Why Clay Tiles?
With the increasing sophistication of the housing market, the external characteristics of a house can play as significant a role as the interior appearance in the purchasing decision. Eye pleasing, attractive features on the outside of the building add to its aesthetic appeal and make an immediate impression on the propective buyers before they walk through the front door. And first impresions last. A clay roof undoubtedly distinguishes a house as a premium ‘product’ and, to the builder, offers the potential for ‘added value’ which will exceed the marginal increment to the overall cost of the construction that may be associated with the use of clay tiles.
Clay is a natural material, which in the form of clay tiles has played an integral role in the UK’s built environment for over seven hundred years. Clay roof tiles are durable, natural, sustainable products that improve with age and weathering. Their appeal adds value to buildings and enhances the built environment.
Increasingly, concern for the environment is becoming a major influencing factor for the prospective homebuyers and builders. Whether or not they have any influence, buyers are concerned as much about preserving the landscape as they are about the materials used in building and demand natural, sustainable products. Clay tiles are considered by many planners and specifiers, as a sustainable product because of their durability, long term visual effect on the environment, and their properties as a renewable natural resource. These factors, along with the fact that they are being specified increasingly by planners and conservation officers to preserve the character of buildings and the architectural landscape, mean that clay continues to be one of the most desired roofing products. Recent evidence of the increase in the use of clay tiles is demonstrated by the fifty percent increase in the volume of clay tiles produced and sold per annum since 1995.
To support the renewed interest in traditional materials the CRTC members are making sure that a wide range of clay roof tiles are still available, producing more than 50 different colours. These colours range from deep reds, browns, warm oranges and plum coloured hues of heather to the muted blues of Staffordshire. Variations are obtained by controlling the kiln atmosphere to produce the rich heather shades.
Colours of the tile can also be enhanced through the firing process to create a brindle effect, which varies the colour between the outer edge and the centre of the tile. In addition, the firing process ensures that the colour of the tile is permanent and does not fade. A panoramic view of the rooftops of Britain reveals a patchwork of colours, with each region set apart by its own, distict clay roof tile colour.
Whilst durability is a major factor that influences architects, specifiers, conservation officers and planners, the ageing benefits of clay tiles also feature very highly.
Clay roof tiles bring warmth and character to the appearance of a building. They are available in a wide variety of permanent colours and textures which over time will weather and mellow, but never fade.
Clay roof tiles are a part of the nation's architectural heritage and add to the beauty of the built environment.