Tiles. Tiles are generally about 10 ½ inches by 6 ½ in. and ½ inches thick, and are either plain or moulded to various patterns. They are now usually formed with nibs on their upper end to rest on battens, every third course being nailed with copper or galvanized iron nails. The tiles should be laid so that the gauge is not less than four inches, in order to ensure that rain does not enter through the joints (picture 37).
Eaves of Roof.
Tiles are of various manufacture, but it is well to use local materials where possible. Broseley tiles of various colours, such as red, strawberry, brown, brindled, and blue, have acquired a special reputation for being hard and impervious to moisture. Sand-faced, handmade tiles, such as those to be obtained in Berkshire, Kent and elsewhere, are to be preferred to machine-made tiles, as though more absorbent they weather better. The hard, uninteresting appearance of the machine-made tile can be avoided by the judicious mixing of old tiles with the new, for they will soon tone down together and give additional texture and colour to the building. If new tiles are used alone it is well to get variety of colour, and not to insist, as is so often done, that colour should be uniform throughout. Pantiles are mentioned later.
Tiles are warmer in winter and cooler in summer than most other roofing materials, and this is an advantage which ought to weigh with the architect.
Their weathering properties and picturesque effect add much to the homely appearance of the house. Artists well know the value of a weather-stained, many-tinted tile roof, which, when covered with lichen, adds to the charm of many an old English cottage.
Tiles have the disadvantage of being heavier than slates, and they absorb more moisture, which is liable to be communicated to the rafters, but this can be largely obviated by using only those which are thoroughly burnt.
Next: Roof Slates.