Best Materials For Roofs

Modern roofing means that there are lots of different ways you can protect a building from the elements. This is mostly thanks to the variety of materials available, all of which have been proven to work throughout the decades in construction.

But when it comes to your home or commercial premises, what are the best materials for roofs? It’s a tricky question to answer because a lot depends on the individual circumstances, budget and requirements for your building. For example, a new build with a standard roof can be designed in almost any way you choose, whereas a listed building or an older building may have specific requirements in order to maintain a certain look.

Due to the wide variety of roofing materials on the market, we thought this would be a good opportunity to look at the most popular ones and what they bring to a building.

Slate & Tile

One of the most popular roofing materials that everyone is familiar with is slate and tiles. Predominantly for residential properties but found on commercial buildings too, these offer weather resistance suitable to any building. Not only that, but they look great as well, especially if you’re matching other properties in the area. 

A significant drawback of this material, however, is how easily it can get damaged. Of course, this requires a strong storm or something heavy to land on it, but cracked or missing tiles are often the cause of water getting into attic spaces. Some ceramic tiles and slate tiles can also be heavy, meaning that the support the roof can offer needs to be substantial in order to avoid a collapse. When installed professionally though, they offer one of the best looks.


Metal as a roofing material has become more popular again, particularly for commercial buildings. It’s a light and weather-resistant material which means your roof won’t need more structural work to take the load. Metal is also a quicker material to install, with fewer seams and greater durability allowing it to be put into place. It does, however, create a flatter look for your roof, but it can also provide a striking aesthetic if you’re looking for one.

Zinc is probably one of the more popular metal roofing materials that you’ll have seen used in everyday architectural design.


Predominantly used as a material for flat roofs or for garages and sheds, felt is another common roofing material you will surely have come across before. It’s usually torched onto the surface in several layers to waterproof the roof. This is what makes it ideal for standing up to wet and windy weather over a number of years, while still being flexible enough to be applied to roofs that may slope or pitch at awkward angles. 

Regular maintenance is required for flat roofs covered with felt, as they can be prone to collecting standing water which increases the weight of the roof and degrades the material over time.


Rubber is an amazingly durable roofing material – often referred to as EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) – and can be torched onto the roof in the same way as felt. It can add extra thermal efficiency to your roof when applied, but it needs to be professionally fitted to ensure there are no leaks. You should have a rubber roof checked regularly as seals have the potential to develop leaks over time naturally, something that is especially common around any awkward roof fixtures you might have.

You can also find EPDM roofing materials that are made from recycled materials, helping to add an eco-friendly touch. 

Here at Roofer UK, we always recommend talking to a roofing expert when you’re thinking about new or replacement roofing materials. We have the experience and industry knowledge to help you whether you need a brand new roof or you need an emergency roofing service due to damage to your current materials. We’re approved members of the Confederation of Roofing Contractors, giving you peace of mind when we carry out work on your home.

Call today for your local roofer team in the Watford, Hampstead and Highgate areas – we’ll be happy to help with any roofing services you require for your home or business.