Metal Roof vs Clay Roof: Which is the Best Roofing Material?

Cannot decide between metal or clay roof for your property? When it comes to complementing your residence or commercial property, both metal and clay roofing have its own advantage and disadvantages. 

Thus, when comparing metal roof and clay roof, you should know the pros and cons in order to choose the best material that suits your property.

Clay Roofing – Pros & Advantages

  • Reduced heat transfer – Clay roofing are made from raw materials which have a natural thermal resistance, and the air space around the tile pieces creates natural ventilation that acts as a heat transfer barrier. This allows the indoor temperature to stay relatively cooler. This characteristic is more obvious in areas that may experience huge temperature differences during summer and winter.
  • Special architectural look – If you fancy the classic architectural look for your property, then clay roofing with its terra cotta shades, brown earth tones, rusty reds or charcoal-type black may fit your style.
  • Eco-friendly – Most clay tiles are made from a raw, natural element that is currently not in depletion. Also, the manufacturing of clay roofing materials usually does not involve the use of chemicals or hazardous elements, and can be easily recycled or ground up for future use.
  • Easy replacement – Due to its installation methods, it is recommended that clay tile roofs are inspected regularly for any cracks, leaks or water damage, as well as any stuck debris. Fortunately, you do not need to remove an entire section of your roof if one or more tile pieces need replacement; you can easily replace the specific affected tile pieces.

Clay Roofing – Cons & Disadvantages

  • Fragile – Although aesthetically pleasing, clay tiles are fragile when met with heavy impact such as a large branch and are easier to chip, crack, and fall apart. They may be easily cracked even during transport or mishandling by installers.
  • Heavy Clay tiles are one of the heaviest roofing materials and it requires additional framing to support its total weight. Besides putting extra strain on the overall building structure, it also adds up to more project materials and expensive labour costs.
  • Higher installation cost and maintenance – The clay material may not be the most expensive part of the project, as it is the installation and man-hours that costs more. As compared to metal roofing, clay roofing are relatively difficult to install if installers are not trained and experienced. It also requires regular inspection once or twice every year to check for cracks or chips.
  • Limited colour options – Clay roofing materials come naturally in reddish-brown, terra-cotta colours. Thus you may have only limited colour options. Although specialty colours are available upon request, they usually involve additional colour coating which incurs extra costs. 

Metal Roofing – Pros & Advantages

  • Durable – When installed correctly by trusted contractors, metal roofs can last for decades. This is because as compared to clay roofing, metal roofs are most resistant to punctures breaks and general degradation. Metal roofs with interlocking panels can withstand extreme winds such as tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, hails, etc. 
  • Lightweight – Metal roofing is a more lightweight material than most other roofing types. It is over 5 times heavier than a clay roof! This means lesser burden on the overall building structure.
  • Low maintenance – The seamless surface design of metal roofing functions to ‘auto-clean’ (minimal buildup of stuck debris on its surface) especially during rain as any dirt or debris material can be washed off by rainwater. Thus, metal roofing requires minimal maintenance every 18 to 24 months.
  • High fire resistance – Metal roofing is typically non-combustible, making it the most resistant material to catching fire.
  • Unlimited colour choices – Metal roofing sheets can be painted in any colour, finishing or texture. The paint systems used in metal roofing are usually tested in real outdoor environments to rest assure that the look will last for decades.  

Metal Roofing – Cons & Disadvantages

  • Mid to high cost – Metal roofing materials are not considered as ‘affordable’ materials, although it is cheaper as compared to clay roofing.
  • Preference issues – Generally, metal roofing is thought to look too ‘industrial’ for certain types of neighbourhoods or properties, such as historical districts or communities.

Selecting the right roof for your property is not an easy decision to make. Thung Hing Group specialises in an extensive range of roofing and metal solutions for commercial and residential purposes, with more than 20 years experience.

Want to know how to select the right roof for your property? Check out these 5 things that you need to know and why you should rely on Thung Hing for your roofing solutions.

For product and sales enquiries, please contact us at 012- 559 6881 / 012 390 7129 or email us at


This article is updated at the time its publish; it is intended to convey general information only and does not constitute advice for your specific needs. This article cannot disclose all of the risks and other factors necessary to evaluate a particular situation. Do contact us for more information or details about our products.