How to properly lay slate on a roof

Slate is a popular roofing material because of its classic style and long lifespan. To ensure durability and weather resistance, proper slate installation on a roof necessitates meticulous attention to detail and technique. Knowing the basics of installing slate is essential whether you’re installing a new roof or fixing an old one.

There’s more to slate roofing than just laying tiles on a roof. To support the weight of the slate tiles, the roof structure must first be prepared. Making sure the roof deck is sturdy and appropriately sheathed is part of this. To avoid further issues, any underlying structural problems with the roof should be fixed before beginning the installation process.

It’s crucial to choose premium tiles with consistent thickness and size before installing slate. Once installed, this uniformity guarantees a consistent appearance and aids in creating a level surface. A more ordered and aesthetically pleasing roof can be achieved by first sorting the tiles according to size and shape before laying them.

Installing a waterproof underlayment over the roof deck is the first step in the installation process. This underlayment helps shield the roof structure from moisture and acts as an extra barrier against water intrusion. In order to keep the underlayment from moving or tearing when installing tiles, it must be securely fastened.

To improve the strength and stability of the roof, a staggered pattern should be followed when laying slate tiles. Each row of tiles in this pattern is offset to prevent the joints from aligning horizontally or vertically. In addition to helping to more evenly distribute weight across the roof surface, spacing the tiles lowers the chance of damage from settling or shifting.

Securing the slate tiles in place comes next after they have all been laid and correctly aligned. This usually entails attaching the tiles to the roof structure with copper or stainless steel nails. When installing tiles, great care should be taken to ensure that the nails are positioned precisely and that they are not overused.

Choosing the Right Slate Ensure slates are durable, weather-resistant, and match roof pitch.
Preparing the Roof Surface Clean and inspect roof decking for any damage or needed repairs.
Installing Underlayment Apply appropriate underlayment to prevent water penetration.
Layout and Alignment Start from the bottom edge, ensuring slates overlap correctly.
Securing Slates Fasten slates securely with nails or hooks, following manufacturer guidelines.
Finishing Touches Inspect and trim slates as needed, ensuring a neat and tight finish.

Properties of the material

Slate is a wavy or flat-surfaced sheet roofing material formed by forming asbestos cement. Unbsimed slate has a light gray color, but manufacturers stain it with different pigments. Slate sheets, which are 1.75 meters long and comprise 6–8 waves per standard wave, are available in the assortment of construction stores. The GOST specifies a range of 5.8-7.5 mm for various sheet types, which governs the material’s thickness for these kinds of construction products. Learn about the benefits of slate roofing before applying it to your home:

  1. DIY EASTOMENTS AND EAMENTION. Even a person can put slate without building experience. For this, special skills or expensive tools are not required. You can cut the sheets using a regular hacksaw for metal or grinder, and fix it on slate nails or screws.
  2. Reliability. Do -it -yourself roofing slate is a reliable way to protect the attic from the penetration of moisture, cold and wind. Grad is not afraid of this material, the fall of branches from the nearest trees, because they will not harm it.
  3. Resistance to fire. The fire -guidly qualities of asbestos cement are another reason to use its roof coverings, because it is brought to it by chimneys of heating appliances, fireplaces and furnaces. The roof of slate is especially relevant for baths, the chimney pipe is heated to a temperature of 750-850 degrees.
  4. Long service life. If before covering the roof with slate, treat the rafter system with an antipyrene and antiseptic, then the life of the structure will reach 40-50 years.
  5. Affordable price. Average cost of 1 kV. m roofing with slate, taking into account the price of fasteners and waterproofing, is 200-250 rubles, if you perform work with your own hands. If you attract a hired team of professional roofers to the process, the costs will increase by 50%. But even with the costs of labor paying, this is half cheaper than laying corrugated board. metal tile or ondulin.

Weights and dimensions of various kinds of slate sheets

Crucial! Schifer has two unique characteristics that should be handled carefully: despite its heavy weight, the material is relatively brittle. As a result, make sure to inspect the sheet integrity and confirm that a paper gasket is present between them during the purchase. In order to facilitate work on the construction site, a level area is pre-prepared for storage and unloading, and a film is spread out on it.

