Colorbond vs Roof Tiles: Which is the Best Option for Your Home?

colorbond vs tiles

If you’re in the market for a new roof, you may wonder which material is the best option: contemporary COLORBOND® steel, or traditional roof tiles. As popular choices commonly lining the roofs of Adelaide’s homes, both have their own unique set of pros and cons. Consequently, deciding which material is suitable for your home and which factors to prioritise can be challenging.

In this article, we will explore the key differences between COLORBOND® and roof tiles to help you decide which material is right for you. We will give an overview of the composition of each material, the installation process, durability, weight, aesthetics, energy efficiency and cost. So if you’re considering a new roof or roof replacement, be sure to read on.

COLORBOND® steel is a pre-painted steel material that is durable and requires no ongoing painting or maintenance. COLORBOND steel is made from a durable ZINCALUME core with a baked-on corrosion inhibitor and sealed with a tough painted finish that confers durability and resistance to corrosion and rust.

Roof tiles, on the other hand, are usually made from concrete, clay, or slate. Depending on the specific type of roof tile, there can be a great deal of variation in durability and longevity. In this article, we’ll focus on comparing COLORBOND® roofing to terracotta and concrete roof tiles, as these are two popular choices commonly sported in South Australian homes.


The composition of terracotta tiles

Terracotta roof tiles are made from a type of fired clay. Consequently, they are robust and resistant to environmental factors, given proper maintenance. However, they are also quite porous, which means they can absorb water and be susceptible to moss and mould growth if not properly sealed and maintained.

The composition of concrete tiles

Concrete roof tiles are crafted from a mixture of cement, sand, water, and other aggregates, depending on the manufacturer. Like terracotta tiles, they are relatively strong, yet not as durable, usually lasting up to 50 years.
red tiles painted

Installation Process

The installation process for COLORBOND® is generally quicker and easier than roof tiles, as COLORBOND panels are pre-fabricated, meaning they need to be cut to size and then screwed or bolted into place. Roof tiles, on the other hand, need to be individually placed and secured with mortar. The installation process for roof tiles is, therefore, more time-consuming and labour-intensive.


COLORBOND® is a highly durable and weather-resistant material, making it an ideal choice for those who live in areas prone to chaotic weather events. One of the main advantages of COLORBOND® is its durability – as a COLORBOND® roof can last up to 50 years. Metal roofs are also very low-maintenance, as they don’t require consistent efforts in repainting or re-sealing like terracotta or concrete tiles. One of the main advantages of terracotta roof tiles is their longevity. Tile roofs can last up to 100 years with proper maintenance. However, maintenance is also an essential, rather than voluntary factor of owning a tile roof. Terracotta tiles can crack, become porous, and fret over time. Homeowners looking to invest in tiled roofs, especially from natural clay products, should be aware of the potential for high maintenance costs down the line.
Roof restoration after image


As COLORBOND® is made from steel, it is much lighter than other roofing materials, such as concrete tiles. This can be an advantage during construction, as it places less strain on the supporting structure of your home. The weight of COLORBOND® is also advantageous when it comes to re-roofing, as the old roof does not need to be completely removed before the new one can be installed. Roof tiles are much heavier than COLORBOND®, making them more difficult and costly to install.


COLORBOND® is available in various colours and profiles to suit any home so that you can select a colour that complements your home’s existing exterior palette. From traditional shades, such as Monument and Surfmist, to more contemporary tones, such as Basalt and Night Sky, there’s a COLORBOND® colour for everyone. Terracotta roof tiles are renowned for their classical beauty and rustic aesthetics. Featured on historical buildings throughout Europe, terracotta roof tiles add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any home. Terracotta roof tiles are generally only available in red or orange hues; however, some manufacturers produce terracotta tiles in a range of different colours. While this may provide some aesthetic versatility, it does not match the level of choice offered by COLORBOND®. Similarly to COLORBOND®, concrete roof tiles come in a variety of colours and profiles to suit any home. Concrete roof tiles are a popular choice for those looking for an alternative to terracotta roof tiles. Although they do not offer the same level of classical beauty as terracotta, concrete roof tiles are a viable option for those who are looking for a more contemporary aesthetic.

Energy Efficiency

Information provided by the Australian Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water shows that heating and cooling can account for up to 50% of energy used in Australian homes.

Given these statistics and escalating energy costs, it’s little wonder that many homeowners wish to consider the energy efficiency of roofing materials before investing in a particular option. Fortunately, each of the roofing materials discussed in this article – COLORBOND®, terracotta, and concrete tiles – offer varying levels of energy efficiency.

COLORBOND Thermatech technology can reflect heat away from your home, helping keep your home cooler in summer to reduce the energy costs of running air conditioning. Roof tiles made from natural clay products such as terracotta, as well as human-made materials like concrete, are also effective at reflecting heat. Paired with sufficiency insulation, a tiled roof can help keep your home cool in summer and cosy during cold winter days.


One of the main disadvantages of COLORBOND® and terracotta roof tiles is their initial cost. While the long-term savings on energy bills and maintenance can offset the cost of COLORBOND roofing, it’s still important to be aware that, like terracotta, COLORBOND® is a more expensive option upfront. Concrete tiles are the least expensive roofing option of the three, making them a popular choice for budget-conscious homeowners. It’s important to note that, while concrete tiles are initially less expensive than COLORBOND®, like terracotta, they require more maintenance, which can offset their initial cost advantage.

Summing Up

Both COLORBOND® roofing, and terracotta and concrete roof tiles have their advantages and disadvantages. When deciding the best option for your home, it’s essential to consider factors such as durability, weight, aesthetics, energy efficiency, and cost. Ultimately, the best roofing material for your home will depend on your specific needs and preferences. At All Roof Restoration Adelaide, we’re experienced in working with all types of roofing materials

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