Clay tile roofing is probably the oldest type of roofing material in the world. There is evidence that it was used in China in around 10,000 BC, and shortly after that in the Middle East. Even the Romans, Egyptians & Europeans used it in home construction, and when the Europeans began migrating to North America, they brought that practice with them.
Clay tile roofing; what it is
Clay tile roofing is distinctive in its appearance; usually rounded, overlapping tiles of an orange-reddish shade. In some areas this type of tile is referred to as "Spanish tile," partly because the Spanish were the biggest producer of this type of roofing material in the Southwest U.S. in the 1700's. Because clay tile is so long-lasting, some of those 300 year old "Spanish tile," roofs are still around.
Clay tile roofing is made from clay and fired in high-heat kilns. Until the early 1800's the tiles were made by hand, though they now are mass produced. The introduction of other roofing materials slowed the interest in clay, but it is still a popular option in different parts of the country.
Clay tile roofing; what it does
Clay tile roofing has remained popular for thousands of years, not just because of its decorative qualities, but for other reasons as well. One reason that clay tiles have withstood the test of time is because of their durability. If properly cared for, this type of roofing can last for over a hundred years. It is also able to withstand heat and rain better than other types of material. Another thing that contributes to its popularity is its fireproof qualities. This type of roof was very popular in large American cities in the early 1800's for this very reason.