Slate is a premium roofing material and is usually more time consuming to fix than clay or concrete tiles because each individual slate has to be fixed into place with two nails and/or slate clips. Slate can have two meanings, it can refer to the actual material, but it is also used as a loose term to describe a type of roof material with a thin, flat appearance and usually a blueish/grey colour. A traditional slate roof expertly laid by A1MAZING Roofing Services Ltd will always stand the test of time and retain that distinct colour.
Natural slates are essentially thin sheets or slabs of metamorphic quarried rock that are laid double lapped, with each slate nailed to the batten or secured using special slate hooks. Slate has been used as a roofing material since Roman times and comes in many sizes, thicknesses and levels of quality, which varies from region to region. The UK slate industry peaked in the 1980s, and today there are only two active quarries in Wales and small scale specialist production in Devon and the Lake district. Most slate now tends to be imported and comes from countries such as Spain, China, Canada and Brazil. Despite most of the imported slate moving abroad, slate from this country has maintained a reputation for being of the highest quality and durability. Welsh Slates from the Penrhyn, Ffestiniog, and Cwt-y-Bugail quarries remain popular and are known to be the finest roofing slates in the world, adorning many of our nation’s finest buildings. Examples include Buckingham Palace, No.10 Downing Street and St Pancras station.
There are a number of alternatives to slate that have been developed to look similar and cost less. The most common alternatives are made from fibre-cement and concrete. Whilst both materials offer savings over the cost of slate they cannot compete with the aesthetics of a natural quarried slate. Some interesting and more aesthetically pleasing alternatives exist in recycled slate and natural clay.