to the short manufacturing process and sustainable use, slate is a very environmentally-friendly roofing choice.

Ask A Question Or Search Inspectapedia

Owens Corning Duration Shingles Colonial Slate

Questions & answers or comments about all types of plastic roofing products..

Try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the box below and we will respond promptly.

Search the InspectApedia website

Note: appearance of your Comment below may be delayed:if your comment contains an image, web link, or text that looks to the software as if it might be a web link, your posting will appear after it has been approved by a moderator. Apologies for the delay. You will not receive a notification when a response to your question has been posted. Please bookmark this page to make it easy for you to check back for our response. Our Comment Box is provided by Countable Web Productions

Technical Reviewers & References

Also Check: How To Fix Curling Shingles

Synthetic Slate Roofing: Everything You Need To Know In 2022

As is the case with nearly any industry, once the initial item is created, it is only a matter of time before competitors within the industry learn how to replicate those production methods and implement more cost-effective materials and measures to reproduce that item.

This is absolutely the truth when it comes to the roofing industry, particularly slate shingles. Those authentic slate material shingles have been the material of choice for roofing construction for a number of centuries. Its popularity can be seen in the United States and Europe for things like cathedrals, libraries, estate homes, and so many more buildings.

How Do You Maintain A Slate Roof

There isnt much to slate roof details for regular maintenance. Keeping the gutter system cleaned twice a year is the most prominent thing you need to follow, but that is with any roofing material. Should a slate tile become damaged, replace it immediately and every 5 years, have it professionally inspected.

Don’t Miss: What Does Shingles Look Like In Adults

Hire A Roofing Contractor With Experience Installing Slate Roofs

Hiring a reputable roofing contractor is crucial to your slate roof investment. As long as your slate roof is installed and flashed properly, you shouldnt have to worry about it again.

That makes hiring a local roofing contractor that has experience installing slate roofs crucial to your investment. The reason for this is because it takes a really skilled roofer or someone thats been trained properly to handle and install the slate tiles.

Each individual tile has to be carefully handled because theyre easily breakable. If the installers dont know how to do this, the slate tiles will break, youll have problems , and your roofs life will be cut short.

No matter if you need repairs or a full roof replacement, your contractor plays a huge role in the life you get out of your slate roof. But a history of proper roof installation isnt the only thing you need to look for when hiring a local roofing contractor.

To ensure you hire a great local contractor, check out this article on what you need to look for in a roofing contractor.

What Is The Difference Between Shingle Roofing And Slate Roofing

CertainTeed How Shingles Are Made

As you are shopping around for roofing materials, you will quickly notice you have several options, including slate and shingle roofs. There are key differences between the two, which should be taken into consideration, based on the aesthetic you want to achieve, as well as you budget.


Slate is often considered the better looking of the two roofing materials. Slate is a higher quality material, and is evident once it is installed on your home. Slate roofs can also help increase the value of the home. Shingles, on the other hand, tend to come in a wider range of colours. They are made from roofing, so the finished product is a roofing roof. However, in the end most people tend to prefer slate over roofing.


As you might expect, slate roofing materials cost more than shingles. This is largely due to slate being a superior roofing product. Even though slate roofs have a higher upfront investment, they last significantly longer than roofing shingles. There are some home with slate roofs more than a hundred years old! With roofing shingles, they typically last around twenty years, and have to be replaced. Over the lifetime of the home, in the long run, slate actually ends up costing less!



Quick Links

  • 330 Highway 7 East, Unit 305 Richmond Hill, ON L4B 3P8Canada
  • 55 Village Centre Place, Suite 200 Mississauga, ON L4Z 1V9

Read Also: What Is Good For Shingles Pain

Pros And Cons Of Slate Roofing

It is undeniable that real slate makes for a beautiful and long-lasting roof. It comes in multiple dark hues that commonly combine varying shades of black, gray, blue, purple, and green. Additionally, slate tiles can be shaped for a square or scalloped appearance.

Slate is also durable, offering high resistance to weathering, hail damage, and fire. In fact, high-quality roofing slates can last more than 50 years on a roof when properly installed. And if sustainability is an important factor for you, quarried slate makes for a top roofing option.

Unfortunately, real slate is not for everyone. Regardless of its overall quality and hardness, slate is among the highest-priced roofing materials in the marketplace. It should also be noted that despite its inherent toughness slate can easily break if walked on. For this reason, you should only trust roof repairs to an experienced roofer. Further, due to the scarcity of roofing professionals who possess the knowledge needed to install or repair a slate roof, the cost of this specialty labor is much higher than having worked with common roofing materials like asphalt shingles.

Since slate is extremely heavy, it is highly recommended to have a building assessed for structural integrity to determine if roof slates are a viable option. Weight can also be a drawback if you do not have locally sourced slate available, as you will need to pay to have the products shipped over a long distance.

Disadvantages Of Slate Shingles

Slate is durable but can be damaged if stepped or walked on. Once the slate shingle is damaged, it can difficult to replace since it is almost impossible to find a perfect replacement.

Slate shingles can weigh between 800 to 1500 pounds per 100 square feet. Some roofs may require additional structural support to bear the weight of the slate roof. Therefore, it is important to have the property evaluated from a structural standpoint prior to investing in a slate roof.

The key to slate roof longevity is in proper installation. Slate roofs need to be installed by contractors that have extensive experience. If a slate roof has not been installed properly, it can cause many roof problems and additional costs.

Slate roofs can cost anywhere from $1000 to $4000 per square, almost five times that of conventional roofing materials.

Don’t Miss: How Soon Can You Get Shingles Vaccine After Shingles

Can A New Synthetic Product Like These Tiles Be Used On An Historic Building

The NPS Technical Preservation Services Preservation Brief Number 16 states that substitute materials can be cost-effective, can permit the accurate visual duplication of historic materials, and last a reasonable time. Growing evidence indicates that with proper planning, careful specifications and supervision, substitute materials can be used successfully in the process of restoring the visual appearance of historic resources.” Historic buildings should consider these tiles because they are fire-resistant, lightweight and duplicate the look of slate tiles.

While their durability is still being proven, roofing shingles made from recycled plastic and rubber appear to be an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional shingles that shows promise and is welcome in the sustainable building marketplace.

Popular Articles
Related news