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CHAPTER 3

CLAY AND CONCRETE TILE


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Roof tiles are designed for use as overlapping, watershedding roof components that rely on the slope of a
roof substrate to effectively shed water.
Clay and concrete roof tile can be categorized by their
shapes: flat or profile. Products designated as flat tiles may
be plain slab tiles or interlocking tiles. Roof tile profile
typically is expressed as the ratio of tile height (sometimes
rise) to its width. Profile may be further separated into
low, medium and high profiles. A low profile classification typically is applied to flat tiles or tiles with 1/2-inch
or less variation (rise) in top surface features or texture.
Medium profile tiles are those with a height to width
ratio of 1:5 or less. High profile tiles have a height to
width ratio greater than 1:5. The ratio for pan and cover
tiles is measured in installed condition. Standard material specifications for tile provide classifications by type
wherein types of tile are differentiated by profiles. The
classifications for clay tile are not the same as classifications for concrete tile. See Figure 3-1 on page 126.

Additionally, tile shapes commonly are categorized as


follows:
Plain tile
Pan and cover tile
Interlocking tile (interlocking tiles may be high-,
medium- or low-profile tiles and flat tiles)
S-tile
See Figures 3-2 on page 127 and 3-3 on page 128 for
common tile shapes.
Plain Tile: Plain tiles also are referred to as flat-slab or
shingle tiles. They are noninterlocking pieces meant to be
laid in a double coverage pattern similar to asphalt shingles, wood shakes and slate. With plain tile applications,
head lap is necessary. The customary head lap dimensions
are 2 inches or 3 inches. Plain tile thicknesses range from
1/2 of an inch to 3/4 of an inch. Leading edges usually are
square, but some are manufactured with rounded and
other profiles. Some plain tiles have a roughened end that

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Figure 3-1: Roof tile classification by profile

has a hand-made appearance. A wide variety of surface


treatments are applied during manufacture, including
smooth, glazed, scored, grooved, sanded, ash-coated
or others, that create textures to achieve traditional appearances. Figure 3-4 on page 129 lists some common
plain tile dimensions and corresponding piece counts per
square required to obtain a 2-inch head lap. Tile weight
per applied square will vary depending on tile thickness
and composition, and head lap selected. Manufacturers

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published information can be consulted when calculating


the dead load for a specific tile roof system.
Pan and Cover Tile: Pan and cover tiles also are referred
to as barrel tiles or mission tiles in some regions. Pan and
cover tiles are installed with one tile laid concave and the
adjacent laid convex. See Figure 3-2 for common shapes.
Pan and cover tiles can be straight or tapered and are
available in a variety of surface textures.

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INTERLOCKING TILE

PLAIN TILE

FLAT OR SHINGLE TILE

PAN AND COVER TILE

FLAT INTERLOCKING TILE

TWO-PIECE BARREL OR MISSION TILE

FRENCH INTERLOCKING TILE

S-TILE

ROMAN TILE

GREEK TILE

S-TILE

Figure 3-2: Common clay tile profiles

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PLAIN TILE

PAN AND COVER TILE

FLAT OR SHINGLE TILE


TWO-PIECE BARREL OR MISSION TILE

INTERLOCKING TILE

SIMULATING
SLATE

SIMULATING
SHAKE

INTERLOCKING CHANNELED TILE

S-TILE

S-TILE

Figure 3-3: Common concrete tile profiles

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Overall
Length x Width

Exposure
Length x Width

Approximate
Pieces/Square

Overall
Length x Width

Exposure
Length x Width

Approximate
Pieces/Square

12 inch x 7 inch

5 inch x 7 inch

412

11 inch x 83/4 inch

8 inch x 8 inch

225

15 inch x 7 inch

61/2 inch x 7 inch

317

14 inch x 9 inch

11 inch x 81/4 inch

158

18 inch x 8 inch

71/2 inch x 8 inch

240

17 inch x 123/4 inch

14 inch x 11 inch

94

Figure 3-4: Common plain tile dimensions

Figure 3-5: Common interlocking tile dimensions

Pans and covers are laid in a variety of ways. Pans can be


laid tight to one another at the sides or spaced apart, providing a reduced side lap by the covers. Straight barrel pans
are sometimes used with tapered covers for added application flexibility and aesthetics. Some covers have clipped
top corners that fit against clipped bottom corners of the
pans, which provides for a tight fit. Tile weight per applied square will vary depending on tile thickness and
composition, and application pattern selected. Manufacturers published information can be consulted when calculating the dead load for a specific tile roof system.

laid in a single layer with a course-to-course overlap.


Thickness varies, but typical tile thickness is about 1/2 of
an inch. Surfaces are available in smooth or a variety of
textures. In some styles, the convex portion is larger than
the concave. The concave portions may be rounded or
flattened in contour. Figure 3-6 lists some common S-tile
dimensions and corresponding piece counts per square required for a 3-inch course-to-course overlap. Tile weight
per applied square will vary depending on tile thickness
and composition, and application pattern selected. Manufacturers published information can be consulted when
calculating the dead load for a specific tile roof system.

Interlocking Tile: Interlocking tiles are laid in a single


thickness with only a course-to-course overlap. The sides
are channeled or ribbed so that neighboring tiles are
lapped. Various interlock styles are used to assist in aligning tiles and minimize water migration at side laps. The
heads and butts also may interlock, or a simple overlap
may be used. With some styles of interlocking tiles, the
exposed portion is flat and the surface can be smooth or
textured. The thickness at the butt of the flat styles ranges
from 1/2 of an inch to 2 inches. Some interlocking tiles are
profiled, and the contours help direct runoff away from
the interlocking sides of the tiles. Some contoured tiles
are available that have the appearance of pan and cover
tiles. Contours add strength to tile. Reinforcing ribs on
the undersides add strength and reduce weight. Typically,
the height of interlocking profile tile ranges from 2 inches
to 6 inches. Virtually all concrete tiles and some clay tiles
are interlocking. Figure 3-5 lists some common interlocking tile dimensions and corresponding piece counts per
square required for a 3-inch course-to-course overlap.
Tile weight per applied square will vary depending on
tile thickness and composition, and application pattern
selected. Manufacturers published information can be
consulted when calculating the dead load for a specific
tile roof system.
S-tile: S-tile refers to the tile profile. Sometimes, S-tile
also is referred to as one-piece pan and cover. S-tiles are

