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What are Fiber Tiles?

Updated: Aug 17


Fiber cement is roofing substance made from organic materials used to complete one of the roofing industries most durable roofing systems.

The four main components of a fiber tile roof membrane are the fabric layer, adhesive coat, back coat, face coat. The fabric layer acts as the skin of a fiber tile instillation. It is important for this substance to be made to resist punctures and leaks from spreading. Adhesive coating saturates the fibers of the fabric layer thus bonding it to the rest of the roofing system. The back coat or often referred to as "the weld" essentially adds to the thickness of the roofing system and the face coat is the component that protects the roof from UV damage.



Fiber Tile roofing installations date back to 1903, when local building codes first began to crack down on the use of asbestos. While mostly from affordable materials that are relatively easy to find on the market, fiber tile roofing systems are not a popular option for Los Angeles roofers as these materials simply do not hold up to the wind conditions Los Angeles and Orange County roofs require. These cement slates come fitted in industry shingle styles made to emulate the look of tile shingles. What makes fiber tiles a unique option for roofing needs is their affordability relative to their high degree of aesthetic appeal. Often fiber tile installations are mistaken for tile roofing systems as the materials take a similar form and density. It is not uncommon for property owners looking to cheap out on roofing systems, to install a fiber tile roof and paint it to look like iconic clay tiles.



  • Great Value: When the quality of tile shingles is balanced to its high cost of equipment and installation, fiber tile roofing installations add value to commercial real estate owners.

  • Long-Term Weathering: Excellent long-term heat and weather resistant.

  • Inherently Flexible: No need for plasticizes.

  • Heavily standardized process: Fiber tile roofing systems are an industry standard for Los Angeles roofers and have a heavily studied and standardized installation.

  • Versatile Application Methods: Including high-performance roofs requiring high wind uplift, increased puncture resistance, or quick economical systems.


Pros:

  • Cost: Fiber tile roofing systems generally fall between its two main competitors being more expensive than EPDM and less expensive than PVC. As a lightweight yet sturdy material, fiber cement is easy and inexpensive to install. It's also easy to clean with a power washer, keeping down the cost of maintenance.

  • Durability: fiber tile roofs resists punctures and is flexible enough to stretch as the structure settles, as well as withstanding a wide range of thermal expansion and contraction.

  • Efficiency: fiber tile roofing systems are reflective enough to reduce cooling costs during hot weather. High-quality products are Energy Star-rated for energy efficiency.

  • Environmental Impact: Adding to its status as a green roofing product, fiber cement is completely recyclable. Discarded cement waste is eco friendly and safely recycled in Los Angeles.


Cons

  • Quality: There is a large variance in quality between products and types of fiber cement for fiber tile roof installation.

  • Longevity: As an industry standard, fiber tile roofings main drawback is its inclination for wind damage, making fiber tile unpopular for coastal areas like Los Angeles and Orange County

  • Leaks: When a fiber tile roof does leak, the leak can be hard to find and even harder to repair. Repairs that require removal of part of the roof covering can be expensive


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