Flexible tiles: types, technical characteristics + review of popular manufacturers

Flexibility is frequently a major factor to take into account when choosing roofing materials. Flexible tiles are becoming more and more well-liked because of their adaptability to different roof forms and styles, durability, and visual appeal. These tiles are made to be weatherproof and offer dependable defense against sunlight, wind, and rain.

There are numerous varieties of flexible tiles on the market, each with special qualities of its own. Certain materials, such as blends of polymers, are synthetic and provide characteristics like resistance to weather and light weight. Others might be made of organic materials like slate or rubber, giving them a more conventional appearance while still offering contemporary flexibility.

The technical attributes of flexible tiles are critical in determining their appropriateness for various roofing applications. For both homeowners and contractors, factors like flexibility ratings, impact resistance, and weatherproofing capabilities are crucial. Selecting the appropriate flexible tile for a given roofing application is made easier by being aware of these specifications.

While looking into flexible tile options, it can be useful to review well-known manufacturers who have a reputation for excellence and creativity. Businesses that are well-known for their dedication to creating long-lasting and aesthetically beautiful roofing solutions include FlexRoof, TechTile, and FlexiSlate. Every manufacturer has a selection of products that address various environmental factors and architectural styles.

What is a flexible bitumen tile?

The history of flexible tiles is intriguing: the impoverished originally created this type of covering, which was remarkably wooden. During the colonization of North America, they eventually started to mimic it with bitumen.

A new light revealed that only the wealthy could construct a home for themselves, and they used common shale tiles to cover their roofs. However, the immigrants experienced worse, which is how they came to create Shinglass, a type of roofing material. They simply took some inexpensive cardboard, covered it with bitumen, and then dusted it with stone fragments.

The outcome was a tiny tile that appeared to be quite similar to contemporary bitumen tiles. Furthermore, it wasn’t until the 1960s that it was formally recognized as a distinct kind of roof. Additionally, it was supplied to the Russian market in the 1990s by the Finnish factory Katepal, which delighted those who had been waiting for new products. In fact, when it comes to style solutions, places with a folding roof or slate to such beauty:

These days, flexible tiles are a type of bitumen roofing piece coating made up of discrete pieces known as gunts. In turn, those are a bitumen-binding, decorative-protective sprinkle over a dense glassolt.

The overall manufacturing process is as follows: both sides of the fiberglass base are coated with modified or oxidized bitumen, followed by a thick layer of basalt crumbs on the front surface and an adhesive composition on the back for ease of installation. Simultaneously, a self-adhesive base takes up to 50% of the space on an ordinary tile and 100% of a horse or cornice tile.

Lastly, a siliconized polymer film that is invaluable for storage and transportation protects the bitumen tile at the completion stage. If this isn’t done, bitumen in a car heated by the sun can stick together and distort in addition to causing the stone baby to shower from friction:

It becomes evident that while the races of various manufacturers appear to be fairly similar, their manufacturing technologies differ noticeably, and in the following ways:

This is a really fascinating story about the formula for making asphalt tiles and what the average user should know:

Advantages over other roofing coatings

In contrast to other roofing materials, flexible tiles come in a wide variety of forms, patterns, and hues. They typically follow this structure:

Flexible tiles have excellent technical indications because of their distinctive structure. It is virtually fireproof, 100% waterproof, and resistant to atmospheric phenomena and extreme temperatures.

Additionally, a tile like this absorbs all sounds, doesn’t produce noise when it rains, and even prevents birds from making unpleasant noises with their claw grips. The weight classes for the races are also fairly simple, ranging from 5 to 8 kg/m 2! Furthermore, it implies that you do not have to consider a strong rafter system underneath it.

Lastly, they only cover the roofs of odd shapes, biases and lurders, domes and transitions, these days, with the aid of bitumen tiles. Since all hits are small and extremely flexible, they carefully enclose and isolate all architectural areas—such as ridges, lends, and adjacent spaces—from moisture.

Simultaneously, the amount of material residues will not surpass 5%; this is a nearly unachievable threshold in comparison to other roofing coating types. The only limitations are a flat base or a slope angle of less than 12 °. The reason for this is that water can easily seep through the sheet here.

Considerable benefits, aren’t they? However, this is not all!

Single -layer, two -layer and three -layer variations

Bitumen tiles make it easy for designers to create the desired image of a house in a particular style; in contrast, metal and slate are less likely to turn out because they always seem out of place against the surrounding natural landscape. And all because flexible tiles are made of a material that is more aesthetically pleasing because it faintly resembles the bark of a live tree.

