August 9, 2011
What color to choose for mortar finishes on tile roof
Mortar is used for the concrete finishes of tile roofs in the valleys, hips, ridges, hip heads and gable heads. It can be stained with oxide a variety of colors and there is a general misconception as to the color that is appropriate for different tile types and colors. Clay tiles all usually have a terracotta base and a terracotta oxide stain is typically used if the the tile is 100% terracotta. However, when clay tiles are blended with terracotta and darker shades, the best color to use is the standard grey cement. This is counterintuitive as people believe the cement should always match the color of the tile. However, a grey colored cement allows the roof to have more definition in the areas of hips, ridges and valleys. Concrete tiles are a different story. Since concrete tiles come in a variety of colors and many blends, the best color for the mortar is the base color of the tile. For example, if the concrete tile has an orange color with dark flashes, the mortar color should be orange. If this was the case with clay tile, the best mortar color would instead be grey. The reason grey cement looks best for blended clay tiles is because it gives the rustic appearance of spanish influence that is different from the american style concrete tiles. The best thing about mortar is that it can be stained in a variety of colors but it is always best to keep the color consistent throughout the roof.