A brief explanation of commonly used roofing words and phrases.
Artificial slate – a man-made fibre-cement slate designed to imitate natural slates.
Barge – timber or plastic that runs underneath the verge.
Batten – the timber used to provide support and a fixing point for roofing materials, such as tiles.
Bond – the layout of tiles. Plain tiles are always laid in a broken bond so that any water draining into vertical joints between tiles is guided out by the one below; profiled tiles depend on manufacturer.
Bonnet – a purpose-made tile for a plain tile hip, designed to create the aesthetic of a continuous tile course.
Breathable membrane – a water resistant but air permeable membrane.
Capping pot – a clay pot that is fitted into the chimney pot and used to terminate the chimney. Also known as a termination pot.
Chimney pot – the terracotta pot that extends from the top of the chimney.
Concrete plain – a machine-made plain tile made from concrete. They can be smooth, fine-faced, or granular.
Course – a row of tiles that runs parallel to the fascia.
Cowl – a metal ventilator and birdguard that sits on top of the chimney pot. Different types of cowls are necessary for differing chimney uses.
Decking – the flat timber base of a flat roof.
Dormer – a small roof that projects out of the main roof. usually contains a window.
Dry Fix – a system used for ridges, verges, hips, and valleys where mortar is not used.
Eaves – the bottom of the roof; also relates to plain tiles that are shorter in length than regular tiles.
Fascia – timber or plastic fitted to the end of rafters to support the first course of tiles, and to offer a fixing point for the gutter.
Flashing – a section of lead at a roof-wall abutment to prevent water ingress.
Gable (end) – the triangular section of wall at the end of two pitched roofs. Gable also refers to a plain tile that is 50% wider than a regular tile.
Gauge – the batten spacing distance between each course. Each manufacturer specifies a maximum gauge for each type of tile (i.e. plain tiles are 100mm).
General Tile Repairs – repairs carried out to the main body of tiles, and excludes any and all tiles that are cut and/or have been bedded on mortar.
Gutter – the water discharge system used to carry water from the eaves to a drain/the ground.
Handcrafted clay – plain tiles that are made by machine before being finished by hand to mimic an aged appearance to match handmade tiles.
Handmade clay – plain tiles that are made solely by hand.
Hip – the point where to pitched roofs meet to form an external corner. Can be finished with hip ridge tiles or bonnets.
Hip End – a triangle of roof with a hip on either side.
Interlocking tiles – a tile with an overcloak and a channel, where the overcloak covers the channel of the adjacent tile. They come in a lot of different profiles.
Machine-made clay – a plain tile made from clay using a machine. Usually quite regular in shape and profile.
Mortar – the sand and cement mix used to secure and weather hips, verges, and ridge. Commonly interchanged with “cement” and “muck”.
Natural slate – a slate made by splitting natural rocks into thin sheets. Vary due to the origin of the original rock (Welsh, Spanish, Canadian).
Peg tiles – a clay plain tile without nibs and hangs on peg drop nails.
Plain tiles – a flat-profiled roofing tile that has two projecting nibs at the back.
Profiled tiles – an interlocking tile with a definitive shape, such as rolls/peaks and troughs.
Pitch – the angle or steepness of the roof, usually measured in degrees.
Quilt Insulation – a thermal insulation for the flat areas of ceiling in the loft space.
Rafter – a structural timber that runs from eaves to ridge or hip.
Ridge – the highest point or apex of a roof, indicated by the horizontal line where two roofs meet. Also refers to ridge tiles (which are half-pipe or a similar shape) or the ridge timber beam between two sets of rafters.
Rigid Insulation – a thermal insulation for skeiling areas/pitched areas of ceiling in the loft space.
Roof window – a window set at the same pitch as the roof. Regularly referred to as a Velux window.
Slate – refers to natural slate. Also used to mean artificial slates.
Soffit – timber or plastic on the underside of overhanging eaves. Runs perpendicular and joins to the fascia.
Undercloak – tiles or fibre-cement board that is used to hold the verge tiles and mortar.
Valley – where two pitched roofs meet to form an internal corner. Can be lead, fibreglass, or a purpose-made valley tile (similar to a bonnet)
Verge – the end of the roof where it meets a gable end. Also refers to a plain tile that is 50% wider than a regular tile.
Vertical tiling – an area of wall with plain tiles fixed to it.
Ask Us A Question
If you require any further help or advice, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01342 835181 or complete the form below.