Synthetic Slate Roofing Shingles vs Real Slate

Published June 7th, 2022 in Blog
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Let’s start the discussion of real slate vs faux or synthetic slate roofing with some pros and cons.

  • Pros for real slate roofing – They’re long-lasting! 
  • Pro for synthetic slate – They’re cheaper than real slate. 
  • Pro for real slate – Aesthetics.
  • Pro for synthetic slate – Aesthetics – it’s hard to tell the difference from the ground.
Synthetic slate roof replacement

Synthetic Slate Example

Real Slate

Real Slate Example

  • Con for real slate roofing – Slate roofing is extremely heavy.
  • Con for faux slate – They aren’t as fire-resistant as real slate roofing materials.
  • Con for real slate – You’ve got to be careful walking on your roof as you could crack a shingle.
  • Con for synthetic slate – This still is an expensive option compared to metal or shingle roofing.

Synthetic slate roofs have many advantages over traditional asphalt shingle roofs, such as:

They’re more durable but are more expensive to install than asphalt shingles.

  • They last much longer.

Synthetic slate roofing is made up of synthetic materials such as polyester fiberglass, PVC, and acrylic. These materials are used because they are lighter weight and easier to handle than traditional slate.

  • They require less maintenance.

Synthetic slate roofs are becoming increasingly popular due to their durability, ease of installation, and low cost compared to real slate. However, there are some downsides to using them. First, they do not hold up well against extreme weather conditions. Second, they are not as aesthetically pleasing as natural slate roofs. Third, they are not as fire-resistant as natural slate roofs. Fourth, they are not as energy efficient as natural slate roofs. Fifth, they are not as environmentally friendly as natural slate roofs. Sixth, they are not as affordable as natural slate roofs.

Synthetic Slate Roofing by DaVinciWhat is artificial slate?

Artificial slates are synthetic slate shingles that are made to look as identical to real slate shingles as possible.

Synthetic slate roofs are made by combining slates with other materials, such as asphalt shingles, concrete tiles, or fiberglass. They’re often used in commercial buildings because they’re durable and easy to install.

These faux slate tiles are also made from recycled materials made either from rubber or plastic with other minerals or gibers incorporated into the slate mold.

Is synthetic slate any good?

The main reason why people choose this type of roofing is that they like the look of it. They also like the fact that it can last longer than other types of roofing materials.

There are pros and cons when choosing synthetic slate roofs. One of the biggest advantages is that they might last much longer than traditional slate roofs. This means that you won’t need to replace them as frequently. However, there’s no guarantee that they will last forever. If you live in an area where hail storms occur, then you should consider getting a metal roof instead.

You’ll find different resources saying that traditional slate roofing is extremely durable and will outlive you. 

With the improvements in technology, synthetic slate is a viable option if you’re considering doing a specialty roofing project. 

GAF Synthetic Slate RoofingHow long does synthetic slate last?

Checking the warranty for your synthetic slate roof will provide detailed information on what will void your warranty (impacting the lifespan of your roof).

Generally, synthetic slate comes with a 50-year warranty (like asphalt shingles).

Some warranties are voided if your roof gets stained from your chimney, or movement has occurred from someone walking on the shingles. Real slate can outlive you but are more brittle, extremely heavy, and cost more than a synthetic slate roof. 

Can you walk on a synthetic slate roof?

You can walk on your synthetic slate roof but you’ll want to be careful that you don’t void a warranty when doing so. 

Check the manufacturers’ guidelines for the roof that you’re curious about installing. 

Three faux slate roofing manufacturers researched for this article are DaVinci, Brava, and CertainTeed

Unfortunately, you’ll have to dig through their website to find this type of information. 

If you’ve had a roofing estimate from a professional roofing company, their sales representative should also be able to explain the ins and outs of what would void a warranty.

What is the cost of synthetic slate?

Generally speaking, a synthetic slate roof will cost you 3-4x the cost of a shingle roof according to a quick estimate from our VP of sales. 

Labor costs alone typically can run around $11,000 to $24,000 to install a real slate roof.

Remember, real slate roofs are heavier and typically require an expert slate contractor to install the roof for you. 

Faux slate is easy to install and lighter making the installation cost with labor less expensive than real slate. 

Depending on many factors, typical costs could vary around the $40,000-$70,000 range. 

What is the best faux slate roof?

There are plenty of manufacturers that claim their faux slate roofing is the best. 

At Cenvar Roofing, we’ve installed three different types of synthetic roofing materials.

DaVinci, GAF, CertainTeed. 

If you’re searching online for other manufacturers, you’ll also find Brava Roof Tiles.

As roofing contractors, we mainly install DaVinci products ABC Supply has vetted and tested the product for quality. 

Roofing Calc ranks DaVinci at the top for its synthetic roofing materials.  

Next Steps

Now that you’ve read some pros and cons of synthetic slate roofing and have had a few common questions answered, what’s the next step?

Get a Free Estimate! 

If you’re within one of our six locations throughout central Virginia and you’re interested in getting a synthetic slate roof for your home, get a free estimate and we can answer any additional questions you have and give you a price specific to your home. 

Visit our specialty roofing page to see the other types of roofing styles for your home. We have a gallery that you can look through as well! Our sales team can also get you samples in your hand of what these faux slate roofs look and feel like.

If you’d like more information before getting started with a free estimate, give our office a call and we will get you an answer!

Our team is here to serve your roofing needs!