Reference requirements

It is important to properly prepare the roof’s rafter system before applying slate roofing. In actuality, this roofing material weighs a lot more than its contemporary equivalents. A single sheet can weigh between 30 and 35 kg, which is a significant weight for the components of the support frame. When designing a roofing project, remember these guidelines:

Specifications for the rafter and crate system

  • For the manufacture of rafter legs, use boards with a section of 60×150 mm or thicker. The best option is considered to be the highest quality boards 100×150 mm, the humidity of which is not higher than 15-16%.
  • For the manufacture of the crate, bars made of wood of conifers are 6×6 cm in size, which will not break under the weight of slate sheets.
  • If you pin the crate with your own hands, make sure that each slate layer rests on two or more bars.
  • The distance from the edge of the sheet to the nearest bar of the crate should not be less than 150 mm.

Take note: The roof slopes’ angle of slope bears significant significance. Slate is advised by manufacturers to be installed on roofs with a slope of at least 22 degrees. Even with angles ranging from 5 to 15 degrees, slate is utilized for single-shield and gable roofs. On the other hand, the crate should be denser the smaller the angle. A continuous base made of plywood that is resistant to moisture is used for values that are minimally allowed.

Calculation of the amount of material

You should determine how much slate is needed before covering the roof with it. To avoid paying too much for extra residue, figure out how many sheets are needed by completing the following calculations:

  1. Take the tape measure and measure the roof length along the cornice overhang. If the roof is still only in the project, then take this value from the drawing. Divide the length of the cornice over the width of the sheet of the slate, which you will use. By increasing this figure by 10% and rounding to the whole way, you will get the number of sheets in one tier of the layout .
  2. Measure or find out from the design documentation the length of the roof from the ridge to the edge of the cornice overhang. To calculate the required number of rows, this value is divided into sheet length and add 13%. The allowance compensates for the overlap between the sheets.
  3. Multiplying the number of sheets in a row by the number of tiers, determine how much material is required to cover the slope. If the roof has two symmetric slopes, the result is doubled.

Schifer configuration on the hill’s exterior

Note: It is best to have a supply of material on hand; 10% should suffice in case the sheet is damaged during hand cutting or transit. The only safe way to work with asbestos dust during slate cutting is to wear a respirator that has been moistened with water.

"Meticulous installation and close attention to detail are essential to learning the art of laying slate on a roof. This guide covers all the necessary actions that guarantee longevity, good looks, and long-term weather resistance, from preparing the roof surface to precisely positioning each slate. Both homeowners and contractors can create a stunning slate roof that endures over time by using these tried-and-true methods."

The principles of installation

The primary installation complexity is at the junction of the four angles formed by the slate’s styling. There are two tried-and-true methods to prevent the abnormalization of material fragments, deformation, and penetration into this exposed area of water or wind:

  • Installation "In a run". To lay the sheets of the roof in this way, the sheets of the second tier cut into 1-2 waves so that the joints between them do not match. To minimize the costs formed due to cutting, this method is used only for wide, but short slopes. It is good if the work is carried out with your own hands, since it is almost impossible to make a mistake.

  • Installation with angles cutting. To cut the corners, a template is made, the size of which is horizontally 103 mm, and vertically 120-140 mm. If you lay slate in a classic way, starting from the right lower corner and moving to the left, then the first and last sheet does not require trimming angles. The remaining sheets are cut 1 or 2, depending on the location in the layout. Installation diagram with corner trimming is important! Asbestos cement from which most types of slate are produced, when the humidity and temperature changes, changes the size. Therefore, in order to prevent violation of the integrity of the sheet, in the places of fasteners, the holes of a larger diameter are drilled than the size of the screw or the nail. The fasteners do not screw up to the stop, leaving the gap that compensates for fluctuations when heated. The installation process of the painted slate on the crate of the gable roof
  • Video instruction

    Self -laying technology of slate on the roof

    Are you unsure about how to apply slate to the roof? Since the installation procedure is simple, it can be completed on your own. It is advisable to perform specific kinds of preparatory work prior to precisely laying the slate roof. They have to make sure the design has extra dependability.


