Our roofing company is located in Southern California, where most houses are roofed with concrete tiles. Until 30 or 40 years ago, almost all roof tiles installed in the United States were clay tiles, like those used for thousands of years in Europe and China. In the past few decades, though, concrete roofing tiles have edged out clay on residential roofs and now dominate the market.
Roof tiles, whether concrete or clay, are very resistant to fire. Although some traditionalists prefer clay tiles over concrete, there is no arguing with the main advantage of concrete tiles: They cost about half as much as clay (see "Concrete Tile vs. Clay Tiles," below).
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