Overall
Length x Width

Exposure
Length x Width

Approximate
Pieces/Square

131/4 inch x 93/4 inch 101/4 inch x 81/4 inch

171

131/2 inch x 11 inch

101/2 inch x 91/2 inch

144

181/2 inch x 121/2 inch

151/2 inch x 9 inch

104

19 inch x 14 inch

16 inch x 12 inch

75

Figure 3-6: Common S-tile dimensions

3.1 Clay and Concrete Tile Materials


Roof Tile Materials: Roof tiles are manufactured
from two general types of material: clay and concrete.
Clay Roof Tile: High-quality clay and shale deposits are
selected for mining based on their mineral compositions,
which are responsible for the hardness, durability and
color of the finished product. The raw material is crushed
and ground into fine powder. The materials are mixed,
and the clay is wetted and worked to become a homogenous mass of the proper plasticity. The clay is extruded,
cut to size, and formed or pressed into the various shapes
and styles of clay roof tile.
A wide variety of surface textures and some ceramic matte
colors may be applied before drying and firing. The natural red color of clay tile results from the firing process.
High-gloss ceramic glazes may be applied to fired tile,

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which, in turn, is refired to add durable color and gloss to


the surface.
Clay tiles are fired in kilns at temperatures ranging from
1800 F to 2000 F. The period of firing ranges from 20 to
24 hours, with the tile being held at maximum temperatures for three to six hours. The raw material characteristics, amount of heat and duration of firing affects the
resultant strength, moisture-absorption properties and
overall quality of the finished product.
Concrete Roof Tile: Concrete tile manufactured in
North America is produced in automated extrusion
plants. Typically, semidry concrete mixes composed of
Portland cement, water, and sand or fine aggregate are
mixed and then extruded under high pressure. In some
regions, tile is made from standard and lightweight concrete mixes to produce different weights of concrete tile.
Some moist mixes are compacted by vibration and tamping, and then molds are used to form the concrete to the
desired shape. Various additives may be included during
mixing to improve strength, reduce water-absorption
properties or control curing time.
Typically, color is added by mixing mineral oxide pigments with the base materials or by spraying the color
on the surface after the concrete has been extruded.
Cementitious glazes containing pigments also are used
where glazed surfaces are desired. Concrete tile is put
into a kiln for drying. The surfaces of some tiles also are
sprayed with sealers.
Tile should be allowed to cure before shipping so design
strengths and physical properties may be achieved. As
with other concrete products, the curing process continues over a longer period of time.
Roof Tile Physical Characteristics: The following physical characteristics are key to clay and concrete
roof tiles performance in service.
Water Absorption: Tiles absorption properties are an
indication of its ability to endure freeze-thaw cycling. If
the absorption value is low, the less water the material can
hold and the less likely the tile will be damaged during
freeze-thaw cycles. Water absorption of tile is expressed
as a percentage of the dry weight. Dense, well-baked clay
tile may have absorption values under 2 percent when
fully vitrified. The absorption values of some clay tile

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range up to 10 percent. Concrete tile absorption values


range from 3 percent to 20 percent. Sealers sometimes
are used to reduce porosity. The service lives of the sealers
and some surfacings should be considered during the roof
design phase as should the possible need to reseal the tiles
surface in the future.
Breaking Strength: Tile strength is important to resist
breakage during shipment and installation; withstand
service traffic over the roof after installation; and resist
breakage during wind, seismic activity and hail storms.
Strength typically is measured as breaking load. For roof
tiles, this ranges from 250 pounds to 1,000 pounds and is
predicated on thickness, cross-section profile, raw material quality, and firing or curing process. Typical breaking
loads are about 650 pounds for clay tile and about 400
pounds for concrete tile.
Freeze-thaw Resistance: Weather conditions create different demands on roof tiles long-term ability to function successfully. Resistance to freeze-thaw cycles is important where the tile is expected to withstand repetitive
freezing and thawing. Cracking and/or spalling ultimately
will result in premature roof system failure.
Some types of tile are graded for their resistance to frost
action. ASTM Standard C1167, Standard Specification
for Clay Roof Tiles, provides grades of clay tile, and each
has a different resistance to freeze-thaw cycles. Grade 1
provides resistance to severe frost action, Grade 2 provides
resistance to moderate frost action and Grade 3 provides
negligible resistance to any frost action. ASTM International roof tile material specifications provide a definition for a weathering index, which is used to quantify the
magnitude of frost action effect on roof tile weathering.
A diagram of the weathering index contours superimposed over a map of the continental U.S. provided in the
specifications is reproduced in Figure 3-7. ASTM C1167
associates its tile grade classifications with the weathering
index as follows: Grade 1weathering index of 500 and
greater; Grade 2weathering index of 50 to 500; and
Grade 3weathering index less than 50.
Designers should specify roof tile materials of a grade
appropriate for the weathering index.
Tiles resistance to weathering cannot always be predicted
with certainty when using the physical tests available. The
best indication of tile durability is the service record of

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Figure 3-7: Weathering Indexes in the U.S.

similar tile used in an environment similar to the one


under consideration.
Standards: The following ASTM International standards apply to roof tile.
Clay Roof Tile: ASTM C1167, Standard Specification
for Clay Roof Tiles, addresses material characteristics
and physical properties and establishes sampling procedures for clay tile. ASTM C1167 contains classifications for three grades of tile based on their resistances to
frost action: Grade 1resistance to severe frost action;

Grade 2resistance to moderate frost action; and Grade


3negligible resistance to any frost action. The standard
provides the following separate set of tile classifications by
profile: Type Ihigh-profile tilestiles having a rise-towidth ratio greater than 1:5; Type IIlow-profile tiles
tiles having a rise-to-width ratio equal to or less than 1:5;
and Type IIIall other tiles, including flat. Other physical properties addressed in this standard are wet and dry
strength, efflorescence, permeability, finish and texture.
NRCA recommends designers specify clay roof tile that
complies with ASTM C1167 requirements.

