Putting the “Gray” in Great: Why Choose a Gray Roof

DaVinci Why Choose a Gray Roof
April 6, 2021 at 6:00 a.m.

By DaVinci Roofscapes. 

Gray is in vogue; here is why homeowners are donning their roofs with the achromatic color. 

For architects, interior designers and fashion designers, gray has long been a color to turn to for its ability to add instant style and a timeless elegance to designs. Distinctive from other colors, gray possesses a neutrality that makes it incredibly versatile, it can complement nearly everything it is paired with, which is why it is so timeless. Practical and sensible, gray has long been perceived as a color of authenticity, best summarized by the French author André Gide: “the color of truth is gray.”   

"It's really no surprise that the color gray is an essential element in the home exterior palette," says Kate Smith, chief color maven at Sensational Color. "Gray is a color with historic roots that is at home on a beach bungalow or a stately mansion. Shades of gray continue to increase in popularity because of the color's widespread appeal. 

"The color gray reflects the finer things in life, a respect for history and a love of colors that are as complex as we are. Gray tones are mysterious in many ways...especially in how they can both 'carry' a color scheme or sit back and serve as a bolster to other colors." 

According to Smith, architects and home builders lean on the color gray to unify diverse materials and textures both inside and outside the home. 

"There's almost no home exterior that wouldn't work with a gray roof," says Smith. "Perhaps that's why Slate Gray is the repeat number one best seller in composite slate roofing products at DaVinci Roofscapes." 

Gray on the rooftop 

Up on the roof, shades of gray attract the attention of homeowners nationwide year-after-year. 

"Fourteen of our 50 standard roofing colors reflect a shade of gray," says Wendy Bruch, marketing manager at DaVinci Roofscapes. "That's because so many people request gray colors for their roofs. We continue to add shades of gray to meet the demand of homeowners nationwide. 

"The Smokey Gray color we introduced recently became an instant favorite. Slate Gray, our number one seller, comes in a refined gray, like a grey wolf. However, Smokey Gray is more charcoal in nature with a deep richness." 

Gray at home 

When it comes to home exteriors, gray is a true neutral that "plays well" with all other colors. Smith relates that neutral gray can set the stage for creating a cohesive color scheme for the many materials used in a New American house and other home styles. 

"Traditional homes are appealing for tones of medium or deep gray, accented with lighter trim and strong accent colors," says Smith. "Ranch style homes benefit from going with two tones of gray— one for the roof and one for the siding— to give the illusion of height to balance the strong horizontal design of a Ranch. 

"You'll also find that gray can balance the multi-color schemes found on Victorian homes. And, on any style home, gray is an appealing alternative to white or off-white as a trim choice. You simply can't go wrong with shades of gray involved for any style home. 

“When you look at your home’s exterior it’s completely acceptable to ‘go gray gracefully’ with different shades of natural stone, flint and granite on the roof. A gray composite slate or shake roof offers exceptional versatility because the different grays in the roofing tiles complement almost any color siding or exterior accents.” 

Smith points out that gray is one of the most common colors used on roofs because of both its connection to materials originally used on roofs (like heavy natural slate) and due to the comfortable muting of gray tones. “As a color source you can always mimic nature,” says Smith. “Grays blend in well with natural surroundings of any form of landscaping. A gray roof doesn’t appear 'jarring' to the eye in bright daylight and actually helps the home to have a softer, more muted tone overall.” 

Tips for selecting a gray roof 

When selecting a gray roof, Smith recommends choosing a blend of grays to further “relax the eye.” One of her favorites, the European blend in the Bellaforté product line, includes Light Gray, Medium Gray, Dark Gray and Dark Purple roofing tiles. 

For a roof that replicates cedar shake, but has all the advantages of a synthetic roof, DaVinci’s Chesapeake blend in the single-width product line includes Light Chesapeake, Medium Light Chesapeake, Medium Chesapeake and Dark Chesapeake. 

“Soft, natural grays work extremely well with a wide variety of color schemes for the remainder of the exterior of the home,” says Smith. “Gray roofs look especially soothing when combined with blues, yellows and purples. However, they can also help complement a white house that has accent colors such as red or green in the front door or shutters of the home for pops of color." 

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