The races themselves and their volume differ at the same time. Thus, single-layer or laminated flexible tiles are produced nowadays. Laminated materials are defined by the simultaneous adhesion of multiple layers; their number determines whether they are referred to as "two-layer" or "three-layer" materials.

It’s true that the word "laminated" has greater meaning for contemporary marketers since it connotes something enhanced and protected, and the multi-layer

Of course, laminated tiles are better than single-layer in many ways. They also provide a more substantial roof that can withstand harsh weather conditions. Consequently, there is a difference in the expiration date: a single layer has a maximum lifespan of 20 years, while a multilayer is intended to last up to 50 years.

It makes sense that the coating itself would be more dependable the more layers it has. It’s true that some people oppose this production technique, saying that there are more seams in the simplified version and that water will permeate the upper layer here.

Conversely, laminated tiles have nearly twice as much wind resistance and are more susceptible to environmental factors. Furthermore, this effectively conceals all of the roof’s imperfections, whereas a single layer would only serve to highlight them.

Simultaneously, only the upper layers of the graph in the multilayer structure have a shape with specific cuts; the lowest layer is always a rectangular strip. Such a tile is much more convenient to work with during installation—you don’t even need a starting strip. Yes, and the process itself moves along much more quickly: everything is taken care of in this instance, so you don’t have to move all the upper hounds in relation to the bottom each time in the line to get the desired drawing!

The question of which tile—a single-layer or laminated—is still better is easy to answer: if money is tight, go with a single-layer; if you want a gorgeous volumetric effect, go with a two-layer or even a three-layer.

You might be surprised to learn that, for certain collections, two-layer tiles are occasionally almost identical to single-layer tiles. A lot is dependent on the technology.

For instance, if the production is entirely automated, the price will be favorable; however, if some tasks are still done by hand, the situation will be entirely different. The prices of the raw materials themselves will then vary at varying costs.

You should watch this video as it relates to this:

Flexible roof tiles combine durability and versatility, providing a contemporary alternative to traditional roofing materials. This article examines several kinds of flexible tiles, their technical characteristics, and well-known producers. These tiles improve sustainability and energy efficiency while meeting a variety of architectural demands. They are made of lightweight polymers and cutting-edge composite materials. Knowing these options can help you make well-informed decisions for your roofing projects, whether you’re thinking about eco-friendly options for their green credentials or synthetic slates for their aesthetic appeal."

Quality questions: price, base and sprinkle

As we’ve already mentioned, the cost of flexible tiles varies depending on the collection. Furthermore, price can sometimes be a good indicator of quality, so we can confidently state that if you purchase an item that is too cheap, it won’t last long. The installation process is when the first issues will surface.

And now we indicate the bitumen tile quality standards of today. The most stringent, for instance, are European standards EN544, which recommend that a flexible hound’s bitumen content should not be less than 1300 g/m 2.

However, American standards resolve fewer than Russian standards. Because of this, the bitumen content and properties of the economy class and elite tiles differ greatly. This explains why the stated durability varies so much between manufacturers (20 years) and all 50.

Basic: Types of bitumen

The differences in quality between bitumen tiles from different manufacturers are not worth it. Ultimately, they

  • use various raw materials and modify it in their own way;
  • make races of different thicknesses and the number of layers;
  • They come up with different protective coatings, and even the collections of the same company are surprisingly not similar to each other.

Consequently, it is not shocking if you learn that one person is thrilled with a well-known manufacturer’s collection while another is appalled by his other collection.

When utilizing a specific kind of bitumen, the distinction is particularly noticeable. This naturally occurring substance is created when oil is filmed, and an artificially modified analogue is created by distilling the oil and adding specific stabilizers or forcing it to come into contact with oxygen.

Thus, the company uses TEGOLA (of which it is particularly proud) for pure natural bitumen that is extracted from Venezuelan deposits. She is the one who creates the exquisite flexible tile with the lovely copper finish. Additionally, Ruflex’s Lagoon collection uses natural bitumen.

Just keep in mind that bitumen, in its pure, natural form, is already softened and melts at a temperature of 45 °C. Anything green and natural lovers will undoubtedly find appeal in such a roofing. This is the reason bitumen is oxidized when making flexible tiles. Because of this process, it maintains its elasticity at low temperatures and can withstand heating up to 90 °C.