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Concrete Roof Tile: ASTM C1492, Standard Specification for Concrete Roof Tile, addresses material characteristics and physical properties and establishes sampling
procedures for concrete tile intended as a roof covering.
ASTM C1492 classifies concrete tile based on profile:
Type Ihigh-profile tile, defined as tile with a rise-towidth ratio greater than 1:5; Type IImedium-profile
tile, defined as tile with a rise greater than 1/2 of an inch
and a rise-to-width ratio of less than or equal to 1:5; Type
IIIlow-profile tile, defined as tile with a rise equal to
or less than 1/2 of an inch; and Type IVaccessory tile
such as ridge, rake, hip and valley tile used in conjunction with Type I, II and III tiles. (Tile classification by
profile provided in ASTM C1492 is different from the
tile classification by profile provided in ASTM C1167.)
Other physical properties addressed in this standard are
dimensional tolerances, freeze-thaw resistance, transverse
strength, permeability and water absorption.
NRCA recommends designers specify concrete roof tile
that complies with ASTM C1492 requirements.
Securement Methods: Many types and combinations of securement methods are used for the various
types of roof tile. Developments in fastener and attachment technology have affected tile securement methods.
The roof deck type, underlayment type and attachment,
and tile profile should be considered when choosing an
attachment method. To select a method of securement
or attachment, many conditions need to be considered:
wind, deck type, seismic considerations, slope, building
codes, local practices and manufacturer recommendations. Fasteners should be made of a corrosion-resistant
metal that will remain serviceable in the intended environment for the roof systems design life.
Roof tile commonly is secured using the following means
and methods:
Nails
Screws
Wire ties and straps
Clips
Lug-hung application
Adhesive-set application

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Nail Application: Nailing is the most common method


of fastening tile. In high-wind and seismic areas, more
stringent nailing schedules may be required. Designers
should consult local code requirements. There are a wide
variety of corrosion-resistant metal nail types that have
different mechanical and physical properties depending
on the metal, nail shape and size, shank type, head type
and point type.
Nails should be round-head, sharp-point, 11-gauge
(0.12-inch), hot-dipped galvanized, stainless-steel, copper
or bronze roofing nails. Nail heads should be low-profile,
smooth and flat. Shanks may be smooth, barbed or otherwise deformed for added pull-out resistance. Nails should
comply with ASTM F1667, Specification for Driven
Fasteners, Nails, Spikes and Staples, Type I, Style 20.
Not all nails that comply with ASTM F1667, Type I,
Style 20 have the head dimensions or shank profiles that
NRCA recommends.
Nails used to fasten tiles should be long enough to penetrate all layers of roofing materials and achieve secure
anchorage into a wood roof deck or battens. Nails should
extend a minimum of 1/8 of an inch through the underside of plywood or other acceptable wood panel decks less
than 3/4 of an inch thick. For wood plank, wood boards or
wood battens, nails should penetrate at least 3/4 of an inch.
Tile nails should be driven so the nail head just touches
the surface of a tile and the tile hangs on the nail.
If pressure-preservative-treated wood is encountered,
stainless-steel or hot-dipped galvanized-steel fasteners
should be used. Pressure-preservative treatment other
than chromated copper arsenate (CCA) necessitates that
hot-dipped galvanized nails should meet ASTM A153,
Standard Specification for Zinc Coating (Hot-Dip) on
Iron and Steel Hardware, Class D and stainless-steel
fasteners should be Type 304 or Type 316.
Screw Application: Some tile roof systems specifically
call for attachment with screws. It may also be an option
for other tile roof systems installed over nailable decks
or battens. Tile roof systems that accommodate nail and
screw fasteners may have different fastening requirements
for each fastener type. Designers should consult specific
manufacturers recommendations for tile roof system
fastening schedules using screws.

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Screw fasteners for tile roof systems should be a minimum #8 corrosion-resistant and long enough to extend
through the underside of plywood decks a minimum of
1/8 of an inch, as well as penetrate a minimum of 3/4 of an
inch into wood board or plank decks or battens. Screw
fasteners should be compatible with batten material.
For galvanized screws, the corrosion-resistant coating
should meet the requirements of ASTM B695, Standard Specification for Coatings of Zinc Mechanically
Deposited on Iron and Steel, Class 55. Additionally, it
is recommended that corrosion-resistant screw fasteners
be performance-rated according to ASTM B117, Standard Practice for Operating Salt Spray (Fog) Apparatus.
Designers should consult fastener manufacturers for supporting information.
If pressure-preservative-treated wood substrate is used,
stainless-steel screw fasteners of Type 306 or Type 316
are recommended.
Wire-tied and Strapping Application: Hanging tile
with wire often is used as an attachment method on
non-nailable or insulated decks or in areas where fastening through metal flashings needs to be avoided. For
non-nailable roof decks, a variety of wire and strapping
systems are available. Wire tying tile also is specified
where penetrating the underlayment is undesirable, such
as on low-slope applications. In some seismic regions,
wire tying tile can be an effective securement method.
Nails, screws and expanding fasteners commonly are used
in conjunction with wire-tied systems to affix the wire to
certain substrates.
Clip Application: Clips sometimes are used in conjunction with other attachment methods in high-wind and
seismic areas. Some tile clips commonly are referred to
as wind clips or storm anchors. Clips used with the tile
courses near an eave may provide increased wind-uplift
resistance and may be required depending on the tile
system and design parameters.
Lug-hung Application: Many types of tile have lugs
formed on their undersides near their heads that may be
hung over the batten. In some areas, when tiles are looselaid on roofs with low slopes, the tiles are simply hung over
the battens. Lug hanging tile usually is used in combination with other securement methods, and some building
codes and manufacturers require a specific attachment

