Can anyone recommend a composite shingle that really looks like slate? Would be nice if it held up well too!
If you want something that looks like slate, and holds up like slate, get slate.
Thanks for response, solarpowered. I was afraid of that. Had hoped to find something less expensive.
I got a price for the Tamko/Laramite artificial slate. 27K and my house is 1647 square feet. I did not want to use that much of my budget, so I went with Timberline in the weathered wood color. My house is under live oaks, which stain, and GC said that color blends best with live oak stains.
In the neighborhood where we are building, the architectural guidelines stipulate that the roofing material must be cedar shakes, slate, composite slate, tile, or metal. We chose the metal roofing option (in fact, we're the only ones who have so far!); however, about 90% of the homes have the fake slate. Some of the roofs look terrific. But, none of them look like real slate. Most of them are also starting to fade. There is a true art to installing this product to avoid "patterns" and "bumps" that definitely shows that it is not real slate...most installers have not done enough to have worked out the kinks. In my area, they are primarily using Duraslate or Lamarite. Another interesting fact...my GC used the Lamarite product on another house in the neighborhood. After 2 months of exposure to the elements, you can now completely crack the shingles by hand. I was very glad that we chose the metal after seeing this. These are very expensive products...at least $400/sq materials cost. With labor, I saw quotes of $700-$750/sq. A lot of money for something that I question the durability of now...
We wanted a slate look but were scared off by the cost of the composite slates and their limited track records. The jobs we could find in the area that were more than two or three years old looked horrible - the shingles were all curling and lifting.
We ended up going with GAF's Camelot line in Olde Pewter - it's a regular fiberglass shingle with a slate-like look. If you really look at it, it's definitely obvious that it's not slate, but from a drive-by, it does give a pretty convincing slate look. We've even had a few people standing in our yard ask if it was slate or not, so I guess it's at least a passable substitute. It wasn't cheap, but it was way cheaper than the fake-slates.
and a closeup....
The only faux slate that I think looks fairly close to slate is the Ludowici ceramic slate. It's quite nice and is a bit cheaper but not much - but it really does look good. Outside of that - real slate is the only other way to go. The rubber slates are a good alternative to shingle, but it isn't real slate.
We, too, are looking into the world of synthetic slates. We've narrowed our search down to Ecostar and Davinci which seem to offer the best product and warranty.
Davinci looks the best to me, but you have to get one of their authorized installers to do the work, and in our area (VA) there is only one -- which naturally drives up the price tremendously.
My understanding with ecostar is that any roofer can install it(product is available through specialty building supply stores), but in order to get the 50 year warranty, you have to have a certified installer do the work. They, in turn, have to use mostly ecostar supplied materials (ie specific nails, underlayments, etc) and an ecostar rep comes out to inspect/certify the roof installation which again means $$$.
We have heard a number of the complaints regarding fading of the product and curling of the edges. Still, it sounds like these problems have occurred when installation procedures (expressly outlined in the manufacturers instructions) are not followed correctly.
So far, we are still seriously considering using a fake- slate, but do think the product is such that a roofer experienced with the product needs to do the installation. Also, it is a premium roofing product which comes with a premium pricetag.
Thanks to all of you for sharing your experience and your research. You're wonderful, kind, and generous!----must be gardeners at heart! I have learned so much on these forums. It sounds like a good looking composite slate with a decent track record will be hard, if not impossible, to find. And, it sounds as though the savings over real slate would not be too great.
Niff, I will do some research on Ecostar and Davinci. And, anthem, I will look into the ceramic ones. Thanks for telling me about them. I still have about 3 months to decide.
lkplatow, I love your shingles! They have a wonderful texture and beautiful color. I have not seen the GAF Camelot locally. I'll check into that. We had 13 year old GAF shingles on our roof when Katrina roared through. We only lost the corners off a few shingles. I wouldn't hesitate to use GAF again. Dixiedoodle, sounds like an interesting neighborhood. What a wonderful place to do a study of faux slate! I'm also in the south where, where given enough time, the sun fades everything. I'd love to see you metal roof.
Again, thanks to all of you for taking the time to respond.
Thanks from all of you! I was not sure what type of roof to put on and this has helped a lot. I don't want one that fades. Simple as that. http://nabacar.com
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