Natural vs. Synthetic Slate: Which Is Better for Me?


Slate vs. Synthetic: Which is Better for My Home?

Tempted to cover your home in slate? We don’t blame you! Slate is a classic premium roofing system that has maintained its beauty and desire for hundreds of years. But, there are some aspects of slate roofing you should know before making the decision to invest.

Slate shingles are made from natural slate rock that is hand split, giving the tile edges a beautifully non-uniform appearance. Unlike shingles, slate tiles are installed by hand one at a time, which requires extraordinary attention to detail and craftsmanship.

Pros: Natural slate shingles are incredibly long-lasting and highly customizable. Due to the nature of a slate roof’s installation, it is possible to choose tiles in staggering widths and variating colors to achieve a more stylized, unique look. Not to mention, that stylized roof is built to last! Slate roofs in favorable conditions can last 100 years or more, making it very likely that you will not have to replace your roof again in your lifetime. This degree of longevity certainly pays off!

Cons: Slate roofing is also an incredibly complex system to install. Yes, slate rock is naturally very durable to weather conditions, but slate tiles can crack and break if a roofing crew is reckless with their installation process. This highlights the importance of hiring a highly experienced and skilled roofing contractor to install your slate roof. On top of this, slate is a very heavyweight material, which means any structure it covers has to be optimized for that weight. If your home has exceptionally sturdy framing and the support necessary, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, if your home wasn’t built for a roofing material of this weight, then you might consider synthetic slate.

Synthetic slate shingles are made of recycled materials and are modeled after natural slate with chisel marks to add the unique, imperfect look of slate rock!

Pros: Synthetic slate tiles weigh a fraction of what natural slate weighs, which means no additional structural support is needed with installation! This makes this the a great slate option for a majority residential constructions. Synthetic slate is also incredibly durable as it is treated with ultraviolet inhibitors to protect from sun deterioration. Like natural slate, synthetic slate roofs can also be stylized with varying tile sizes and colors.

Cons: A disadvantage of synthetic slate is that the material has not yet reached the age of a lifetime to accurately observe how long it lasts. Of course, synthetic slate tiles are the result of extensive research and rigorous testing, but it is still one of the newer roofing system materials the world has to offer. Additionally, each synthetic slate manufacturer produces products uniquely, so you should rely on your roofing contractor’s expertise when choosing the best fit for your home’s needs.

Need more detailed help? Our Home Exteriors by Baker team serves homeowners in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee and are ready to answer your questions!

Click here to request a quote.

By Alex Manring

Alex has worked at Baker for 5 years! When not at work, she loves spending time outside with her Goldendoodle and her husband Cole, hanging out with her family & friends, trying all the new restaurants in Raleigh, and watching a good movie!

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