pattern for perimeter and field tile depending on a roofs


slope and the wind region in which a building is located.
Designers can consult tile manufacturers installation instructions for additional information regarding lug-hung
tile systems.
Adhesive-set Application: Laying tile in a bed of mortar,
foam adhesive or other code-approved adhesive is common in some areas of North America where freeze-thaw
conditions are normally not encountered.
Tile can be set in mortar, foam adhesive specifically formulated for tile application or other approved adhesive
applied to a weatherproof membrane such as two layers of
underlayment adhered together. Tile application should
follow system-specific instructions because manufacturers
published uplift resistance values for tile mortar or adhesive are associated with specific placement and contact
area requirements. Additional tile fasteners are typically
required for mortar- or adhesive-set tile systems on roof
slopes greater than 6:12.
Designers must also consider the compatibility of the
underlayment sheet surface when specifying mortar or
adhesive fastening systems. The underlayment system
must be attached appropriately to carry the load through
to the deck and to meet the uplift requirements of the applicable building code. Roof deck slope, substrate thickness, base-sheet tear resistance and fastener/cap type are
important design considerations. Underlayment fastening
schedules for uplift resistance are determined from fastener pullout resistance values and pullover resistance values
for underlayment over fastener head or cap.
Model building codes currently do not contain prescriptive requirements for approval of mortar- or adhesive-set
tile. The basis for code acceptance of these systems by the
authority having jurisdiction is found in the applicable
codes alternative acceptance provisions. Some mortar
and adhesive attachment system manufacturers possess
evaluation reports by ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES)
that may be used to substantiate code compliance to the
code authority having jurisdiction. Evaluation protocols that establish guidelines for code acceptance of tile
adhesives under the alternative approval provisions are
published by ICC-ES as AC152, Acceptance Criteria for
Adhesive Attachment of Concrete or Clay Roofing Tiles.

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Tile mortar or tile adhesive is often used in combination with other securement methods. Tile mechanically
fastened at hips and ridges, along eaves, rakes and valleys,
and at some other flashing locations are sometimes set in
mortar or other approved adhesive. Not all tiles are designed for application with mortar or tile adhesive.
Designers can consult tile manufacturers for additional
information regarding adhesive-set tile systems.
Asphalt Roof Cement: Roof cements commonly
are used in the application of tile roof systems. The base
material used in the manufacture of roof cement is either
an air-blown asphalt or a polymer-modified asphalt. The
asphalt is thinned, or cut back, with a petroleum-based
solvent to create a soft, workable mixture. Some roof cements contain mineral fibers as stabilizers. Some manufacturers now are offering polymer-modified bitumen
roof cements.
There are two common types of asphalt roof cement:
flashing cement and lap cement. Flashing cements commonly are used on vertical surfaces and have a trowelable
consistency. Lap cements are used more specifically for
bonding asphaltic materials together, and their consistencies are characterized as either trowelable or brushable.
Asphalt roof cements also are available in different grades.
The two most common grades are referred to as winter
grade and summer grade. The primary difference between
winter grade and summer grade is their softening point
temperatures; winter grade has a lower softening point
temperature than summer grade.
Common uses for asphalt roof cement in tile roof systems
are:
As a bedding cement for sealing the base or
flange of a metal accessory to a roof system
To provide a temporary seal around roof penetrations or at walls prior to installing flashing
components
To seal some types of hip/ridge units
The following ASTM International standards are applicable to asphalt roof cement used as a utility cement or
flashing cement:
ASTM D2822, Standard Specification for

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Asphalt Roof Cement, addresses composition,


pliability, high-heat behavior and adhesion
properties, as well as other physical requirements. Type I is a cement composed of a lowsoftening point asphalt, and Type II is composed of a high-softening point asphalt. These
classifications are categorized further by the
intended application: Class I is for dry surfaces
and Class II is for damp, wet surfaces.
ASTM D4586, Standard Specification for Asphalt Roof Cement, Asbestos Free, addresses
composition, pliability and high-heat behavior,
as well as other physical requirements. The material classifications are the same as in ASTM
D2822.
The following ASTM International standard is applicable
to asphalt roof cement used as a lap cement:
ASTM D3019, Standard Specification for
Lap Cement Used with Asphalt Roll Roofing, Non-fibered, Asbestos-fibered, and Nonasbestos-fibered, provides a classification for
three types of lap cement: Type Ibrushing
consistency with no stabilizers, categorized as
Grade 1made with an air-blown asphalt or
Grade 2made with a vacuum-reduced or
steam-refined asphalt; Type IIheavy brushing
or light troweling consistency with a quantity
of short-fibered asbestos stabilizers; Type III
heavy brushing or light troweling consistency
with non-asbestos stabilizers.
Elastomeric Flashing Sealant: Certain elastomeric sealant products may be used in the construction
of clay and concrete roof systems as a cement for sealing
the base or flange of a metal accessory to a roof or to provide a temporary seal around roof penetrations or at walls
prior to installing flashing components.
Elastomeric sealant formulations primarily are characterized as single-component and multi-component. A singlecomponent material is a uniform mixture suitable for
direct application; it cures in place, typically as a result of
reaction with ambient moisture. A multi-component material is supplied as two or more separate components requiring thorough mixing before it is ready for application; it
cures as a result of reactions between the components.

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Elastomeric sealant materials also are characterized as


pourable or self-leveling and nonsag or gunnable. Selfleveling materials are intended for application to horizontal surfaces. Nonsag materials are intended for applications on sloped and vertical surfaces. Elastomeric sealant
materials may further be classified on the basis of their
ability to withstand cyclic dimensional changes and their
end-use application or substrate type.

by roof tile product design. Generally, a minimum 3-inch


course-to-course overlap is recommended, except for
plain (flat-slab or shingle) tile, which is installed shinglefashion and requires a minimum 3-inch head lap. The
course-to-course minimum overlap requirement may be
reduced to a minimum of 2 inches for clay and concrete
tile applied on very steep slopes. Manufacturers should be
consulted for product-specific requirements.

