What Is Stone-Coated Steel Roofing?

steel roof

If you’re looking to upgrade your asphalt shingle roof to a more durable and potentially longer-lasting material, you have a few options. Slate tiles, clay tiles, concrete tiles and metal roofing all deserve a look. You might not be familiar with one option, however: stone-coated steel roofing. So let’s check it out and find out: what is stone-coated steel roofing?

Metal roofing has been one of the favorite options for commercial and industrial buildings for decades. That’s due to its high strength and resistance to natural forces like UV rays, hail, and strong winds. Metal roofing is also available in several high-quality options such as:

  • Standing seam steel, zinc, and aluminum roofing
  • Copper roofing
  • Galvalume roofing.

These options all have their place, including residential buildings, but some people prefer a different look. Or maybe your home is in a homeowner’s association and those materials are not on the approved list. Since metal is such a flexible, or malleable, material, manufacturers can take sheets of steel and stamp them into large shingles or tiles or panels that mimic the look of cedar shakes, clay tiles, slate tiles, or asphalt shingles. Those traditional roofing materials—or the look of them—is just what some people are looking for.

The Parts of Stone-Coated Steel Roofing

The manufacturer starts with steel sheets and then stamps them in a press to create the desired profile that mimics a traditional material. That can be cedar shakes, clay tiles, slate tiles, or asphalt shingles. Some homeowner’s associations are super-fussy in their requirements, but may permit stone-coated steel roofing that closely resembles those materials. You’ll definitely want to check your HOA bylaws to confirm before you make any decisions about your roof material. But perhaps your neighbors have already gone this route, so you know it’s acceptable.

After the stamping process, the roofing goes through the finishing process. That process can include a primer coating, a zinc rustproofing coating, the stone chip coating, and something like an acrylic top coating. Rust obviously is the major challenge for steel, so the finishing process includes those multiple layers of protection. At this point, our roofs in Florida are facing much more risk from hurricanes and intense storms year to year, so rust really shouldn’t be that much of a concern.

Here’s a look at the process.

stone-coated steel roofing
Steel tiles coming out of the press. Screenshot courtesy of Nali Roofing Tile.

The Stone Coating

The stone coating does a couple different things. It provides the color for the roofing, and reflects the sun’s rays rather than absorbing them. In fact, stone-coated steel roofing is one of the most energy efficient roofing materials you can buy. According to one expert, “homeowners frequently report energy savings of 25% to 35% with metal roofs.” In addition, one installation method involves mounting the panels onto wooden battens that attach directly to the roof decking. This method creates an air space between the panel and the roof decking, which works to enhance ventilation and prevent heat transfer down into your home.

The stone coating is actually heavily processed stone. Manufacturers extract the stone at a quarry, then crush it to the desired size granules. The granules then travel into a giant hopper where they’re mixed with the color slurry, which is much like paint. The colored slurry then goes to the heating stage, where the color finish gets baked onto the granules for greater durability. After that the granules are ready for application onto the roofing panels.

steel tiles
Steel tiles after stone coating. Screenshot courtesy of Nali Roofing Tile.

Stone-Coated Steel Roofing: The Cost

With stone-coated steel roofing, you’ll see multiple benefits and few drawbacks. Relatively high cost, in fact, is the primary drawback. Compared to the average architectural shingle, which will cost you about $320–$340 per square installed, stone-coated steel roofing will be quite a bit more. According to HomeGuide, you’ll pay $700–$1300 per square, installed. That’s a big range, and doesn’t include tear off, repairs, and so on.

But it’s in the range of other premium materials like standing seam steel roofing, which will start at about $1000 per square. Standing seam zinc is another premium choice that will last for decades, and that will start at around $1200 per square.

If you also compare traditional clay tiles, you’ll see those starting at around $1,400 per square, and concrete tiles will be a bit less at around $950 per square. Clay and concrete tiles, however, are substantially heavier. If you’re upgrading from an asphalt shingle roof, you might need to have your roof framing reinforced to handle the additional weight of tiles. That’s most common on older homes with hand-framed roofs. Modern truss-framed roofs can typically handle the load, but you have to check it out nonetheless.

Stone-Coated Steel Roofing: The Benefits

But on the benefits side, you get all this:

  • Light weight: at less than 2 lbs per square foot, this type of steel roofing is extremely material efficient.
  • Excellent wind resistance: stone-coated steel roofing is usually rated for wind speeds of up to 120 mph and is accepted in Florida, including in Miami-Dade County.
  • Class A fire resistance: that’s the highest rating.
  • Class 4 impact resistance: again, the highest rating you can get.
  • Energy efficiency: Thanks to the stone granules’ high reflectance, stone-coated steel roofing reflects UV radiation and allows less of the sun’s heat to migrate into your home.
  • Aesthetics: Steel’s impressive malleability means manufacturers can mimic the look of asphalt shingles, clay tiles, slate tiles, and cedar shakes.
  • Durability: Steel’s great strength has made it the material of choice for our cars and trucks, tools, appliances, and many other items for centuries. For roofing applications, we expect stone-coated steel roof to last more than 50 years with regular maintenance.
  • Lengthy warranty: you’ll see warranties of 50 years, depending on the manufacturer.

Want To Talk About Your Stone-Coated Steel Roof?

We can help you decide which roof option is best for your home. Whether you’re interested in a stone-coated steel roof, asphalt shingle, metal, or tile roof, we’re happy to help. Give us a call at 813-373-9088. Our team has more than 40 years of experience in roofing. You can also use this form and tell us, “I want a new roof” and we will contact you.

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