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How Do You Install Roof Tiles?

By Kyle Schurman Created: February, 2021 - Modified: March, 2021


  1. Will Rubber Roof Tiles Work As a DIY Install Project?

  2. What Are the Easiest PVC Plastic Roof Tiles to Install?

  3. When seeking to create an outdoor space at the house or at an apartment building for gatherings, consider giving a roof terrace or patio setting a new look with roof tiles. These tiles often consist of rubber or flexible PVC plastic, providing a comfortable space over the top of hard concrete or another firm surface.

    Interlocking roof tiles are popular for this type of use case, as they’re relatively easy to install. There’s no need to hire a professional and greatly increase the cost of the project, as interlocked pieces will pop together quickly.

    Should the installer need to cut the roof tiles to fit around stationary objects or when reaching the perimeter edge of the space, the installer often only needs a sharp utility knife to slice through the materials, delivering a flat edge.

    As a further advantage of this type of installation, the tiles often need no glue or adhesive to fit together (although some models will recommend using glue for the most secure layout). The interlocking edge designs fit tightly, meaning the pieces will remain connected, even when placed under significant stress.

    Should one of the roof tiles suffer some sort of damage and require repair, just pop out the damaged piece and insert a new tile as a replacement. It will fit perfectly with the pieces already installed.

    Will Rubber Roof Tiles Work As a DIY Install Project?

    The Sterling Roof Top Tile Terracotta product provides an easy option for installing roof tiles to create an outdoor patio setting.

    To install the Sterling tiles, clean the roof top balcony surface thoroughly. Installers will need a utility knife, a straight edge, a tape measure, a chalk line, and a silver or black marker. Some people will prefer to cut the 2-inch thick tiles with a powered jigsaw, but keep in mind this will generate more friction during the cutting process.

    It is possible to use glue on the interlocking tabs with this product to create a more secure install. For large installs that will encompass a few hundred square feet or more, installers may choose to glue down tiles in certain locations, called keystone tiles, to create a highly secure layout. (Follow the instructions included with the product to determine the best location for the keystone tiles.)

    The Sterling tile also has a glueless installation method available, by which installers will lay out the perimeter tiles first and pop in the full size tiles after establishing the perimeter. (The instructions included with the Sterling tiles fully explain the process for the glueless installation.)

    To simplify the layout process over a large space, use chalk lines on the area of the install, creating a huge grid. This grid gives the installer the ability to see which tiles will need cutting and can help with determining the precise measurement for any non-full size tiles.

    The terracotta finish on these tiles for sale is a popular selection, creating a natural looking design for the roof patio or balcony area. For those who desire other colors, this roof tile product is available in several color choices.

    What Are the Easiest PVC Plastic Roof Tiles to Install?

    For those who need a less expensive option than the Sterling rubber tiles, the StayLock Perforated Tiles have a lower price, as they consist of PVC plastic. The StayLock product delivers an easier installation process as well, which certainly is a benefit for a residential installation.

    The DIY install process requires only a few tools, including a sharp utility knife, a straight edge, a tape measure, and a marker.

    Start the layout process by placing the first full size tile in a corner of the space to cover. (Installers can create a layout where the tiles will bump up against a retaining wall or some other raised perimeter, or where the tiles will have a floating island installation in the middle of the roof balcony.)

    Work outward in both directions from the original tile. The underside of the StayLock tile has tabs on two sides and loops on two sides. Pop the tabs into the loops to perform the installation.

    Continue working outward until reaching the far perimeter. To fit tight to the wall, the installer will have to cut tiles to fit in the final rows along these last two edges. Measure the space between the installed tiles and the perimeter border. Mark the back of a full size tile to match the size required. Cut it to fit with the utility knife and straight edge, taking care to preserve the tabs and loops required to connect to the other tiles.

    The StayLock tile has a perforated surface, which allows rainwater to drain through the tile to the subsurface below. It can support the legs of lighter patio furniture, as long as the pads on the legs measure at least 1.5 inches in diameter.

    Multiple color choices are available with these 9/16-inch thick tiles, including:
    • Blue
    • Gray
    • Green
    • Tan
    • Terracotta



For more on this topic please review our Roof and Deck Tiles product page.