ASTM C920, Standard Specification for Elastomeric


Joint Sealants, applies to elastomeric flashing sealant.
The standard provides a material classification by type,
grade, class and use. Single-component materials are classified as Type S. Multi-component materials are classified
as Type M. Grade P classification applies to materials that
are pourable or self-leveling at 40 F. Grade NS classification applies to materials that are nonsagging when applied
to joints on vertical surfaces between 40 F and 122 F. The
classification by class is based on a materials capability to
maintain adhesive and cohesive strength when subjected
to cyclic dimensional changes. The classification by use is
based on satisfactory performance in specific end-use applications and/or on designated substrates.

Course-to-course joint spacing also is determined by roof


tile product design. Interlocking tile and S-tile may be
designed with channels or lugs that fix the joint spacing
when tiles are set in place or a manufacturer may provide
a specific or minimum joint spacing requirement. Pan
and cover tile roof systems may provide for fixed-size
side laps between covers and pans or a range of side-lap
spacings, depending on design and/or desired finished appearance. With plain noninterlocking tile, joint spacing
between courses typically equals approximately half the
tile width to achieve the desired symmetrical field pattern.
Where a plain noninterlocking roof tile system intentionally is installed to achieve an asymmetrical field pattern,
the minimum joint spacing between adjacent courses
should not be less than 3 inches.

NRCA recommends elastomeric flashing sealant materials


used in clay and concrete roof systems meet the requirements of ASTM C920, Type S, Grade NS.
Weatherproof Flashing Membrane: Membrane materials may be used to weatherproof joints in hip
and ridge details in clay and concrete tile roof systems.
Membrane materials commonly used in these applications are polymer-modified bitumen sheets, self-adhering
polymer-modified bitumen sheets and ethylene-propylene-diene terpolymer (EPDM) sheets.
Section 2.1Underlayment Materials provides detailed
information about polymer-modified bitumen sheets and
self-adhering polymer-modified bitumen sheets.
Section 4.4Single-ply Roof Membranes of The NRCA
Roofing Manual: Membrane Roof Systems provides detailed information about EPDM sheets.

3.2 Clay and Concrete Tile Roof System


Design and Installation
Exposure and Appearance: Clay and concrete
roof tile system course spacing (exposure) is determined

Starter Course: Plain (shingle) tile systems are started similarly to slate and wood shakes. A starter course is
laid; a first course is laid with appropriate side joint offset;
and succeeding courses are laid with designated exposure
to achieve the necessary head lap. Single-layer tile systems
are laid with aligned or offset side joints as recommended
by the manufacturer. The recommended overlap is designated by the manufacturer to achieve the selected field
pattern.
Eave Cants: With most interlocking and plain tile
roof systems, an eave cant or other elevation method is
secured to a roof deck along the eave to establish a uniform slope angle for all tile courses. In some applications,
fascia boards are raised to elevate the first tile course and
establish the slope for the remaining courses in lieu of an
eave cant. A tapered or sloped elevation strip should be
used to support the underlayment along the downslope
perimeter. See Figure 3-8 on page 136. Where eave cants
or raised fascia boards, or both, are used as means to establish the slope for tiles, they should be designed and
installed to provide positive drainage to eave edges.

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FIELD TILE

BEVELED
WOOD CANT OR
ELEVATING MATERIAL

OP

SL

CLAY CLOSURE
WITH WEEP HOLES

RAISED FASCIA BOARD

Figure 3-8: Cant or elevation strip that may be used with raised fascia

Eave Closures: Eave closures are used with some


tile types and profiles and help close off the open space
at roof perimeter edge between tile and underlying construction and raise the first tile course to a slope angle
matching that of upslope tile courses. Clay, cement,
mortar, pressure-sensitive adhesive membrane, foam and
specialty metal closures are often used with tile. Closures
help keep birds from nesting in the open ends of the first
tile course. Eave closures should be designed and installed
to allow unobstructed drainage of water that may collect
on the underlayment. Accessory closures may have weep
holes to allow water drainage and eliminate damming at
eaves. See Figure 3-9.
Hips and Ridges: To weatherproof a roof at hips
and ridges, special hip and ridge trim tiles are used as hip
and ridge coverings. Also, accessory closures similar to
eave closures may be installed at ridges and hips.
When installing hip and ridge tiles, underlayment should
be wrapped and nailed over the hip and ridge nailer except at venting ridges where underlayment would close
ventilation space. A wood nailer or hip and ridge stringer
commonly is installed to a roof deck at hips and ridges to
provide a substrate for secure anchorage of hip and ridge
tiles. In combination with mechanical fastening, hip and
ridge tile can be set in mortar, foam or other approved
material. See Figure 3-10.
Rakes: To weatherproof a tile roof system along rake
edges, specific details used depend on the tile type and
profile, climate, and regional or area practices. Most tile
roof systems use specialty tile at the rakes though rake

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Figure 3-9: Downslope clay closure


MORTAR BED OR
APPROVED
ADHESIVE
PAN AND COVER
FIELD TILE

RIDGE FASTENERS

FASTENERS

NAILER

Figure 3-10: Tile ridge covering

edge metal flashing also may be used. With plain tile,


rake tile or perimeter metal flashings usually arent used.
A plain tile roofs rake edge may be detailed similar to the
rake edge of a slate roof where the perimeter tiles are extended beyond the rake edge to provide a water-shedding
drip edge for runoff and help provide some weather protection for the underlying building components. Examples of rake edge treatments are depicted in Figures 3-11
and 3-12.
Drip Edge Metal: Depending on the severity of the
climate, anticipated rainfall, freeze-thaw cycling, edge
framing construction and the use of preformed perimeter
edge tile, the use of drip edge metal should be considered.
The installation of drip edge metal at eaves and rakes of
a tile roof system is an option for a clean termination of
underlayment. It also provides for effective water-shedding.

