Are you planning to switch to roof tiles, and do you want to know if you need to nail them down? You’ve come to the right place, for we have researched this question, and we have the answer for you.
The short answer is yes, roof tiles should be nailed down. Nails will prevent the tiles from sliding down and falling off your roof.
Find out how to properly nail down roof tiles in the succeeding sections. Moreover, we also have detailed steps on how to install roof tiles that you can easily follow to make the entire process clear for you. Read on!
What are tile roofs?
Tile roofs are made from clay, slate, concrete, or ceramic. It has a Class-A fire rating (the highest possible fire rating) and can withstand more than 150 mph winds.
It can also withstand hailstones that are two inches in size and can last for hundreds of years, outlasting every other residential roofing material.
How to install tile roofs?
The steps below assume that you have a roof deck that is correctly installed. It also assumes that you have drip caps already in place.
More importantly, these steps assume that you are aware of the weight of roof tiles and that your roof system can support the weight of the roof tiles that you are about to install.
Installing The Underlayment
Using a metal roof tile underlayment is important, and it is something that is overlooked by most homeowners. Roof tiles can last for decades, up to a century. However, if your underlayment doesn’t last the same amount of time, then you’d have to remove your roof tile layer to repair or replace the underlayment.
Using metal roof tile underlayment will give you an underlayment that can last as long as the roof tiles if you install them properly.
Felt underlayment—the most common underlayment—lasts only 10 to 15 years. Some roof tile manufacturers also manufacture metal underlayment that can be used with their roof tiles or any other roof tiles.
- Clean the roof deck thoroughly. Seal any holes that you find and let them dry.
- Measure the dimensions of your roof and trim the metal roof tile underlayment.
- Nail the metal underlayment to keep it in place. Use rustproof or galvanized nails. Not all metal underlayment has a rustproof layer. Using rustproof nails can prevent rust from starting from the nails and spreading to the underlayment. Some metal underlayment has a self-adhering layer, saving you the trouble of nailing it to your roof deck.
- Apply a layer of silicone sealant on top of the nails that you used to fasten the underlayment. This will seal the hole that the nail made on the underlayment and prevent leaks.
The Henkel 2.7-ounce silicone is available on Amazon through this link.
Installing The First Wood Batten Row
Install the wood batten on top of the metal underlayment starting from one of the edges of the roof. The distance of the first wood batten from the edge of the roof is the length of your roof tile minus two inches.
Measure the length of the roof tile from the hole for the nail up to the opposite end. You need to remove two inches from the length of the roof tile because tiles need to overhang by an inch to two inches from the edge. The width of the protruding edge depends on how much rain your locale gets.
If your area gets less rain, then you can have your roof tile protrude by an inch from the edge instead of two inches. The overhang allows rainwater to get to the gutters without reaching the fascia. A good overhang also makes it easier to maintain your gutter.
To keep the wood battens parallel to each other, use the edge of the roof as the basis of your measurements between the wood battens.
When installing your wood batten, install plastic caps between the wood batten and the metal underlayment. Some wood batten comes with plastic caps when you buy them, while some should be bought separately.
Plastic caps allow water that makes it past the roof tiles to flow freely down your roof. Without plastic caps, water will be trapped between the wood batten, and this will cause the wood batten to rot.
- Install plastic caps in pairs that are two to four inches apart. Each pair of plastic caps are installed one to two feet apart from each other.
- Apply a thin layer of silicone sealant under each plastic cap before you fasten it. This will prevent water from penetrating the nail that will go through the plastic cap.
Which Roofing Nails Do I Need?
Nail your wood batten to the metal underlayment with the nail penetrating the plastic cap that supports it underneath. Some metal underlayment can self-heal, closing around the nail that you used to fasten the wood batten.
HILLMAN FASTENERS galvanized roof nails are available on Amazon through this link.
Installing The Second Wood Batten Row
Roof tiles should overlap each other by at least three inches. Thus, the distance of the second layer of wood battens from the first will be the length of the roof tile minus three inches.
Once more, you will need to measure from the hole on one end to the opposite end. If your roof has a shallow pitch, faces the sunrise, faces strong winds, or is prone to moss buildup, then you should increase the overlap to four inches.
The overlap prevents water from getting through your roof tiles. It also prevents too much heat and moss from getting through.
Install the second row the same way as the first row, with plastic caps underneath.
Installing The Third Wood Batten Row And So On
- Measure the distance between the first two wood battens.
- Next, measure the distance from the top of the second row of wood battens to the top pitch of your roof.
- Divide the measurement from the top of the second wood batten to the top of the roof by the measurement between the first two wood battens. If you get any decimal places in the answer, round up the figure. For example, you got 12.4 from dividing the two measurements. Round the figure up to 13 instead.
- Next, divide the measurement from the top of the second batten to the top pitch of your roof by the rounded-up number. In the case of our example, you divide it by 13. The result is the distance of the third row of wood batten from the second row. It is also the distance between the fourth row and the third row and so on.
Follow the same steps to install the metal underlayment and wood battens on the other side of your roof.
Installing The First Row Of Roof Tiles
- Measure the thickness of the wood batten. Measure the distance between the top of the hole of the tile and the surface of the wood batten.
- Add these two measurements to get the length of the nail to be used. Do not use nails that will penetrate the wood batten and go through the underlayment. This will cause water to penetrate your roof and leak through the hole that the nail made. A nail that is shorter than this length is preferable. The important thing is that it can fasten the tiles on the wood batten.
- The bottom of some roof tiles has a tongue that you can hang on top of the wood batten. This prevents the roof tile from sliding down your roof. Make sure you lay your roof tile in the right way with the tongue keeping the roof tile in position on the batten.
- Start nailing your roof tiles from the corner of the bottom of the roof and one of the sloping edges. Make an overhang of an inch from the sloping edge. The high end of the roof tile should be on the sloping edge.
- Make sure that you do not apply too much force when nailing the roof tile. Too much force might crack or break the roof tile.
- Install the rest of the tiles until you complete the first row of roof tiles.
Installing The Second Row Of Roof Tiles
There is a vertical groove in each roof tile. This groove allows you to connect the tiles together. The connecting grooves of each row should never align with the connecting grooves of adjacent rows. Thus, the grooves of the second row of roof tiles should be between two grooves of the first row.
- Mark the first roof tile after you position the groove so that it will be in line with the first tile of the first row.
- Trim the first tile following this mark.
- Nail the first tile the same way.
- Connect the rest of the tiles.
Installing The Third Row Of Tiles And So On
- Position the first tile of the third row, aligning it with the first tile of the first row.
- When installing every even row (2nd, 4th, 6th, etc.), follow the steps for installing the second row of roof tiles.
- When installing every odd row (3rd, 5th, 7th, etc.), follow the steps for installing the first row of roof tiles.
- Install roof tiles on the other side of the roof following the same steps.
- Once you’ve completed installing roof tiles on both sides, install the ridge tiles starting from one end of the roof.
Roof tiles should be nailed down to prevent them from sliding down your roof. Use galvanized nails to prevent rust.