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Altusa Clay Tile

Altusa offers a quality collection of clay roof tiles, drawing inspiration from the old Mayan World. Their portfolio includes various colors of traditional reds, and several other earth-tone colors ranging from creamy peach to coffee brown.The origins of Altusa Clay Tile begins with their parent company manufacturing the tile in Barcelona Spain in 1900.

As early as 1985, the master distributor for North America and parts of the Caribbean was SAS-USA. Altusa was a large distributor throughout the Caribbean, South and Central America, as well as the Miami, Florida area.

Their operation was located out of Venezuela from 1985 – 2006 producing Venezuela Spanish S tiles. They moved production to Honduras in 2006 where they manufactured their Honduras line. Production continued until 2016 when the Altusa line was bought by Ceramica Verea USA in 2017. Production of the previous material was discontinued.

While Altusa is no longer produced, they were one of the largest distributors of clay roof tiles due to its specialization in achieving an “Old World”, “Spanish” style appearance. Even though other clay manufacturers at the time produced excellent tiles to compete in terms of quality, Altusa’s unique aesthetic niche was one of a kind.

Pros

Clay is a natural resource that is found in every geographic region of the world. Also known as ceramic and terracotta tiles, they are environmentally friendly and easily recyclable due to their natural materials. With proper installation, clay tiles maintain their structure and color for 50 – 100 years on average with some lasting hundreds of years.
Clay tile is incredibly durable. Clay does not experience the same deterioration from the sun, such as asphalt shingle, and has a suggested lifespan on a roof of 50-100 years. However, it is not uncommon to find roof tiles older than 100 years on buildings, such as in China, and Italy.

Clay tiles have a wind resistance of up to 200MHP and the highest ratings against fire (Class-A) and impact damage (Class 4). This makes them a compelling choice for Florida’s hurricane season! With the simultaneous hot climate, clay tiles act as a natural insulator between the tiles and the roof deck which keeps the roof cool in summer and warm in winter. Altusa is a Grade 1 tile, which means it is part of the best in class when it comes to its tile being resistant to the damaging effects of the freeze and thaw cycle in colder climates.

Clay is naturally porous which makes it resistant to mold and condensation. Because clay is naturally occurring, rainwater collected from tiles is clean and safe to drink as long as mold, moss, and debris are regularly removed. They are also impervious to rot and insect damage. Generally low maintenance, there should be no upkeep for clay tiles unless a tile is cracked or damaged.

Clay generally absorbs 1-3% water compared to the 10-15% of water absorption of concrete tiles. This not only helps with the temperature regulations of the roof and attic system but also adds to the overall lifetime durability of your roof due to the reduced stress from the freeze-and-thaw cycle in colder settings.

Natural material is used, which means the material can easily be recycled after its long life protecting one’s building. This helps reduce one’s carbon footprint over the long-term due when compared to asphalt shingle roofs that need to be replaced around 4 times during the lifespan of one clay tile roof.

Cons

Clay tile is typically 2-3x more expensive than concrete roof tiles, and asphalt shingles depending on the profile and color option. While this may deter some people from choosing clay roof tiles to cover their roofs, it may attract others that plan to live in their homes for generations, or businesses that want to generate passerby attention.

Clay tiles are not suitable for all roofing slopes and require a minimum 4/12 pitch (4” vertical rise per 12” horizontal run) per the International Residential Code (IRC). If switching roofing materials, reinforcing the framing for the roof may be necessary to compensate for the additional weight. The weight and fragility of clay tiles require care in transportation which are all contributing factors to their price.

While clay tiles have a high impact rating, they are fragile by nature and are susceptible to pressure such as walking and cold weather. They have the propensity to crack or shatter in colder climates which is a concern for the northern areas of Florida. Clay tiles take a longer time to install than conventional shingles which can increase labor costs.

Unique technical skill is required for the installation and repairs of clay roof tiles. Each roofing system has its own set of unique hallmarks when it comes to completing installation, or repairs. Some roofing contractors specialize their skills in working on asphalt shingles, metal, flat roofing, or other forms of roofing systems. It is important to find a licensed roofer with experience with clay products for the best quality of work to provide peace of mind.

While Altusa offered an excellent selection of roof tiles that stayed true to Central American influence, they did not branch out towards more obscure colors, such as green or blue. This limits homeowners from choosing unique blended color ranges for their roofs, or companies with well-known brands to purchase an Altusa tile to match the color scheme of their logo.

Product Line

Altusa Clay Tiles was a popular distributor of grade 1 clay tiles. These tiles have a wide color and textile range. Their barrel- and “S”-style tiles are used for their versatility. From flat, even colors to weathered, textured tiles, they are perfect for restoration projects. The most popular tiles from Altusa are their:

Contact us for more information!

If you are looking for a particular style for your home or business, Altusa clay tiles are an optimal choice as they can be used in various ways to achieve or repair your desired look. We hope you find the style you are looking for in our available selection of Altusa tiles. Contact us today for a quote and more information!