Slate roof tiles are made of metamorphic rocks which are derived from sedimentary rock of volcanic ash and clay. The mineral composition of slate will determine the color and weathering properties. Hematite produces purple tones and chlorite produces green. Black and gray colors are created by carbon. The presence of iron compounds, primarily fine grained iron pyrite, can lead to the “weathering” of these original colors to tones of buff and brown in various percentages. This characteristic produces the “semi-weathering” or “weathering” designations of slates and has lead to the development of commercial color descriptions Unfading Black, Semi-Weathering Black, Semi-Weathering Grey/Black, Unfading Green, Semi-Weathering Green to signify the color stability of slate from a given source.
Slate roof tiles are one of the oldest roofing materials and have been used for centuries. Slate is a long lasting product depending on the quarry. Known as the hundred year old roof, slate roof tiles are durable, fireproof, waterproof and no two pieces are alike because it’s a natural product. Because of its quality and longevity, it’s also one of the more expensive roofing products in the market. Some refer to slate roof tiles as the Rolls Royce in roofing productions.
Slate roof tiles are available in a wide variety of sizes from 24” length x 12” wide to as small as 12” length x 6” wide. Each piece is split by hand and depending on the quarry, slate roof tiles can be split 3/6” thick to ¾” thick. The standard thickness is ¼”-3/8”. Thicker slates are available on special order allowing for the design of a truly unique, “one of a kind” roof.