Q & A - Cement Tile on a Mobile Home, BAD IDEA

mobile homes
July 31, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

Can I put cement tiles on a single wide mobile home and be ok?

Kurt asked,  "I bought a mobile home, the roof measures about 12 ft. x 68 ft. on one side and the same on the other side. I need to put new shingles on it and have run across someone selling reclaimed cement tiles. My question is can I put cement tiles on a single wide mobile home and be ok? Or will it potentially be to heavy and I run into issues later? They are a black terracotta style. I would really like to know because I know they last longer than shingles and would love to not have to worry about the roof for a while."

Kurt, The look of tile is nice and long-lasting but on a mobile home, the pitch is very shallow. Tile would never be seen and be appreciated for what it is. The mobile homes I am familiar with, are framed using minimal framing members and designs are not meant to carry the weight of a tile. Tile can reach weights of 1,000 pounds per square { 1 square = 10 ft x 10 ft. area } A asphalt shingle roof weighs around 300 pounds per square in comparison. Any time tile roof is proposed as a change of roof covering a structural engineer should be consulted and an inspection done prior to construction. Kurt, I recommend seeking advice from the local building department and a contractor.

The cost of tile can be attractive but some folks do not consider the underlayment and battens, plus the expensive lead flashings needed to form to the terra cotta tile profile. The labor cost is typically more than an asphalt type roof.

I have never installed tile on mobile homes and wouldn’t suggest it as an option for anyone. I believe your roof structure will fail and could cost the life of anyone living in the home. It is just not feasible.

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