Can red tile roofs be stained black?
February 21, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I wanted to know if anyone has ever stained clay red tile roof black and what they used for the stain.
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Ironwood Builders
Never heard of such a thing! I imagine it would be possible with a concrete stain. Terra cotta is porous unless it has a glaze. If you have some spare tiles, sampling your idea is worth the effort. I'd hesitate to tackle the whole roof without doing a pretty fair sized sample and letting it see the elements for a while. I am not sure an even coverage would happen...horizontal (or the troughs between tiles) areas would possible end up darker than the tops or vertical areas. Making it look bad would be an expensive mistake...being cautious, I would mock up an entire roof section and build it to the actual roof slope and stain the whole thing. If it works and you like it...yay! If it looks was worth a try.
2 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 8:43AM
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Twisted Minds Custom Designs
I imagine the roof tiles are glazed, otherwise they would wick moisture through and condensate on the underside and could ruin roof sheathing unless a waterprtoof membrane was installed (not an expert on tiled roofs, just my thought process of logic). Also, wouldn't they stain from the elements if they were unglazed? I know they may discolor some and get "soiled", but I don't believe "staining" would be possible. Painting may be an option if you could find one to adhere to a glazed tile, and then that would either have to be rated for outdoor use, or sealed so it wouldn't fade. Again, not alot of clay tile roofs here in Wisconsin (by the way 8 degrees, under winter storm warning for 4-8 inches of snow), best to ask a local roofing professional if this is possible.
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 9:37AM
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Norm Walters Construction Inc.
Waterproof membranes are installed under clay tiles if they are unglazed. When they are glazed they are normally a really shiny blue or some other 'loud color". Its my opinion that staining would be a mess. Whatever you decide to do, it should be applied with an airless paint sprayer. I would use paint. Pressure wash first. On most any roof tile you want to walk on the bottom third of the tiles othewise they will break. You also want someone skinny up there, I couldn't do it. 8-). Also if you hire someone to do it make sure they have insurance or you could end up with a new roomate.
2 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 12:38PM
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Twisted Minds Custom Designs
Good information to know. Thanks Norm. I guess I was close in my thinking.
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 1:35PM
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I would be very very careful here. Aging and porosity variations may mean differential absorption and uncertain characteristics over time. Anything that stains tile can stain your gutters, walls, and walks as well, either during application or over time with chemical and mechanical breakdown. (Maybe even your ceilings depending on whether your roof sheathing has as many holes as mine does.) Such and application may affect your roof's warranty and also your homeowner's insurance. Not to mention increase solar gain. I'd be really surprised if you can find an experienced professional roofing or painting contractor to perform this and warranty the work.

How badly do you want a black roof, anyway? :-0
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 1:49PM
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One thing I've wondered is that wouldn't this draw more heat into your house? Is this something you want?
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 2:29PM
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Thanks to all of your responses. I intend to sort all of them out and apply your suggestions on the ground with some tiles. BTW, as to temps, this is OK so we go from 1 degree to 114 in the summer so maybe this is the best point of all! Sometimes we drop as much 40 degrees during all seasons except summer! Maybe I don't want a black roof this bad! Thanks
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 4:45PM
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