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NRCA suggests fastening drip edge metal at about 12


inches on center, slightly staggered. Spacing may need to
be closer in high-wind regions.
NRCA recommends drip edge metal for tile roof systems
be fabricated from one of the following metal types and
minimum thicknesses:
24-gauge prefinished galvanized steel
26-gauge stainless steel
0.0216-inch-thick copper-coated stainless steel
0.032-inch-thick prefinished aluminum
16-ounce copper
16-ounce lead-coated copper
Valleys: A valley is created at the downslope intersection of two sloping roof planes. Water runoff from the
portions of roof areas sloping into a valley flows toward
and along the valley. Because of the volume of water and
the lower slope along a valley line, such an area is especially vulnerable to leakage. A clear, unobstructed drainage path is desired in valleys so the valley can carry water
away quickly and perform successfully for the service life
of the roof system.

Figure 3-11: Interlocking tile rake detail with rake tile

APPROX. 1
OVERHANG
AT RAKE END

Where roofs of two equal slopes join to form a valley, the


slope of the valley is less than that of the two adjacent
fields of the roof. For example, where two sloped roofs
with slopes of 4:12 intersect at a valley, the actual valley
slope is only about 3:12.
With tile roof systems, there are two basic types of valleys:
Open valleys

APPROX. 1
OVERHANG AT
DOWNSLOPE EDGE

Figure 3-12: Plain tile rake detail with tile extended beyond roof perimeters to
create a drip edge

Where climate or roof edge construction dictates the need


for drip edge metal, the type and minimum thickness
of the metal should be commensurate with the expected
service life of the tile roof system. NRCA recommends
corrosion-resistant metal be specified for drip edge metal
material.

Closed valleys
These two general types of valleys are constructed only
after the necessary layer(s) of underlayment and any valleylining material specified have been applied to a deck.
Valley underlayment construction consists of an additional
full-width sheet of a polymer-modified bitumen underlayment, base sheet, or self-adhering polymer-modified
bitumen sheet. This valley underlayment is centered in a
valley. Mechanically attached valley underlayment sheets
are secured with only enough fasteners to hold them in
place until the balance of valley materials is applied. The
courses of underlayment from the fields of two adjoining

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roof areas are extended so each course overlaps the valley underlayment by at least 12 inches. A valley is then
lined with the balance of the valley flashing. Another
recognized installation method is weaving intersecting
underlayment courses through a valley in addition to the
sheet centered in the valley on top of the underlayment.
All layers of underlayment in and through a valley should
be tight with no bridging.

24-gauge prefinished galvanized steel

To prevent leakage, it is important with all types of valley


construction to avoid placing fasteners and penetrations
near the center of a valley. Generally, fasteners should
be kept back from the center of a valley a minimum of 8
inches. However, with very shallow valleys or in climates
where freeze-thaw cycling or intense rainfall may be regularly anticipated, holding nails back farther from the center of the valley is not uncommon.

4-pound lead

Open Valleys: An open valley is constructed by installing


typically 8-foot or 10-foot lengths of corrosion-resistant
metal from the low point to high point in the valley. The
tiles and, in some regions, underlayment are lapped on
both sides of the valley metal, leaving a clear space between the roofing material to channel runoff water down
the valley. See Figure 3-13.

26-gauge stainless steel


0.0216-inch-thick copper-coated stainless steel
0.040-inch prefinished aluminum
20-ounce copper
20-ounce lead-coated copper
In some regions, particularly those with mild climates,
other types of metal and/or metals of lesser thicknesses
than listed above may be used successfully.
NRCA also suggests valley metal be formed into a W
shape with a splash divider or rib in the center. A center
rib can be especially beneficial in valleys where adjoining
roof areas have unequal slope because the rib helps prevent wash over of runoff. A center rib should not be less
than 1 inch high. For easier installation and for controlling thermal expansion and contraction, NRCA suggests
valley metal pieces used with tile roofing be no longer
than 10 feet.
NRCA recognizes that V-shaped valley metal performs
satisfactorily in certain environments but not when a
valley is formed by two different roof slopes.
For numerous types and profiles of tile, optional valley
metal profiles have evolved. One optional valley metal
profile is the open-throat or double-crown valley that
is formed with two major ribs. Another optional valley
metal profile is the triple-crown valley, formed with three
ribsa minor rib on each side of the major center rib;
see Figure 3-14. These profiles can be beneficial in helping hold the nose lug or butt end of tile that has been
trimmed to fit along a valley.
NRCA recommends valley metal for use with clay and
concrete tile be a minimum of 24 inches wide. This means
the flanges on each side of a metal valley centerline are
about 11 inches wide.

Figure 3-13: Open valley using metal valley flashing

The type and minimum thickness of the metal used in an


open valley should be commensurate with the expected
service life of the tile roof system. NRCA suggests valley
metal for tile roof systems be fabricated from one of the
following metal types and minimum thicknesses:

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With plain tiles, the irregularities of the metal valley clips


and hemmed valley flange edges may not allow the roof
covering at the valley to lie smoothly. This unevenness
of the tile lying over the clips and hemmed edges can
impede drainage. Therefore, in some regions of North
America, metal valleys are secured by simply nailing along

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both outer valley metal flanges. In regions where snow


and ice typically occur, the outer flanges may then be
stripped in with self-adhering polymer-modified bitumen
sheet.
Open valleys permit clear, unobstructed drainage and are
advantageous in locations where foliage shed from surrounding trees settles on a roof surface and tends to accumulate in the valleys where slopes are relatively shallow.
In climates prone to accumulations of snow and ice or
with regular freeze-thaw cycling, open valley construction
can be enhanced by the following procedures:
Lining the valley with a self-adhering polymermodified bitumen underlayment material before
application of the metal valley
Stripping in flanges on each side of the metal
valley with a 9-inch to 12-inch strip of selfadhering polymer-modified bitumen underlayment material. The self-adhering material is
adhered onto the valley metal flange and the
underlying width of similar self-adhering
underlayment material.
Attaching valley flashing metal with clips rather
than through-fastening
Adding a closure at the eave of the W-shaped
valley metal to minimize water and ice infiltration
Tapering the valley so it is wider at its low point
than its high point
Tapering the valley has the following advantages:
It allows for increase in water runoff volume to
be received at the downslope end.
It allows any ice that may form within the valley
to free itself when melting and slide down and
exit the valley rather than lodging somewhere
along the length of the valley.

