Natural Slate is a long lasting roofing material with an illustrious history in the UK. Slate has very good weather resistance and good quality slate copes well with wet weather and withstands freezing temperatures, ideal for the UK climate.

However, to ensure a good quality natural slate roof lasts for generations, it is imperative that it is constructed of good quality slate, designed correctly and installed properly.

Design Considerations for Natural Slate Roofs

To ensure the effective design of a natural slate roof, it is imperative that key interrelated factors are taken into account, including:

  1. Site exposure
  2. The pitch of the roof
  3. The type of slate selected, its colour, size and thickness
  4. The slate lap
  5. Traditional roofing practice in the region

General guidance is provided here, based on the recommendations of British Standard BS 5534, Code of Practice for Slating and Tiling. Further information can be obtained by consulting the code of practice.

Step 1: Identify the correct slate products available for your region and project type using our Product Finder.

Step 2: Check the exposure of your site by referring to the Annual Driving Rain Index.

Step 3: Refer to the Recommended Headlaps Table to determine the minimum recommended headlap for your site exposure and roof pitch.

Step 4: Determine the Coverage (number of slates per m2) using our Coverage Tables.

Step 5: Confirm the Fixing Method of your choice.

Step 6: Refer to the Batten and Holing Gauges Table to confirm the correct Batten Gauge for your chosen slate length.

Step 7: Decide on your preferred choice of details for Ridges, Valleys, Eaves and Verges.

Note: Please refer to Traditional Scottish Roofing Practice for natural slate roofs in Scotland.