An aerial view of a variety of tile roofs.

Installing a new roof is one of the biggest projects any homeowner may undertake. Not only does the job require you to research the best local roofing companies, but it requires you to make a decision regarding what kind of material your roof will be built from. Depending on the roofing material, your roof may last a long time or not very long at all, so it’s important to make a choice on this matter in regard to your budget, environment, and personal design preferences.

Budgeting: Comparing Tiles & Shingles

Roofs can be constructed in a variety of materials, but the two most common categories fall under tiles and shingles. Tiles tend to require less maintenance than shingles, they can improve energy efficiency, and they are usually made from natural materials like clay. Shingles, on the other hand, have a faster installation time and a lower price point, making them a great option for those on a more modest budget. They also tend to be made from composites of multiple materials rather than a single ingredient or a few primary ingredients. In general, tile roofs will last 100 years while shingles can usually be maintained for 35 to 50 years.

Environment: Roofing Based on Location

Environment is a major factor in selecting a roofing material. Climate qualities like humidity, snowfall, rainfall, wind speeds, and drought can all influence the performance and lifespan of your roof, so you want to choose a material that will perform optimally in the given surroundings. 

Asphalt shingle roofs are one of the most popular choices of homeowners because of their relatively inexpensive cost and decent lifespan. However, depending on the ingredient quality and professional precision of the installation, some shingles will last 40 years while others will barely make it past 15. This material should not be used in humid or moist environments, as this will cause moss and plant growth to compromise the integrity of the shingles. Likewise, shingles should not be frequently walked on due to their fragile composition, which is further worsened by dry-air climates.

Whether you live in dry or humid environments, tile roofs tend to fare better than their shingle counterparts. As mentioned, this material can last over a century, even in the extremely arid environments of the Southwest. In the same way, tile roofs fare well in more humid environments because their fired-clay surface is primed to protect the minerals from the elements. 

Personal Preferences: Designing Your Home

If budget and environment are not major concerns for you, then the question of what kind of roofing material to get really comes down to personal preference. If you prefer a simpler, more modest look, shingles are probably your best option. If you’re attracted to the aesthetic of adobe and clay-based sculpture, then perhaps a terracotta or ceramic tile is right for you. Look at various images of roofs on houses to get an idea of what you like, and once you have a solid idea of your individual design preferences, you can contact a professional to bring your domestic dream to life!


Express Roofing LLC specializes in new roof installations in a variety of materials and lifespans. If you’re currently looking for this service in the Mesa, AZ, area, contact us today to schedule your free comprehensive inspection!