All Topics / Help Needed! / Colourbond vs Tile roof

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  • Profile photo of jtwjtw
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 57

    We had a colourbond roof installed on our new house and reckon it is great. For our needs, 2 advantages. 1.Collecting rainwater into tanks, colourbond has no competition. 2. In a high wind/cyclone area it is far more secure, easier to meet W51 rating etc. Now we have had a colurbond roof I wouldn’t consider tiles again. Dazzling is correct with cost reduction. Roof trusses can be further apart. 600mm spacing for tiles , up to 1.5 metres for metal roofing.


    Profile photo of hihopeshihopes
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 19


    Definitely prefer Colorbond(R) steel roof over tiles. 20 colours, warrantee’s, thermal efficency. Can colour match rain water tank, roof, gutters. You can also build using steel framing. Make sure you are getting what you pay for, all Colorbond has a brand on the reverse of the sheet, if no brand, then isn’t Colorbond steel. Agree with other responser, go to, or alternatively Talk to a reputable supplier who can give you heaps of brochures. Also you can call BlueScope Steel Direct (see web page) and they will send you information regarding Colorbond, durability, warrantee’s, maintenance, colour swatches.

    Happy roof hunting.

    Profile photo of jkmtjkmt
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 25

    Hi Everyone

    My husband is a roof plumber, who installs colourbond roofs as part of his work. So thought I’d run this topic past him for comment. His thoughts:

    When you look at costs, make sure you are comparing apples with apples.

    There are a couple of different options with both tiles and metal roofing, and then another couple of options with the insulation underneath.

    You can get cement or terracotta. Terracotta can be around 25% more expensive than cement. You can also get shingles which are a very flat tile and usually very expensive.

    Cement tiles are cheaper but don’t last as long. The problem with them is that the painted surface tends to deteriorate and the concrete is porous, meaning that once the paint deteriorates water gets in and the tiles eventually start to crack due to expansion and contraction from heat.

    Terracotta has a longer lifespan, but does tend to get brittle after many years (maybe 20-30 years). Terracotta is made from clay not concrete and is glazed, which can make it very slippery.

    There are three main types:
    • Galvanised, which used to be common. This is metal with zinc coating.
    • Zincalume, where the coating is a specially formulated zinc and aluminium coating, meaning it will last twice the length of galvanising alone, unless you are right on the beachfront where galvanised may have the advantage.
    • Colourbond, which is zincalume with a porous paint applied to it. You can get special coatings (Ultra) or stainless steel colourbond, but these are much more expensive (twice to five times the cost of standard colourbond).

    With standard colourbond, the further you are away from saltwater, the longer your roof will last. There is a 12-year warranty on colourbond, but you should get at least 30 years before you start to see any major problems. In comparison to tiles, cement probably won’t last as long as this, and terracotta will give you about the same.

    There is:
    • Sisolation (sarking) – an aluminium foil product. This is usually placed directly under tiles and can also be used under metal roofing. Sisolation only reflects some of the heat and not the noise from rain.
    • 50mm or 75mm glass wool with foil (eg Anticon) which will give good heat insulation and noise reduction. This is laid directly under metal roofs (not tiles) and will give you a much better ‘R’ or insulation rating than if you use ceiling batts.
    • Ceiling batts. For insulation you will need to lay ceiling batts if you have a tile roof. Because they are not directly under the roof material, they will not be as effective as something like Anticon. Can also be used with metal roofs.

    You can lay tiles without sisolation, but this is not recommended for roofs under a 26 degree pitch due to condensation problems.

    For tile roofs, you can also get foam blocks which go between the batons and sisolation, stopping the sisolation from flapping in the wind. No need for this in a metal roof.

    • For tiles. There are two sizes, depending on which state you are in, usually 50mmx25mm hardwood, or 30mmx38mm soft wood (pine).
    • For colourbond roofing, batons are usually 75mmx35mm, and you won’t need as many because they are spaced further apart.

    If you are replacing a colourbond roof with tiles, you will have to use more batons, spaced correctly (for every row of tiles). If you go the other way, your roofer may just use the existing tile batons, although this is not as secure as having new batons laid.

    Also, if you have galvanised gutters and/or downpipes with a zincalume or colourbond roof, the metals will not be compatible and the gutter/downpipes will rust out. However, it is OK the other way around, and you can have a galvanised roof with zincalume or colourbond gutters/downpipes.

    If you are going for a tile roof, make sure your lead flashings are painted with a non-porous paint if you have aluminium, zincalume or colourbond gutters/downpipes, to stop them rusting out. Lead is not so much of a problem with galvanised gutter.

    Costwise, laying terracotta tiles and metal roofs are similar, although the insulation that usually comes with the metal roof may make colourbond more expensive.

    Colourbond roofing has taken over from tiles as having better status eg all the architecturally designed homes are using it. Colourbond usually seems to achieve a higher valuation.

