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Why You Should Consider Lightweight Roof Tiles

Wednesday, 11th April 2018

Tapco synthetic slate on pitched roof

Over the last few years, site managers have turned increasingly to using lightweight tiles on roofing projects of all sizes.

The rise in popularity of working with lightweight roofing materials has been driven by a number of benefits that have convinced both roofers and DIYers that lightweight tiles are a smarter, more economical roofing solution.

Here is all you need to know about lightweight roof tiles.

What are Lightweight Tiles?

Roof tiles can be narrowed down into two distinct categories defined by weight; Lightweight roof tiles and heavyweight tiles.

Tiles are classed as heavyweight if they weigh over 20kg per square metre. Plain tiles and interlocking tiles from Marley Eternit, for example, would fall under this category.

Lightweight roof tiles are tiles which tip the scales at under 20kg. This subsection of tiles incorporates a number of different material types and styles. Metal tiles, shingles and synthetic slate are all examples of a lightweight tile.

What are the Benefits of Using Lightweight Roofing Tiles?

It does not take an expert to work out what some of the immediate advantages to using lightweight tiles over heavyweight tiles might be. The most obvious benefit to using a lighter tile is that they are lighter to carry. Though this might not seem like much of a draw to newbie DIYers, for roofers or anybody who knows how difficult and exhausting moving around heavy tiles can be, this is a blessing.

The fact the tiles are lighter will also speed up the installation process as less time is taken on moving materials around on site.

Even more important than is the safety aspect. Because lightweight tiles are easier to get around site, work is in turn made safer as risk is minimised.

On the subject of transportation, lightweight roofing tiles are also better for the wider environment as less carbon emissions are given off while in transit. Transporting tiles around will also be generally cheaper as a result of travelling with a lighter load.

While the weight of the tile is known to reduce installation time, the fact that several lightweight tiles can be installed at once rather than one at a time will also ensure a roofing project is completed quicker, while sacrificing nothing on durability, aesthetics or performance.

In fact, the design of lightweight roof tiles makes them even better for weatherproofing buildings, providing a greater weather performance under extreme conditions compared to heavier tiles. Typically, lighter tiles will keep your roof weather resistant for longer than a roof laid with clay which is more likely to crack.

When all of these qualities are taken into consideration, it is no surprise that the use of lightweight roof tiles on conservatories, new builds and home improvements is on the rise.

Roofing your conservatory with these tiles makes financial sense as the often cheaper prices attached to lightweight titles will save you money. Besides this, conservatories and outbuildings often cannot use heavy roof materials due to the pressure they put on the structure. Lightweight tiles are therefore a perfect choice as conservatory tiles.

In regards to options, Llghtweight roofing tiles offer just as much choice as slate and plain tiles, in some cases offering even more variety. Here is what we have for sale at Roofinglines:

Metrotiles Steel Roofing

metrotiles steel roofing

Weighing just one seventh of the mass of traditional slate and clay tiles, lightweight tiles from Metrotile are a lot easier to manoeuvre around both in transit and on work sites, meaning money will be saved on labour costs. Naturally, this quicker movement of material will also speed up completion time.

Steel tiles, if properly maintained, have the ability to last significantly longer than other tile types. The life span of Metrotiles is known to reach 50 years and beyond as the properties of steel makes a roof more resistant to harsh weather conditions and general wear and tear. 

Thanks to their longer lasting structure, Metrotiles provide excellent value for money as you are unlikely to have to fork out on repairing deteriorating tiles or treating leaks.

For more on the benefits of working with Metrotiles, including a rundown of all the different tile designs, such as roman tiles and shingles, see our blog 'Why You Should Consider Metrotiles'.

Synthetic slate

synthetic slate roof using Tapco synthetic slate


Manufactured using a recyclable blend of limestone and polypropylene, Tapco synthetic slate is the only slate for felt and batten at roof pitches of 14.5° that has BBA rating.

Tapco slate has been fully tested to BBA standards, including fire rating, wind, driven & rain, and water absorption, giving peace of mind that your Tapco covered roof is both safe and durable. Even if walked upon or dropped, Tapco synthetic slate will not crack or break, very handy for use on construction sites.

Slate roof tiles from Tapco are extremely lightweight, weighing as little as 12kg per sq. metre. Brick red, chestnut brown and pewter grey are just three of the half dozen colours available in the Tapco range. All come in packs of 25 at an affordable price with Roofinglines.

Tapco’s synthetic slate is suitable for felt, batten and fully boarded roofs. For guidance on synthetic slate roofing, see Tapco's slate installation guide.

Lightweight Tiles Ltd

granulated lightweight tiles from Lightweight Tiles Ltd

One of the lightest tiles on the roofing market comes from family-run firm, Lightweight Tiles Ltd, who distribute their tiles across the continent.

Laid in a similar way to traditional tiles, Lightweight Tiles slot together to create an ultra-lightweight yet durable roof covering for pitched and flat roof projects, both DIY and professional.

The design of granulated tiles from Lightweight makes them a sound investment for tradesmen, being easy to saw, cut and install. Excellent sound absorption, strong thermal performance and a non-corrosive design makes them a very smart pick for all.

Lightweight offers a wider choice of colours than any of our other lightweight tile manufacturers. Opaque, forest green and granite grey are just some of the colours available. To try before your buy, we have a multicolour sample pack that allows potential buyers to view the quality, lightness and colour of these tiles before purchase.

Lightweight Tiles Ltd offers the full lightweight roofing materials kit with fixings and fittings also available for their tiles. Cheap tiles from Lightweight, perfect for if you are working with a small budget, can also be purchased with an ungranulated finish for as little as £5.99 for 118x36cm, the standard size for all our roof tiles from Lightweight. Lightweight tiles are easy to install as the video below demonstrates.

For more information, contact our helpful Roofinglines team who will be more than happy to assist you in any query.