He is able to pass through all of the stages that he was meant to go through for decades because bitumen is forced to oxidize in the factory environment. Consequently, an end product is produced that is resistant to atmospheric phenomena because it no longer reacts with oxygen.

It doesn’t even melt in extremely hot weather; it doesn’t warp or release offensive odors into the air. What sets it apart from other bitumen coatings or typical roofing materials is this. But oxidized bitumen quickly ages and becomes fragile due to frequent weather changes and hot weather.

SBC bitumen, which contains an articular rubber, is an additional type of bitumen used in the production of soft tiles. Additionally, he is well-known for being resistant to extremely low temperatures, so he adapts to Russian winter flawlessly. Lastly, because the composition of SBS-Bitum is similar to that of plastic, it can withstand the highest temperatures.

This is the reason bitumen needs to be modified with unique polymeric materials if we are discussing a climate with traditional definitions of summer and winter. They extend the lifespan of such a roofing by an additional 20 years and greatly widen its operating temperature range:

For this reason, flexible tiles are typically supplied with modified bitumen rather than oxidized bitumen in Russia. Those who are unaware of these incidents are furious, asking why oxidized bitumen is used in this warm region of South America and why "chemical" is fortunate enough to be plasticized there.

If oxidized were three times more environmentally friendly, it still wouldn’t work in our climate. Even so, a marketing course covers the process of simplification and reduction in cost, which is associated with people. Therefore, only rigorous research—which is mostly done by the line—can demonstrate whether or not. The greatest bitumen at the tile from Ruflex, Katepal, and ICopal is thought to be available in the interim.

And now for the major. Thus, the first and most crucial indicator of high-quality bitumen is its flexibility—Gont bends easily and does not develop cracks when bent. This particular bitumen elasticity is provided by the SBC modifier, a unique supplement. Specifically, its content, which typically falls between 10 and 12% in concrete.

Unfortunately, this addition also makes bitumen more susceptible to UV radiation, so it’s necessary to liberally dust the competitors with stone crumbs. At this point, we hope you have an understanding of the intriguing structure of contemporary flexible tiles.

Except for a few that follow open policies, the manufacturers work extremely hard to improve their own soft tiles while maintaining extreme secrecy about their manufacturing processes.

For instance, one well-known company modifies road bitumen by adding Korean rubber to a special bitumen from a Moscow-area plant, while another company prepares bitumen on site and even releases the components required for this. Ruflex exclusively uses bitumen modified with SBS in this instance. Furthermore, this company’s specialists are confident that only they can guarantee regular installation, year-round.

However, the presence of an impurity like sulfur in the composition is something to be concerned about. It negatively alters bitumen’s integrity and structure over time. As a result, we will offer you advice: purchase flexible tiles from authorized trade representatives if you are concerned that you won’t come across a fake.

Glassholst: Reinforcement subtleties

Proceed now. It is crucial that the gont’s base retains the sheet’s structure in addition to its flexibility. Asphalt flooring – glass chick. This is a unique material with a non-woven foundation that remarkably resists stretching longitudinally (transverse stretching should not be concerned about). Furthermore, a double-sized double reinforcement is thought to be the most resilient.

EN 544 states that only inorganic materials—that is, just fiberglass and fiberglass—may be utilized to reinforce flexible tiles. In addition to being three to five times stronger than canvas, the fabric costs at least two to three times as much.

The fiberglass itself is good because there isn’t enough expansion and because its fibers can be bent directly into the canvas’s structure to make up for it. This is advantageous since the bitumen sheets’ internal reinforcing layer must meet certain critical specifications, including being robust and collapsible like cardboard. Additionally, they do not absorb moisture like certain low-cost bitumen tile options do.

However, the density of reinforcement ought to be at least 110 grams (ideally 125 grams) per square meter. In the production process, bitumen is simply not absorbed by the reinforcing layer if the density is higher. For this reason, the use of stronger fiberglass threads and additional weaving techniques increases the reinforcement’s strength. By the way, they use up to two layers of reinforcement in an elite tile that is covered in copper foil.

Lastly, polyester tiles are used in place of fiberglass tiles for the areas of the roof subjected to the strictest specifications. With bitumen, polyester is even more durable and dependable while also being fairly elastic. Because of this, at sharp temperature differences, the most complex areas of the roof ultimately prove to be resistant to a change in their linear sizes.

