Slate Roofing

Often referred to as the Rolls-Royce of roofing materials, it’s no surprise that slate roofing has long been considered the crème de la crème of roofing types for centuries.

We’ll examine all aspects of this exquisite fire and weather-resistant roofing solution, including the benefits and drawbacks of slate roofing.

Slate Roof Tiles

What is Slate Roofing?

Slate roofing is a high-quality roofing system made from metamorphic rocks that derive from clay or volcanic ash. As a natural stone, slate roof tiles are not only one of the most naturally stunning roofing tiles on the market, but also one of the most durable roofing options—lasting up to 200 years with proper installation and maintenance.

 Dating back to 1300 CE, slate was first recorded as a roofing material for castles and other historic buildings in North Wales, England before expanding to the rest of the world. In the United States, slate is primarily mined today in New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Virginia, though large sources are also found in other countries such as Italy, Brazil, India, and beyond.

Slate Roof Castle

Slate Roofing Types

There are plenty of beautiful slate roofing options to choose from that will last you a lifetime. Let’s take a look at three of the most popular slate roofing types.

Standard (Uniform) Slate Roof

Standard slate roofing systems consist of slate tiles that are one standard length and width with square cut butts. This roofing type is flat, smooth, and elegantly uniform in appearance as slate tiles are laid in evenly spaced horizontal courses with alternating vertical joints.

Textural Slate Roof

Textural slate roofs have the opposite appearance of standard slate roofs as varying surface textures and thicknesses of slate are mixed throughout the roof which provides a rough-hewn and natural appearance. Considering the nature of the installation process, chipped edges and missing butt corners are common with textural slate roofs.

Multicolored slate roof tiles from home in University Park, TX

Multicolored (Blended) Slate Roof

Want to add a splash of color to your roof? Typically using a random-width installation, multicolored slate roofs allow homeowners to blend multiple colors of slate tiles together to create a highly customized, one-of-a-kind roof. You can choose between two to four colors, though more is possible if you really want your home to stand out on your block.

If you’re considering a roof replacement – know that these aren’t the only slate roofing options out there! Other types of slate roofing include:


  •     Patterned slate roofs
  •     Random-width slate roofs
  •     Graduated-length slate roofs
  •     Graduated-length/graduated-thickness slate roofs
  •     Hang-down (staggered butt) slate roofs


Advantages of Slate Roofing

Natural beauty aside, here are some of the benefits that come with slate roofing:


When properly installed and maintained, a high-quality slate roof can last between 50 and 200 years compared to a typical asphalt roof which might last about 20 to 30 years. If you’re looking to purchase only one roof to last you the rest of your life—a slate roof might be perfect for you.

Fire and weather resistant

As a naturally fire-resistant material, a slate roof offers you peace of mind, especially if you live in an area prone to natural disasters such as wildfires. Slate tiles are not only fireproof but also hold up against severe weather with an extremely low water absorption index of less than 0.4%—meaning slate can withstand freezing temperatures too.


Roofing waste makes up more than 5% of the total waste sent to landfills across America every year. Slate roofs are an eco-friendly solution as they’re made from all-natural materials that last a lifetime, unlike many other roofing materials that need replacement every 20 to 30 years.

Disadvantages of Slate Roofing

There are also some drawbacks to slate roofing that you should consider as well:


The biggest disadvantage for most homeowners is the high price tag that accompanies slate roofing. While pricing varies depending on the market, you’ll likely pay several times more for slate roofing than you would for traditional roofing materials of the same size.

Heavy materials

Slate roofing weighs anywhere between 800 and 1,500 pounds per 100 square feet. From a structural standpoint, you must have your home evaluated initially to make sure it can support the sheer amount of weight that comes with slate tiles.


While slate roofing can potentially last up to 200 years, it’s also surprisingly brittle. Heavy objects, such as large hail or fallen tree limbs, can cause severe damage to your slate roof.

Natural Slate Roofing vs Synthetic Slate Roofing

If you’re on a tighter budget but still crave that classy natural slate look, consider synthetic slate roofing. Generally made from recycled materials like rubber and plastic, synthetic slate roofing imitates the appearance of natural slate roofing without the usual high expense and transportation/installation difficulties. Natural slate roofing is also much heavier and fragile, making synthetic slate roofing a lightweight and flexible alternative for homeowners.

slate roofing project in Frisco

Slate Roof Repair or Replacement in DFW

If you notice chipped edges or corners on the slate roof tiles of your home, reach out to Shepherd Roofing Renovations for roof repair or roof replacement.  We are the leaders in roofing for the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area and are committed to giving you the best possible customer experience.  We know a new roof is a major investment, that’s why we go the extra mile to ensure your satisfaction with all of our roofing projects.  Contact us today for your free estimate.