Dubbed Spanish tile roofing, materials of this nature have been used throughout the world for centuries. But the tiles one usually thinks of as being Spanish gained their popularity in the United States in Southern California. Also known as Mission tiles (as they were first made at the Mission San Antonio de Padua in Alta, California,) these curved clay tiles have become an iconic symbol of southwest architecture, especially in Southern California.
An interesting piece of their history is their shape, which was provided by drying the clay tiles over logs as they cured in the sun’s rays. The biggest era for Mission tiles was at the turn of the century, between 1890 and the beginning of World War 1. There was a resurgence in the 1980’s, as the tiles again became an archetype for the Southern California style.
While most of the tiles are made in clay-red, there are green varieties as well, and some have taken to coloring them with plastic and metal (thought those are no longer a true Spanish tile.) These hybrid/compound tiles can be lighter and that may be a consideration for your building’s roof. It’s always wise to consult with a roofing professional when choosing what type of roofing is best for your home or commercial building.