Protective Sprinking: basalt and shale granulates

The sprinkle on flexible tiles is subject to requirements beyond aesthetics:

  • hold on to the bitumen layer tightly;
  • reliably protect the sheet from mechanical damage;
  • close bitumen from ultraviolet rays;
  • hold a hat of snow in the winter.

These days, shale or basalt crumbs are used as a spent itself:

Every kind of sprinkling has benefits and drawbacks. According to the locals, however, domestic manufacturers have not yet mastered the art of producing flexible tiles of the same high quality as their foreign counterparts.

Therefore, 800 °C is the firing temperature used to process basalt crumbs, making them weather-resistant. The bitumen’s fitness with the basalt from the shale in this plan differs, but it is not significantly different.

These days, the shale is chemically stained, and sadly, this causes the tile to fade and change color. However, though not indefinitely, coloring is better preserved by the basalt granulator.

Generally, fractions of different sizes provide the best effect, regardless of the material. Ultimately, you need to be ready for the possibility that during the first year, up to 10% of the granules will crumble along with your roof. Because of this, the ramps are sprayed with ramps in such a way that the baby flies off of them even while they are being installed. This is done in order to keep the majority of the granules on the bitumen—excess is actually unnecessary.

You can judge the quality of the tiles here because there shouldn’t be any exposed areas. Examine the gunt thoroughly as well. There should be no "bald" areas and everything should be covered tightly with okroshka. Ultimately, this is not only unsightly and detrimental to the coating’s longevity, but it’s also dangerous!

The truth is that sparks will come from the fireplace’s chimney, if one exists. And there will be a fire if they land on exposed bitumen. Furthermore, and this is crucial, the baby’s typical thickness prevents an avalanche from occurring, similar to snow accumulation.

Convenience of installation: hound form and base

It is possible to argue that flexible tiles have their own traditional cutting methods, which are instantly identifiable as well-known collections. Additionally, there are characteristics to working with different profiles in addition to the visual effect.

Therefore, there is no need to follow any rules when choosing a drawing—even an abstract will look amazing—when working with tiles in the simplest way possible, such as "Jazz," where the racers’ horizontal displacement varies from 15 to 85 cm. However, the "Trio" profile. It is advantageous that the roof has complete waterproofing regardless of its inclination because of this cut:

Regretfully, tales of substandard tiles with huge variations in hound sizes are frequently told, making it impossible to lay at least one straight row on a slope.

Additionally, the shades can differ so much that in order to create at least one shade, they will need to mix all of the purchased packs right on the ground. Even in that case, the outcome probably won’t please the eye. Additionally, because the petals’ sizes are too dissimilar, they must be cut to fit everything, which takes a lot of time.

However, you won’t have to worry about it if you work with high-quality materials. To prevent puddles from accumulating anywhere on the roof, the primary goal of the installation process is to design a single circuit of insulation and waterproofing with a thoughtful water drainage system. Then, there won’t be any leaks if the substrate is of a high caliber.

The bitumen tile will adhere to the slopes without any issues with the use of a unique self-adhesive base:

A contemporary option for homeowners looking for both durability and visual appeal is the use of flexible roof tiles. These tiles, which come in a variety of forms like synthetic rubber, plastic, and composite materials, offer flexibility that more conventional materials like clay or concrete do not. Their lightweight design and ease of installation, among other technical qualities, make them a sensible option for both new construction and roof renovations.

Numerous flexible tile options are available from manufacturers such as Euroshield, Malarkey Roofing Products, and Tesla Solar Roof. One of the unique features of Tesla Solar Roof is its integrated solar capability, which combines energy efficiency with roofing functionality. Malarkey Roofing Products is renowned for its exceptional durability, providing tiles that can endure harsh weather conditions. By emphasizing sustainability and employing recycled materials, Euroshield appeals to customers who care about the environment.

It’s important to take climate suitability, cost, and maintenance requirements into account when thinking about flexible tiles. The long-term advantages of these tiles’ durability and energy efficiency can outweigh their initial costs, even though they are typically more expensive than traditional materials. Although it’s not much, regular maintenance guarantees a long lifespan and peak performance, so homeowners should consider investing in them.

Video on the topic

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Flexible tile characteristics Europe (manufacturer deck)

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Flexible (soft) tile. About technical characteristics. UNNIKMA.

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How the multilayer flexible tiles differs from a single -layer?

What do you think, which element is the most important for a reliable and durable roof?
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Denis Shcherbakov

Professional roofer with 20 years of experience. I know everything about the installation, repair and maintenance of various types of roofs. I will be happy to share my knowledge and experience with you.

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