Clay vs. Cement Roof Tiles: Do You Know the Difference and Which is Better?


When protecting our homes from the elements, choosing a roofing material is crucial. Clay and cement tiles are two popular options. Each of these has its own characteristics that can significantly impact costs, durability, and aesthetics. But which is better? Or which is better for you? In this article, we will differentiate Clay vs. Cement Roof Tiles. So, let’s get started so you can make the most informed decision for your home.

tile and clay roof on a house roofed by phoenix roofing of south west florida
Image source: Phoenix Contracting of SWFL LLC,

Top Factors to Consider While Choosing Clay vs. Cement Roof Tiles

Popularity in Cape Coral/Lee County/Fort Myers: 

Cement tiles take the lead in popularity in the sunny sites of Cape Coral, Lee County, and Fort Myers. These areas often favor cement tiles due to their durability and ability to withstand the unique weather conditions of Southwest Florida. Cement tiles are common on roofs thanks to their cost-effectiveness and availability.

Cost Considerations: 

When it comes to the budget, clay tiles tend to be pricier than their cement counterparts. The higher cost of clay tiles is attributed to the manufacturing process and the natural materials used. 

While clay tiles may be a bit heavier on the wallet initially, some homeowners find the investment worthwhile due to the aesthetic appeal and long-lasting nature of clay roofing.

Resistance to Mildew: 

In the battle against mildew, clay tiles have a slight edge. Clay tiles are naturally more resistant to mildew, whereas cement tiles, a bit porous, can provide a breeding ground for mildew in humid climates. Homeowners in areas like Cape Coral often contend with high humidity, making the prevention of mildew growth on roofs a common concern.

Homeowner Association Guidelines: 

Homeowner associations often mandate regular roof cleaning to combat mildew in regions where humidity is a constant companion. Clay tiles, with their inherent resistance, might be more forgiving in such situations. 

However, regardless of the tile type, it’s crucial to adhere to these guidelines to maintain the aesthetics and structural integrity of the roof.

Tiles vs. Shingles: 

While our focus has been on tiles, the comparison with shingles is worth noting. Both clay and cement tiles tend to outlast traditional asphalt shingles. Tiles are a good option for homeowners searching for a long-term roofing solution because they are more resilient to the harsh Florida weather and offer higher durability.

Thermal Insulation: 

One noteworthy difference between Clay and cement tiles is their thermal insulation properties. Clay tiles, with their natural composition, tend to provide better insulation, helping to regulate indoor temperatures. 

In contrast, cement tiles may not offer the same level of insulation, potentially impacting energy efficiency. This aspect is particularly important in regions where extreme temperatures are common, such as Southwest Florida.

Environmental Impact: 

Considering the ecological footprint of roofing materials is crucial for environmentally conscious homeowners. Clay tiles, made from natural materials like Clay and water, are often considered more environmentally friendly than cement tiles, which involve energy-intensive manufacturing processes. 

Clay tiles are a more environmentally friendly choice for people trying to lessen their influence on the environment because the extraction and manufacturing of cement raises carbon emissions.

Professional Consultation: 

Attempting to clean your roof independently, especially with power washing, can lead to unintended consequences. Before undertaking any cleaning or maintenance efforts, it is advisable to consult with a professional

Professionals can provide insights into the specific needs of your roofing material, preventing potential damage and ensuring a longer lifespan for your roof.


The choice between clay and cement tiles involves a comprehensive examination of various factors, from insulation and environmental impact to aesthetics and installation complexities. 

Knowing the small variations between these roofing materials will help you choose depending on your requirements and tastes, whether you live in Cape Coral, Lee County, or Fort Myers. 

From the enduring charm of clay tiles to the versatility of cement tiles, your choice can significantly impact the longevity and visual appeal of your home’s roof.

So, are you ready to convert your vision into reality? Contact Phoenix Contracting of SWFL, LLC today, and let us bring expertise, quality, and craftsmanship to your project. 

Whether it’s roofing, remodeling, or construction, our team is here to deliver excellence. Don’t just dream it – build it with Phoenix Contracting. Contact us now for a consultation.