Experiences with 'rubber slate' anyone?

heatheron40April 6, 2010

We are looking into using one of the "rubber slate" products on the side porch of our Victorian home, to match the main roof. (The main roof is Virginia "Buckingham black slate"). The porch is constructed cathedral style of light joists with exposed tongue & groove boards and metal roofing.

The roof will not support real slate, and it is not a good choice due to icicles and snow falling from the main roof. We are sure copper would look horrible after one season of this abuse as well. (Other info: Pitch is about 3:12 and we don't want nails poking through the exposed underside of the roof.)

Of course the slaters' forums trash the rubber products, so we're looking for real experiences such as fading, curling, etc. Any advice is welcome, as well as what brands have worked well.

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the trick to not having the nails poke through is to add another layer of sheathing, like 5/8" plywood. We do this when we build beadboard ceilings over exposed rafters.
My next-door people put on an artificial slate roof (replacing a failed one from 1905), but they kept their standing seam porch roofs. For the reasons you already understand, real slate would never have been used there, so it disagrees with the original appearance/visual logic of these houses.
Why not try hand-made painted standing seam in terne (tin) metal? Use snow birds on the slate to discourage massive snow slides, and let it develop the proper and expected wear marks, even dents. Historically, it would never have remained in a perfect state, and it's considered "fair wear & tear" (hopefully no actual tears).

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 6:14PM
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I don't personally have one but I have watched for about 3 years a few that were done and they look beautiful.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 8:15AM
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Sorry I never got back to everyone about this dilemma!! We have been busy....! We rebuilt the porch and now are awaiting the roofer to come and install the terne- standing seam roof. I went ahead and included some pictures. This is really the side porch, although it has been used as the main entrance since anyone can remember. Now we just have to recreate details to finish it off. Since it was added at a much later date than the front porch-after 1898- details have been lost and or remuddled. I want square columns and the kids want turned. Harumph- hard to put my foot down when they help so much and have a great interest in what we do!!!

Some photos.....


Thanks for your help eandhl and Casey!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 8:24PM
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Beautiful - I think tin is the perfect choice.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 2:52PM
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