Choosing Between Tile and Shingle for Your San Jose Roof

When choosing between tile and shingle roofing for your San Jose home, consider each option’s durability, cost, aesthetics, weight, maintenance, and energy efficiency. Though more expensive and heavier, tile roofs offer superior durability, lasting 50-100 years, and better energy efficiency due to their insulation properties. They also provide a distinctive, elegant look and require less maintenance.

Tile-and-Shingle-San-Jose-RoofShingle roofs are more affordable upfront, lighter, easier to install, and available in various colors, but they have a shorter lifespan of 15-30 years and need more frequent maintenance and repairs. Balancing these factors will help you decide on your roofing needs.

Durability and Lifespan

Tile roofs are significantly more durable than asphalt shingles, lasting 50-100 years compared to 15-30 years for shingles. Concrete tiles resist fire, rot, and pests and withstand heavy winds and hail. While asphalt shingles are more affordable, they are more vulnerable to weather damage over time. For example, strong winds can lift shingles, and extreme temperatures can cause them to crack or curl.


Tile roofs are more expensive upfront, costing $15-30 per square foot installed compared to $4-10 for asphalt shingles. However, the longer lifespan of the tile means it can be more cost-effective in the long run. Shingles require more frequent repairs and replacement, which can add up over time. While tile roofing involves a higher initial investment, its durability can lower long-term maintenance costs.


Tile roofs offer various styles and colors to complement your home’s architecture, from classic Spanish tile to modern flat profiles. They create a distinctive, elegant look that can enhance your home’s curb appeal. Asphalt shingles come in many colors but have a more uniform appearance. If you want your home to stand out with a unique and sophisticated look, tile roofing is an excellent choice.


Tile is a heavier roofing material, requiring a sturdy roof frame that can add to installation costs. This additional weight may not be suitable for some older homes or structures not designed to support it. Asphalt shingles are lightweight and easier to install on most homes. They do not require additional structural support, making them a more practical option for many homeowners.


Tile roofs require less maintenance than shingles, with repairs needed only occasionally. Tiles are durable and less likely to suffer from common roofing issues like moss growth, cracking, or curling. In contrast, asphalt shingles are more prone to these problems over time, necessitating more frequent inspections and repairs. Regular maintenance is essential to prolong the life of a shingle roof and prevent costly damage.

Energy Efficiency

Tile roofs provide better insulation and heat reflection than asphalt shingles, helping to reduce cooling costs. The air space between the tiles and the roof deck allows for better ventilation, keeping your home cooler in the summer. Asphalt shingles absorb more heat, which can increase cooling expenses. Choosing a tile roof can improve your home’s energy efficiency and lower utility bills.

Environmental Impact

In addition to the factors mentioned above, it is important to consider the environmental impact of your roofing choice. Tile roofs are made from natural materials such as clay or concrete, which are environmentally friendly and recyclable. They also have a longer lifespan, reducing the need for frequent replacements and the associated waste. On the other hand, asphalt shingles are petroleum-based and contribute to landfill waste when they need to be replaced.

Climate Considerations

The climate in San Jose should also influence your roofing decision. Tile roofs are well-suited for hot, dry climates like San Jose’s. They provide excellent protection against the sun’s harsh rays and can withstand extreme temperatures without deteriorating. Asphalt shingles, while versatile, may not perform as well in consistently hot weather and can degrade faster under intense sunlight.

Installation Time

The installation time for tile roofs is generally longer than for asphalt shingles. Tiles are installed individually, which can be a more time-consuming process. Asphalt shingles, being lighter and easier to handle, can be installed more quickly. This is important to consider if you are on a tight schedule.

Resale Value

A well-maintained tile roof can significantly increase the resale value of your home. Potential buyers often view tile roofs as a premium feature due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and low maintenance requirements. While asphalt shingles are common and acceptable, they may not add the same value to your property.

Noise Reduction

Tile roofs can also reduce noise better than asphalt shingles. The density and thickness of tiles help dampen sounds from rain, hail, and other external noise, creating a quieter indoor environment. If noise reduction is a priority for you, a tile roof may be the better option.

Fire Resistance

Fire resistance is another critical factor, especially in areas prone to wildfires. Tile roofs, particularly concrete or clay ones, have high fire resistance ratings and can provide better protection against fire hazards. Asphalt shingles have varying levels of fire resistance, but they generally do not offer the same level of protection as tile roofs.

Customization Options

Tile roofs offer a high degree of customization. You can choose from various shapes, sizes, and colors to create a unique look that matches your home’s design. This flexibility allows for more creative freedom in achieving the desired aesthetic for your property. While available in many colors, asphalt shingles have more limited design options than tiles.


When choosing between tile and shingle roofing for your San Jose home, weigh the higher upfront cost and weight against its superior durability, aesthetics, and energy efficiency. Tile roofs are a long-term investment that can enhance the beauty and value of your home while providing excellent protection and insulation.

Asphalt shingles are a more budget-friendly option with a shorter lifespan, suitable for homeowners looking for a quick and cost-effective roofing solution. Consult with a roofing contractor to determine the best fit for your home, considering your specific needs, budget, and property’s unique characteristics. By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision that ensures your roofing project is successful and meets your expectations.

Mariano Renteria

Author Mariano Renteria

Mariano is more than just the owner of Falcon Roofing—he’s the heart of our company. His commitment to our customers, employees, and community sets the tone for everything we do. He is a night owl who enjoys ocean fishing, spending time with his family, and the occasional slice of apple pie. He organizes yearly trips for all their workers, emphasizing the importance of team building and camaraderie.

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