How to Install Roof Tiles on Your Home in 7 Steps (2023)



Only DIY if you know what you're doing.

Time to complete

24 hours

About two to three dedicated days of work.



Costly rentals or equipment—you might want to leave this one to a pro

Need professional help with your project?

(Video) How to TILE A ROOF with Clay or Concrete Tiles - New Roof

Get quotes from top-rated pros.

What you'll need:


  • Caulk gun
  • Chalk line
  • Circular saw
  • Gloves
  • Harness
  • Hammer
  • Helmet
  • Hook blades
  • Scaffolding ladder
  • Staple gun
  • Straightedge
  • Roofing nailer
  • Tin snips
  • Utility knife


  • Drip edge
  • Roofing battens
  • Roofing tiles
  • 1-inch roofing nails
  • Sealant
  • Step and dormer flashing
  • Valley flashing
  • Vent flashing
  • Waterproof felt underlayment

If you love the look of tile, consider installing a tile roof on your home. While retiling a roof is a job that many homeowners prefer to leave to the pros, it’s totally possible to do yourself with the right tools, a bit of research, and some safety precautions. Find out how to install roof tiles on your own with this step-by-step guide.

Prepping to Install Roof Tiles

There are a number of things you need to do before getting started to guarantee roof tiling success, like picking the right tile for your home and protecting yourself from possible hazards during the installation process.

Get to Know The Different Types of Roof Tiles

How to Install Roof Tiles on Your Home in 7 Steps (1)

Photo: U. J. Alexander / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

There are quite a few different roof tile styles to choose from and each comes with pros and cons. Before picking one, find out which options are best suited to your environment, how much weight your roof can handle, and what your homeowners association (HOA) will allow, if you have one.

Here are just some of the most popular roof tile options.


  • Clay Tiles: This option is extremely long-lasting. Its average lifespan ranges from 30 to 50 years but it can last up to 100 years with proper care and regular maintenance. However, clay is heavier than other tile materials which may be an issue if your home wasn’t built to handle the extra weight. Not sure if your home is built for clay roof tiles? Hire a local roofing company to assess the situation.

  • Concrete Tiles: While not always the most aesthetically appealing option, concrete roof tiles are low-cost (between $2 to $4 per square foot of materials on average), low-maintenance and long-lasting. However, their color can fade over time, so they may not be the best option if you live in a rainy climate.

  • Metal Tiles: A couple pros and cons of metal roofs are that they’re lightweight, yet can be designed to mimic the look of other roofing materials, like clay tiles. The downside is that they aren’t as long lasting, are easier to damage, and they don’t offer much insulation.

  • Solar Tiles: This type of roof tile not only protects your home from the elements, but also harnesses sunlight to provide power. They’re much more expensive than typical roof tiles (between $21 and $25 per foot on average) and they need to be professionally installed to ensure they function as they should.

  • Composite Tiles: This type of roof tile is one that’s made from both synthetic and natural materials and can be designed to mimic the look of other materials. They’re more lightweight than clay and concrete tiles, but also less durable.

Take Safety Precautions

Installing roofing is dangerous for both pros and non-pros alike. Protect yourself from any slips by investing in or renting a fall kit with a harness, hook, and rope and wear a helmet at all times to keep your head safe from any falling tiles or equipment. Also plan on doing the work when the weather will be clear and mild—and there’s no risk of rain making everything wet and slippery or high temps making you overheat.

Make Sure You Have the Necessary Permits

Most states require permits for any new roof construction. Consult your local building authority to find out how to apply for a permit and what you can expect from the process. Every state has different rules but most require a professional inspection of your estate at minimum.

Find Out Exactly How Many Materials You’ll Need

Make sure you have all the materials you need before tiling your roof to ensure you don’t have to stop in the middle of the work to run out for more. To do this, multiply the width of the roof by the height of the roof slope. This will tell you half the roof area, so simply double that final number to get the entire size in square feet.

Prepare Your Roof

Before you can lay down new roof tiles, you have to remove what’s already there. Removing an old roof is a job unto itself that will take additional materials, tools, and time.

To start, you’ll need to get rid of the roofing materials that are already there with a roofing shovel. This task requires a lot of physical labor, so prepare to sweat. From there, you need to make any necessary repairs to ensure the structure is secure enough for a new installation. Fix any beams that are noticeably damaged or have signs of water damage. Even if you’re going the DIY route, hiring a roof contractor for this task alone is worth it because they may be able to spot future or current problems that you may have overlooked.