Figure 3-14: Valley metal profiles

A valleys width, or the amount of space between valley


tiles from the adjacent roof areas, should increase uniformly so the valley widens as it continues downslope.
The difference in the width of the upper end of a valley
and lower end is referred to as the taper. In most climates,
the amount of valley taper is suggested to be about 1/8 of
an inch per foot of valley length. For example, in a valley

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that is 16 feet long, the distance between tiles should be 2


inches greater at the bottom of the valley than at the top.
The length of a valley may necessitate a wider metal profile to allow for taper from top to eave.

VALLEY METAL
STRIPPING PLY

WIRE TIE

Closed Valleys: In a closed valley, tiles on both sides are


cut at an angle parallel to the centerline of the valley and
butted together to form a mitered joint. Valley metal
similar to the metal valley lining used with open valleys
also is used in closed valley construction since water flows
through tile joints in the valley. See Figure 3-15. Closed
valley construction with mitered joints is appropriate for
plain and flat interlocking tile. The roof areas intersecting
at a closed valley should be of the same slope so that corresponding tile courses from either side of the valley align
at the mitered joint in the center.
In areas where heavy accumulations of foliage shed from
surrounding trees are expected or if moss can be expected
to grow in tile roofing joints, a closed valley can hamper
water runoff. Therefore, specifying a closed valley should
be carefully considered to be sure it is appropriate for a
particular project.
It is important in all valley construction types to avoid
placing fasteners near the center of a valley to prevent leakage. Generally, fasteners should be kept back from the center of a valley by a minimum of 8 inches. Where doubleor triple-crown valley metal is used, fasteners must not be
placed inside valley metal diverter ribs. To avoid fastening too close to the center of a valley, tile may be secured
with adhesives or wire-tied attachments. Wire-tied attachment methods may be used with closed and open valleys.
Flat and plain interlocking tile closed valleys also may be
formed by laying tile tight against the valley line with mitered joints and placing individual pieces of metal flashing under each tile course along the valley centerline similar to step flashing treatment. Step valley flashing metal
length should match the tile length and may be hemmed
and fastened with cleats or fasteners placed along the edges.
Flashings: Because roof systems are frequently interrupted by the intersection of adjoining roof sections, adjacent walls, or penetrations such as chimneys, curbs and
vent pipe stacksall of which create opportunities for
leakagespecial provisions for weather protection must
be made at these locations. Careful attention to flashing
details is essential to successful long-term roof system

140

Figure 3-15: Closed valley using valley metal

performance, regardless of the type of roof construction.


NRCA suggests the use of self-adhering underlayment
material at various flashing and termination details such
as chimneys, walls, rakes, eaves, valleys, pipes, vents,
curbs and kick-outs.
Flashings are divided into the following categories:
Penetration flashings
Vertical surface flashings
Skylight flashings
Steep- to low-slope transitions
The type and minimum thickness of the metal used
for metal flashings should be commensurate with the
expected service life of the clay tile or concrete tile roof
system. NRCA suggests metal flashings used in clay tile
or concrete tile roof systems be fabricated from one of the
following metal types and minimum thicknesses:
24-gauge prefinished galvanized steel
24-gauge stainless steel
0.0216-inch-thick copper-coated stainless steel
0.040-inch-thick prefinished aluminum
20-ounce copper

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20-ounce lead-coated copper


4-pound lead
In some regions, particularly those with mild climates,
other types of metal and/or metals of lesser thicknesses
than are listed may be used successfully.
Penetration Flashings: There are many small penetrations that need to be flashed into tile roof systems, such
as vent pipe penetrations, exhaust vents, exhaust fans,
furnace or water heater flue pipes, electrical standpipes
and others. This is typically accomplished with the use of
some type of flat flange that extends around a penetration
and is installed under the tile and underlayment on the
upslope side of the penetration and extends down on top
of the tile at the downslope side. Attached and sealed to
the flange is a cylinder or a rectangular box used to seal
around a penetration. The flange can be set into asphalt
roof cement of elastomeric flashing sealant for additional
protection. The flange of a flashing used for tile with a
curved surface is fabricated from a soft metal that can
be formed to follow the surface contours. These flashing
components are often supplied by other trades but may
be installed by a roofing contractor. See Figure 3-16.

Figure 3-16: Various types of penetration flashings


CRICKET OR BACKER FLASHING

COUNTERFLASHING

Another method is to install a primary metal flashing


under the underlayment at the upslope side of a penetration and over the underlayment on the downslope side.
A secondary flashing is installed at the tile level where
the upslope side of the flashing is under the tile and the
downslope side of the flashing extends over the tile.
Vertical Surface Flashings: Flashings at a vertical surfaceto-roof plane intersection should have a relatively smooth
substrate on the roof plane and vertical plane, up to a
sufficient height, to receive the metal flashing. Rough or
contoured vertical surfaces, such as cut stone and rough
timber, should be provided with a flush substrate above
the roof line configured to accept the vertical flashing
and/or counterflashing or it may be possible to use softmetal flashings formed to follow the substrates contours.
Four types of metal flashings are commonly used at locations where a tile roof system intersects a vertical surface:
apron flashing, channel flashing or step flashing, cricket
or backer flashing, and counterflashing. See Figure 3-17.
Generally, before flashings are applied, a layer of selfadhering polymer-modified bitumen sheet or other

CHANNEL
FLASHING

APRON FLASHING

Figure 3-17: Sheet-metal flashing components used at a chimney

appropriate underlayment should be applied to a roof


deck around roof penetrations. Self-adhering membrane
underlayment may be installed to a roof deck at the base
of walls and around chimneys or curbs. A self-adhering
water and ice-dam protection membrane can assist in
keeping water from migrating into a roof system at these
roof-to-wall intersections during times of severe winter
freeze-thaw cycling.

