Slate Roofs: Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy

Natural slate roof on a new build
The local planning department requested that natural slate was used for the roof of this Cambridgeshire new build. Cupa 12 slates were specified, for their dark grey hue and smooth surface. Each slate is split to an average thickness of 5-6mm. (Image credit: Cupa)

A slate roof is a popular roofing choice for many self-builders and renovators because of its impressive service life, excellent durability and timeless appeal. However, there’s more than just aesthetics to think about when it comes to installing a slate roof. 

One of the first things to check before laying a slate roof is the origin of your slates. Plus, with such varied quality levels available, how do you know whether the slate product is up to the task? Installation and maintenance are also crucial. So whether you’re choosing a slate roof for your self build, extension or renovation project, here’s what you need to know.

Lifestiles is a blue-grey slate with a relatively flat smooth surface. Tiles are 5-6mm thick, with a guide price of £29/m² (Image credit: Lifes Tiles)
Rebecca Foster

Rebecca began her journalism career writing for a luxury property magazine in Bangkok, before re-locating to London and becoming a features editor for a self build magazine. She is an experienced homes and interiors journalist and has written for many homes titles including Homebuilding & Renovating, Ideal Home and Period Living.

She has expertise on a wealth of topics — from oak frame homes to kitchen extensions. She has a passion for Victorian architecture; her dream is to extend an 1800s house.