(Video) How to Build a Roof

  1. Apply Underlay

    How to Install Roof Tiles on Your Home in 7 Steps (2)

    Photo: brizmaker / Adobe Stock

    Make sure your roof rafters are cleaned and cleared of anything that could create issues, like stray nails and large splinters. Then, starting at the base of your roof and working from left to right horizontally, apply the underlay from one side of the roof to the opposite side. Attach with nails on one end and pull the underlay from the opposite end to flatten along all the rafters. You want it to lay mostly flat but not be pulled too tight. Doing this creates divots within each rafter that allow any water that does manage to leak through the tiles to be drawn down and into the gutters. If the membranes are too tight, moisture is more likely to pool, get stuck, and eventually cause damage to your roof.

    Secure the underlay in place with nails on the opposite side and on every other rafter. Then, repeat this step working upwards until the whole roof is covered.

  2. Install the Drip Edge

    How to Install Roof Tiles on Your Home in 7 Steps (3)

    Photo: KQ Ferris / Adobe Stock

    A drip edge is a type of metal flashing that’s installed at the edge of a roof to direct water flow away from tiles and preserve them for longer. To install it, start by marking the drip edge where it will need to be cut or bent and use tin snips to make the adjustments. Attach to your roof with roofing nails and slightly overlap each section as you work. Repeat until the entire edge is covered.

  3. Install Flashing

    How to Install Roof Tiles on Your Home in 7 Steps (4)

    Photo: Jane / Adobe Stock

    Flashing generally needs to be installed on roofs wherever there are openings, angles, or anywhere water could seep through. Vent flashing is placed around things like chimneys, vents, and any sharp angles. Valley flashing is designed to protect any valleys on the roof, which are areas that are the most susceptible to water damage. Any spots where your roof meets a wall will also need step and dormer flashing. Once they’re installed, they also need to be sealed with caulk or another, waterproof sealant to provide the most protection.

    (Video) How to Install Step and Cover Flashing - For Roof Tiles and Chimney Flashings

  4. Lay Battens and Determine Spacing

    How to Install Roof Tiles on Your Home in 7 Steps (5)

    Photo: Petr Necas / Adobe Stock

    Working from the bottom, lay battens horizontally across rafters without nailing them down so that they can be moved freely. From there, you’re going to use two tiles to determine exactly how far apart battens need to be placed. The top tile should hook onto the top batten, and the bottom tile should hang just slightly over the edge of the roof to properly direct water into the gutter. The tiles also need to overlap each other by 3 inches minimum. Adjust the battens as necessary to fit these requirements, then secure into place with roof nails. Measure the distance between battens and install the rest to your roof before proceeding.

  5. Use a Circular Saw to Trim Tiles as Necessary

    How to Install Roof Tiles on Your Home in 7 Steps (6)

    Photo: schankz / Adobe Stock

    For tight or oddly shaped corners or areas, use a circular saw while wearing gloves and goggles to shave your tiles until they fit accordingly. It’s best to do this before nailing down a tile so that it’s easier to move and remove as necessary.

  6. Lay Tiles Before Nailing

    How to Install Roof Tiles on Your Home in 7 Steps (7)

    Photo: edojob / Adobe Stock

    Even spacing and proper overlap are essential for ensuring your roof looks uniform and doesn’t have any functional issues (like leaking) down the line. Working one row at a time, lay the tiles down as you did in the previous step until the whole row is covered. Once they are laid in place, secure the entire row to the roof with roof nails. Repeat until all the tiles are installed.

  7. Cap the Ridge

    How to Install Roof Tiles on Your Home in 7 Steps (8)

    Photo: bilanol / Adobe Stock

    (Video) Tiling a roof :ROOFING TILES INSTALLATION VIDEO...Anyone can do it ...try this !

    Finally, attach ridge tiles working one section at a time to the cap of your roof. Place them before nailing them to ensure they’re in the right spot before you make things permanent. Place nails along the center of the tile and hammer down to secure.

DIY Roof Tile Installation vs. Hiring a Pro

As you can see, DIYing a roof tile installation is no easy feat. If you’re not totally confident in your abilities, you may be better off letting a pro do this job for you. Hiring a pro does cost more—for an average of 1,500 square feet, you can expect to pay a roof technician between $8,500 to $25,000 for labor costs alone and between $12,000 and $37,500 including materials. If you do it yourself, all you have to worry about paying for are materials, which range from $3,000 to $15,000. However, pros have tons of experience installing tiling roofs and have all the tools and knowledge it takes to install everything properly and safely—that way, you don’t end up spending more on damage down the line.


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