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Chinese Slates or Reclaimed Welsh Slates or Clay Tiles?

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Hi There,


We're currently looking to have our house re-roofed.


It was built in 1923 and has Westmorland Green Slate on the roof.


We were thinking of using a good quality chinese slate 24 x 12 (7mm - 9mm; supposedly 100 year guarantee).


One of the roofing contractors that we've contacted for a quote has noted the following:

We don’t install Chinese slate ever, they are prone to discolour and fail regardless of what suppliers will tell you.

You are better off with a full batch of good quality Welsh reclaimed slate over new Chinese or Spanish without doubt.

Or a Cassius / Rivius clay slate (Sandtoft) which make for a much better job than any new slate currently on the market, they are more economical to purchase and install plus they are guaranteed.

These new Chinese slates they are selling are advertised with a 75 year guarantee etc. It’s nonsense, if one breaks all they say is here is another one or another 5, but they don't cover the cost of the replacement: scaffold may be required plus labour time etc etc.

My advice is to avoid any new slate and look at either reclaimed or the Cassius / Rivius tile.

Other peoples opinion would also be appreciated.



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I don't know anything about the performance of Westmorland slates but I have a 130-year-old welsh slate roof and have just roofed my extension in 120-year old Welsh.


Are your slates all shot? If not, what percentage do you reckon are dead? Add about 10-20% to that estimate and that may be the percentage of better reclaimed slates you need. Have you looked at local reclaim yards?


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Another vote for Spanish slates.  I was originally going to use Sandtoft clay tiles but as they were unavailable due to lockdown I switched to slates & very pleased I did so.  Capimor 1st grade Spanish as recommended by my roofer who only works with slate.

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15 hours ago, makie said:

Chinese are awful, same as Brazilian in my opinion. Good quality Spanish like cupa H3's are extremely good.

Pretty much all you need to know. Welsh will be 5x more expensive than good quality Spanish. Either will outlive you.

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I used Spanish at our last renovation - reclaimed a lot of the original Welsh slates but over a 1/3rd of the roof area needed replacement. The Spanish stuff worked great.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I stripped and replaced a slate roof back in the 80's you will need a minimum of 20% 'new'slates IMHO. To get a whole roof of reclaimed slate will be an expensive business I would go with the Spanish slate others have suggested it will be quicker and easier.

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