Colorbond vs Concrete Tile Roofs – The Pros and Cons

The two most popular roofing choices in Australia are concrete tiles and Colorbond, or CB roofs.  Concrete tiles have been used here for about 75 years.  While Colorbond is a newer option, it’s just as popular.

When it comes to aesthetic, it’s really a case of personal preference.  Both Colorbond and concrete tiles are available in a range of colours, and with traditional or modern looks.  But there are a few other things to consider when making your choice.  Here we break down the pros and cons of each option.

Colorbond: Corrugated metal roofing with a bonded paint finish

Pros

  • Lightweight: meaning lighter roof framing can be used and rafters can be spaced further apart.
  • Suitable for flat roofs, all the way through to steep pitches. This is particularly important if you want to add a veranda to your home.
  • Low-maintenance. It is more resilient and weather-resistant than concrete tile, meaning less chance of leaks or cracks.  The lower maintenance costs down the track could be considered to offset the higher initial cost of Colorbond.
  • Exceptional thermal insulation- could mean a reduction in energy costs.
  • Non-combustible.

Cons

  • Hard to cut through if you want to install things later on, like a vent, a flue, a skylight or air conditioning
  • The sound of rain is amplified by a metal roof. This can be eased with insulation or acoustic blankets, but it will still be louder than a tile roof.  (This may be a “pro” instead of a “con”, if you happen to like the sound of rain on the roof!)
  • Condensation can be an issue but can be minimised with adequate ventilation in the roof space.

Concrete Tile:

Pros

  • Quieter than Colorbond when it comes to the sound of rain on the roof
  • Making modifications later is simple with a tile roof: installing flues, skylights etc.
  • May be a better option in corrosive environments such as near the sea

Cons

  • Higher maintenance cost than Colorbond- more prone to leaks and cracks, though this should be minimal when cared for correctly.
  • Heavier, meaning more rafters are needed in the roof space

There are certainly differences between these two roofing types, but both are excellent, reliable choices.  There are some cost differences but they are usually not significant, so ultimately, you may find personal choice is your biggest deciding factor.