Using clay interlocking tiles for pantile projects

1. Look for a flat spot on the back of the tile to prevent rocking
Traditional pantiles tend to rock on the batten due to their shape. This makes it harder to install them in a perfect straight line, with no room for error. So when you’re using a clay interlocking pantile, look for one with a flat spot on the back to help it sit on the batten. Our Lincoln pantile has a flat batten locator on the rear to prevent rocking on the batten and offers an easier installation method, meaning you don’t have to be as precise!

2. Cut down on groundwork
One of the most frustrating parts of fitting pantiles is the groundwork that has to be put in before you can even install them. Due to the corner cuts, traditional pantiles have no batten gauge variance. Therefore a random sample of tiles needs to be laid out on the ground to determine batten gauge, which takes a lot of time and patience!

Most clay interlocking pantiles have a flexible gauge but there are some on the market, like our Lincoln tile, that have a fully open gauge. This means that it can be adjusted on the roof. This provides flexibility and requires less precise installation, without the need for complicated measuring and setting out.

3. Nib size matters
Clay interlocking pantiles that have deeper nibs on the back are easier and safer to install. The Lincoln tile has been designed with much deeper nibs so it hooks on to the batten securely. The tiles are also banded into packs of four, making it easier to load onto the roof. This means you can lift the tiles by the strap and hook them securely onto the batten, ensuring they are safely attached and won’t slip down when you work on the rest of the roof.

4. A tile with lateral shunt makes installation much easier
There is up to 5mm lateral adjustment (shunt) built into the side interlocks of our Lincoln tiles to aid setting out across the roof. This means that if you have a gap at the side, you can open or close the tiles to fill the space. For maximum adjustment, particularly with clay tiles, it is recommended to lay the first course of tiles with an intermediate shunt of 2mm.

5. Use the right batten size
Batten size is very important. For all of our clay interlocking tiles, we recommend the following batten sizes:

38 x 25mm for rafters/supports not exceeding 450mm centres

50 x 25mm for rafters/supports not exceeding 600mm centres

6. Add ventilation at the eaves and ridge, even if you’re using a breathable membrane
As there is a small amount of air openness with interlocking tiles, there is a myth that you don’t need additional ventilation if you are using a breathable underlay. However, this is not the case. For the purposes of BS 5250, all variables in the roof build-up, including the external covering such as standard interlocking tiles, must be considered. As such, roofs will almost always require supplementary low and high level ventilation at the eaves and ridge.

7. Cut down on clipping time
BS 5534 requires that all single lap tiles should be mechanically fixed. The level of fixing will depend on the roof specification. Clay interlocking tiles should be mechanically fixed with at least one aluminium clout head nail and / or tail clipped.

It is possible to knock around 30% of roof clipping time by using a combined one piece clip and nail, such as SoloFix. The fact you haven’t got to have two bags of clips and nails open means it is much less fiddly. 

8. Consider using a dry fix system
The advantage of using our Lincoln interlocking pantile is that, unlike traditional pantiles, it has been designed to work seamlessly with either our Universal dry fix range, or a wet bedded mechanical fixing system. So you can have the time saving benefits of a dry fix system but still achieve a rustic pantile aesthetic.