    Six months ago, our area went through a major hailstorm and we repaired a number of colourbond and tile roofs. With the hail, tiles tended to break, letting water in, while colourbond tended to dint, but was more likely to remain waterproof. Replacement of colourbond was usually because of the appearance, rather than the functionality. In these cases, the colourbond paint was scratched, but the underlying zincalume coating was OK.

    In relation to security, I don’t know if it still does, but there used to be an insurance company in Qld that gave you a 25% discount on contents insurance if you had a metal roof rather than tiles.

    Hope that is of some use. I guess you also need to consider the character of your area and the roof types around.


    Profile photo of redwingredwing
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 2,733

    great post Jenny..

    We used to use sisalation (always wondered how you spelt it)on the sheds and the anticon on houses..

    Is it possible to ask your partner about the difficulties (pricing variations) in changing from a tiled roof to colourbond on a property that may need the whole roof re-tiled (so changing to colourbond may also be an option)?


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    Profile photo of Don NicolussiDon Nicolussi
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 1,086

    Colourbond or other steel products are much easier to repair.

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    Profile photo of AphexAphex
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 25

    I have just had a colorbond roof put on a reno I am working on. It turned out to be slightly cheaper than tiles.

    I asked the builder how this was possible as I know someone else who did a renivation a couple of years back and found that tiles were cheaper.

    He said that it depends on the shape of the roof. If you have a skillion (not sure of spelling) roof then colorbond will be usually be cheaper as there will be less cuts that need to be made. However for roofs with lots of trusses then a tiled roof will usually be cheaper as to install colorbond would require a lot more cutting of sheets.

    Profile photo of CeliviaCelivia
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 886

    Here’s a short video about roofing options you may find interesting to watch:


    Profile photo of jkmtjkmt
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 25

    Hi Redwing,
    Apparently, if your house is in Qld, you will probably need to rebaton and use cyclone baton screws if you choose colourbond, and you shouldn’t need this for tiles. If your house in NSW, unless it’s on beachfront or in a high wind area, you probably won’t need the baton screws. Can’t comment for other states. Please note that depending on the condition of your batons, they may need to be replaced anyway, whether you go with tiles or metal.
    There are probably only two other things to consider. 1.When you do your re-roof, it’s probably worthwhile to change your gutter as well before the colourbond goes on (doesn’t matter so much with tiles). 2. The fascia (board behind the gutter) might be the only other thing you have problems with as the fascia needs to be higher for tiles than with colourbond. So if you change your gutter, you can adjust the fascia at that time.
    Another tip is that tiles can be recycled for use in driveways or landscaping so if you are using a skip bin for tiles only, the bin people may give you a cheaper rate.
    Going from tiles to metal will probably be slightly dearer than going with tiles because of these variations. If you go with metal, then this is a good opportunity to put insulation in at the same time.
    Hope that helps,

    Profile photo of[email protected]
    Join Date: 2013
    Post Count: 1

    Appreciate reading everyone's comments on this issue of Tiles v Iron  (thanks for your extensive explanation, Jenny).

    Our residential complex is starting to have problems with the decramastic (spell' ?) sheeting – it's about 25 yrs old and some roofing has developed holes/ leaking.  The body corp will no doubt decide to run with Colorbond,  BUT rain noise IS an issue partic in our kitchen/dining/lounge (where the ceiling is raked, so no batts in ceiling cavity to muffle it).

    Is it possible to get confirmation from anyone out there that the owners paying the extra $$ to install Anticon underneath (glass wool with foil),  rather than the basic Sisolation/sarking,  will give a noticeable difference in noise reduction ? ?

    Thanks, Bev

    Springwood, Bne

    Profile photo of FreckleFreckle
    Join Date: 2012
    Post Count: 1,680

    Rain on a roof creates drumming sending sound waves away from the surface. The foils do nothing to reflect this noise. When a sound wave hits the gib board ceiling surface it too resonates and passes the noise into the room. Putting something between the metal roof and internal ceiling will absorb some of the sound energy. Anything with air in it is usually a good sound insulator. Anticon would probably do the job ok as would ordinary glass batts. The foil skins add little if any functionality other than reflecting infrared and providing a moisture barrier.

    If the body corp is going to replace the roof then you might want to suggest the possibility of isolating the colorbond from the roof frame. This can kill a lot of sound energy. A bit like putting your hand on a drum skin. It kills the vibration needed to propel the sound wave. Rubber strips along purlins suffice.

    Three qualities determine the volume of noise generated by metal roofs. Pitch. Most Australian roofs are pitched under 30deg and the flatter the more noisier they'll be. Guage of the metal or thickness. Over the years gauges have decreased due to cost. Cheaper roof prices can be a function of gauge. The lighter the gauge the noisier they can be although it tends to be higher pitched. Purlin spacing can determine sound frequency. The wider apart the purlin the deeper the sound. Lower frequencies have more energy so can travel further and through denser material.

Viewing 10 posts - 21 through 30 (of 30 total)

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