Clay roof tiles originated in various parts of the world at different times; they were used in Egypt under the Pharaohs and cities of the Indus River Valley in present-day Pakistan as well ancient Babylon near where Baghdad stands today. Such tiles were in use in Bronze Age Greece as far back as 4000 BC, and were to be found on Chinese homes pre-dating the Han Dynasty.
French roof tiles are nothing like those of Asia, the Near East or the Mediterranean. The exception is the extreme south of the country, which is still known as Provence; the warm Mediterranean climate is suitable for the use of terra-cotta Roman style roofing materials. Further north however, most French roof tiles are generally made of slate and / or ceramic. Unless the material is specifically treated, French clay tiles generally do not stand up well to the cooler, damper climate further north.
A Short History of French Roofing Tiles
Although living in France, the Normans were originally Danish vikings who had settled the region during the time of Charlemagne. However, Scandinavians have historically tended to adopt the language and culture of those among whom they settled or acquired; by the 11th Century, these former Danes had become more French than the French. It was the Normans who introduced French roofing tile to England starting in the 1200s. These tiles were probably developed during the early Middle Ages. Only homes of the wealthy, such as the nobility and royalty had a French tile roof; then as now, they could be expensive.
French Style Roofing Tiles Today
French Style Roofing Tiles are still available to homeowners in Canada and the US, imported from a company that as been owned and operated by the same family since around for more than 450 years. French roofing tiles like these are made from durable ceramic and slate; French clay tiles that have been treated to withstand harsh Canadian and northern US winter climates are also available. French roofing tiles come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and even colors, which are added to the material during the manufacturing process. This is what can make a French tile roof unique.
Those who intend to use French roofing tiles should keep in mind that while quite durable and highly attractive, a French tile roof weighs substantially more than one made from standard composite roofing materials. Make sure that the house's frame is built to withstand the added burden of French style roofing tiles.
There is also a great deal of skill that is required in order to install french roof tiles properly; This is not a "do-it-yourself" proposition. That said, French roof tiles can make an excellent investment in the value of your property.