Terracotta roofs by French region
The terracotta tile covers 80% of France's roofs. Its appearance, shape and colour differ from one region to another. Remember your holidays in France: travelling down the winding roads, admiring the beauty of the landscape, you may have wondered about the terracotta tiled roof of a house perched on a hill or nestled by the side of a meandering road.
With Terreal, discover the beauty and character of French roofs from north to south – from over-and-under tiles to plain tiles, from ochre shades to deeper brown hues.
What kind of tile should I choose for my roof?
We produce a wide range of tiles. So, if you are looking to renovate your roof with plain tiles, adorn your new building with large clay tiles or to redo your cladding with over-and-under tiles, we can help you choose the tile that best suits your project.
The plain tile is used on building roofs that slope more than 35°-40°. Plain tiles are smaller than over-and-under tiles or large clay tiles. Their size and weight therefore make them ideal roofing elements for sloping roofs,
which is why it is not uncommon to see this type of tile on church roofs, turrets and other French historical monuments.
This type of roofing tile is found mainly in the north of France but also in the Paris region, as well as in Normandy. Available in a variety of colours, you can make your roof unique with our flat terracotta tiles.
...or over-and-under tiles?
The over-and-under tile differs from the plain tile in its shape, size and weight. Curved, long and heavier, the over-and-under tile or round tile is more suitable for low-sloping roofs. This type of terracotta tile is widely used in the southern and western half of the country. The rainwater runs off faster with these tiles, which is handy as this part of France does experience more frequent thunderstorms.
Roofers have harnessed this material since the dawn of time, it being one of the oldest types of tile used in France. One tile this way, one tile that way, one tile this way, one tile that way... and repeat.
Terreal also offers small and large clay tiles
Clay tiles are also a common sight on roofs. Their atypical form requires a specific installation. They are called interlocking tiles. These tiles are heavier, the largest averaging 4 kg.
The terracotta roofing tiles loved by different regions
We love them! Terreal has loved them for 150 years and 80% of the French people have always loved them. But whether you live in the north, the Île de France region, the east or the south-west, in Normandy or in Auvergne, terracotta tiles always vary in shape, colour and character.
Terracotta roofs in the north of France
This part of France cherishes traditional tiles with bright colours. Roofers here regularly lay small clay tiles or plain tiles.
Roofs display lovely shades of oranges and browns, and almost a dark red, which is very characteristic of the north.
What tiles does central France prefer?
The buildings and houses here have roofs that vary greatly in colour. You will find small clay or large clay interlocking tiles, plain tiles or flat interlocking tiles. Their colours vary from red to brown, to a more modern and contemporary black.
Normandy: plain tiles meet the first Breton slates
The mix of pink, red, brown and other ochres see roofs of this region paint a harmonious and authentic picture. The plain tile is the most commonly used in Normandy because it is more suited to very steep roofs (up to 55°). It still covers some of the half-timbered houses characteristic of the area today.
The west of France or the region that celebrates all kinds of tiles.
It is very common to find plain tiles, over-and-under tiles and, more specifically, Roman tiles here. Artisan tiles of a browny-dark grey cover the oldest roofs, while oranges and pinks add a happy splash of colour on the most modern roofs of Poitou Charentes and Vendée.
Warm hues for the tiles of the south-west
Continue along the Atlantic coast to discover roofs in flamboyant hues. Over-and-under and mock over-and-under interlocking tiles are mainly used in the south-west. They adorn the roofs of buildings in a balance of bright red and cream.
Tiles in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region
Here, over-and-under tiles rub shoulders with stone tiles, characteristic of roofs in the Auvergne. Further east, roofers use both over-and-under tiles as well as plain tiles or plain interlocking tiles. The terracotta roofing tile can withstand the harsh winter of this region. Dark colours dominate: red, dark red, brown and even black at altitude.
The south-east, undisputed stronghold of the over-and-under tile
The cities along the Mediterranean mostly use over-and-under tiles. The large clay tile is gradually a more common sight on the roofs new builds. Varying in colour, ochre, pink and red tones continue to dominate the rooftops.
What tiles are favoured in the Grand Est?
Let's finish our terracotta-roof tour of France in the east of the country. Plain tiles and large clay tiles clad the majority of buildings in this area. Their colours vary depending on the département, running from beige to ochre, touching on orange and brown.
So, you see, there are many types of terracotta tiles and many colours. How your building or home ends up looking comes down to your architectural choices. Don't get weighed down choosing between red or brown, over-and-under tiles or plain tiles. Get advice from our Terreal team.
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