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Apron Flashing: Apron flashings provide a weatherproofing transition material where a roof area intersects a head
wall. Common locations for apron flashings are the front
or downslope side of a dormer, chimney or curbed roof
penetration, and other horizontal-to-vertical transitions.
Figures 3-18 and 3-19 show an apron flashing used at the
front side of a chimney.

of each course of flat or plain tile. Channel flashings are


appropriate for medium- and high-profile tile.
Common locations for channel flashings or step flashings are the sides of chimneys, dormers and curbed roof
penetrations. Figure 3-20 shows step flashings used with
plain tile at a chimney.

STEP FLASHING
EXTENDING 4" MIN.
UP WALL

STEP FLASHING

NOTE:
COUNTERFLASHING NOT
SHOWN FOR CLARITY

Figure 3-20: Step flashing at a masonry chimney for plain tile


Figure 3-18: Apron flashing at masonry chimney for pan and cover tile

Figure 3-21 shows channel flashing used with pan and


cover tile at a chimney.

CHANNEL
FLASHING
EXTENDING
4 MIN.
UP WALL
EXTEND
CHANNEL
FLASHING
TO BOTTOM
CORNER OF
WALL

NOTE:
COUNTERFLASHING NOT
SHOWN FOR CLARITY

Figure 3-19: Apron flashing at masonry chimney for interlocking or plain tile
NAILER

Channel Flashing or Step Flashing: For tile roof systems


where a roof area intersects a vertical side wall, a channel
flashing or step flashing is installed. Channel flashings
also are referred to as pan flashings. Unlike a step flashing, a channel flashing is installed so it extends under tile
along the length of a wall rather than being interwoven
between tile courses. A channel flashing should direct
water away from the wall and past the eave or on top
of a downslope flashing or tile.
Step flashing method is appropriate for plain tile. Individual metal step flashing units are installed at the end

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Figure 3-21: Channel flashing at a masonry chimney with pan and cover tile

Figure 3-22 shows channel flashing at a vertical wall.


When using plain tile, a step flashings length generally
is the length of the tile. Step flashing should be made
from a durable material and heavy enough gauge to last
as long as the tiles expected service life. For most climatic
regions, NRCA suggests using metal step flashing pieces
sized such that they match the tile in length so a minimum step flashing head lap is achieved. The step flashing
width should be sufficient to obtain a 4-inch extension

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Figure 3-22: Channel flashing at a vertical wall

onto each underlying tile and about a 4-inch vertical


height over the exposed face of each overlying tile.

Figure 3-23: Examples of kick-out flashings

Special attention needs to be paid to the bottommost


step flashing and the downslope end of a channel flashing
where an eave intersects a continuous wall to ensure water
is diverted to the outside of the wall covering. NRCA recommends a kick-out at this intersection. See Figure 3-23
for examples of kick-out flashings.
Cricket or Backer Flashing: When a roof area intersects
an upslope side of a chimney or curbed roof penetration,
either a cricket or backer flashing is installed. A cricket
diverts water around a penetration, and a backer flashing
provides a weatherproofing transition material where a
roof intersects the back side of a penetration.
Backer flashing is generally limited to penetrations that
are 24 inches wide or less. See Figure 3-24.

Figure 3-24: Sheet-metal backer flashing at a chimney

NRCA recommends designers specify crickets at the


upslope side of chimneys or curbed roof penetrations
when the chimney or curb is more than 24 inches wide.

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A backer flashing or deck flange of a cricket flashing


should have hemmed edges and should extend upslope
under tile a minimum distance equal to three times the
tile exposure. Underlayment should overlap the upslope
edge of the flashing.
For all metal crickets, NRCA suggests wood framing and
decking be installed beneath crickets to support them.
Figures 3-25 and 3-26 illustrate examples of crickets used
behind chimneys.

OPTIONAL: SOFT METAL WEDGE

APPROX. 1"

SEALANT

INSERT COUNTERFLASHING WITH


UNDERBROKEN TOP HEM FOR
FRICTION FIT

Figure 3-27: Metal counterflashing inset in masonry mortar joint

the cladding and substrate (e.g., aluminum and masonry


should not be in direct contact).
Where wall cladding counterflashes wall flashing metal
(e.g., step flashing), NRCA recommends cladding material
and the water-resistive barrier extend past and cover the
top edge of the flashing metal a minimum of 2 inches.
Figure 3-25: Wood cricket built on upslope side of chimney

Figure 3-26: Cricket flashing for upslope side of masonry chimney

Counterflashing: Apron, step or channel flashings and


cricket or backer flashings require some form of counterflashing to cover and protect their top edges from
water intrusion. In many instances, the wall covering or
cladding material performs the counterflashing function.
When this does not occur, a metal counterflashing that is
mounted to a vertical wall should be installed along the
top edge of the flashing metal. See Figure 3-27.
The counterflashing material should be compatible with

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For additional information regarding counterflashing,


refer to the Architectural Metal Flashing section of The
NRCA Manual: Architectural Metal Flashing, Condensation Control and Reroofing.
Skylight Flashings: Skylights, in terms of roof flashing,
are much the same as other vertical surface flashings,
particularly chimney flashings. Skylight flashings generally consist of an apron flashing, channel or step flashing,
and cricket or backer flashing. In most instances, the
skylight unit itself functions as the counterflashing. Refer
to AppendixRoof Accessories for detailed information
regarding skylights.
Steep- to Low-slope Transitions: Sometimes, tile roof
systems terminate and drain onto adjacent membrane
roof systems. In these situations, a tile roof system also
serves as the counterflashing for the membrane roof
system.
For steep- to low-slope transitions, NRCA recommends
the tile be held back a minimum of 10 inches above the
transition. See Figure 3-28.

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Figure 3-28: Steep- to low-slope transition

Specific guidance regarding properly terminating a


membrane roof system is provided in Chapter 10
Construction Details of The NRCA Roofing Manual:
Membrane Roof Systems.

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