Using Tudor clay plain tiles for vertical tiling



Roof tiling installed on walls is generally incorporated to add interest to a building, particularly where the roof is a prominent aspect of a building. Tile cladding, or vertical tiling, can, in effect, extend the dominance of the roof, ultimately all the way to the ground if desired.

Early forms of tile cladding appeared in the southeast of England towards the end of the 17th century as a way of improving the weather protection of wattle and daub on first floor walls.  Bricks would have been too heavy for the timber framed buildings of the time, so tiling offered a lightweight and cheaper solution.  

BS 5534: the British Standard Code of practice for slating and tiling, defines a wall as any surface which has a pitch of 75 degrees or greater from the horizontal. Building walls are generally at 90 degrees to the horizontal, but the BS 5534 definition provides scope for tiling, or cladding, of other faces, such as Mansard roofs.

Installed clay plain tiles weigh around 60 to 65 kg/m2, therefore, it is important to choose the appropriate fixings for the walling material being fixed to. For new brick or blockwork, the walling manufacturer should be consulted for its recommendations on fixing into its products. Alternatively, consult specialist fixing suppliers for their advice.  

The standard construction for vertical tiling is to install underlay against the wall, with vertical counterbattens set at up to 600mm centres secured into the wall, then tile battens fixed to the counterbattens. Whilst it may be possible to miss out the counterbattens and fix the tile battens directly to the wall, this represents a lot of effort and a lot of fixings; battens for double lapped plain tiles are normally set at 114mm centres.  For that reason alone, it is usually better to use counterbattens. Although there is virtually no chance of rainwater driving through the vertical tiling, there is a possibility that condensation may accumulate within the batten cavity, therefore counterbattens will ensure water can drain safely away to the eaves.  All double lapped plain tiles laid vertically must be twice nailed.  

Clay tiles are inherently fire resistant, but to prevent the spread of fire within the vertical tiling batten cavity (the space between the tiles and wall) it is important to use fire resistant materials to close the batten cavity above window and door openings and to ensure fire cannot spread through the soffit into the roof space.  

Normally, vertical tiling is restricted to the first-floor level or above, though it could be installed down to ground level. However, consideration must be given to the local environment – at ground level tiling would be vulnerable to damage from vandalism or impacts such as footballs and cricket balls etc.

Tudor Roof Tiles are the perfect choice for both roof and vertical tiling. A comprehensive range of colours is produced at its modern manufacturing plant in Lydd on the Romney Marsh which can transform a building's facade, adding character and depth. The natural, earthy tones of Tudor clay tiles harmonize with various materials and colours, allowing for endless design possibilities.

Tudor Handmade Peg and Plain clay roof tiles are available in traditional sand faced colours as standard, giving the ultimate 'Old English' look.  Truly handmade, no two tiles are identical, with variations in thickness, colour and size giving a truly unique finish.   A full range of fittings, including internal and external angles, and a variety of ornamental tiles, means that Tudor clay plain tiles are an excellent choice for all traditional vertical tiling applications.

As well as the obvious aesthetic value of Tudor clay plain tiles, they offer other advantages when used vertically, such as exceptional durability and low maintenance.  They are resistant to wear and tear, ensuring that the building maintains its beautiful appearance for decades. Tudor clay tiles can withstand harsh weather conditions, including rain, snow, and extreme temperatures, without deteriorating or fading.

Used vertically, Tudor clay tiles act as a barrier against heat transfer, keeping interiors cooler in hot weather and warmer in cold climates. This natural insulation can lead to energy savings and a more comfortable living or working environment.  Vertical tiling also offers sound insulation benefits. The tiling can help reduce external noise, creating a quieter and more comfortable interior environment. This is particularly valuable in urban settings or near busy roadways.

The BRE rates clay roof tiles A+ rated for low environmental impact. Old roof tiles at the end of their life can be salvaged, crushed, or re-used.  Tudor examines the entire lifecycle of its tiles from the clay quarry to the roof. Modern energy efficient kiln minimises emissions, with 97% of all waste produced being recycled, and manufacturing in Kent helps to ensure a much lower carbon footprint than imported roof tiles. All Tudor roof tiles have the advantage of being covered by a comprehensive durability guarantee.

In conclusion, the advantages of using Tudor clay plain tiles for vertical tiling are numerous and compelling. From their enduring aesthetics to their durability, low maintenance requirements, and environmental benefits, Tudor clay tiles combine style, sustainability, and practicality, making them a smart and enduring investment.


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