    From the very beginning it is required to make a strong base – the crate. For this, non -cunning boards are well suited, which are installed at right angles on the rafters. For attachment, self -tapping screws or nails are used, while the fastening distance should be observed – at least 40 cm, up to 75 cm. In the presence of a chimney on the roof – the crate is also made around it. Unsmealing boards are very bad with each other, in any case, the distance between their unprocessed edges remains. Given this, you need to have them freely, not on the end. The task of such a crate is to serve as a base, and not a continuous surface. The distance between the boards is allowed up to 10-12 cm. Keep in mind that the drain pipe should be put in advance.

    The main stages of slate coating

    1. Under the slate, only tola, roofing material or a number of modern roller roof waterproofing materials on a bitumen basis (“waterproof”, “rubemast” and the like) are usually laid. Rolled rolled horizontally, starting from the lower row. If desired, you can weld rolled sheets among themselves. In this case, one should be guided by the technology indicated for this material – how much to splash, which side to lay, how to weld. • the cooler the roof (slope), the less the need to weld the waterproofing among themselves. 2. The fastening of the roofing material and others like it does not make sense, since the slate sheets are subsequently fastened through the crate, capturing waterproofing and waterproofing. It is necessary to be guided when laying sheets of roofing material only by practical meaning: so that before the installation of slate, the waterproofing does not fly away from gusts of wind or under the weight of its own weight on a steep roof. 1. Speaker laying is carried out from the lower rows. Installation must start with the lower first, usually with three slate sheets. The overlap is produced on one wave, regardless of the number of waves and their size (length). The slate is fastened with special slate nails with a wide hat. One slate of slate breaks in four or in six places, depending on its length. • fastening is carried out in the second wave, in the first – it is impossible! At the place of overwhelming the slate through two sheets does not break through! For slate with eight waves, such nails are clogged on even-the second and sixth wave, placing them on the crest, and in the seven-wave-in the 2nd and fifth. Nails need to be scored into the top of the wave, and not to the lower part. 2. Then two sheets of slate are strengthened in the next row, and add another sheet to the first row, and then put the upper. Thus provide free access to all sheets. The laying of the slate on the roof is carried out until the final closing of the entire roof surface of the roof.


    • For inexperienced ones who do the lining of the slate with your own hands for the first time: it is necessary to drill a place for nails before clogging, otherwise you can, hitting the surface, break the surface. The dimensions of the holes should exceed the diameter of the size of the nail to about two millimeters, so you should think about their sealing and isolation from water penetration. In one case, you can use a rubber gasket, a plastic puck or a ply of roofing material, or in another – after clogging under the hat, pour a hermetic product. The nails are not so much injected, there should be a small gap between the surface and the hat. The nail is correct, the hat whose hat ultimately slightly concerns the slate.
    • Nails can be changed to screws specially designed for such technologies. Holes, if convenient, can be made with a drill.
    • Modern fasteners for slate can be equipped with rubber gaskets under a hat – then it is not necessary to seal the holes.
    • The ruling of the roof covering is facilitated by the laying of a vapor barrier membrane under it.
    • It is recommended to cut all the irregularities at the slate cutter, the power of which will be enough up to one kW, with a disk diameter of up to 1.8 cm and up to 1.6 mm thick – this is the optimal solution; If you apply a thick abrasive disk, then you can get bogged down in a slate, and thin, on the contrary, will not be able to cut it at all. Carry out the pruning very carefully, smoothly and slowly lowering, so as not to provoke the formation of cracks and chips at the edges. As a result of such pruning, slate dust is formed containing asbestos, harmful to health, in this case, a freshly sawn section is treated with water -based acrylic paint. Work in respirator.

    Applying paint to a laid slate will protect it from exposure to various atmospheric influences and precipitation. Treating the surface with an antiseptic will also help to prolong the life of the roof by preventing moss growth and swelling.

    When laying a flat slate, the crate should be made continuous, and it is suggested that you draw a grid beforehand, the cells of which will be filled in with these sheets. The same technology as that of the wave allows flat sheets to be laid out on the slightly over twenty degree tilted surface.

    The installation of gutters, beneath which roofing material must be laid, completes the slate roof device. Next, install a ventilation pipe, an iron apron over the chimney, and a drainage system.

    You can save a lot of money on independent styling without hiring experts to handle the task. Additionally, remember to stock up on slate sheets because, despite their weight and density, they are brittle and can cause haphazard and unintentional damage to roofing materials.

