Sizing up steel roofing tiles

David Padmore from Metrotile UK Ltd explores the versatile world of lightweight metal roofing systems: what they look like and their uses

Even in these enlightened times, many people in the construction sector mention a ‘metal’ roofing system and they will conjure up a vision of corrugated metal sheets on a shed roof. For those people, they are missing out on possibly the most sustainable, eco-friendly and low maintenance roofing systems available in today’s roofing sector.

These roofing systems are perfect options for residential and commercial properties; widely used for social housing developments up and down the country, and on supermarkets, leisure centres, schools and colleges, on conservatories, park homes, for vertical cladding and even on glamping pods – they are hugely versatile.

Thet are aesthetically pleasing too; steel roofing tiles look every bit as effective as traditional slate and tile roofs. Available in a range of finishes – from ground level – are almost indistinguishable from traditional options. And you can even specify metal tiles with solar panels incorporated in them if required.

Weighing up the options

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits that come with lightweight metal roofing systems. The first clue is in the name – lightweight. Weighing in at around one seventh the weight of traditional roofing materials, they offer weight bearing benefits. You can transport seven times as many tiles on a truck which means far less CO2 generated during transport, adding to its reputation as a far more environmentally friendly option.

The safety aspects of working with lightweight metal roofing systems also zannot be overstated. The weight of the tiles on site, the ease of moving them around the site and on the roof itself, it’s a perfect option for transport and loading and off-loading. The finished roofs are highly fire resistant and can even slow down the rate of spread of  fires because of their construction. The roofs are also vandal proof and can withstand heavy footfall making them safe and durable, for options from residential roofs to schools and leisure centres, to park homes and conservatories.

Any organisation wanting a new way of providing roofing for their projects – with the added benefit of low maintenance – should consider lightweight metal roofing.


Available with a 40-year waterproofing guarantee – that’s the best in the sector – just highlights the longevity of this easy to install, good looking roofing option.

One of the key reasons that people choose metal as a roofing material is because it has a long lifespan. Typically, a metal roof that has been installed properly and looked after, can last for three times as long as traditional material such as asphalt.

When thinking about the pros and cons of a metal roof, durability is a key factor to keep in mind. Metal is able to withstand the elements extremely well, including harsh storms, making it an ideal choice.

And in the current climate when building materials need to be eco-friendly, you are working with a product that is 100% recyclable as well. Almost too good to be true. For more and more people, being environmentally conscious is impacting their buying decisions and they are looking to purchase materials and products that don’t have a negative effect on the environment. Metal roof tiles are an excellent option for anyone who wishes to be more sustainable.

The pros and cons of a metal roof may depend on what specific project is being undertaken. For example, for those looking for a low pitch roof, a metal roof may be an ideal solution as many lightweight metal roof tiles can be used on pitches as low as 10˚. Most traditional tiles can only be used on pitches of 20˚ or more for fear of placing too much of a burden on the roof.

Doing the sums

The size of metal roofing tiles compared to traditional ones means the price per square metre tends to be much lower for metal tiles. In addition to the purchase price, the ease of installation sees a massive saving on installation time and project costs over traditional roofs.

Lightweight metal roofing systems come with all the certificates and quality marks – ISO9001 and ISO14001 certificates, BBA, CE Mark, BIM and 3D Renders, fire ratings, CPD seminars, training, risk analysis – they are the bee’s knees when it comes to making them easy to specify and install.

David Padmore is sales director at Metrotile UK Ltd