Considering supply chains for clay & concrete roof tile manufacturers

Ashmore tiles from Marley Ltd

Care should be taken when choosing a roof tile manufacturer for your supply chain. It was once easy to take for granted that construction products, including clay and concrete roof tiles, would be in ready supply and in sufficient quantity.

Developments in clay tile design and manufacture mean there is now little difference in ease of installation. Clay is a stronger material than concrete, though both provide roof coverings of equal durability and longevity. Other pros and cons impact specification choice, while local vernaculars impact on design and aesthetic choices.

Why are clay and concrete roof tiles an enduring choice?

Clay roof tiles date back to Roman times and have a rich history in the UK; clay as a material is versatile enough to be moulded into more shapes than any other roofing material. Concrete tiles have only a century or so of history in comparison, but gained market share through being cost-effective and easier to install.

With so many factors influencing roof tile choice, clay tiles and concrete tiles both have their place. As with any construction product, availability is critical to project timescales - and therefore dictates whether the specified product will actually be used on site. Contractors or clients won’t hesitate to consider a more readily available alternative product if lead times are too long.

Awareness of resource availability and changing climate continues to grow, shifting the attitudes and expectations of specifiers and other construction industry professionals towards product manufacturers, their processes, and from where they source raw materials.

How do Marley ensure product availability?

Transport of raw materials, and then of the finished product (from factory to stockist, and from stockist to site), may have commanded relatively little attention in the past. Now, the contribution of transport to the embodied carbon of building products is being measured in addition to that of production processes.

Embodied carbon is a relevant indication of a building’s ‘sustainability’ and is driving specification choices. Marley works closely with its raw material sources to maintain well-managed supplies, and produces all clay and most concrete roof tiles in this country, doing everything possible to prevent delays in getting products out to stockists.

With one of the widest supplier networks of any roof tile manufacturer, Marley manage nationwide distribution as efficiently as possible and keeps stockist-to-site transport distances low for customers. For more information about Marley products and their availability, visit our product page or contact your local stockist.

Category: FAQs Roofing