    Skifer on the roof with your own hands. Scheme +video

    Innovative products do not fit into the typical, well-known slate.

    Nonetheless, it is still well-liked in our home market because customers appreciate its dependability and toughness.

    Its cost is also reasonably reasonable.

    It is understandable why home owners are still drawn to the manual method of laying the slate by hand. Many kinds of roofing are produced nowadays for a variety of uses.

    Slate can be painted any color that is chosen, either to match or contrast with the facade’s color. Complete residential buildings, country cottages, and household buildings are all actively covered by the material.

    Slate lasts for a very long time. But he has to be laid out in accordance with all the rules so that he truly served his time.

    And it’s not as easy as this process looks. It’s not hard, but you do need to understand a few key details.

    It is not entirely true that slate is a roofing material that works on every kind of roof.

    As a result, it’s critical to trust certain facts:

    • Most of all, it is suitable for gable and single -sloping roofs with a slope of 15 degrees;
    • If the roof slope is supposed to be more gentle, then under the slate you will have to mount a special crate, roofing material or membrane waterproofing;
    • The overlap of slate sheets on each other should also be increased.

    Types and characteristics of the roof slate

    Cement-fibrous or asbestos-cement slate can be used. Technically speaking, they are not that dissimilar. However, even though it is sufficient—the material can easily support an adult’s weight—it is not a part of the second type, which would have deprived it of its enhanced strength.

    Apart from the composition, there’s another distinction: sheets can be made from pressed or unprotected material. The latter has an order of magnitude better quality:

    • It has an order of magnitude higher the density, and, accordingly, strength;
    • more resistant to aggressive weather influences and temperature differences.

    Both forms have the potential to take on distinct configurations, such as wavy or flat. The wavy material has a distinct gradation, and the sheet’s size determines how many waves are present.

    In contrast to other materials, not many people are aware of this one’s exceptional qualities, even with its familiarity and usage tradition:

    • remarkable refractory;
    • amazing resistance and strength with any weather influences;
    • long life;
    • excellent resistance to chemical influences;
    • quite democratic value;
    • the possibility of choosing a color scheme;
    • low thermal conductivity;
    • Simplicity of installation.

    Like any other material, this one has some benefits as well as drawbacks.

    • Large mass. Maybe a special engineering approach to installation will not be required, but significant physical efforts will be needed;
    • Although this material is durable and racks, it is quite fragile, which must be taken into account when storing, installation and transportation. In order to avoid the appearance of cracks, the sheets should not be thrown. They must be put in neat stacks, and in a certain amount – no more than 165 in one;
    • Asbestos -cement slate in its composition of the same component, which can have a harmful effect on health. Therefore, for objects located in the immediate vicinity of people, it is better to prefer the cement-fiber type of material. Although it is quite successfully used for the roof of the house;
    • the material is sufficiently hygroscopic, is able to accumulate moisture. Therefore, over time, moss may appear on it. This problem can be partially solved using silicate or phosphate colors that lower the moisture absorption of material.

    It takes meticulous planning and attention to detail to lay slate on a roof. To begin, make sure the roof surface is clean and clear of debris. This preparation is essential because it creates a level and smooth slate tile laying surface.

    Next, start from the lowest point on the roof and ascend. For water to not seep through, each slate tile should overlap the one below it. The "staggered" or "broken bond" layout of this overlapping pattern is crucial to preserving the integrity and weather resistance of the roof.

    Make sure every slate tile is properly aligned and firmly fastened to the roof surface when placing it. To avoid damage and guarantee longevity, use suitable fasteners, like nails or hooks, that are compatible with slate. Over time, being able to withstand wind, rain, and other weather conditions is made easier with proper tile securing.

    Observe the orientation of the slate as well as any natural grain or texture direction. This meticulous attention to detail improves the roof’s overall durability and water drainage in addition to improving its appearance.

    Lastly, check the entire roof to make sure there are no gaps or loose slate tiles after they have all been installed and fastened. Resolve any problems as soon as possible to stop water from seeping in and keep the roof’s ability to shield the building below intact.

    Video on the topic

    How to lay slate correctly

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

    Journalist, author of articles on construction and repair. I will help you understand the complex issues related to the choice and installation of the roof.

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