How To Replace a Roof Tile

Roof tiles are produced from clay or concrete and sometimes covered with a finish of paint. Or they may be textured with a mix of sand and paint this finish is called sand faced. Generally these types of tiles are single overlap, which means the tile above and to the side overlaps it one at a time, the tile then interlocks with the tile next to it to produce a waterproof join. Replacing a roof tile that is broken or cracked is essential to avoid roof leaks and ultimately ceiling damage.

One crucial hint when changing any damaged tile is to try to find a colour match if possible. Generally a reliable roofing merchant will stock many types of reclamation tiles, slates and painted slates, finding the perfect replacement tile can be complicated due to the varying degrees of weathering the reclamation tile may have been subjected to. Once in possession of the correct tile and provided you do not want to hire an expert, you can replace the tile yourself. All you need at first is a decent ladder below is a guide to help you on your way.

To repair a roof tile, the procedure is as follows:

  • Firstly be aware that there are a variety of different roof tiles available on the market therefore, you must make sure you have the right replacement tile that is exactly the same material and colour as the broken tile otherwise, it may be useless and can lead to additional damage to your roof. If you don’t know what type it is, take a piece of broken tile with you to a roofing merchant. They should be able to match it to suit your needs.
  • Get onto the roof. Only climb a ladder when you know the ladder is adequately secured, this is especially important when working on a roof that is slippery or has a steep incline. If you are unsure about how safe it is to get on the roof, contact an expert.
  • Once on the roof slightly raise the tiles that overlap the one to be removed. This can be performed by using two (2) pieces of wood to hold them up. Use a brick trowel to raise the damaged tile over the baton underneath then slide the damaged tile down and remove.
  • Place your newly-obtained tile onto the brick trowel. Then reverse the procedure followed in removing the tile. Make sure you securely position the overlapping tiles back into place.
  • Ensure the tile is safely inserted and is not interfering with any other tiles around it. Unless you are in a very windy area, the tile does not need to be wired or nailed into place. Once again check that all tiles are sitting correctly.
  • Check the rest of the roof for any areas that look likely to be damaged. It is recommended that you understand how well the rest of the roof is holding up in case any other tiles require changing.


For security reasons, it is important to wear gloves and use a roofing ladder, which hooks onto the ridge or peak of the roof.

Never attempt to make unsteady movements on the ladder as you may slip, always make sure that someone holds the ladder steady for you.

Still unsure and would like to call the experts in? Visit Regal Rooflines Roofers in Ashford Kent