The Great Debate – Slate vs. Colorbond


This is an age-old argument that many people face installing or restoring a new roof. This argument will always be present in the construction industry and commonly will often have people take sides on what they truly believe is the more cost effective, aesthetic, more reliable option for their project.

One of the factors that deter many homeowners from installing a slate roof is the high cost of materials and labour. This all varies pending on the grade, thickness, and overall quality of the particular slate tiles. In this blog I will present a non-bias argument that fairly justifies both sides of the equation & by the end of the day hopefully you retain enough information to decide what the best option is for your desired project.

Colorbond Roofing

We’ll start with Sydney’s most common roofing option, Colorbond Roofing or Metal Roof.

Metal Roofing has always been a popular trend in the construction industry mainly due to the ability to perform better in all types of weather conditions from being able to shed rain and snow, to withstand high winds.

However, each type of metal roofs has its own advantages and disadvantages and knowing what these pros and cons are can be a useful tool upon deciding what type of roof you ultimately decide on.

What is Colorbond

Colorbond roofing is a coated steel roofing material manufactured by Bluescope steel. In recent years this roofing has been gaining popularity among contractors, and business and homeowners alike. The following are the advantages of owning a Colourbond roof:

  • This roofing is perfect for buildings that have no pitch or very little pitch as water will still run off this type of roofing.
  • Colorbond roofing comes in a wide variety of colours, which allows your roof to compliment not compete with the colour of your home.
  • Colorbond roofing gives your home a neat, modern appearance.
  • It is long lasting and light weight.
  • It holds steady in high winds and rain.
  • Because the colour is bonded to the metal, it doesn’t need painting as often as other metal roofing materials.
  • It’s lower in maintenance than many roofing materials.
  • If this roof is properly installed it can cut down on heating and cooling cost.

However there are always two sides to a coin. Here are some disadvantages to this roofing material that’s always good to consider:

  • While colorbond roofing doesn’t need painting every year or every other year like some metal roofing the colour does deteriorate around the 10 year mark and needs to be refinished.
  • This roofing can also be somewhat noisy unless an acoustic blanket is placed down before the roofing is put on.
  • Warranties may differ pending on location of your home. For example if you live near the ocean warranties are restricted to only 10 years.

While most people find the advantages of a Colourbond roof outweigh the disadvantages, it really is up to each individual to decide if a Colourbond roof is right for them. Hopefully knowing the pros and cons of this type of roof will help you to choose the right roofing material to meet your needs.

Slate Roofing

The journey of the Slate roof story started 100’s of years ago, & is widely regarded as one of the highest quality, longest lasting materials on the market globally, but this material might not be for everyone. I’ll go through the pro’s & con’s and examine bother sides of this timeless impressive roofing solution.

The Pros

Slate roofing has some huge upsides, mostly due to the fact that it’s a natural stone product, giving it a unique, beautiful appearance, and the longevity that slate is famous for. Here’s a list of the most popular reasons homeowners choose to install slate roofing on their home:

  • Appearance— First and foremost, homeowners are drawn to slate because of its beauty. There simply isn’t a roofing material on the market that has a classier, more elegant appearance. Furthermore, slate roofing offers more choices than most homeowners realise, available in varying sizes and thicknesses, as well as a wide range of colours e.g. gray, green, purple, black & red.
  • Product Guarantee – Welsh Slate (Penrhyn) comes with a 100 year warranty direct from the quarry. Slate may be slightly more expensive to buy but matched with a life time guarantee it’s a no brainer.
  • Longevity— Slate roofs can and should be routinely built to last at least a century. In fact, 150 years is a reasonable expectation of a roof’s longevity if the roof is properly constructed. That’s a big plus in an industry where many roofing systems are lucky to last 20 or 30 years before needing replacement.
  • Fire Resistance— Slate roofing is one of the most fire resistant roofs that exist. Unlike many other roofing materials, slate tiles themselves are completely fireproof. That’s a big advantage when it comes to preventing fires caused by wildfires or from adjacent house fires.
  • Environmentally Friendly— Roofing waste accounts for more than 5 percent of the total waste sent to landfills across the nation every year. Since the majority of that roofing waste can be attributed to asphalt shingle roofing that needs replacement every 20 to 30 years, it’s easy to see the positive environmental impacts of installing a roof that is going to last 100 years or more on the environment.



The Cons

The most notable con when it comes to installing a slate tile roof on your home is its high cost, but we’ll get to that in a minute. Other than that, the negatives of slate roofing that homeowners should be aware of include tough installation requirements, the fragility of slate, and complications that arise in replacing damaged slates.

  • Poor Installation— The vast majority of roofing contractors, as well as general contractors, know very little about slate roofs. Unfortunately, that doesn’t deter a lot of them from trying to install slate anyway. When hiring a contractor, be sure to inquire about experience and ask for references. A well installed slate roof will last a century or more. A poorly installed one is a lot like having no roof at all.
  • Weight— The weight of a slate can be anywhere between 39 and 74 kilograms per square meter. As such, you’ll need to have your residence evaluated from a structural standpoint before you install slate on your home to make sure it can take the weight. Check to see if your slate contractor can measure this in house.
  • Durability— The fragility of slate can be a big negative for homeowners. You don’t walk on them unless you know what you’re doing. Replacing broken tiles isn’t as easy as it sounds either. Since slate comes in lots, that makes it nearly impossible to find replacement tiles that are a perfect match.

So hopefully the blog gave you an informative non-bias argument of both sides of the roofing equation. If you do decide to choose slate for your roofing solutions then please don’t hesitate to contact us at: or call Kyle @ 0451 399 226

Here’s a few product video’s of the different types of slate we install:

Canadian Slate –

Welsh Slate –

Del Carmen Slate –

Artificial Slate SVK –


Happy viewing,

The Heritage Team.