How to Lay Flat Roof Tiles

What You'll Need
Roof Felt
Roof Tiles
Roofing Nails
Measuring Tape

Laying flat roof tiles is a long process but not necessarily a complicated one. As long as you have all of your materials and proceed with the tasks in order, you will soon be able to boast to your neighbors that you created your beautiful new roof yourself. 


Step 1 - Choose Your Flat Roof Tiles

Roofing tiles come in a variety of materials such as slate, wood and stone. Think about what you want your roof to look like and how heavy you can go. Cost is also a factor in choosing your roof tiles so be sure to consider all variables. 

Step 2 - Measure

Now figure out how many flat roof tiles you need. If your roof has distinct areas marked off by dormer windows, then measure one area at a time. First measure the length and width of an individual tile and then measure the roof to determine how many tiles you need. The lowest row of tiles will hang slightly over the edge and some tiles may break during installation so it's always best to buy more tiles than you think you will need. It's also be handy to have extras for future repairs. 

Step 3 - Roofing Felt

Roofing felt is used to protect and weatherproof the roof underneath the flat roofing tiles. Make sure you have enough roofing felt and account for having one inch of overhang. When you are rolling out the roofing felt you can either use your measuring tape as a guideline to make sure it is rolled out straight or previous to installation, you can make chalk lines on your roof to guide you. Affix the roofing felt with roofing nails, ensuring each sheet of roofing felt overlaps the previous one by about 4 inches. Feel free to install a second layer if necessary. 

Step 4 - Battens

The battens are the wood planks you nail your flat roof tiles to. The tile manufacturers should give you guidelines as to the size of the battens for your tiles as well as how far apart you should space them, called the gauge. You need to lay battens horizontally and vertically and so you may need to cut or fix two battens together to cover your roof space. When you know your gauge, make sure you leave yourself some guidelines so that the battens are straight. Since making a chalk marking on the roofing felt is hard, roofers use strings. You can run a string along the roof and then place marks along it where you need to install your battens. 

Step 5 - Installing the Flat Roof Tiles

Start at the bottom of the roof and work left to right in rows. Use the nail hole in each tile to nail them to the battens or if you want your tiles more secure, use as many as 4 nails in each tile. Once you move onto the second row of tiles, position them so that the seam of two tiles is centered in the middle of the tile below.