Lightweight roof tiles: a comparison

New World Business Centre Renovation with Metrotile Lightweight Roofing in Bond Charcoal

Lightweight roof tiles have become increasingly popular in more recent years as technology has led to innovate developments in producing lightweight tiles that can compete with the durability of traditional tiles.


Lightweight roofing is particularly beneficial in several situations, such as when replacing glass roofs on conservatories, for low pitched roofs and for lightweight structures such as timber housing. Lightweight tiles are usually defined by their weight being under 20kg and offer the benefit of being able to speed up a roofing project due to their easy manoeuvrability.

In this article, we have compiled a lightweight roof tiles comparison so you can decide which tile type is best for your roofing project.


Wood shingles

Wood is a traditional material that has been used for roofing for several centuries. Modern wood shingles are thin, tapered pieces of wood that are sawn or split into shape. They differ from the historical wood shingles that were used as they’re generally thicker, and some have special treatments such as combed ridges and decorative patterns.

Wood is an insulative material that is also great at resisting volatile weather conditions. They are reusable and recyclable which makes them a sustainable roofing choice.

However, the risk of fire has been a concern with wood roof shingles for a long time as it’s the most flammable roofing material in existence. They also need frequent maintenance as they can wear out quite quickly. Insects can eat away at the wood so it’s key to treat a wooden roof with paint or varnish.


Felt material

Felt is often used for roofing as it is a cheap material and therefore costs can be kept down. It is a popular material for buildings with flat roofs in particular. Waterproof sheeting is applied to a fibrous membrane and then afterwards a coating of sand or gravel is applied on top, depending on the preferred aesthetic. Felt roofs are usually simple to install, making them a preferred choice for many contractors.

Whilst felt can be suitable for many roof projects, it’s not the best choice if the roof will experience heavy footfall frequently. This should be kept in mind when making a lightweight roof tiles comparison. High heels should not be used for walking on this type of roof, otherwise, the surface can be damaged easily.


Rubber roof tiles

Rubber is a modern and sustainable roof tile material that is durable and can last around 30 to 40 years. It is usually laid in one big sheet making it easy and fast to install, so it’s an attractive version for those in a rush. Many rubber tiles are made from recycled tires, making use of shredded tires that usually end up in landfill, making it a sustainable roofing material.

However, not everyone is a big fan of rubber as a material for roofing, as the look of rubber on a roof is not necessarily the most attractive. It depends on the type of project being worked on, as for some buildings, the style will work just fine.



Metal roof tiles have come along way in recent times. Once used mostly just for commercial and industrial type buildings, many homeowners are now choosing modern metal tiles for their homes.

Lightweight steel roof tiles are strong, durable and extremely light – up to 1/7th of a concrete tile. This reduces the number of structural supports required and trusses can be spanned at 1200mm centres.

Lightweight steel roof tiles are able to last longer than many other types, with suppliers offering guarantees for 50+ years. It’s even possible for roofs with lightweight tiles to last a lifetime, with little upkeep necessary. A wide range of metal roofs use recycled steel and are completely recyclable themselves.

A disadvantage that people often associate with metal roof tiles is that it can be noisy. However, with Metrotile’s lightweight steel roofing, that is not the case. They’re no louder during rain and hailstones than traditional roof tiles such as clay or slate.


Lightweight roof tiles from Metrotile

Metrotile offer Europe’s no.1 steel roofing tile which comes with a list of benefits that makes it worth considering for every roof. To find out more about Metrotile’s range of lightweight roofing products, call today on 01249 658 514 or use our contact form for a quick response.