Which glass should I use for a conservatory roof?

Conservatory refurbished with a Metrotile Lightweight Roof System Shingle Antique Red

With so many options to choose from, how can you be sure you’re choosing the roofing solution that’s right for your conservatory? We’ve put together this simple guide to look at what your options are and the positives and negatives of each so that you can be sure you make the choice that’s right for you, including the various glass options. Let’s start with what has traditionally been the most popular material used for conservatory roofs; glass.


Glass roof

Different types of glass offer certain characteristics which make them more desirable depending on what you’re looking for.

  • Where privacy is a factor, Frosted glassis useful
  • Georgian barstend to be the best option for Georgian properties
  • Curved glassmight be used to blend with a late Victorian home
  • Leaded glasscan help you receive planning permission if your conservatory is being attached to a listed building
  • Heat Reflective glassis an effective option to reduce heat loss; a common use with glass roofs
  • Laminated glassis best where durability is desired
  • Toughened safety glass breaks into small relatively harmless pieces for a safe option
  • Self-cleaning glassis a useful option to reduce the regular build up of organic dirt

There’s a variety of glass options available each with their own positives and negatives aspects. Generally speaking though, the key positives of glass roofs include high light quality and fairly long lifespan.

On the other hand, glass roofs tend to provide poor insulation compared to tiled roofs. This can result in higher heating bills in winter and it can be difficult to keep the space cool in the summer. Any necessary repairs can also be costly and interior furnishings run the risk of being damaged from the sun without the installation of appropriate blinds or shutters to keep the light out.

Tiled Roof

Tiled roofs, however, can be made bespoke using a range of colours and finishes. The tiled roof is seen as more of a home extension because it can be blended in with the existing aesthetic of your home, offers a contemporary look and adds value to your property. This option ensures you have a well-insulated conservatory which makes it very ecological in the long run.

The perceived negative of tiled roofs would be the light quality factor when compared to glass or polycarbonate materials. This is less so of a factor nowadays as most tiled roofs can be fitted with roof windows without adding much to the cost of the installation, so you can still benefit from a light and airy space, but with all the benefits of a proper roof.


Polycarbonate Roof

This roofing option has been popular over the years with people on tight budgets because of its low cost compared to traditional glass, tiled or solid roof options. It can be argued that the main positive, besides from the low cost, would be the high light quality the material offers. As mentioned earlier though this comes with its disadvantages.

Polycarbonate roofs offer the least amount of insulation of all the options featured in this article. This makes it extremely difficult to keep warm in the winter and keep cool in the summer leading to higher costs long term. The material is also highly prone to damage and is widely regarded as less aesthetically pleasing than glass or tiled roofs.


A conservatory is the best way to add space and value to your property while enjoying the extra light and views of your garden, all from the comfort of being in doors. If you’re more interested in having a transparent roof which lets in the maximum amount of light at the expense of higher ongoing costs, then a polycarbonate or glass roof could be options for you. However, if you are looking for a more sustainable conservatory which is ecological, durable and adds more value to your property then a tiled roof is your best bet.


For superior durability, there really is no better option than Europe’s no.1 lightweight steel roofing system. Lightweight steel roofing has evolved to become a product that offers benefits that exceed those of traditional roof tile materials. To find out more about getting a conservatory roofconversion, get in touch with Metrotile by calling us on 01249 658 514or you can fill in our contact formand we’ll get back to you.